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Emotional Aspects of Homeschooling

Are you convinced about the value of homeschooling as far as education goes but uncertain about whether you are temperamentally suited to the task? You're not alone! Veteran homeschoolers hear over and over these comments, practically word for word: "Oh I could never do what you do. I don't have the patience!" or "Oh I could never do what you do. I couldn't stand to be around my kids all day!" (This comment is made surprisingly often with the kids standing right there.)

The truth for most of us is that we develop patience as we go along. What homeschooling provides us is a "total immersion" course in being with our children. Just as total immersion is the best way to learn a new language, it can be the best way to learn some "emotional intelligence." Though there will surely be many days when you might feel close to drowning in your total immersion course, remember that what you are trying to do is of immense importance. If we can't live in harmony within our own families, how can we ever hope to achieve world peace? And homeschooling provides us with the luxury of time: time to try again to keep one's temper, time to learn that patience and forgiveness really are the solutions, time to notice and dispel resentment, time to discover that being "right" is not a healthy goal.

Some people seem to know these emotional truths when they become parents-but such individuals are rare!. Most of us are singularly ignorant in these matters. Just listen to how often you hear parents losing their tempers, saying, "You are making me angry!" And you can be certain that even the most placid-looking homeschool mom has been known to "lose it." Fortunately, we can remedy our ignorance. Excellent parenting books exist, but you will probably find that seeking the help of other homeschool parents is the quickest route to improvement. (To connect with other homeschoolers, please see the Support page, or join the MHLA egroup at Yahoo!Groups http://groups.yahoo.com/group/masshomelearningassoc/.)

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