With homeschooling, there is a pressure to be perfect. As a former public school teacher, I can honestly say that I have more pressure now than I did when I taught in my classroom. Maybe not more pressure, but a different kind of pressure.
When you homeschool, everyone has an opinion. Everyone. Some people are very supportive, while others are not. Some people are not vocal in their opinion, but you can tell by their demeanor. I have posted before about the stigma of homeschool, and that is usually what affects a persons opinion.
I can honestly say that some of the most supportive people for my family is our local library. THEY ARE AMAZING! They let us host co-op classes there. They even interlibrary loaned 10 copies of a book we were reading, so that the kids could have a copy. I know that not every homeschool family is blessed to have this amazing resource, which makes me even more grateful for ours.
Since everyone has an opinion, you feel like your kids are under constant scrutiny and you have to be ready to justify your choices to everyone. Let me be the first to tell you that even with all the pressure to be perfect, my homeschool is anything but perfect.
There are days we are working until 7 at night, because we had something else going on. There are days that we say forget it, and we stop. There are days that the arguing of my three kids makes me want to throw in the towel. Right this minute, my kids are working on a group activity. They are arguing because one person is being too slow, one is hogging the book, and one is smiling. Yes, you read that right. My oldest boy is smiling, so the youngest is mad at him, because he is obviously making fun of him.
I hear the words, “where is my eraser” a hundred times a day. Pencils disappear as if a magician has been using them in their latest magic tricks. I swear I use more pencils and erasers with my three children than I did with my classroom of 25.
I have an educational degree. I have only three students. I hand selected the curriculum to use. Yet, my homeschool is not perfect. Why? Because I have four non-perfect people, myself included. We make mistakes. We are curious, tired, anxious, grumpy, hyper, excited. Our emotions control our actions. If we aren’t perfect, how could our homeschool be perfect?
The standards by which I judge myself and my homeschool should be basic. 1. Are my kids learning? 2. Are my kids happy? 3. Are they being provided opportunities to grow as a person?
If the answer to these questions in yes, then we are being successful. That’s the best we can do. Perfection isn’t possible.