Whether it’s looking into school options, hiring a tutor, or just finding an outside class for a specific subject, sometimes homeschooling means not doing it yourself.
Some homeschoolers happily DIY from kindergarten through graduation, but most of us will face a time when outsourcing—whether it’s one class or the whole shebang—is the best way to preserve our sanity and ensure our child’s education. It’s not because you’re a bad parent or a bad teacher—it’s just because sometimes we all need a little help. Here are some signs that it might be time to explore outside class options for your homeschool:
You dread getting started in the morning. If you’re miserable when it’s time to break out the math books or work on an essay, something needs to change. Everyone hits bumpy patches, but if your bumpy patch feels like it’s dragging on and on, a different teacher might be what you both need.
You’re starting to dislike your kid. No parent-child relationship is going to be non-stop rainbows and sunshine, but you may need to shift gears if butting heads over worksheets is having a persistent, negative effect on your relationship. If you’ve starting asking yourself things like “why is my child so stubborn?” or “why does he always complain?”, it’s a sign you need a break.
You aren’t doing a good job. If you’re operating on autopilot, doing the bare minimum, or just plain never doing your best work, it might make sense to put your energy into what you do well and let someone else take over where you’re falling short.
You’re bored. You can’t fake enthusiasm, but you can hire it. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging that a particular subject doesn’t get you excited.
Your student is super-critical. If you’re getting lots of negative feedback on subject matter, assignments, or your teaching style, there’s nothing wrong with testing whether another teacher might be a better fit.
It’s crazy-expensive. If curriculum or supplies for a particular subject cost more than an outside class would, weigh the benefits of doing it yourself before writing that check.
Your instincts tell you its time. You’ve spent years learning to hear what your gut is telling you about what’s right for your child. Don’t stop trusting it now.
This article is reprinted from the spring 2016 issue of HSL.