Are you gearing up for a new year? Worried about the schedule, or the curriculum, or how you’ll manage with all the kids? We can get so caught up in the nitty-gritty of homeschooling that we forget the big picture. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves about what really matters. That’s the purpose of this post. Here are 5 Truths for Homeschool Moms.
I am uniquely qualified to teach my kids
Whether you are starting your first year or you’ve been homeschooling for a dozen years, the nagging idea that your kids might be better taught by someone else can be a constant thought. On the best days and worst days of homeschooling, remind yourself that you are the expert in your child’s life – no one knows them better than you do!
When you’re questioning your ability to homeschool, it’s a great time to remember your WHY. Your family’s priorities with homeschooling will look different than the family down the street or in the co-op. Why did you start homeschooling and what do you hope to accomplish? Keep these goals in the forefront of your mind as you plan your year, your weeks, and your days. Keep these goals in mind as you look back to assess your homeschool.
Comparison is the thief of joy
This phrase is attributed to Theodore Roosevelt. It’s more true than ever in our social media saturated lives. Unless you’re totally unplugged and never read homeschool blogs (ha!), you’re being bombarded by everyone’s ideas about what a successful homeschool looks like.
But your kids are unique, your WHY is unique, and your homeschool is unique!
So stop comparing yourself and your kids to strangers on Instagram. Stop comparing your homeschool room to the ideal one on Pinterest.
Take a social media break. It’s not just our kids who need a detox.
Figure out why you’re constantly comparing. Are you afraid you’re missing out on something? FOMO (fear of missing out) is completely real for homeschool moms. Name the FOMO and find ways instead to celebrate what you and the kids are missing out on.
Are you comparing your crazy homeschool day with kids who never leave the house to your friend’s peaceful day once her kids climb on the big yellow bus?
Don’t forget – you’re missing out on the rushed early mornings and packing lunches, and your kids are missing the drama, the homework tears, and the bullying. There’s joy in that! Embrace it.
Relationship is more important than curriculum
This is such a hard truth for those of us who see a task (new textbook) and just can’t stop until our kids have completed every. last. page.
But sometimes we need to ditch the curriculum and focus on the relationship.
Are math problems causing stress and tears? Maybe it’s okay to put it away for the day and spend time enjoying our kids.
Maybe for a season, the routines need to change. This is what happened in our home when we adopted our daughter. We knew that homeschooling was going to provide the time and flexibility we needed to bond as a family. And when she came home, our school routines went out the window. Because getting to know and love her was more important than finishing the curriculum.
Homeschooling is just as much about my character formation as it is for my kids
This one is painful to admit, but sometimes the bad attitude comes from ME.
Can you relate?
Sometimes I’m the one having a temper tantrum over things in our school day.
The blessing and curse of being with our kids all day, every day, is that we see the good and bad in each other. No one can hide and jump on the school bus to be whisked away to a classroom.
It would be the easy thing to do to send my kids to the local public school and let the classroom teachers deal with the attitudes or bad behavior.
But since we’re together all the time, we have to learn to get along. We have to learn to say “I’m sorry.”
And those times are some of the best teaching opportunities with our kids. The way we imperfectly live together, admit wrongdoing, say we’re sorry and then forgive.
Yes, homeschooling is just as much about my character formation as it is for my kids.
I’m not alone
Sometimes it sure feels like we’re the only ones struggling with homeschooling! Because everyone projects that they have it altogether online, in our Bible studies, or at the co-op.
But you need to know that you’re not alone. You’re not the only one.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are lots of homeschool moms who are just a step ahead of you who would love to help! Sometimes you just have to ask.
Spend time with people who encourage you and build you up, not tear you down.
So, as you jump into homeschooling again as a newbie or veteran, just keep these truths in mind on the days when you’re questioning your sanity and wondering whether you should keep homeschooling.
Need more encouragement? The things you really need to know about homeschooling are these simple, beautiful, and direct truths. This is the list you need to pin for later so you can read it on the day that you have locked yourself in the closet with the chocolate. Ask me how I know. You can find it at 4onemore.com
Abby is a former public school teacher, now homeschooling her five children. She’s in the trenches just like you and knows it can be challenging to be home with your kids all day while you struggle to keep up with the housework and educate your kids (and maybe even work on the side!). She blogs over at www.4onemore.com and hosts the Homeschool with Moxie podcast.
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