I see you struggling.
I see your kiddos struggling.
This homeschooling thing wasn’t supposed to be difficult. You give schoolwork, child does work, you move on.
But in reality, you assign schoolwork. Your child has a melt down. They hate schoolwork. They hate homeschooling. They want to go back where they have assignments from a teacher.
What’s behind this?
Well, it’s a total culture shock for everyone involved.
Public school teachers do a whole lot of babysitting. Unfortunately today’s parents tend to expect the teachers to do everything. Today’s students are less mature and less responsible than ever before.
I don’t mean that as an insult; it’s just a fact of life. When my grandpa went to school, he was expected to do farm chores, walk to school, be early or on time (at the latest) and get home quickly to do the rest of the chores.
Today’s students keep their face in a screen most of the day, have 3 meals a day served to them, get taken to after school programs, sports, music, or friends’ houses. They do homework, text or Snapchat, go to bed, and do it again tomorrow.
Someone is always telling them what to do, how to do it, and when it’s due. They are given study guides which mimic the tests they will take. They have open book quizzes.
Because the schools are given performance scores which affect their funding. They need students to score well so they can keep their funding. Teachers are instructed to teach for the test. It’s a huge fault in our current education system.
On the other hand, homeschooling students are expected to complete assignments in their own way, in their own time. They can go out and play when work is done. No one is standing over them telling them which line to write on or which pencil to use.
Here is an example of my daughter’s pre-algebra work:
Notice it’s graph paper, turned sideways, done with markers, scribbled. Doesn’t matter to me. As long as she gets her work done, it’s all good.
She is reading her literature book. As she reads, she writes down the vocabulary words. I make her a quiz at the end of every week with the word list she has created.
My son has learned to do his work because he wants to go ride horses. He rodeos in both the high school circuit and the amateur circuit. He is not allowed to do his “extracurricular” activities until his schoolwork is done. I don’t fuss at him, or fight with him. No school, no rodeo. If he skips something, he misses a practice session or a rodeo if it is a big something.
My eldest has not struggled with college one bit. He was already self-motivated, knew how to complete assignments properly and on time, and how to cook, clean, and buy his own gas and groceries. He is now a junior on full scholarship on the president’s list. His professors adore him.
I am obligated to no one if my child fails a test or misses an assignment. If they do not complete something, they lose a privilege.
Last year, my daughter lagged behind in her math work. I told her she could not go on a late May beach trip with her friend if her schoolwork was not completed. She finished the last 2 months of work in 3 weeks.
She knew I meant what I said. No fights, no pushing her to do it. If it was done, beach trip with her bestie. If it’s not done, it’s staying at home in late May, still doing math.
All 3 of my kiddos have learned economics by having jobs, purchasing their own “wants”, earning things rather than having things handed to them. School is not an excuse for getting out of chores and helping others. All have learned musical instruments of their own choosing.
They have raised their own chickens, cows, and pigs. They have sold eggs, bottle fed calves, milked cows, and been responsible for cooking, cleaning, laundry, mowing, and helping one another.
Is it because they are homeschooled? Partly.
As a homeschooling family, we can’t blame anyone else for their success at life. We are responsible for them knowing everything from school success to life skills to being prepared to pay their own bills. Our involvement in every area of their life means we leave no stone unturned. We expect no one else to “take care of” any area of their life.
We know what they are learning, if they are being lazy, if they are being challenged, and if they are where we want them to be as a decent human being.
That’s not to say we shut them out from opportunities. They have a giant village of people who have mentored and taught and coached them through the years. I’m only saying that I don’t hold any of those people responsible for my child’s success in life. That’s up to myself and my husband. We are held accountable to God alone for raising helpful, kind, hardworking, educated people.
I will continue to elaborate on ways to make this transition smoother for your family.
In the meanwhile, remember to give grace and have patience. It’s a new world for both you and your kiddos.