When people hear I homeschool my boys there are usually a couple of phrases that they say. People are predictable like that. Strangely the ‘socialisation’ question is not one of the first phrases they use, instead it is, “Oh! I Could never be with my kids for the whole day!” or “I love them and I want to keep loving them” meaning that they will go mad if they have to spend all the time, every day in the presence of their children. I get it, I truly do.
I usually reply with, “You get your kids all tired and grumpy from school. I get them at their best and their worst, and luckily the best is more than the worst.” I see me kids play and laugh and fight and scream. I see the whole spectrum of their growing up, I am also there when they are nasty with others or others are not so kind to them. I hear when they drum their fingers when some one is trying to teach them, and I deal with it the moment that I can.
The phrase however that really gets my back up is, “Oh, I would love to homeschool, but I do not think I am smart enough.”
Can you see me roll my eyes yet? Really? You do not think you are smart enough? You keep this child alive and well nourished (most of the time) and clothed? You engage in conversation with other intelligent people (hopefully) and you have friends? You have the ability to look at your child and know something is off? How can you think you are not smart enough? Can you read? Can you write? Stuff the writing, can you read?
Dear mum who think you are not smart enough to homeschool your children,
your smarts have very little to do with you ability to homeschool them. You are their mother, you are more than equipped to do it, if you want to.
You are not a teacher, you are an enabler, you accompany them on their journey to learning. You open the world up for them and what you do not know, you will find out together. There are many, many times when my kids ask me something and I do not know the answer, and I say, “Come, let’s Google it, or Youtube it and have a look.” By doing this we have learnt about octopusae changing colours and shapes, we have understood maths better and we have learned why the elephant bird is no longer on earth.
By being on this journey with my children, I have grown and learned so much, and I have been able to do new things that I never thought possible. I have met people that I would never have met.
Mum, you are smart. You are the only mum your kids have. If you really want to homeschool, you can. Do not be intimidated by your perceived lack of knowledge. Equipping your kids for life by being with them in real life does not require booksmarts, it requires being able to hack it at life.
I titled this ‘How to homeschool your child when you are not smart enough’ only to get your attention.
Actually, the first thing you need on this journey is belief in yourself that you can do this, if you have already decided that you want to. Once you believe that you can, and believe me, that belief will be challenged many, many times in the days to come, you can start working on the “How to homeschool” part. For that there are resources abundantly and one of the best resources are other mums who have been there and done that.
Homeschooling is a journey. Up and down, and winding through the landscape of being mother and child. For me and my clan, it is a good decision, and we enjoy it.
From a mum who was a clever child at school, but who is not always a smart mum 🙂