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Can I homeschool my child?

Updated: 3 days ago

Have you ever said “Can I homeschool my child?”

Blog written by guest author, Kristy Crandall 

YES! The answer is a resounding YES!

We’re all familiar with that voice in our heads that says we aren’t good enough.

“You aren’t qualified to teach your kids.”

“Your kids will end up emotionally and socially stunted if they are taught at home.”

“What if you miss something important and end up ruining their lives?”

In addition to that little nagging voice in our heads, most parents who have considered homeschooling for any length of time have also heard similar statements maybe from family members, friends, politicians, the news, or social media. It is easy to question one’s own ability and it seems like such an impossible task- I have to teach these little humans EVERYTHING?? It’s true. It is a big undertaking. Some people consider it impossible. And yet, as human beings there is a part of us that wants to be able to accomplish the impossible- to conquer that mountain and scale it to the highest summit. Human beings find purpose in goals that seem unattainable to the average person. We want to be exceptional, and accomplish something extraordinary.

What “impossible” mountain will you conquer?

In the past, the dream for something better has led families to brave great expanses of wilderness- to sell their livelihoods and travel west in hope of a better life. Parents have faced insurmountable odds and unfathomable dangers because they believed that their children deserved something more than their present situation had to offer, and they were willing to pursue it, no matter the cost. Because that is what parents do. They sacrifice everything, and do it happily for the chance at a better future for their children.

Today, instead of the great expanse of prairie that parents traversed on what became known as the Oregon Trail, parents face a new impossible obstacle- the prospect of teaching their children. How could you possibly? Even though it seems like a new and impossibly hard idea, to homeschool your own children, people are quick to forget the realities of past generations and that this new idea isn't so new.

Success in school didn’t used to be the only thing that mattered.

The reality is, that up until around eighty years ago, education was not the primary focus of the child. Eighty years ago, children learned the family trade, helped run the family farm and raise the family, and if there was extra time and money and a school nearby, children would then be permitted to go to school to learn to read and write as long as they weren’t needed more at home. The idea of children spending one third of their day in a classroom for most of the year is a very new one. And yet, for those who don’t know any different, it is easy to think that it’s always been that way. Because civilizations always progress and never regress (at least, that’s the idea), surely this is the optimal arrangement for parents, children, families, and society. Right? Extensive research has been done on the subjects of childhood development and outcomes for children in different school environments. Despite the assumptions that are made and the narratives that are spun, homeschoolers score higher across the board in almost every category. They score better on standardized tests, they are more advanced socially, they have higher self-confidence and better adaptation and leadership skills. The truth is, that homeschoolers are sought out by many prestigious colleges, because they have figured out that homeschoolers are more self-motivated and are better at integrating into college life, so they are assets to the college. This is the reality, but few people talk about it.

Family relationships matter, and more school is not always better.

Few people acknowledge that children who go to daycare in the early years struggle more with relationships and conflict resolution than those children who spend their days at home with their families. In the rush to get ahead and provide their children financially with the best chance at success, most parents don’t realize that children who start academic studies too early have a harder time focusing later on. They don’t know that, because someone was trying to force them to learn something they weren’t developmentally ready for yet, their child is more likely to need occupational therapy to try and recover skills they didn’t get to learn through play. Parents aren’t told that if things are done out of order the skills become more difficult to learn, and many can not be developed at the same level. This information isn’t shared with parents. If it was, they may choose to do things differently.

It is ok to desire something better for your family.

Over the past few years, more and more parents have felt a desire to do things differently. Some have tried and others have been reluctant to begin their own family’s homeschool journey. During that time, I have had a number of parents come to me with questions about homeschooling. My husband and I are both second generation homeschoolers and are now homeschooling our five kids, so we have, perhaps, a somewhat unique perspective on what it CAN be.

Many have asked for advice and for reassurance that they are not actually going to ruin their children the way society says they will. These conversations happened often enough that I decided to put the information I collected into a book. For every one person who has a concern there are thousands more with the same one, so I wanted the information that I have gathered to be available to everyone who needs it. Parents should have the resources they need to successfully brave the new world they are willing to make for their children, so The Science of Homeschooling is my gift to this new generation of trailblazers.

The Science of Homeschooling is a book that is chock full of research studies to provide reassurance for nervous parents. Even if those parents ultimately decide not to homeschool their children, the underlying message of the book for parents is that YOUR. EFFORT. MATTERS. It makes a difference. Whatever road you decide to take as a family, being actively involved and letting your children know that you are available, and you care, will set them up for greater success in the future. No matter how “qualified” a teacher may be, they are not the expert on YOUR child, and your child is not biologically wired to care about their approval the way they are for yours. Cherish the privilege of being the most important and influential person in the lives of your children.

You don’t have to figure it out your own.

The Science of Homeschooling is also written to be a quick start guide for new homeschoolers, with information about different types of homeschooling, curriculum options, and other important resources. It is a beginner’s guide- enough information for a new homeschool parent to decide on a direction to research further, while also trying to avoid the overwhelm that is so easy when learning something new.

Your dedication to your family means there’s hope for a better future.

If you are a homeschooler or a prospective homeschooler, I want to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for caring so much about your children and their future. It is so easy in today’s culture to pass the responsibility to the nearest daycare or public school, but those relationships are not the ones that will be the most beneficial to your child. Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart. It takes work. It takes sacrifice. And, it often means having to explain to the skeptics in your life why you know better than the “experts.” It can be exhausting. This book can help. Thank you for having the courage to question the status quo and for daring to hope for something better for your children. Thank you for being a trailblazer. All of the greatest achievements throughout history were made by brave people who were willing to risk it all for hope of something better. You are one of those brave people. This is your legacy.

A personal note from Kristy Crandall- 

The Science of Homeschooling is my labor of love for parents- whether new to homeschooling, thinking about homeschooling, or just beaten down and needing reassurance. This book is meant to be an encouragement, because parenting is hard- especially for the intentional parent- and all parents need encouragement at times.

I hope that you will explore The Science of Homeschooling if it may be a help to you, or share it with others you know who need what it has to offer. A book does no good if it’s left on a shelf to collect dust, and a journey is only successful if the traveler has all of the equipment they need for the trip.



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