Monday, September 5, 2011

You're Not Homeschooling Because...You Don't have the Patience or Organization

Part 1: You're Not Homeschooling Because...You Can't Afford to
Part 2: You're Not Homeschooling Because...Your Spouse is Against it
Part 3: You're Not Homeschooling Because...You're Overwhelmed by the Responsibility
Part 4:  You're Not Homeschooling Because...You Don't Want Your Child to turn out Weird

One of my friends once had an unexpected year-long break from work.  I asked him if he was tempted to take his kids out of school during that time.  He responded, "No way !  I don't have the patience or organization to homeschool."


Like most people he believed that if his children weren't in school, he would be responsible for doing school at home.  Still, his answer surprised me.  I mean, this is a guy who can weld a suit of armour as easily as he can change a diaper.  He's politically active and philanthropic.  He is, by far, one of the most interesting people I've ever known, yet he didn't believe that his life and experiences were worthy fodder for the education of his children.  Or maybe he thought that they would learn from him anyway so they had to go to school to learn the subjects of the curriculum.  Or maybe his kids really enjoyed school.  Or maybe the thought of homeschooling was totally outside of his frame of reference.

I don't know.  And ultimately, I still respect him as someone who has made an informed choice about public education.  But I do know that one doesn't have to be the most patient or organized parent on the planet to successfully homeschool.

Yes, patience is among the most important aspects of being a good parent.  In our home, our Family Mission Statement says that We love each other with Patience and Kindness.  Most of the parents who I am friends with say that they are continually trying to be more patient and when they ARE, they are thrilled with the resulting connection with their children.  And who is more likely to be patient with your child?  YOU, the person who loves you child more than anyone else in the whole world?  OR, a teacher of 25 kids who has barely had time to learn your child's last name?

To be honest, I struggle with having enough patience everyday for every one of my children.  But I've learned a few tricks that really, really help.  You might want to give them a try.  Meditation.  Yoga or other regular exercise.  Talking to a life coach (such as Tara at or Amy at .)  Smiling more.  Breathing deeply.

I think all parents are capable of finding enough patience to spend everyday, all day with their own amazing children.

I bet every one of you would like to be more organized.  Making weekly meal plans.  Paying bills in advance.  Starting Christmas shopping earlier.  Washing, folding and putting away all the laundry on the same day.  Finally sorting out the junk-drawer.

We all have a list of ways that we could function better, right?  But what happens when we don't get around to it?  Well, most of the time, nothing.  We carry on just fine and the kids get fed and the laundry gets done and people get presents and so on. 

Yes, I can certainly see that if you are going to spend a lot of time instructing that you are going to have to find the time to fold the laundry and get groceries.  But remember how you couldn't imagine having a second child and still finding the time to fold the laundry and get groceries and AND still spend time with your first child?  Then you had that second child and everything just fell into place and worked itself out, right?  Homeschooling is just like that.

You can do it.
Trust me.


  1. Great series of posts, Patti. In some ways, I think it's easier to have more patience with our kids when we spend all day with them because we are better able to recognize and regulate their stressors to avert some of those patience-testing times.... some but not all of course! -Kerry

  2. I love organizing! When we get around to homeschooling, making a curriculum will easily be my favorite part. I love making lists and schedules. I really hope Peter has those traits, too. Otherwise, I might have to consider *gulp* unschooling. Ew. ;-)