Don’t DESTROY Your Homeschool: AVOID These 3 Things

In this article, I’m going to talk about three things that I’ve noticed have a tendency to make for a miserable homeschool – if not destroy your homeschool completely. I will give you several examples and tell you some stories of where I’ve seen it in action. Because, as a former homeschooler and current homeschool mom, I’ve certainly seen some miserable fails in the homeschool environment.

Rebbecca Devitt

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post. If you want to do my course on how to homeschool, click here.

And I pray you can avoid these by reading this article.

I’m going to show you three of the most common ways I see people destroy their homeschool below…and then I’m going to share a Bonus Tip you don’t want to miss.

We’ll start with Number 3 and then work down to Number 1.

Let’s start.

Don't Destroy Your Homeschool

#3. Abandoning Independent Learners

You know, one of the wonderful things about homeschooling is that children learn to become independent critical thinkers.

Instead of having school teachers spoon-feed them information (and tell them what to think about it) in manageable chunks, homeschoolers can grapple with the information themselves and chat with parents about its import.

Sounds good.

And usually, it is.

But, I think in this case, we can fall off the horse in both directions.

That is, you can fall off the horse on the too-little-independence side…and you can fall off the horse on the too much independence-side.

When homeschoolers reach a certain age, they are able to completely teach themselves.

I’ve had children contact me and ask how they can homeschool themselves because, for whatever reason, their parents are completely disinterested in doing this themselves.

So, children can teach themselves.

But, sometimes, homeschoolers want input and encouragement.

They don’t want to be left to do the curriculum all on their own. They want someone to check the answers occasionally.

Example of Too Much Independence

As a homeschooler myself growing up, I had great support.

But, when I went into high school, things got pretty complicated.

My parents – let’s say English Literature wasn’t their strong suit – didn’t really keep tabs on my learning.

Consequently, I did awfully.

I got a whole bunch of 30% grades…many of which they never saw, and utterly failed the subject.

I probably needed someone to sit beside me and help me with the material.

Even if it were my parents coming alongside me and trying to understand things and helping me work through the text in a motivational interviewing kind of way.

And I don’t want you to think they were bad parents in this way – in fact, you could hardly find better.

But yes, I do think something was missing there.

Now, this was a small problem for me, and it only happened in high school, so no big deal.

I did great in all the other subjects and did well in the end.

But, there are families who leave their kids to it at a much younger age, and this problem is very exacerbated to the detriment of the child.

Sometimes it destroys the homeschool, and kids are sent back to school – frustrated with their homeschool experience.

So, to the parent, make sure you’re keeping tabs on your kids.

They may look like they can do it all themselves, but sometimes they’re struggling.

#2. Lack of Socialization or Isolation in Homeschools

Socialization and isolation issues in a homeschool are common.

I see it in many different circumstances, but most commonly in parents who:

  1. are tired and think socialization can go by the wayside and
  2. think the rest of the world is unclean. Their darlings must be protected from the polluting influence of outsiders.

Unfortunately, both cases lead to embittered children who blame their parents for their homeschool education because they ‘turned out weird’ or ‘lacked social skills’ as a result of not learning societal norms.

Example of Lack of Socialization and Isolation

When I was growing up, there was a family who was a part of our homeschool group (and this was a homeschool that blew up and completely failed in the end).

This particular family wasn’t very involved in our group because one parent, in particular, didn’t like the parents in our group. (Huge backstory I won’t go into!).

This meant we only got to spend time with them occasionally.

Part of the reason socialization wasn’t smiled upon was that the parent considered her children as balls of playdough that they were modeling.

The idea was that they’d end up with a perfect product if only they didn’t have other people around them trying to interfere.

I suspect that if you put it this way to the actual parent, they would have laughed.

But I think this was their unconscious thought.

But We Are Guilty Too!

And maybe it’s a thought we, as homeschool parents, get stuck with.

We see street kids and say, “I don’t want my children to get contaminated by their influence.”

Surely a better way is to invite the street children in, give them love and care, talk about Jesus, bake a cake together, and let them go.

You can watch over your children’s conversations with these children later on and go through any concerning material.

I’ve done this myself, and my children were overjoyed to be playing with other children.

But if you have a socialization problem, how do you fix it?

The best way to fix the problem of lack of socialization is to get out and find homeschooling groups to spend time with.

You can do that by going onto Facebook and finding local groups. It’s pretty easy. See the video below for details.

So, don’t destroy your homeschool due to lack of socialization…because it’s an easy fix and will make such a difference to your family!

 

If this isn’t an option, you can consider an online homeschool curriculum like Veritas Press, where children can socialize and talk to one another online.

This is a gorgeous Christian curriculum and requires very little social work from parents – although it gives children a social opportunity. You can get a free consultation with them here. This will help you decide if it will be a good option for you.

But, I want to also talk about another thing that can destroy your homeschool.

Something I’m very eager for you to avoid and that is legalism in the place of grace.

#1. Legalism Instead of Graceful Gospel-Centered Homeschooling

Many of us can go to church, read our Bibles, and end up with legalism and a penchant for rule-following and box-ticking.

Our children can become one of our boxes – with little sub-boxes we make for them to tick.

And if they don’t tick those boxes, woe betide that child!

They need “discipline”.

And the child gets punished.

And the child starts to hate homeschooling, and it can sometimes embitter the child towards you, their education, and often towards God.

It’s much better to let grace reign in your homeschool.

When you talk about discipline, it should be in a discipling capacity where you want to train your child to think lovingly.

Example of Lack of Grace in a Homeschool

One of my good friends from church, we’ll call her Emma, came from a legalistic Chrsitian homeschool just like this.

As teenagers, they weren’t allowed to listen to any music except Christian music.

She had to sit down and read the Bible for a long time each day.

Emma had to look after their siblings like a second mother often.

This sometimes felt like she didn’t have a childhood, and it was stolen from her.

One day, things came to a head, and her father severely disciplined her as a 16-year-old when he found her listening to a very tame non-Christian song.

Shortly after, Emma ran away from home. In the following years, Emma’s house was to become the safehouse for her siblings, who would also flee the graceless and legalistic nest.

Emma often said, ‘Thank God we completely didn’t give up our faith. We can thank God and our local church who showed us real love and the gospel each week.’

As homeschool parents, we need lots of help.

I feel the more videos I watch and the more books on homeschooling I read, the better my homeschooling gets.

So research all you can and watch this video on how to take your homeschool from good to great…because who want’s an ordinary homeschool?

Don't Ruin Your HomeschoolBONUS TIP: Sex Education

That wasn’t what you were expecting.

But that’s the topic!

In particular, a deficit in sex education.

Now this won’t necessarily destroy your homeschool, but homeschool graduates have identified a lack of sex ed as something that is often missing in homeschools.

The issue is that if you don’t get to sexual education yourself, someone else will, and they may not explain it the way you want them to!

If you don’t want to teach it yourself, find a program online to do that for you or ask a trusted friend.

But, for goodness sake, tackle this one lest you be the parent your child blames for failing in this regard.

It’s awkward…but awkward is better than an adult homeschool graduate who has warped views on sex because the subject hasn’t been addressed.

Subscribe to How to Homeschool (my Youtube channel!)

Have you caught the homeschooling bug?

Eager to delve deeper into the realm of unconventional education?

Well, my curious comrades, rejoice!

There are splendid avenues awaiting your exploration.

Firstly, hop on over to my YouTube channel, where a treasure trove of homeschooling wisdom awaits. From practical tips to delightful anecdotes, I unravel the mysteries of homeschooling with a touch of wit and wisdom.

Subscribe, hit that notification bell, and embark on an enlightening journey with me.

Enroll in the Homeschool Parenting Program

For those yearning for a comprehensive guide to homeschooling, look no further than my Homeschool Parenting Program.

This illustrious online course will equip you with the knowledge, strategies, and confidence to navigate the exhilarating world of homeschooling like a seasoned pro.

Enroll today and unlock the door to extraordinary educational possibilities.

Don’t DESTROY Your Homeschool: AVOID These 3 Things

Homeschooling is usually such a lovely way to educate your children. Children are gorgeous. We can do a lot to bring them up with a sweet nature. But, it takes work. We need to study how to make our homes a loving and lovely place to be. I hope you’ll do this.

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Rebecca Devitt

Most adults don't particularly want to relive their schooling experience on a daily basis. They would gladly move on to a new life devoid of homework and teachers. Very, very few adults will passionately blog about their schooling some 15 years after graduating. This makes Rebecca Devitt somewhat unique. As it happens, she was homeschooled. And she loved it. Still does. And she wishes every kid could get a taste of homeschooling at its very best. Her website How Do I Homeschool, is a springboard for parents to see what a life of homeschooling could be for both them & their children. When she's not blogging Rebecca is still homeschooling her-adult-self by learning Latin, growing weird vegetables and most importantly looking after her two children Luke & Penny. She has a husband Tristan and is a participant at Wollongong Baptist Church. She's also written a book about why parents should homeschool called 'Why on Earth Homeschool'.

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