Instagram Hype Does Not Equal Homeschool Success
As a homeschooling parent, it's easy to get caught up in the social media hype surrounding homeschooling. We see pictures of beautiful, organized homes and perfectly curated lesson plans, and we may start to feel like our own efforts are inadequate. But the truth is that your house and homeschool are more than okay – they are professional, even if they don't look like the ones on Instagram.
In reality many of us are finding ways to be creative to make this work. For example my husband was off of work early today, so instead of chilling with him and the kids I came into the office, started writing, and he cooked dinner to be with the kids until bed time. He will be putting our toddler to sleep as well. There are many things 'behind the scenes' in just my small, 30 visits a day website that I often can't imagine the amount of time it must take to run a large site with tons of viewers. Those families must use creativity to their advantage and there's a lot that needs to be done in order for everything to come together in a sane way.
Homeschooling is a far cry from what is portrayed on social media. On social media, homeschooling is a quiet house, a clean kitchen, and neatly organized stacks of books. In reality, homeschooling can be messy, chaotic, and full of unexpected challenges. "Why aren't there any scissors in the scissors spot?" However, the beauty of homeschooling is that it is a personalized approach to education that can be tailored to meet the unique needs and interests of each child. Yet this is also the challenge. It looks different in every family so there's no way to tell if how it looks for your family is 'right' when you're comparing.
One of the biggest advantages of homeschooling is socialization. Many people assume that homeschoolers are isolated and don't have opportunities to interact with others. There's also endless media sources depicting homeschoolers in harmful ways. Whether depicted as incredibly smart OR incredibly awkward these two polarities are not true in homeschooling. Most often it is families with kids making decisions they feel are best for their children. When it comes to socialization, the reality is quite the opposite. Homeschoolers have the freedom to choose their own social activities and interact with people of all ages. They can participate in local homeschool groups, community organizations, school sports teams, and more.
Another advantage of homeschooling is time freedom. Homeschoolers have the flexibility to set their own schedules and work at their own pace. They can take breaks when they need them and spend more time on subjects that are challenging or interesting. This allows for a more balanced and personalized approach to learning that is not possible in a traditional classroom setting. The teachers are often passionate, the system is largely restrictive of that passion, and it is working exactly as it was designed to.
Additionally, homeschooling provides the opportunity for families to travel and explore the world together. Homeschoolers are not confined to a school schedule and can take advantage of off-peak travel times to visit museums, historical sites, and other educational destinations. This type of experiential learning can be incredibly enriching and memorable.
It's important to remember that homeschooling is a professional endeavor, even if your house doesn't look like the ones on Instagram. ESPECIALLY if you're homeschooling from an apartment or RV- it doesn't really matter where you call home. So long as that home is meeting basic needs of everyone in it then you can thrive to self actualization. Homeschooling parents are educators, curriculum developers, and administrators all rolled into one. They are responsible for the education and well-being of their children and work tirelessly to provide the best possible education. It is the definition of a job done out of extreme passion, because no homeschool parent I've met has yet claimed to do it for the money, fame, and title.
In conclusion, your house and homeschool are more than okay – they are professional, unique, and tailored to meet the needs of your family. Don't compare yourself to the curated images on social media. Instead, focus on the advantages of homeschooling, such as socialization, time freedom, and the ability to travel. Embrace the messy, chaotic, and rewarding experience of homeschooling, and know that you are doing a fantastic job.