I’m a homeschooling mom and a homeschooling graduate, and even I know that homeschooling is HARD. I’ve had lots of days when I’ve wanted to give up, especially since most of us in our family have ADHD. This is how homeschooling improved our family life. But, I’m glad that we’ve stuck with it, because homeschooling has truly improved our family life.
It’s Helped Me to See My Kids
Spending everyday with my children has helped me get to know them in a way that I don’t think would be possible if they went to public school. Since our children have ADHD, it’s important that I understand their condition as thoroughly as I can. I watch them as they do their schoolwork and I can see the way they soothe their frustrations with movement.
For example, our oldest daughter has the habit of picking her pencil eraser when she’s concentrating, so she often needs to use a hand fidget. If she gets stuck on a problem, she usually stands up at the table to work it out. I have no doubt that her unorthodox way of concentrating would be an issue in public school. I think that if I had to rely on the teacher to relay that information to me, I’d have a harder time believing it. But here in our home, I see it and I know that it’s a real condition. That really helps me try to understand and help her learn in the way that’s best for her.
It’s Forced Me to Look at Myself
Which brings me to another way that homeschooling has improved our family life: It’s forced me to examine myself. I am not, by nature, a patient person. I have ADHD also and I become irritable if I have to wait on others or if I have to juggle several tasks at once. When you’re homeschooling several children, though, you have to multitask on a regular basis, and if you lose your temper regularly, everyone in the family is going to miserable. It didn’t take long for me to see that I would have to make some serious personality changes.
Learning how to slow down, pay attention, and use positive discipline were areas that I really needed to work on, and homeschooling has provided a mirror for me to see that. When I practice intentional parenting, I feel better, the kids feel better, and our school days are smoother. I don’t know if I would have realized my problem areas as quickly if we weren’t homeschooling.
Now, I don’t advocate homeschooling for every family. It’s not even possible in every family. But for us, it’s been a way to grow closer and make some of the changes that our family desperately needed, and for that I’m grateful.