Confessions of a Soon-To-Be, Reluctant Homeschool Mom

If you would have told me three months ago that I would be homeschooling my child for his first grade year, I would have laughed in your face {while being socially distant and wearing a mask of course!}. But, as we have heard over and over, times… they are a-changin’.

Like so many parents chugging along through this pandemic life, my husband and I have what we have coined as “future outlook fatigue.” My tired is tired of making short term and long term decisions on the basis of a “what if.” There are no good decisions anymore and choices that were inconsequential six months ago give me pause. So you can imagine how my constant thoughts on how to approach the 2020-21 school year have kept me up at night. 

I knew that my biggest stress factor if we were to keep our oldest in public school was the disruption to our routine. Not knowing when/if school would be closed, and how many times this could occur throughout the school year weighed heavily on my mind. Another major factor and consideration for our decision was the concern of excessive screen-time for a first grader when it came to virtual learning.

So, the solution to this problem for us is pulling our child completely from the public school system and homeschooling for the year. And I emphasis “for us” because this is SUCH a deeply personal and individual decision for every single family. What works for you, may not work for me and that. is. OK. I know not everyone has the flexibility to make this choice, and no one should be shamed for their final decision.

Confessions of a Soon-To-Be, Reluctant Homeschool Mom

While our ultimate decision to homeschool came fairly quickly for us, there were still concerns in the back of mind.

  • Abandoning our school, which I love:: I am not ignorant to the fact that if too many people chose this route, teachers will lose their jobs and I truly hate that. In fact, I have a sense of guilt surrounding our choice but, if COVID has taught me anything as a parent, it’s that you need to do what’s best for your child and family. And homeschooling is it for us right now.
  • Would I be able to do this, both mentally and academically? The short answer is yes. So much of motherhood comes with sacrifice. I know this is not a permanent solution for our family and that we will be back to public school once things have settled down. And first grade math isn’t as scary as middle school… right?
  • Can I do this with two younger children? After hours and hours of research on requirements, schedules, curriculum, etc. I found that the biggest misconception out there about homeschool is the time requirement. Individualized learning is so flexible and a seven-hour school day is just not necessary when you are focusing on one student. If you are considering homeshool, definitely check out the concept of “deschooling.” It is eye-opening!

So, where do we go from here?

  1. State Requirements:: every state has a different set of requirements for homeschoolers. You can learn more about Texas’ here through the Texas Homeschool Coalition.
  2. Curriculum:: This could be a whole post by itself and, in my opinion, is by far is the most intimidating choice you will need to make within your homeschool journey. My advice is to really figure out how your child likes to learn, join some Facebook groups to learn more about your options, and figure out how you want to teach.
  3. Logistics:: This is a fluid conversation and, through my research, will more than likely change for us throughout the year. Our schedule, the physical school location in our home, supplies, etc. are all things that can be adjusted if something is not working but it’s important when considering how you want your homeschool journey to begin.

Clearly I am not an expert in this arena. And I would be lying if I said the thought of being in complete and total control of my child’s academic success did not terrify me. But I am also excited to learn more about my child and how he learns. And to see what works best for him and what doesn’t so that when we DO go back into the public school setting, I am that more equipped to help him succeed. And if you’re a veteran homeschooler, share your tips with me! I know I am going to need them. 


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One Response to Confessions of a Soon-To-Be, Reluctant Homeschool Mom

  1. Alissa
    Alissa July 20, 2020 at 9:11 am #

    I’m with you, Ann! This is such a tough, personal decision for every family. I am thankful for your bravery in sharing your thoughts and feelings here!

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