Learning how to homeschool without guilt is a long shot for many moms/parents. Regardless of the journey, learn to extend forgiveness to yourself. We all need grace throughout our homeschooling journeys as some days are tougher than others.
I haven’t been in contact with a homeschool mom who has felt their style of homeschooling was perfect. There is always that one thing. Even the most perfect “seeming” homeschool mom isn’t fully satisfied with how she is choosing to homeschool.
This is evident in the many changes we make with our styles and curriculum, and visible when we discover that our kids learn differently. We have to change. We have to adjust. So we struggle, we have good times and bad times, then…
We realize lots of time has gone by, and here comes the dreaded guilt.
Have you ever felt mom guilt?
I have! I had been a full-time working mom for almost 20 years. I always felt guilty about being too tired to spend time with my kids apart from weekends. Even during some of that time, I was in school and working a second job.
I had to make ends meet, yet mom guilt was a cloud following me throughout those years.
Then by the grace of God, I was able to stay home with the kids, but even then… it wasn’t just staying home. Amen?
It was chores, homeschooling, doctor appointments, co-ops, etc. I also worked from home, so add that to the mix and many of you know that can be the recipe for disaster in the beginning. Therefore, I felt guilt once again… yet it was not just mom guilt.
It was homeschool mom guilt. Well, I was all “guiltied” out. (I know that isn’t a word but I know you all “get” me.)
What is guilt, anyway?
Guilt is defined as the fact of having committed a specified or “implied” offense or crime. I tend to think that homeschool moms have a habit of condemning themselves more than feeling guilty.
I see guilt as a feeling you get when you do something wrong. Mostly we feel guilt when someone else knows what we did or we are afraid someone will find out what we did.
Condemnation is different. A biblical meaning of condemnation is to pronounce to be utterly wrong. It includes the idea of utter rejection, to sentence to punishment, to disapprove, and things like that.
Think about that definition of condemnation for a moment. Homeschool mom, or homeschool parent:
Why are you pronouncing yourself utterly wrong?
Why are you utterly rejecting your homeschool capabilities?
Why are you punishing yourself for making mistakes?
Why do you disapprove of yourself when only you are setting the academic standard for your homeschool?
Let’s get some perspective on how to homeschool without guilt – a biblical perspective:
Disclaimer: I do not mean to take these scriptures out of context at all. However, I am saying that we can look at ourselves through the Scriptures. We can look to God and His Word in the place of any guilt we may feel as homeschooling parents.
Matthew 23:23 says, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the law’s weightier matters: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.”
In feeling guilty about not being enough or not keeping up with your homeschool mom friends, you are in essence… neglecting weightier matters of the law: justice mercy and faithfulness.
Meet the Lord’s standards in all you do above all else; remember His mercies are new every morning and have faith that His Word is helping you train your kids in the way they should go.
Don’t condemn yourself as the Pharisees condemned others with the law after the fulfillment in Christ had already come. Give yourself grace, because our heavenly Father sure does.
Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
We raise our children with the knowledge of sin. We tell them what is and what it is not according to God’s Word. When they mess up, we remind them that all have fallen short of the glory of God.
YET, big YET…when it comes to walking this homeschool journey… do those Scriptures go out the window for you? Do you forget you can fall short? Do you forget that you can sin in your anger, snap at your kids, etc. and that God won’t forgive you after you repent?
I guarantee you can teach your child more about faith and life when you can turn to Christ in your shortcomings, than if you only show a false perfection. To GOD be the glory!
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
Do you love the Lord and want to train your child to do the same? When you decided to homeschool, regardless of the trials that might have come afterward, did you feel a peace about it? Did you know that homeschooling was best for your child at that time?
Then know that He works all things out for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Lay your guilt, lay your self-condemnation, and lay your burdens at His feet.
Perfection is only found in Christ.
Some of you have studied the Proverbs 31 woman. Those who have poured over that chapter understand. Yes, she did a whole LOT. BUT if you feel intimidated or even resentment towards this picture of perceived perfection in a wife/woman, check this out:
She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. — Don’t stop at the first two descriptions of her, the last description said she had “maidens.” Maidens, you guys! She had help, y’all. I am not even southern, but THAT deserves a southern drawl accent.
Please let these scriptures comfort you when you feel guilty, overwhelmed, or notice that you are condemning yourself.
You may be “feeling” like you are missing the mark in your homeschool and keeping up with your home. However, who set the mark? Who else sees you as guilty but yourself?
The way I see it is that if you feel guilty of not doing enough, not being enough, not teaching sufficiently, not raising your kids godly enough, you are probably right. The thing is, that it has to be OK.
Kids want parents who teach them and are present, not ones who try to do everything but miss essential things instead. If you can’t finish a deadline in time because you wanted to spend more time with your child, then so be it.
If you can’t get to a lesson because LIFE happens, it is OK. As long as you are pointing your child to Christ, as long as you are trying to follow Jesus, as long as what you do has the foundation of striving to glorify God, then you are more than OK. You are blessed.
Here are a few resources that can help you practice how to homeschool without guilt in your journey.
Homeschool Mom Bible Verses to Help with Overwhelm | Faith and Good Works
3 Tips to Help Moms When There is Nothing Left to Give | The Character Corner
Confessions of an Angry Homeschool Mom | Large Family Table
3 Amazing (Mom-Guilt FREE) Apps for Preschoolers | Jen Merckling
Why Homeschool Moms Should Not Balance It All | Wildly Anchored
This is the ultimate answer for how to homeschool without guilt:
When you feel downcast, bow the knee to pray. When you feel like you’ve just had enough, raise your eyes to hills where your hope comes from.
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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