We all hear it at some point. Someone learns that I homeschool my kids and the first thing they say is, “I could never be so patient!” Or, “You must have so much patience!” When I’m told this I want to evil laugh and scream, “Seriously? I HAVE NO PATIENCE!” Just ask my neighbors, they hear me yell at my kids whenever the windows are open (ha!). I do not have the magical never-ending patience of a saint.
It’s NOT about patience.
What is it about then? Let’s talk about that.
- Cultivating a love of learning. We’re NEVER done learning. Not really. We finish school, but the learning continues. You have to learn new positions in your job, we’ve learned how to use new technology that didn’t exist a decade ago, as we grow and age our interests change and we learn how to do different projects and take on new hobbies. We learn in ways we almost don’t even realize, and how does that happen? Because it’s stuff we want to learn. When we love learning it never really stops and the possibilities are endless.
- Making learning a part of the real world. The real world isn’t a textbook. It’s outside, beyond the confines of a classroom! It’s interacting with people from all backgrounds and all age groups all through the week. It’s organic learning, in real-time, with constant examples right there at our fingertips.
- Allowing my children to be comfortable with themselves before the world tells them who they are. Another quote I hear often when people start talking about homeschooling is, “Homeschoolers are so weird!” You’re friggin’ right we’re weird! We’re happy to be who we are! Also, my husband and I both went to public school and we’re pretty weird ourselves I don’t think the school makes that much difference if you don’t let it! I want my kids to have a chance to be more firm in their likes, dislikes and what makes them comfortable and happy before other kids tell them what they should and shouldn’t like, do or say. Often the kids who influence other kids are coming from backgrounds that we don’t want influencing our kids in the first place. This doesn’t mean they have zero influence from other kids, or that my kids are sheltered, I’ve just seen the village and I don’t want it raising my kids.
- It’s about NOT being measured by a test, but by who they are as a human. Kids aren’t a number, they aren’t a grade and their future shouldn’t be determined by a 20-page test. Other parents agree, teachers agree and I’m sure kids would also agree with this, yet our lawmakers seem to think this is the only way to determine our children’s worth. We don’t have to worry about that by staying home and learning in our own way with a test being used as it should- to see if the learning is sticking and using it as a learning tool.
- It’s about the small (and big) breakthroughs. I have no patience, but one of the most rewarding parts of homeschooling is when your kid FINALLY has that idea or concept you’re trying to teach them. That look they get when it all clicks into place is worth every hair gray hair trying to get something through to them. Patience isn’t SO important here because you have something else on your side- time. You have the time to step back, you have the time to send them outside to play, you have the time to research a different way to teach this idea, you don’t need so much patience if you have time.
- It’s about loving them. You don’t need the patience to love your kids. And even when you do lose your patience, they still love you, and you still love them. That’s all parenting, in general, is about- no matter how you fed them as babies, no matter what type of diaper you used, no matter what diet they eat, and no matter how you decide to give them an education. Love is behind it all.
In all honesty, though, I have WAY more patience for homeschooling than I do for the public school system. Homeschooling is WAY easier than homework time ever was for our oldest in school. Lazy homeschool mornings call for zero patience compared to busy mornings trying to get your kids out the door on time without throwing a fit (for either of you). I don’t know where public school moms get THEIR patience from! Just raising these crazy kids and somehow having a shred of sanity left makes all parents rock stars!
You got this!