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The Many Challenges (And Benefits) of Homeschooling

My 15-year-old son is studying for his College Entrance Exams and taking a college psychology class. While everyone else is enjoying summer break, my son is focused on his studies and preparing for more college classes in the fall.

One of the most rewarding moments of Home Schooling is preparing your teenager for college. All the years of hard work pay off when your child passes his College Entrance Exams. It is the greatest feeling of relief, exhilaration, and accomplishment all in the same breath.

Of course, home schooling has many challenges. When I began home schooling my oldest child, more than twenty-one years ago, the challenges were different. People held the preconception that people who home schooled their kids were crazy and part of a cult. Many family members and friends did think that we were crazy (they forgave the cult accusations).

In reality, we were neither, but we struggled to overcome the negative social stigma. Today, home schooling is more widely accepted, and there are many support groups to smooth the process.

I made the decision to home school when my husband, a substitute public school teacher, saw the conditions in the public school system.

Although we made the decision together when “we” chose to Home School, I was the one who actually did all the work. There were no local support groups around at that time, and no pre-packaged curriculums. It was all up to me. I was a high school graduate, just twenty years old, with no training in education. Simply put, I had to figure it out all on my own.

So I went with my instinct and did what made sense. I started with the fundamentals – reading, writing, and a little math. I started teaching our newborn daughter at just three weeks old. Helpful books like How to Make a Baby Genius encouraged an early start. Those books instilled in me the belief that anything was possible.

I had no idea what I was getting into, but I was determined to figure it out along the way. My child deserved the best education, and I intended to provide it.

The choice to home school was not easy, not twenty-two years ago and not today. Even with today’s added support, the challenge still remains in believing that I can provide a quality education for my child and keep my sanity at the same time.

But I still believe that there are far more reasons to make a “go of it.” I believe that the rewards are tremendous. I feel proud that I took my children’s education into my own hands.

I became my children’s teacher. I understand that as a mom, I have the greatest influence on my child’s life. Over time, I began to understand that I could play a very powerful role. My first hurdle was developing confidence, and I did that by realizing that I knew more than my child. And when I needed more information, because I felt less prepared in an area, I would study. This, too, bolstered my self-confidence.

I feel strongly that a good education must become our highest priority. I encourage everyone to take this challenge. We must educate our children.