I'm excited and thankful to serve as a Regional Representative for Homeschool Iowa, the state's biggest supporter and protector of homeschooling rights.
This position allows me to help other homeschoolers feel empowered and encouraged.
I want you to embrace the idea that your decision to homeschool is bold, brave, and totally in your wheelhouse.
Let's start there.
Let me assure you, that despite not knowing you personally, I already know that you have what it takes to homeschool your child(ren).
You're seeking information and inspiration. You've sought out this blog post and come to the Homeschool Iowa website.
You've decided to embark on a homeschool journey. You're ready to fully experience this life adventure with your kiddos, to learn right alongside them.
We tend to be pretty myopic when it comes to schooling.
We sometimes think that the way schooling is today is the way it’s always been. I think that’s why we’re so willing to put up with school experiences and environments that are toxic to our kids’ souls.
We forget that modern schooling is a contemporary invention – compulsory education funded by the federal government started just 100 years ago. Until then, children were, by and large, educated at home, either by a parent or a tutor, depending on the wealth of the family.
You were made to teach your children.
You can do this.
Remember why you chose homeschooling
Your reasons to homeschool might be any or all of these:
- ACADEMIC REASONS:
The pace is never too fast or too slow. It’s set by your student’s abilities. Do any of us have memories of being told we were “behind” in a subject area? Those words sink deep and stay. They impact. Consider, then, the freedom of learning at the perfect pace: your own. Consider the confidence that’s built. The rock-star feeling. The built-in individuality.
- SOCIAL REASONS:
No more bullying; no more harassing; no more upset stomachs; no more anxiety. Consider, then, the growth, learning, and laughter that can take place in your home, a safe place where they can be who they are. Your children will re-develop deep relationships with you, their parents, and (perhaps) their siblings.
- WORLDVIEW REASONS:
Schools teach a worldview, and it may be very different from the one you’d like your children to have. Consider, then, the freedom to share with your child how your worldview impacts all aspects of learning and life in general.
- SPIRITUAL & CHARACTER REASONS:
The teaching of personal and relational faith is not allowed in modern schools. At the higher academic levels, your child may even encounter teachers who are outright antagonistic toward people of faith, going so far as to let it negatively impact students' grades. Consider, then, the freedom to worship, incorporate prayer, and act out faith with love towards others that you can embrace within your homeschool.
Having made the decision to homeschool, based on these or other reasons, you're next confronted with a big, scary question:
Just as Homeschool Iowa has fought to ensure every parent the freedom to homeschool in Iowa, so too you have every freedom to set up and implement your homeschool any way that works best for your family.
How will you know which way is best? You’ll try out different options. Some will work. Some will fail. You’ll figure it out. It’s all part of the process.
- YOUR SPACE AT HOME:
You get to decide if you homeschool at the kitchen table, the dining room, a spare room, the couch, or even occasionally in the car.
- YOUR SPACE IN THE COMMUNITY:
You get to decide if you will learn at the library, the park, the zoo, or any innovative educational setting.
- YOUR DAY:
You get to decide if you have a standard wake-up and start time in the morning, if you don’t start until after 2pm, if you work for two hours or six, or squeeze work time in between activities out and about. You get to structure your day around your family’s needs: a spouse that works the off shift, your own need to sleep late, your "night owl" kiddos, etc.
- YOUR YEAR:
You get to decide if you take the month of December off so you can soak up the season, if you vacation in February to get those off-season travel deals, if you school in July because everyone hates humidity, or if you tackle school on a three-weeks-on, one-week-off schedule.
That's the beauty of homeschooling!
So homeschooling is all joy and delight; right?
Part of this pep talk is preparing ourselves for reality.
While we're on this journey to teach our children, voices of doubt will assail us from every corner: the well-meaning neighbor, the brash family member, the aggressive cashier, and sometimes even within our own hearts and minds.
Okay, yes, when we chose homeschooling, we're choosing to spend a lot of time with our children.
Let's view that as an opportunity to build relationships and practice conflict resolution.
And, yes, we'll be facing time demands, not only the normal household ones, but also time spent researching curriculum, planning our schedules, driving to classes and activities, and more.
Yet this dedication of our time brings amazing eternal rewards.
Sure, our finances can be challenged. Often one spouse gives up or delays a career. And we don't get a break on taxes; we still support our local schools while also having to supply our own books, materials, and activity fees.
Again, the eternal rewards from these investments are awesome.
While many areas of our state are very homeschool-friendly, we are still in the minority. There will always be nosy store clerks, folks with lots of opinions, and that dreaded "What about socialization?" question.
Let's turn those encounters into opportunities to demonstrate our faith and love in action – and to help others understand the difference between "socializing" and " socialization."
Here's my "pep talk" message to you:
Thank you for doing this brave, bold thing called homeschooling
and for loving your kids like you do.
You were made to teach your children.
You can do this!
In addition to serving as our Homeschool Iowa Regional 11 Representative, Danna also homeschools, serves in local homeschool group leadership. and participates in homeschool Facebook groups.
Our Homeschool Iowa
are ready and willing
to offer you assistance