Five tips for families considering homeschooling

My point, though, is if you’re thinking about homeschooling, you probably have a certain expectation of what it looks like, and if you’re like me, it was something along the lines of us perfectly reciting curriculum facts together while classical music plays quietly in the background. Also, we’re all smiling.

Reality set in pretty quickly, and I realized a simple truth: to the kids, homeschool is just school. There are times the kids eagerly come to the table ready to learn, but those are about as rare as seeing a unicorn flying over a rainbow. Although my kids do enjoy homeschooling, they are not always enthusiastic about it. Some days, I have to use the Dad Voice to get them into the dining/homeschooling room, then try to cajole them into actually engaging with the material I’m trying to teach.

Homeschool is work. It’s sometimes tedium and there are times you will sit in silence at the table with your kids after asking them a question while they scowl and ignore you (spoiler alert: this may involve tears—and not just from the kids), but the first time they recite the Preamble to the Constitution or tell you the names, symbols, and atomic weights of the first twelve elements on the periodic table, when the repetition finally bears fruit, that’s when you realize that it’s all worth it. It doesn’t make the bad times better, but it lets you know that, yes, they are actually listening and learning, and it’s working.