Unexpectedly Homeschooling

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The covid19 brought all of us inside our homes. If you are a parent, you become your child or children’s instant teacher. Teaching fell on your lap without any warning. Your head is spinning and you don’t know what to do. By the looks of it, schools might be out until the end of the year. So what are you going to do? Homeschool? You have got to be kidding me.

Starting school at home is challenging, and I don’t want to downplay that. It’s not always a sunny day in Sesame Street. Sometimes a tremendous storm is brewing at the dining table. You won’t have it all together every single day. There will be days you’d hate yourself for subjecting your child to the monster mom. And then there are days when you give yourself a pat on the back because you did an outstanding job.

Remember that ALL homeschooling parents I know felt inadequate and ill-prepared at one point in their journey. It’s an expected feeling but it shouldn’t be your norm.

Now, that’s settled, we can go to the core of this blog post. Considering you have no other option but to teach at home, here are some important reminders before you jump the gun.

What do I need to do?

Plan for a year only. Your main reason for homeschooling this coming school year is because of the virus, right? So, focus on this academic year ONLY. When it’s safe to return to conventional schools, then make that decision again. Stop yourself from making long-term goals. Take homeschooling one year at a time.

Seek help from other homeschooling families. Ask their recommendations on homeschool providers. Consider their reasons for making their choice. Also, join the Homeschoolers of the Philippines on Facebook to get feedback, resources, and tips on homeschooling. The administrators created folders for newbie homeschoolers, so all the information you need is a click away. 

Sign up for homeschool orientation. When a family asks me what helped me decide to pursue homeschooling, I also say that attending a homeschool orientation educated me. So I recommend the same. Joining online webinars is an opportunity to know what homeschooling is all about and what would it entail. So, get in touch with the homeschool provider of your choice and register for any upcoming orientation. Pay attention and take down notes. 

Research. Read articles, blog posts, and ebooks on homeschooling. Search for online resources that you can use. However, do not be too excited to download everything you see online. Most often than not, you won’t get to use all of it. Interview homeschooling parents because you will draw a lot from their personal experiences. 

Pray. As we complete our 11th year of homeschooling, I have no other armor with me except prayer. We prayed as a family when we taught our kids at home. Talking to the Lord through prayer has kept me sane and grounded and supplied me with wisdom to teach every day. If I relied on my strength and willpower, I know I cannot do it. I would not have lasted this long if not for my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Just do it. So you have prayed about it, weighed your options and chosen a provider, it’s time to enroll. I am sure that your provider would assist you especially in your first year. We have been with our current homeschool provider for 7 years now and we have no complaints. It is also one reason we continued with homeschooling up to this time. Their support have kept us going. Even if they have a lot of students, they know our children on a personal level. To my PICAR family, we appreciate all of you. 

Enjoy the ride. Again, homeschooling will not be easy. You and your child will face many challenges. But more than the lessons, experiments, field trips and other activities, homeschooling gives parents the opportunity to get to know their children more. Yes, there will be tears but there will be lots of hugs and kisses too. 

Our children can always catch up on their academics. Excellent grades are not our priority. At the end of any homeschooling day, what is important is our relationship with our child. Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”