Last spring I met a young mom, Elizabeth, at a homeschooling conference. Her oldest was not yet of school age, but she was thinking about homeschooling. Here Elizabeth shares her insights on the prospect of homeschooling:
I hope you enjoyed last week’s Screwtape Letter for a Homeschool Mom #2. Screwtape is a nasty one, isn’t he? You’ll be glad to know that Bitterwench never did get the letter because, just like last time, Martha’s vigilant Guardian Angel intercepted it. Here is Archangel Gabriel’s advice to Angel Fairlight:
Do you ever have doubts if what you’re doing as a homeschool mom is working or making a difference? Here’s an article I wrote for Mercatornet:
George Washington, first President of the United States, was homeschooled. So were Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, the 3rd and 4th Presidents of the United States. Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing, novelist Louisa May Alcott, and inventor Alexander Graham Bell were also educated at home, as were Laura Ingalls Wilder, Thomas Edison, Robert Frost, 32nd President Franklin D. Roosevelt (in fact 14 American presidents were home educated), scientists Edith and Agnes Claypole, and geneticist Francis Collins.
That’s a question a friend asked me last spring. I think I gave her a most unsatisfactory answer, something along the lines of: Well, it depends on the day.
It seems to me that more and more parents feel as if they have no choice but to home school. Some parents feel compelled to homeschool in order to provide religious and moral instruction. Others are concerned about the safety of school environments or the quality of education their children would otherwise be receiving. In any case, the number of homeschooled children has been increasing. In 2003, the U.S. Department of Education found that about 1, 096,000 children were homeschooled. By 2013, that number increased by over 60% to approximately 1,770,000, which is 3.4% of school-aged children. So we know that many parents feel obliged to homeschool, but do they love homeschooling?
When I was a highschool teacher, I noticed that many teachers would burn out by February. Being a highschool teacher was challenging but it was not nearly as difficult (or rewarding) as homeschooling. In my experience, homeschool burn-out was not something that only happened in the month of February. When my kids were really little, I was often burnt out even by the end of the day!
Granted I no longer have any toddlers or nursing babies. I can actually sleep at night, and that makes a world of difference. But over the years, I have also learned that avoiding burn-out really begins at the start of the school year. Here are some tips about managing the school part of homeschooling: