I had just graduated college, was starting a film production company, my wedding was in a month or two, and I needed to find a house in which to live. I tend to jump in with both feet. I found a real estate agent happy to show me places. He dragged me around the city for a day, and by the end I was frustrated. What do I know about buying a house? Nothing!
I find I'm frequently paralyzed by big decisions. Prime example: Which video camera should I invest in? Even after months of significant research, I was literally sweating as I stood in the store about to hand over my credit card. Why? Not only did this purchase determine my future, but it also cost a lot.
Homeschooling can be feel the same way. This is a big decision. It determines the future for your children and it's not free.
The good news, for me, is that my first video camera purchase was one of the best investments I've ever made. I used that camera to produce all of the Discover & Do and MathTacular DVDs as well as many of my college film projects. And the house I ended up buying is perfect -- aside from significant plumbing issues <sigh>.
I believe your choice to homeschool and the curriculum you invest in will prove equally beneficial.
At the same time, I want to dispel a lie you and I believe. This choice, the one before us now, does not determine the future. The house you buy will impact you today and the foreseeable years to come, but then you may move. The cameras I've invested in have all become outdated and eventually need to be replaced. The college I attended helped shape who am I, but it did not determine where I am today. My production company didn't work out. And even my wife, to whom I am bound until death parts us, is not a static person; she and I are both growing and changing ... making opportunity for more choices.
And that's the beauty of homeschooling as well.
Homeschooling gives you choices. But rather than big, scary, petrifying decisions that determine the future, homeschooling offers you regular opportunities to tweak, correct, improve what you do.
The opposite options -- having your children educated elsewhere -- do not give you such opportunity. The best you have, should you decide a change would be beneficial in those cases, is to quit the public or private school and switch to something else. That is a far bigger choice, yet oddly one many parents make without so much as a second thought.
Homeschooling is better.
Here you can choose to switch to a easier or more advanced course as needed, change the math instruction, beef up your spelling practice, or give your student time to learn how to read. The decision you make today does not determine what you do in the future. You can make your school match your students, not the other way around.
The big choice to homeschool is one that offers opportunity, flexibility, and a chance to refine your choices in the future. Instead of fear, may the choices you have in homeschooling encourage you. I wanted to expand on this idea after reading Heather Sander's Get Rid of Your Homeschooling Doubts Once and for All. She says, "Failure may happen once, but it isn't a life-altering kind of failure. It's a singular failure that can easily be remedied."
You have the opportunity to make choices and fix problems. Your investment in your child's education turns every "failure" into a chance to help them succeed.
Filmmaker, Writer, Pseudo-Dad
P.S. Feeling overwhelmed by all the choices you have? Please chat with a Sonlight Homeschool Advisor. These homeschool moms will be able to help you weigh options, answer your questions, and find the materials and tweaks that will help your children as they follow their path toward the future.