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Feel like a homeschool failure? Then you MUST read this!
Homeschooling is a challenging path. So what is it that overwhelms you as a homeschooler? Is it the responsibility? The work? Perhaps. But I doubt it. In my experience, it’s mostly our fears and feelings that get us overwhelmed, not the actual work. Most of the time when we experience feelings of failure and discouragement it’s because we have fallen into a few common homeschool thinking traps.
5 Reasons you feel like a homeschool failure… but aren’t:
1. Homeschooling is hard.
Homeschooling is a huge endeavor. It takes time and dedication.
Don’t compare yourself to others around you or you’re sure to feel like a homeschool failure. Making unhealthy comparisons is probably the number one factor that can skew a homeschool mother’s perspective and result in feelings of inadequacy. You and your children are unique, having your own strengths and weaknesses. What works for others may not be right for you. In addition, every family also has its own dynamics and needs. We can learn a great deal by following the good example of other homeschoolers, however, it’s usually not helpful to mimic their examples. Ultimately, we must carve out for ourselves what homeschooling looks like for our family.
2. Homeschooling constantly changes.
Life changes, kids change, mom changes, needs change, family dynamics and size changes.
Homeschoolers must be willing to change; sometimes even our expectations. Healthy expectations are needed to run an effective homeschool. But often, we can have idealistic expectations of what our homeschool should look like. Then when difficulties and trials arise, and they always do, we have limited our home schools to only that model. If we have the wrong type of expectation about our homeschool then we cannot adapt our methods. Circumstances such as moving, having a new baby, and illness or injury cannot conform to most idealistic ideas of homeschooling. Too often when a mom is placed in a circumstance in which she can’t live up to her ideal homeschool, she begins to feel like a homeschool failure. Don’t fall into this trap; be willing to rethink things.
3. We can’t do it all.
I know many moms who get overwhelmed trying to give all their children everything they need, or think they need. There are so many curriculum to choose from. What if we miss something?
Providing our children with a good education is our goal. But the idea that we must provide our children with a fail proof education, without gaps or limitations, is an unrealistic concept. We have taken on the responsibility of educating our children, that’s true. But what does that actually look like for us as parents? We must often manage multiple ages and abilities in our homeschools while guiding them through a program of learning. Our role is as teacher, yes, but even more as guide, helper, and facilitator of learning. We are there to help them when they need it and to provide the tools for their success. Let go of a failed concept of responsibility, it will enable you to be the helper your children deserve as they walk their educational journey.
4. Homeschooling gets more challenging as time goes on.
Even though your children should be more independent as they get older, in other ways homeschooling gets harder. The material gets more academically advanced for middle and high schoolers. As your family increases, you’ll find out that the expense of homeschooling does too!
You may find yourself feeling like you’re being spread too thin in multiple ways. You’ll have to adapt your budget over the years. Spending wisely and getting more for your money will be something you’ll get good at, it just takes time. Don’t be too hard on yourself while getting there.
5. Homeschool moms teach everything!
In most cases, homeschool mothers teach all or most of the subjects. Now multiply that by the number of kids. It all changed for me when I realized that even with core subjects alone, at one point, I was teaching 15 different courses for my three children! And that’s just the basics for only 3 children. Sure you can double up on some subjects and teach children together. In addition, you’re teaching your children to be as independent as possible in their work. But even if you are managing it all right, you’re still teaching a wide variety of material. For example, I was teaching my youngest to read that year while planning, grading, and facilitating high school biology with labs for my sophomore. Now that’s range!
So we can’t be like the public school teacher who teaches third grade year after year after year and becomes an expert. No. We can’t. It’s not because we are failures. It’s because God has called us to a very high calling. With His grace and help, we are able to tackle the new challenges of every given year.
Don’t worry, my friend. You’re not a homeschool failure. So be good to yourself. You’re only human. Inventory your successes along the way and realize how amazing you really are!
What is it that makes you feel like a homeschool failure? Are you having trouble with a particular subject? With behavior issues? Special needs homeschooling? We would love to hear from you! And you may see your comment or question addressed in a future article, so be sure to take a moment to comment below!