Homeschooling used to be a niche concept. But as more Black families started to reckon with the implicit bias seen in traditional schooling, the concept of parents teaching their children outside of public and private schools became more appealing.
Then COVID-19 happened, at-home learning became the norm, and many people considered homeschooling for the first time. Kiara Diggs wrote her book The Makings of The Little Indigo House: 33 Lessons I’ve Learned As a Homeschooling Mama for those parents who are ” feeling overwhelmed and uneasy about where to begin” on their homeschooling journey. An educator since 2005 who has spent almost a decade homeschooling, Kiara has learned a thing or 33 about it.
“The beauty of homeschooling is that it is yours to create.” -K.D.
One of the most joyful and gratifying things that I have experienced with homeschooling is watching something we’ve built from scratch, come to life (and against many odds). It is a thrill to learn that this can actually work! Most of us were brought up in public and/or private school settings; I grew up in both. Although we make a conscious decision to leave the institutionalized education system behind for our homeschooled children, it is so easy to fall back on old conditioning and experiences, or to question your decisions. There is a process of undoing, especially for parents and children who have already been to public/private school and are transitioning into a homeschool learning environment.
One of the first things I learned when making this commitment was the value of starting with a clean slate. We have a special opportunity for a new way of teaching and learning that is not necessarily reliant on how we were taught in school. On one hand, realizing this opens you and your family up to a world of possibilities, and on the other, it can feel overwhelming, particularly in the beginning stages, having to tailor all that possibility into a day-to-day schedule that is clear, suitable, and efficient for your children. But as scary as it may seem, I invite parents to first truly consider what they want and what their children want from this process. Sure, there are a growing number of resources that provide more secure steps when taking on this goal, but keep in mind that homeschool for your family will be its own special entity. It is both exciting and frightening, but that’s what makes it so much more rewarding—pushing past your fears and seeing that you have what you need inside of you to get you started.
The lesson here is to release any preconceived notions of what homeschool has to be, how it has to look, or that you have to get it all together at one time. You have the wonderful opportunity to define your homeschool reality based on your family’s needs and desires. If you’re transitioning out of public school, recognize that you may need time to recondition the way both you and your children are used to “doing school.” You have far more freedom by choosing this path to education, so take full advantage of it in order to create the homeschool of your dreams.
From the book: The Makings of the Little Indigo House: 33 Lessons I have Learned as a Homeschooling Mama, by Kiara Diggs. Copyright @ 2019 by Kiara Diggs.