I keep getting hits on my blog for people using the phrase on Internet search engines "homeschooling a strong willed boy", or "child" so I feel a need to state an opinion on this.
Here is my answer to this in a nutshell. The issue is a parenting issue. If you homeschool you will take on the responsibility of educating your child at home. Increased time together can either make things harder, meaning, more time together will give more opportunities to have conflicts. HOWEVER I feel that will also force the parent to actively parent the child using various parenting techniques to teach the child better behavior/good behavior, communication skills, and whatever else the issues are.
Being an active parent is not an easy task by any means, and that includes parents of schooled children.
Being an active parent (addressing negative behaviors, appreciating positive behaviors, etc.) plus homeschooling them is a HUGE job. I am not going to try and kid anyone with the idea that it is not hard work.
One issue with homeschooling is that since the parent and child are together more I feel that the parent has almost no choice but to address the problems with the child's personality or the child's negative behavior. Who wants to be around a person all day who is unpleasant if not outright rude and/or destructive or fill-in-the-blank. So the remedy is to fix the problem, teach the child the better ways to act, behave, and communicate in a positive manner (whatever is acceptable and desirable in your family)
If the parent chooses to not parent, if they ignore the issue, or send the child to school in order to get separation from the child who is undesirable to be around, then that is not really solving the issue, is it? The badly behaving child will act badly at school or in public or whatever--it is just that the parent won't be around to suffer like the rest of the people are (other children and the non-parent adults who serve as guardians of that child in the parent's absence).
My advice is to parent the child and fix the issues, that is the role of the parent anyway (no matter where the child is educated). (And that applies to all parents not just homeschooling parents.)
If you homeschool your child and fix the issues, teach the child respect, if you treat your child with respect, etc. etc. then the increased time together will (gasp) be enjoyable for both of you. Things that strong-willed children do can be tempered and smoothed out a bit where the edges are rough (that is called socialization according to Dr. Phil, who says that all parents have a responsibility to socialize their children).
If you are considering homeschooling but fear it due to increased time with the badly behaving child of yours, I can understand your worry and doubt. Homeschooling is a huge responsibility, please only do it if you are committed.
I am very confident that any child can be successfully homeschooled, strong-willed or not strong-willed. In the end it is all about the relationship between the parent and the child, and many regular parenting issues such as whether you both treat each other with respect or not, whether your child considers you an authority figure that they must listen to, take directions from, etc.
If you don't think that your strong-willed child and you can get along enough to spend more time together plus doing the learning and teaching that homeschoooing requires, then don't homeschool your child. But I beg of you to not choose not to parent your child just because you can ship them out to school for the majority of their waking hours so you won't have to endure their presence. The few hours a day that parents of schooled children have with them should be enjoyed and savored, not short torture sessions that the parent endures because they know it is just a few hours between when the bus drops off the child and when the child falls asleep at night.
I'd rather see more parents actively parenting their children than seeing more parents homeschooling their children, so I am not going to go around trying to push all parents to homeschool. What I am saying is that if your child is strong-willed to a point where it is causing problems in the family I urge you to address it just because you are the parent and that is your job.
My favorite parenting books are written by William Sears M.D. in case you are wondering.
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