Anytime I have difficulty with my homeschooling and I turn to a friend for advice I invariably hear that I am making the age-old mistake of trying to public school at home. The funny thing is they don’t generally stop long enough to hear what my difficulty is before turning to this sage advice “don’t try to public school at home”. Honestly, I don’t even know what that means. See, what a lot of my homeschool friends do not understand is that before college I never stepped foot in a public school. None of my children have either, and other than Hollywood versions I honestly do not know what takes place in a public school. Somehow, I doubt it is anything like what is portrayed on the television, so I fail to see how I am duplicating something I know nothing about.
Yet the advice continues to come in. Friends assure me that the number one mistake parents make when homeschooling is trying to do public school at home. I cannot help but wonder if they even know what that means.
What does it mean to public school at home?
We sit at a desk, some of the times, is that public schooling at home?
This year we broke our subjects down by an hour per subject a day, is that public schooling at home?
We break for an hour at lunch time, if the kids eat fast they can spend the rest of their time playing, but if they don’t eat fast then we go back to work after that hour is up without any play time. Is that public schooling at home?
Before the next person tells me no matter what my difficulty for this week is that my problem is I public school at home, I would really like an explanation of what that is.
The beauty of homeschooling is that there is no right way or wrong way to do it. What works for me and my family might not work for you and your family. Doesn’t mean I am doing it wrong, obviously if it is working for us, and it doesn’t mean that your way is the right way, simply because it is working for you, again; there is no right way or wrong way to homeschool if it is working for you. So, for the people who say that the difficulty lies in trying to duplicate public school at home, perhaps they know what they mean and it didn’t work for them, but it certainly doesn’t mean that it won’t work for someone else.
My oldest struggled for so many years because part of me desperately wanted him to learn the way I did. It took me way longer than it should have to realize that while I need little to no structure to learn he needs a lot of structure.
So, the next time someone tells you not to Public School at Home. Ask them what exactly that means, and then remember just because it doesn’t work for everyone doesn’t mean it doesn’t work for anyone. If you find that what they are describing is the best learning environment for you, then go for it. If the children are learning something you have success.