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Homeschooling’s 3 Biggest Challenges

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By: Suzie Dalien, M.Ed.

Homeschooling's 3 Biggest Challenges

You’ve decided to homeschool. You’re doing your due diligence finding what homeschool resources are the best fit for your family. You’re making notebooks and organizing your house to accommodate your new venture. While everything you are doing is right on target, you might want to file these Three Homeschool Challenges in the back of your mind! This article is not meant to diminish your dreams of homeschooling. Rather it’s meant to give you a glimpse at the realities homeschoolers around the world all come to grips with at some point. If it helps, few homeschoolers simply give up, you can find your way through anything! But, a head’s up is always nice.

1. February;

Ask any veteran homeschooler and they will tell you, no matter if they school year-round or follow the traditional school year, that February is a hard month. You might start off gangbusters in August or September. Your hopes are high, the books are new and once you’re in four or five weeks, it hits you! The books aren’t all you hoped. Your vision of your kids and how they’ll respond to things is likely a bit rose-colored. It’s okay. Just keep the February Slump on your radar. If things head downhill, change it up. Take some field trips. Do a nature study or any unit study.

2. Time Management Is Essential For Homeschooling;

Managing time is probably the single biggest challenge homeschoolers face. If you have pulled your children out of school, you probably thought that you would finally have time to get everything done now that you are no longer beholden to the school schedule. In reality, homeschooling can suck up a huge amount of time. When you are first figuring out how to manage the house, your job (if you have one) and school, the best laid plans will fall to pieces. Thanks to the magical internet, you can take advantage of what others have learned through trial and error. Marathon Mom has some great homeschool resources for anyone who is struggling to “catch” time.

Homeschooling children with special needs, can make time management especially difficult. Behaviors often happen at the most random, inopportune times causing chaos and derailing even the best intentioned plan. There are thousands of Special Education Resources that can help plan for these mishaps and keep you and your child moving forward.

Additionally, involving your child in supplemental learning through special education tutoring can give you some time to breathe. Allowing your child to spend time one-on-one with a special education tutor can expedite academics and help to decrease behavior issues.

3. Maintaining Order;

Whether you are homeschooling one child or nine children, you will run into issues where kids mess with the routine. A lot depends on your parenting style. If you have set consequences for a range of behaviors, you only need to enforce them. If you have a looser style of parenting, make sure you’re not punishing yourself! Most often, grounding children under 15-16 only punishes you! Instead, create consequences that fit the action. If a child lies about finishing an assignment, sit with them until they finish or give them a deadline with further consequences for not meeting the deadline. (If your child is involved in a team sport, do not make missing practice or games a punishment. It’s not fair to the rest of the team who are counting on your child.) Keep a list of chores on your fridge. Use those as consequences. Above all, though, be consistent. Kids crave this. Group similar “kid crimes” in departments and decide, with your partner, what the consequences should be. And then, STICK TO THAT PLAN.

Homeschooling is an amazing option open to anyone willing to get creative with their income, their time and their kids. However, it is not without its downsides. Being aware of what may arise in the future is a BIG step ahead. You know your children best. Imagine what they might do and develop consequences for their actions before you even crack that first book open. You know yourself. Be honest and plot potential downfalls – do you like to sleep in, are you easily distracted, do you have other family issues that will take your attention? Being honest about yourself and your kids is the first step in creating a successful homeschool.



This entry was posted on Monday, February 16th, 2015 at and is filed under Special Education Homeschooling and tagged as . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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One Response to Homeschooling’s 3 Biggest Challenges

  • Linsey says:

    I have been contemplating homeschooling my child, but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. This article helped put things into perspective for me. I am sure I would have experienced the ‘February Slump’ and would have gotten discouraged. I am glad I now know ahead of time that those types of setbacks are common. Thank you!

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