Homeschool may release one from a lot of the drama of public school (bullies, drugs, boring worksheets), but homeschooling does have its own set of challenges. Here is a list of the ones that I struggle with that I will be posting about (with more information/tips/links/etc.) later in the week:
1. Stereotypes- this is a big problem! From the “hippie” to the “genius” homeschoolers have labels slapped on them from within and from outside of the homeschool movement.
2. Potential loneliness- sometimes homeschoolers feel left out when they are trying to interact with public schooled children. This is not through fault of the homeschooler or the public schooled child, but because of the peer pressure to conform that is placed on public school children. They are told to “stay with the group,” this or that group is “cool,” or even to totally shun certain types of people (especially those that are perceived as “intolerant” by the school establishment). So this creates divisions and alienation between the two groups.
3. Dedication- for many kids this can be a struggle. The freedom homeschooling offers also places huge amounts of responsibility on the student. They must muscle up the gumption to get things done without a lot of outside pressure (unless their parents are yelling at them all the time to get their homework done). So this can create a hard situation where the student loves the freedom but then doesn’t want to accomplish much.
4. Negative self-talk- if you are the only one responsible for something and it goes wrong you tend to blame yourself. Which can be helpful if it really was your fault that you didn’t turn in your chemistry lab report, but can also be harmful if you start beating yourself up all the time for not being “perfect.” This is NOT because of parents’ expectations, but more a result of a perfectionistic personality of the student.
5. Organization and Time- this goes along with dedication but this is huge. If you can’t learn to control your time then you won’t be able to achieve your academic goals–regardless of your educational setting.