Homeschooling is a little bit like a marriage.
It’s a huge commitment.
Sure, you could always jump ship and send your kids to a school. But for many homeschoolers, that’s not an option. We’re here for the long-haul.
We’ve been called to homeschool and we’re committed.
And I do think that’s one of the first steps toward having a successful homeschool – a calling that leads to a commitment.
But I’ve learned that there are 3 things that sabotage your best homeschool efforts, causing you to question your calling and making you doubt your level of commitment.
- Educational Baggage
We bring our own educational background into our homeschool experience.
Maybe we had a terrible school experience and we want something better for our children.
Or maybe our school experience was great and we feel guilty that our homeschool isn’t quite what we remember from our school days.
If you struggled in math or English, you may doubt your ability to teach those subjects and feel paralyzed when it comes to teaching.
Through our own educational experiences, we may have lost our natural curiosity and our love for learning.
It’s hard to overcome the baggage of our past as we seek to chart a new course with our children. We want something different, better, more inspiring for them.
We need to be aware of our past fears and failures and understand how they sabotage our homeschool success by stealing our confidence.
- Unrealistic Expectations
Oh this one really speaks to me!
Do you spend too much time on Pinterest and Instagram looking at homeschool rooms and reading vignettes of other homeschooler’s days?
I’m guilty of this!
I compare my homeschool to theirs and set completely unrealistic expectations for myself and for my kids.
I over plan for every school year, finding stacks of inspiring books and curriculum. I want to do all the things.
And I try to push my kids too fast in areas where they need more patience, more guidance, and more grace.
Your Kindergartner is not going off to college next year, so take a deep breath. There’s no need to have sky-high expectations that only cause stress for you and your children.
Your children will all have some learning gaps. Your homeschool will not be perfect. Your kids will (probably) not be ready to head off to college at age 8.
It’s not a race to see who finishes college first or a competition to have the most rigorous curriculum.
It’s important to understand how kids learn and what activities are appropriate for each age and grade level. But it’s even more important to adjust your expectations for each unique child in your homeschool.
And that’s the beauty of homeschooling – creating a flexible learning environment that nurtures the interests of each child.
- Skewed Perceptions
Have you ever thought maybe your child couldn’t learn something? Or maybe that this child was simply being stubborn and not complying with your lessons?
I spent months banging my head against the wall with a child who desperately wanted to read, but absolutely could not figure it out. Every reading lesson ended in complete frustration and despair on both our parts.
Later I learned that this child was farsighted and couldn’t clearly see any of the letters on the page.
We got some brand new glasses and that child was reading chapter books two months later.
My perception of the situation could not have been more wrong.
I’ve had children struggle with specific concepts. It’s easy for your first response to be frustration with your child or despair that you’re not a qualified teacher.
Instead, you need a huge shift in your perception.
Maybe there’s an underlying issue – like a child who needs glasses, dyslexia, lack of motor skills, or lack of maturity.
Before you are quick to assume that your child (or their attitude) is the problem or even that you are the world’s worst teacher, take a deep breath and shift your focus.
It might be that your child needs more time, more review, a nap, a snack, or outside help.
It’s important to assume the best in your homeschool. Assume the best of your children and of yourself.
View your homeschool through a lens of grace for everyone involved. Let go of your previous baggage, expectations, and flawed perceptions. And see your homeschool for the beautifully unique learning environment that you’ve created with your children.
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