Tresta Payne |

Education: Should you homeschool? | Moms

I told you last week that I didn’t know everything, and that I would always assume that you make deliberate educational choices based on all the factors your family has to consider.

I believe that you want the best for the people you love, and I believe that the right to homeschool does not make homeschool the only right choice.

All that being said, maybe homeschool is the right choice for your family.

Teaching your children at home might be a great fit and out of all the options you have, maybe it is the best route at this time.

How do you know for sure?

When you have more than one option it can be hard to know which choice to make.

And since we’re talking about educating children and not just which shoes to buy or what color to paint your room, let’s go through a few questions that can help make this very important decision.

OK. There are actually just two questions – see? We’re simplifying it already.

1. Do you want to?

Really. Do you want to be home with your children and be in charge of their education? Do you want to juggle books and papers and projects and planning, with all the stuff you already have on your plate?

Do you want to read great books with your kids and learn alongside them? Do you want to give up time and space and money to help your children learn at home, and can you have enough passion for it to get you through the tough spots?

Wanting to is the first step in making a decision to homeschool because if you feel like you should or you could or if somebody else thinks you ought to it’s not going to get you through the hard days.

It’s not going to help you with the doubts and the arguments from naysayers and children.

Set aside the scariness of it. The place to start is with desire and willingness, and if you have one or both of those, in any measure, you can homeschool your child.

2. Are you able to?

I’m not talking about your qualifications. I firmly believe that any loving parent who wants to homeschool can give their child a great education, regardless of their own educational background or lack thereof.

I’m talking about real things like illness, finances, special needs children, spousal support, and other family dynamics.

Homeschooling is not a hill I would choose to die on, i.e., if I had a child who had extreme special needs and I also had a strong desire to homeschool, I would have to weigh those two issues very heavily against one another and choose to put the needs of that child above my own desires - whether that be homeschool or otherwise.

That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to homeschool a special needs child. It simply means, again, that each situation is unique and requires deliberate prayer and decisions.

If you have enough desire and support, you can homeschool your special needs child, but it doesn’t mean you are making a lesser choice if you choose not to.

Home education itself doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, especially in the younger years.

It will require your time and attention though which can mean that you are a stay-at-home mom (or dad) and may have to find alternate ways to contribute to the family’s income, if needed.

There are ways to do it, even as a single parent, but some families are legitimately not financially able to homeschool.

If you are married and one of you wants the kids to be homeschooled, but the other adamantly does not, be encouraged to put your marriage first.

Home is the most important part of any child’s education – traditional or homeschooled, and disunity among parents will hinder any educational choice you make.

Many people will say, “I could never homeschool my kids.” That may be true for various reasons, but if you have enough want-to, I believe you can do it and you can do it well.

And if you don’t want to, I hope you’ll be involved in your child’s learning in whatever setting you choose to put them in.

You are the most important person in their education.

If you want to and are able to, next week I’ll share some resources to help you get started.

Home is the most important part of any child’s education

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The News-Review Updated May 21, 2014 03:40PM Published Feb 17, 2014 09:11AM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.