Are you patient, well-educated, an experienced teacher, a good student, organized, and a perfect wife and mother? Some of these may describe you, and that’s wonderful. But on those areas you fall short, you can decide to become FAT. (Faithful, Attentive and Teachable)
Home schooling works best with healthy relationships, perseverance and a willingness to grow with your children. Please don’t wait until you are perfect to home school because no one is perfect!
If you are contemplating taking the plunge into home schooling, I would like to give you the home schooling litmus test. If you pass these 3 areas, you are in good standing to be a home school mom. If you are weak in a certain area, then decide to work on it.
Are you faithful? Will you persevere despite difficulties, failures or opposition?
You will have days that are tough: a house that is a war zone filled with ungrateful children battling it out. Some days are terrible, horrible, very bad. Do you give up? NO! When you bring your kids home, it could be the toughest time you will have with them. This is part of the process of storming then normalizing. You will see the light at the end of the tunnel. Tough times will require you to take one step at a time and breathe. You will need to encourage yourself.
If you expect home schooling to be difficult, then you will not be caught off guard. If you have an idealistic picture of how well your kids will do, then you may be overwhelmed and feel you are not able to teach your children.
My advice to you is to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
Don’t look for the good days, but the good moments. Moments that you would have never had with each child if you did not choose to home school.
Since you haven’t lived the life of a homeschooling mom, you may not fully know if you are faithful. However, you can decide you will persevere. Remind yourself along the way to not quit. Surround yourself with people who will cheer you on!
Tenacity is required to keep your children listening and following your instructions. If you are weak in this area, stop everything and focus your attention on following through to gain the respect and attention of your children.
Are you available? Will you take the time to give your family an example to follow by giving undivided attention to their words and emotions?
Consider yourself now, are you there for the moments? Your kids may not be young, but they still need you. You can be physically there, but absent emotionally.
3 things that take divert our attention:
- Technology: Blogging, , Facebook, Google searches
- People: Texting, Talking to friends, Instant Messaging, Face timing
- Out and about: Going lots places with activities, sports, friends
If you aren’t sure what your children think, ask them what you are focused on or what is important to you.
As a friend’s dad simply said to her when she was thinking about homeschooling, “You have to be home to home school.”
To be available to your family, means that you will have face-to-face relationship with them. You will set aside anything that may cause you to be distracted from what is really important. How frustrating is it when our children are distracted. Yet, we often are distracted from paying close attention to what they are doing and saying. I know this in my head, but I too find myself busy keeping up with lots of people outside of my home. During prime time, as much as you are able, hunker down, unplug and be fully present.
My friends, these days will not last long. Don’t miss the opportunities to be in your child’s life!
Do you welcome your children to be with you in life or do you choose peace and quiet? Your answer to that question may determine if later on they will include you in their lives.
Are you teachable? Submissiveness is wanting to hear what others believe is best for me, even if it points out my weaknesses.
My passion is to learn. Homeschooling continues to challenge me to keep learning and growing. As a former public and private school teacher, I thought that I would know all that I needed to be a fantastic teacher of just three children.
However, I live with, teach, and mother my three students. This is completely different than being in a classroom. Starting out, I did not have a framework for curriculum. I was never allowed to make that decision as a school teacher. When I began to homeschool, I had to ask a lot of questions and find out what would be best for both me and my child. My oldest thought that I was imposing my idea of making him learn. Since we have always home schooled, he did not have a concept that all children go to school and learn. I had new battles to face on the home front that I did not have as a school teacher.
In our area we have a yearly home school conference, I began attending when my oldest was two. I had to wrap my head around what homeschooling was all about. As a trained teacher, it was necessary for me to change my misconceptions of what school should look like. I would encourage you to look for ways to get teaching and training from outside sources. When you learn from others, you will gain wisdom and grow as a person.
In addition to listening to others, I read good books (see Recommended Book List) and I talk with moms who are strong in areas that I am weak. As you admit your weaknesses and truly purpose to change, you will be amazed by the results.
Are you ready to home school?
It all comes down to being FAT.
These are not qualities that you have to be born with, rather they are traits that can be developed. If it is in your heart, you can do it! Just be FAT on the inside.
Homeschooling may seem overwhelming. My children do not leave on a yellow school bus in the morning. They stay with me! My children know me and I know them with all of our strengths and weaknesses. I have failed many times. Yet I can say, I wouldn’t trade this time for anything. I have grown as a person and I am doing my part to equip my children for life.