Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom
Inevitably it’s what leads us to this crazy homeschooling lifestyle. Without love, we wouldn’t care to take on this enormous responsibility–we’d make our lives as easy as possible. Without love, we wouldn’t stand much chance of persevering through the challenges that arise either.
I’ve always found comfort in the words of John Holt, homeschooling pioneer and bestselling author. When asked what parents need to homeschool well, here was his response:
“We can sum up very quickly what people need to teach their own children. First of all, they have to like them, enjoy their company, their physical presence, their energy, foolishness and passion.
They have to enjoy all their talk and questions and enjoy equally trying to answer those questions. They have to think of their children as friends, indeed very close friends, have to feel happier when they are near and miss them when they are away.
They have to trust them as people, respect their fragile dignity, treat them with courtesy, take them seriously. They have to feel in their own hearts some of their children’s wonder, curiosity and excitement about the world.
And they have to have enough confidence in themselves, skepticism about experts, and willingness to be different from most people, to take on themselves the responsibility for their children’s learning.
But that is about all the parents need.”
John Holt, Teach Your Own
By these standards most of us look pretty well-qualified to homeschool. (Note for any frazzled parents reading this today: You don’t have to like your children all. the. time. to homeschool! Remember John Holt was not a father. )
And yet what our hearts lead us into, our minds soon take over.
We analyze, stress, worry, fret. We make plenty of plans, and fail at many plans. Sometimes we cry. Sometimes we make our children cry.
Here’s what I believe it takes to homeschool with heart–for the long haul: