Whose Fault Is It Anyway?

Upon completing the worst homeschool year ever, you might ask yourself whose fault it was that everything went so badly. Before you go assigning blame, things need to be brought into perspective. Some homeschool teachers tend to hold themselves up to higher standards than they would ever have for a classroom teacher. What does this mean for you as a weary end-of-year warrior? Let's take a look at how we evaluate our responsibility and "success".

For homeschool teachers, the responsibility doesn't begin and end with the schoolwork. We are responsible for our student's health, nutrition, safety, morals, emotional health, as well as their education. Our daily routine includes way more than that of a classroom teacher. I can say this because I have been both a classroom and homeschool teacher. As a classroom teacher I had responsibility for more children but it was way more limited in scope and drama. I'm not saying that being a classroom teacher is easier, it's just very different.

Now to the standards. Would you expect a classroom teacher to do what you do and still get all the teaching done? I would say that you couldn't pay most people to do what you do. Here are some things that we would not expect a classroom teacher to do for his/her students:

  • Make sure the student gets enough sleep.
  • Make sure the student has a good breakfast.
  • Make sure the student completes every single thing we give them to do perfectly.
  • Make sure the student understands every concept without error.
  • Make sure the student has a good lunch.
  • Make sure the student takes care of their personal hygiene.
  • Make sure the student gets appropriate social interactions.
  • Monitor the on-line media input and guard against predators.
  • Make sure the student cleans his work area, as well as his sleeping and playing area.
  • Make sure the student has clean clothes, shoes, etc.

This isn't even a comprehensive list is it? Yet we expect all these things and a stellar achievement record.

Classroom teachers can't guarantee stellar achievement, and neither can you. You may very well have just had a fantastic year where everything clicked. Or, you may have had a year that brings you some disappointment. You might have had the one that just might break your spirit. But, if you were to step back and look at the big picture, a single bad year is not as significant as it seems at the time. It's time for us to forgive ourselves for making mistakes and not being perfect. If you made some mistakes, try to correct what you can. If your students made some mistakes, try to figure out how you can reach them better. Remember that it's not about perfection. Remember why you did this in the first place. Go back and look at the dusty thoughts and passions that inspired you to start on this journey. Regroup and start fresh. What's done is done. If it can be fixed, fix it. If it can't be fixed, don't waste any more time on it. It's time to move on.

It's nobody's fault anyway.

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