Homeschooling And Triathlons Aren’t For Everyone

Homeschooling and Triathlons Aren't for Everyone

Not an actual picture of me running. Because I don’t.

Homeschooling isn’t for everyone. And neither are triathlons. And that’s okay.

Now, you may think these things are not related and you may be correct. But, if you allow me a little leeway, I will use the triathlon as an illustration. And don’t worry, my goal is neither to convince you to complete a triathlon or to homeschool.

I actually hope this will be, in some ways, encouraging. I see it a lot that anyone can homeschool. And while I understand that to be well-intentioned, I don’t think I actually believe it. And I think it does both the homeschool community and people outside the homeschool community a disservice.

But what does this have to do with triathlons?

Well, I believe they have several things in common, believe it or not. Also, I feel like this is a fraud having never prepared for a triathlon myself, but it’s the best thing I could think to compare it to. By the way, if you have completed in triathlons and you feel like something I said here is totally off, please tell me because I’d love to make this post even stronger.

You need preparation.

You wouldn’t just wake up one morning and decide to complete a triathlon unless you were already a super athlete. But for an average person like you and me, doing that without any training beforehand could lead to failure – not to mention risk of injury.

Now, I’m not going to say that you need to have a teaching degree to homeschool, because I simply don’t believe that’s true. But, I do believe you should at least have finished high school – at the bare minimum. But, beyond that, the training I mean mostly involves research and reading. Before you start, you should ask questions of other homeschoolers, you should read books and blogs about homeschooling, you should have a good idea of what you are committing to and what your responsibilities to your children are. You should know and understand the laws in your state. I strongly believe that preparation is a crucial part of being able to successfully homeschool – no matter what your style. If you’re an unschooler, you should read a lot about unschooling. In fact, in general, you should probably read about the different homeschool styles to figure out what will work best for you. And it’s not like you have to be married to one homeschool style or method or even to homeschooling in general, but doing at least some reading will help to prepare you.

A support system is extremely helpful.

Now, it’s not necessary, but I think that in many hard things in life, having people cheering you on is extremely helpful. Could you do without it? Yes, but it can be a lot harder to motivate yourself on when it’s just you during the hard parts. Can you run a triathlon without it? Absolutely. Can you homeschool without a support system? Yes. But on the hard days, it makes such a world of difference to have people behind you who support why you are homeschooling and to validate that you are going to be able to do it. It’s a long, long race, homeschooling is.

One caveat, I don’t believe you should homeschool if your spouse is not on board. They are their children also – you should do your best to work out a plan for them that you can both feel good about. Otherwise, it can lead to a lot of conflict and stress in your marriage, which will affect your children.

You might hate homeschooling.

I don’t compete in triathlons because I hate running. I just do. No matter how much cool music or podcasts I listen to, I find it boring. Don’t hate, runner friends hahaha. The biking part would be okay. But I also don’t like swimming so 😉

But, some people just hate homeschooling. I’m not talking about people who hate it because they don’t understand it and who think that no one should homeschool. But if you don’t enjoy trying to teach your children or being home with them all day, that is okay. Like I started this post out, it’s not for everyone. And if you try it and don’t enjoy it, it is okay to quit. Or change things. But it really is an always on, never off type of situation, so if you don’t enjoy it, it is okay to recognize that and not try and force yourself to keep doing something because you feel like you “should.” I love homeschooling so, so much. But it is also really, really hard. Sometimes the hard things are worth doing, but there’s no medal for forcing hard things upon yourself. It is okay if you don’t want to homeschool.

Homeschooling doesn’t guarantee anything.

Competing in triathlons doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be super healthy and never get sick. In the same vein, a lot of people think that homeschooling will guarantee you certain things. That you will have a good relationship with your kids. Or that they will never go through a teenage rebellious phase. That they will never have to deal with bullying. Or that they will be protected from the influence of drugs and alcohol. And so on and so forth. Basically, some people view homeschooling as a utopia where they can control every aspect of their child’s life.

But that’s not the reality. Homeschooling is not a guarantee that any of those things will or will not happen. You can’t treat it as a cause and effect equation because there are other human beings involved. They have their own free will too and homeschooling will not protect your children from every evil that is out there. Sometimes people in my homeschooling group will post links about school shootings or other terrible things happening in schools and be like, I’m so glad I homeschool. (I hate that by the way. But maybe that’s for a different post?) 

But the reality is, that it can not protect you. Homeschooling is not your savior. There have been shootings at churches and movie theaters and malls. Bad things happen everywhere and homeschooling doesn’t make you immune from them. There is no guarantee of safety or of future behavior with homeschooling.

Bottom Line

Homeschooling is not for everyone. You should not feel guilty if you don’t feel like homeschooling would be a good fit for your family. There are many, many ways to educate your kids and have them turn out well. Homeschooling doesn’t own the market on being the “best” way to educate your kids. What’s good for one kid is not necessarily good for another. If you choose to homeschool, you need to be prepared and I definitely recommend a support system. And lastly, it is not a guarantee of anything – not your children’s safety, not your children’s behavior, not your children’s life. We aren’t promised anything. Homeschooling included.

What would you compare homeschooling to? What are some of the reasons you homeschool and what are some of the reasons that you think people should not homeschool? 

Picture from Stockvault by user cory finlayson

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