You are not alone. Yes, we have all had this question in our minds at some point or the other. As homeschool moms, we really want to know if we are doing enough in our homeschool. Well, are we?
How do we really know? How can we be sure? I would say that we will never be truly sure and we will have to come to terms with that—and be OK with it. We moms carry A LOT of burden. This is one burden that can be lightened a bit with a different outlook.
Let’s put some things into perspective before I go on. The National Center for Education Statistics tells us that at least a third of college freshman need to take remedial courses. The percentage of homeschooled students in the whole educational system (K-12) is less than 5%. Therefore, if you feel you may under educate your child somehow, then no worries—the public and private school system have too!
So, breathe. Now let’s get down to it. Are you failing your child or not? The answer to that is a whopping, “NO!” Your child cannot possibly learn everything, no child can. No matter where they go to school or where they are unschooled. There are, however, a few things we can do to prepare our children as much as possible.
Create structure and/or a way to capture learning.
Some parents, like ME, cannot even function without order and organization. I need to have lists, and paper planners, and a homeschool planner online. (I use Homeschool Planet, by the way, which is amazing. It organizes my life, not just homeschool). I have to a set time for homeschool and a schedule for the homeschool day. We don’t “do school” on Fridays, so I have to stay organized to fit it all in four days.
Some other families are not as structured and that totally works for them. They have child-led learning environments or a nature-schooling approach. Whichever teaching style works for your homeschool, it is imperative to assure your child’s learning is captured on paper or filed somewhere. Homeschool Planet is great for either style of learning since you can set up lessons or just use it to log your activities. Should your child want to go to college or other technical schooling, they will need this history according to state/country regulations.
Set long-term goals for your child.
This doesn’t have to be intense. More structured families will follow their curriculum to determine where their child should be at the end of the year. Some more relaxed homeschools can set life skill goals (i.e. change attire, sew a dress, how to do and fold laundry etc.) and general math and reading goals for the end of the year. The whole idea of setting long-term goals is to ensure your child has what they need to either go to college, or learn the basic skills they need to make a living if college is not in the plan.
If you have older middle school or high school students, these long-term goals need to be made with them of course. You can revisit the goals every year to adjust them or work toward them more efficiently. Note: It is important, to check state requirements or college requirements if your kids are college bound. Make sure you are following and are compliant with your state’s guidelines.
STOP trying to keep up with the Joneses.
The reality is that we have been given shoes perfectly made for US. No one could walk in our shoes and we couldn’t walk in others’ shoes. Trying to compare our children with others will only bring about discontent. It’s not beneficial to anyone, including a struggling child. We truly don’t know what someone else is going through. We only see what people let us see. We know that about ourselves, so know it is true on the other side of what may seem picture perfect.
Try these few things when you feel like you are not doing enough. Make sure you capture all your child’s learning experiences, because we know learning doesn’t stop at the end of the homeschool day.
Write down some goals you want your homeschooler to work towards and stick to them, even if it takes a little longer than you expected. Setting goals (and writing them down) provide a level of motivation that holds you and your child accountable. We could all use some of that. Remember to STOP yourself from comparing your kids or yourself with others. We all have weaknesses and strengths and have shoes made to fit our very own size 8s ;-).
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!
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