Let’s face it… as homeschool parents we spend a lot of time stressing about what we’re doing wrong. Wondering if somehow we’re ruining our kids’ lives is always at the top of that list. I question my motives, sanity, and decisions at least 100x a week. I’ve been trying to write things down as reminders so that I don’t fall into that trap again and again. So, I thought I would share one of those lists with you: 5 Things Homeschool Moms Shouldn’t Do.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
If you’ve been homeschooling for any length of time, you know that not all days go as planned. Honestly, few days actually go as perfectly planned- but that’s a whole other post in itself. The worst thing we can do when plans go awry is beat ourselves up about it. So, we had to deal with a meltdown over writing or clean up a Science disaster. Maybe we didn’t get to Spanish, or it took waaaay longer to get through a subject than we had originally thought. Now that I’m my 3rd year in, I’m getting much better at rolling with the punches and taking each day as it comes. Plans change. Throw out a lesson for one day. Believe me, if you skip one Math lesson you won’t be behind. Praise yourself and your child for making it through another day of learning and start tomorrow fresh and new.
Don’t Underestimate Yourself
Repeat after me: I can do this. I can do this. I can do this. When we signed up for this whole teaching our child at home thing, I was scared. I didn’t think I was up for the challenge. I really wondered if my ability to teach would translate to helping my child learn. But, who was the person who taught him to hold a cup, clap his hands, take his first steps, and so much more? I WAS! You are constantly teaching your children in subtle and obvious ways. Don’t underestimate the power that you have within you to be their biggest supporter. And being taught by someone who loves them and has their best interest at heart? That’s got to feel amazing!
While having your kids take all sorts of classes and be a part of several programs, sports, and extra lessons might feel like a good idea…it isn’t always. Especially if you’re schooling more than one child at a time. Start off slow, and add in a little at a time. Our first year- we did Taekwondo. My son wanted to try a few other things, but I didn’t want to overwhelm him, or me. We added in Spanish in 1st grade. And now we’re considering piano lessons. But, had I thrown all of those at him at once, on top of starting our Homeschool journey? I’m pretty sure we both would’ve been burnt out before we even began. You don’t have to sign up for every co-op, field trip, sports team- what have you. Do what’s best for your kids. Even if that means taking a step back from some activities.
The comparison trap is real. Even more so in the homeschool community. First of all, the world is constantly trying to compare your child with the traditionally schooled one. I’ve had random people, on more than one occasion, try to get my son to spout off facts they thought he should know based on his grade level. Do they do that to public schoolers? I have no idea- all I know is it’s weird, and a little uncomfortable. On top of that- we have all sorts of homeschoolers out there that we try to compare ourselves to… Charlotte Mason? Unschoolers? All kinds! I used to get nervous because my Kindergartner didn’t yet know cursive. Or that he really hated writing. But, over time I’ve come to learn that we’re able to tailor his education to his needs, and that’s more valuable than the fact that he *might* still have trouble tying his shoes. He’s awesome at Math and Science though! So, don’t compare apples to oranges and celebrate the victories in your homeschool. And if your friend’s kids can name all of the state capitals and write in cursive- that’s awesome for them! Let’s celebrate all of our kids’ strengths!
Don’t Forget to Give Yourself a Break
Feeling overwhelmed? Ask for help! Delegate. Take a day off.
I know that’s easier said than done. But, I have some tips for you. Did you know you don’t have to teach your child all of their subjects? My son takes on online keyboarding course, and I told my Husband he gets to take over Math next year. There are all kinds of resources to help you be the best homeschool parent you can be. And a lot of them are free. If your course load feels too great one day. I say take a break. Learning can be playing a board game, watching a documentary, taking a nature hike, baking a pie. There are endless possibilities that still allow for learning that won’t make your head explode. GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!
I hope these tips are helpful to my fellow homeschooling Mamas. We’re in this boat together and I always want to encourage and lift you up. If you have a friend who needs a little boost, please share these 5 Things Homeschool Mom’s Shouldn’t Do with her! And leave me a comment and let me know one thing that you think homeschool parents should avoid. I’d love to do another post like this!
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