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Are you considering homeschooling but aren’t sure if you are self-disciplined enough to do it?
Maybe certain aspects of homeschooling are appealing to you but you aren’t sure if you could stick to a schedule every day or make sure everyone is staying on task during school time. You know you can get distracted at times. So, as much as you’d like to consider homeschooling, you just can’t envision yourself being the one to keep your kids on track with their schooling.
In the past years I’ve heard numerous people tell me, “I could never homeschool because I’m not self-disciplined enough.” I know these people to be very responsible, dedicated people who care deeply about their families and give their children a tremendous amount of support and love. So, would they really just shirk their responsibilities if they made the decision to homeschool? Would you?
Do you have enough self-discipline to homeschool?
First, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I brush my children’s teeth?
- Do I help my child when they need it?
- Do I bathe my kids when they are dirty?
- Do I take my children to their doctor appointments?
- Do I make meals for my family when they need to eat?
- Do I go to the grocery store when my family needs food?
- Do I get up in the middle of the night when my child cries?
If you answered “yes” to most of these questions then you care enough to do what you need to do whether or not you feel like it. You may not enjoy some of those tasks, yet you still do them.
You do what you need to do for your family
Awesome! You totally take care of your family and their needs. You are more self-disciplined than you think! Now, if you decide to homeschool, you will just extend that to your child’s school work.
When people hear the word “self-discipline” they often think of sticking to an exercise program or sticking to a diet. Let me reassure you that homeschooling really isn’t like that at all. If you care about your children and take care of them then you will do what you need to do with their schooling. It really isn’t like a diet or exercise program. If it were, there would be a lot less people homeschooling!
Homeschooling doesn’t have to be a typical classroom at home
Most homeschools look much different than a typical classroom as children’s individual needs and interests are a priority. Here are some things for you to think about:
- With homeschooling you have a lot of freedom and flexibility so you don’t have to adhere to a schedule that doesn’t work for you and your family. Some families stick with a schedule similar to a regular school day. Other families may have a very untraditional schedule or don’t even have a schedule at all.
- There are many curriculum options with schedules built in so if you are someone who needs more structure you can certainly find it. Cathy Duffy’s 102 Top Curriculum Picks is an extraordinary resource for new homeschoolers.
- You can choose to have a general rhythm to your day or an exact schedule depending on what works best. Some homeschoolers have a general order to their day without exact times assigned. And other homeschoolers have an exact schedule with times assigned for each subject. Neither is better than the other, and you should do what’s best for you and your family.
- After you homeschool for a while, you will know boundaries that need to be put in place in order to optimize the school day. For example, I protect our mornings and don’t take phone calls or schedule appointments in the morning if at all possible. It took me a couple of years to realize that protecting that focused school time when my kids are at their best makes my life a whole lot easier.
- When you have written goals in place you are a lot more likely to have self-discipline and follow through on what you need to cover with your children in order to meet those goals. So, create goals, review them often and change them as needed throughout the year.
- When you are determined to do something you will do it. Once a person wants to do something they will make it happen. Simple as that.
You can do it
If you are considering homeschooling and are taking the time to read this then I know you are a someone who cares about their children and are willing to take the time to do some research. And that says a lot about you.
I’m willing to bet you are someone who will do what you need to do to create a learning environment and schedule (or non-schedule) that works best for your family. And I’m also willing to bet that you have the self-discipline to do what you need to do each day. It won’t be perfect because it never is.
There will be days when it’s hard to get going and hard to stick with the plan. You might not feel like doing anything that day because you are tired. It’s okay though because you will get back to it the next day or the next week. Even better, during that downtime your kids will have time to read and play and do some of the things that they love most. This time is a gift to them.
The most important thing is for you to believe that you can do it. Because you can!
Keep on being awesome, friend.