Help! I’m Homeschooling and I Just Can’t Stop!

Does this sound like you? If your kids have ever said to you, “School’s out now, Mom (or Dad) – stop explaining everything,” then this might be you. Or, if you’ve just been to your 15th curricula fair and come home with three or four new resources that you might use, this could be you, too.

Homeschoolers fall into an unusual category of educators. They tend to be passionate about what they do, and they tend to be constant learners. But that doesn’t always mean that they have a book in hand or that they are studying something. It does mean that they think a lot. They think a lot about the “how” and the “why” of things, or even the “what if” of things. Homeschooling requires that you are already doing things a little bit differently so the next logical step is to keep looking for other new and different things to be doing. No one is standing over their shoulders requiring a certain textbook or curricula or even daily schedule, so the homeschooler can do things differently from others, and they usually do.

Homeschoolers also tend to be gatherers of information. They may purchase four different tools on how to teach writing, but they will collect this information, review it, consider the strengths of each tool, and then amend the process to create a new one. Having lots of information at their disposal helps to make this easier, so homeschoolers like to gather new books, review lots of different perspectives on learning, and so on. This makes them natural researchers.

Homeschoolers also tend to be a bit more independent. That is not to say that they don’t care what you think about them or their children, or even their homeschool success, but it does mean that they will keep doing it anyway, even if you think less of them. They are independent enough to apply their own understanding of their family’s needs and to then make what may seem like “risky” decisions on their behalf. In most cases, when taken seriously and combined with the thinking and gathering already described, the result isn’t risky at all, but rather efficient, valuable, and profoundly rewarding.

So if you are a homeschooler who “just can’t stop” what you are doing, then regularly review that you are doing it well. Be sure to keep the passions for education burning, just as they were in the beginning when you first started to homeschool. Be sure to continue looking for new ways to do things and always ask, “Why?” or “What’s the benefit here?” And finally, never fear that what you are doing is detrimental to your child’s welfare if you are taking your role seriously, following the state or local district’s guidelines, and using rich, academically rigorous and broad curricula that sets a solid foundation for your child’s academic potential and growth.

It’s okay to be teaching all the time because in one way or another, homeschoolers tend to be learning all the time!