Most of the time I’m fairly confident in our decision to homeschool our daughter. I loved to teach school, I love to read and learn, and I have a good idea of what it entails both now and as she gets older. We have a close knit relationship, and I can look down the road to seeing our relationship enhanced by this adventure.
Maybe not at 16. But later.
However, like any major decision we make for our children and families, I have nagging fears about homeschooling that surface with different parts of life.
1. Is There Such a Thing as Too Much One-on-One Attention?
I wonder if I’ll be able to develop Bella into an independent learner as the years pass, since there will be nothing else to distract me from her. While a parent with a larger family might have to tell a child, “You’ll have to figure it out, I’m with your sibling,” that won’t be the case for us. Although she does amazing while working and playing on her own now, I want to make sure it’s a skill that continues.
2. Am I Just Scared Of “Missing It?”
I think every parent wonders this: Is there a point where we look back and think, “I totally missed doing that with my kids.” Since it’s just her, there are times I feel like I have to squeeze in everything because we might not get another chance to redo it.
3. Will She Have Enough Socialization?
While most homeschool parents scoff at people who ask about their children being socialized, this thought is real for us. Larger families watch their kids interact with siblings, and all ages of friends that come along with that. My daughter is an only child, and may always be. We don’t live near family, and being military we move a lot. While it’s not my main concern, since we’ve had people constantly tell us how friendly and easy going she is, it’s a bigger part of homeschool for us than others who have multiple kids.
4. Will She Be The Weird Homeschool Kid?
Yes, as much as I advocate for homeschooling if that’s what your family decides, I also grew up with seeing homeschooled kids through my childishly judgmental eyes. I do think about Bella being that kid, although it may have more to do with the family than homeschooling. I try to remind myself how successful all of them are now – even if they were a bit strange in high school.
5. Will She Be Lonely?
Sigh. This one weighs on my heart more than any other. Will Bella be lonely with just us? Will we move to a community that embraces homeschool, where I can let her be part of a co-op or homeschool group? My goal is to let her have as many experiences including other kids as possible, but in some ways that truly does depend on where we live.
6. Can I Balance It All?
As my writing turned from hobby into job, and now progresses further into what I love, it takes up more of my time. I am able to balance it right now with Bella being so young. We only “do” homeschool 3 days a week, for about an hour and a half. Yet what happens in a few years? How do other work-at-home parents find the time to do what they love and follow the tug to homeschool?
7. Am I Being Selfish?
In my heart, I have this little voice that pipes up every so often with, “Are you just homeschooling her for selfish reasons?” Although some of them might be, I remind myself that the big ones (consistency in education, a personal learning experience) are the reasons we do this. And don’t some of the best parenting choices have a little bit of selfish in them? I want Bella to be with me, I want to see her learn and grow up, I want to be the one who educates her. If she’s my only child, I want to have as much time with her as I can.
Those are my fears and thoughts. Laid out with some real apprehension for you to read. Now tell me – do you have any?
Diana blogs at Diana Wrote about her life with a daughter here and three sons in heaven, life as an army wife, and her faith. You can also find her work on Liberating Working Moms, She Reads Truth, Still Standing Magazine, The New York Times, and The Huffington Post, with smaller glimpses into her day on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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