Unrealistic Homeschool Moms

StressMost homeschool moms I meet are worried.  They worry about curriculum, children, and chores.  They aren’t living a joyful life.  In fact, they aren’t living much of a life at all.

The truth of the matter is, I even fall into this trap from time to time.  You know why?  Because I’m not perfect and it is so easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of “what-if’s”, wondering:

What if I tried this curriculum?
What if I tried this schedule?
What if I did this, that, and another thing?

Would I finally “arrive”?

The answer is NO.

We are blessed with just a foretaste of perfection here on this earth.  We are also blessed {yes, I said blessed} with enough imperfection to know we haven’t arrived.

Every now and then, we have a homeschool day that looks and feels perfect.  I had one on Thursday.  It was lovely.

But those days are like the water Jesus spoke of to the woman at the well…they leave us thirsty again.

the pile beside my chair

I know what it is like to analyze every move you make in your homeschool day (just take a look at the pile of books and papers currently beside my chair as I plan for the upcoming year!).  I know what it is like to want to be certain you have the right curriculum, the right schedule, the right everything.  But, mamas, if you are always right, there is no room for God.

So, what are some realistic expectations for homeschooling moms?

1.  Expect interruptions, frustrations, minor catastrophies and other things that take time away from your actual homeschool day.  You homeschool AT HOME and not in a bubble.  Life happens here.  It’s ok.

2.  Expect to be stretched – it’s how you grow, it’s how your children grow.  There will be things that do not work for your homeschool and things that do and there will be things that need a little bit of tweaking.  As a homeschool mom, you will find your education has just begun and it will last until that last little one has graduated (and beyond!).  Don’t see it as a stressor, but rather a chance to put those brain cells to work!

3.  Don’t let the rough days ruin the good of what you are doing.  Homeschooling is a labor of love.  It is work, but it is good work.  The bumps may slow you down, but they ought never to beat you down.

4.  Put Christ first in everything.  In other words, keep your Focus!  Take a step back {often} and rather than analyzing curriculum and schedules, analyze your walk with Christ, your children’s walk with Christ, and how your homeschool day falls in line with God’s good and perfect Will.

When you start to feel like you are drowning in a sea of what-if’s, step away from whatever it is that is causing you angst and step into your prayer closet (which more often than not in my world is a darkened bedroom).

Seek Him!  What you are looking for is there.

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30 thoughts on “Unrealistic Homeschool Moms

  1. I’m laughing at myself right now. I KNOW all this stuff. However, I was starting to feel a little unrealistic today. As I was looking at the blog of a certain school-at-homer that I only frequent for the giveaways (awful, isn’t it?) this morning I was struck with the thought that her plans and her curricula and her honest-to-goodness schoolroom and her stuff look soooooo much better than mine that I’m bound to be failing. I felt like I needed to try all that stuff and have all those different aids! The truth is, it’s probably just her bank account that’s a little more desirable than mine. Our homeschool itself is just fine….I hope.

    Anyhow, thanks for pulling me back down to the realistic level I normally operate on.

    • Ugh! I do that too! Not that the eye candy of a perfect (looking) schoolroom is bad…it just isn’t the real reason we homeschool. Welcome back to reality. :)

  2. “If you are always right, there is no room for God…” Powerful, life-changing words that are just what this recovering perfectionist needs to hear!! Thank you!

  3. I SO agree with you, most homeschool moms I have met are worried about everything. They truly don’t have the confidence that they are doing a good job and it is a shame because they are! I am always wanting them to see it, it is my hearts passion to encourage them-this is a great post. We will never be perfect in it but look at these beautiful children we are raising up! We have to be doing something right!

  4. Yes, yes, yes. Perfection is not realistic. And other people’s plans, schedules, curriculums may not work for us. I remember being excited about a book for large families and my husband got it for me for Christmas. It was full of advice. Then I read further where this person had a live in nanny and children who were older than 16 – who could drive. If I had a nanny and children able to drive (go to the store, drive to pick up the milk, etc) I could certainly entertain and adhere to a rigid schedule and chores. That is not my life. I have lots of littles, with the oldest being only 13. And no nanny in sight! Just remember we all have different situations and one person’s solution may not work for you :) Be very very aware of these powerhouse homeschool conferences as well. They are great for a rejuvination. There are some speakers, however, who are so full of pride and condemnation because we aren’t doing it the way they do it. Jesus was not like that! And most of these “well intentioned” speakers are MEN who AREN’T home. Seek the Lord and His grace and mercy. Do not seek to be like other people. There is so much joy and LIFE in homeschooling if we are seeking God and His best for us.

  5. This is so true even after homeschooling since 1997 I still sometimes feel many of the things you have mentioned. I have to always remind myself I was called to do this He will give my the grace to do so, my life is not my own.

    • Joyce,
      I think it is so easy to do. I am constantly encouraging other homeschool moms and yet I manage to fall into the trap too. I guess that’s why God has me here! ;)

  6. These were my almost EXACT thoughts as I woke up this morning! You see, I have a major curriculum junkie syndrome, or whatever you want to call it! ;) I felt God speak to me this morning and tell me that character training and making sure my son loves the Lord with ALL his heart, mind, and soul will amount to a far greater amount than if he has the most academically challenged curriculum (and best) curriculum on the market! Don’t get me wrong, academics ARE important, but our Creator is far more important. And If I lean on Him and trust Him (Proverbs 3:5-6), He will direct my path. He always does! Thank you for this reminder. :)

  7. thank you so much for this. while the kids take a little play break, I was desperately seeing some encouragement( or distraction from failure…). I am finally home finally able to homeschool, and I have had years ( since before I had abbies) to ponder homeschool, experiment with it, and feel like I was prepared and knew what I was doing. Ha. I feel like a failure prettymuch every single day. even when I know that I need to shrug off my public school indoctrination, I still feel like maybe, despite the absolute conviction that I felt after my months teaching at the public school…maybe I waswrong afterall. maybe that conviction wasme deluding myself, because I-am-no-good-at-this. Then i remember 9 and with your help today0 that I am no good at this. I am only as good as i allow myself to be used by HIM deep breath…let’s dive back in ;)

  8. What a timely reminder, and I love your analogy of the “good days” being the water that leaves us thirsting for more. Oh, how I needed this. Thinking of you and your family, praying for your loss.

  9. As a fairly new homeschooling Mom I have worried about everything. My children are older, the oldest in 10th grade and since I am new at this I worry most about graduation and that I am doing it right. BUT thanks to this post I know I just have to put it all in Gods hands and everything will be Okay. Thank you for this!!

  10. Thank you soooo very much, Amy!!! I am in the midst of struggles regarding how well I’m doing with our children (three school age -8,7,5 and three who ban together to flush large objects down the toilet -3,2,2)…Your words are refreshing and point me to Christ. Thank you for this!

  11. This made me giggle! I am writing some posts that answer questions new homeschool moms have- and boy do their questions sometimes tempt me to be unrealistic!

    I think I better read this again- and then send them over here! Awesome!

  12. thank you for this site I’m a first time homeschooler and this site has really helped and encouraged me to start this walk right and have calmed my what if’s

  13. I am so happy to come across your website!! I’ve always made the decision, even when my daughter was in my belly to homeschool her. Now she is 4 and wants to go to school because she sees her little friend who is 3 years old going to preschool. The thing about this child is that she has been recently coming home with bad reports from her teacher saying how she is not participating or acting out in preschool. Me, spiritually thinking, I’m saying to myself, “That child is picking up the other kids’ bad habits, or “spirits”. I do not want that to happen to my child. She is loving and caring, friendly and knows about God and Jesus. I know that she will have a hard time with bullying. Bottomline, I was extremely worried and anxious because I was starting to think that I could not homeschool my daughter and was considering putting her in the same preschool. My heart is really telling me to homeschool and they always say to follow your first instincts(this is the Holy Spirit). Seeing this website and how you plan your day with your kids really helped me out!!!! I’ve been doing one letter in the Alphabet a week but was discouraged because I thought I had to rush in teaching my daughter how to read and write. If have any other suggestions or ideas to help me get started, it is greatly appreciated. You are truly an Angel and are a true blessing from God.

  14. Your article made me cry. Altho’ in our 4th year of homeschooling, when one would think it’s about time to have it figured out ;-), the last few months have felt like an unravel (especially when I do online curriculum searches…overwhelming!). Altho’ it has been one of the best and most stretching experiences of my life, I’ve been feeling completely incapable. Your article was a wonderful reminder to take a breath, turn my eyes upon Jesus, and know I’m not the only one struggling. Thank you. Even tho’ I hate that my high expectations for myself can be debilitating, I get the greatest joy in loving, teaching and being with my little people every day. That joy propels me forward…and so does your encouragement. Thanks again.