If you’ve been homeschooling any amount of time then you know that it can be hard at times. After homeschooling five years, I’ll tell you that there are just a few reasons why homeschooling may be considered hard.
Reason #1: Losing track of why you’re doing it.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s really not. We all start homeschooling for a variety of reasons, all which can change over time. Sometimes in the midst of the changes we can begin to lose track of why we started homeschooling and begin to focus on the not-so-important things.
These not-so-important things can turn into having the perfect curriculum, the fantastic schedule that works every single day, and/or the super smart kiddos without an ounce of academically challenged. These all sound great, but are they really the reasons you started homeschooling? Probably not.
If you haven’t done so already, I suggest jotting down your why. While you’re at it, take it a step further by penciling out your homeschool mission statement and statement of beliefs. These can serve as amazing bits of encouragement and a simple reminder for why you started homeschooling. You may have a not-so-ordinary homeschool, and that’s okay!
Reason #2: Expecting it to look like someone else’s journey.
You know those moms who make it look super easy… And those moms who seem to have it all together…. Oh, and those moms who seem to have the best behaved kiddos. Should I even mention the Pinterest-perfect homeschool spaces? Or the Instagram-engaging stories of all the field trips that one family goes on?
Prime time for a little comparison game, huh? Yeah, I’ve been there and done that. So much so that I wrote about it in my book, Just for Today’s Homeschooling Mom. One homeschooling mama gave some incredible advice when it comes down to this – “When you compare, you lose. Your children lose. You know your children best [so] teach from a place of love.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself. Your homeschooling journey (and that of your kiddos) will be unique to YOU, and YOUR family dynamic. Therefore, be okay with embracing the fact that homeschooling YOUR WAY is the best way!
Reason #3: Setting unrealistic expectations.
Okay so I understand that there are state laws that we must abide by as homeschoolers. Some of those laws and mandates can require quite a bit depending on the state (or country) that you live in, but there is a line in the sand. Sometimes that line becomes invisible and we subconsciously begin to let the system take completely over our home education.
I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with using state standards, milestones developed by the system, and/or a tracking system pulled from a .gov website. But what I do suggest is making an effort to homeschool outside the box. For example, I don’t necessarily hold my children in one grade across the board just because it’s what’s expected. Nope.
If you ask me what grade my oldest is in, you’ll get a response that “it depends on what subject we’re talking about.” I’ve even heard of some mamas throwing grades completely out the window and adopting more of a general “level” for tracking purposes. I also see a huge benefit in setting some over homeschooling goals to help with making sure you’re homeschool YOUR WAY and not according to other’s expectations.
Keeping a goal tracker that simply says “we are here [now], we want to be here [later], and these are the steps to help make that happen” – all while giving yourself (and your children) room to grow. These aren’t the kind of goals that if they’re not met, then on the big yellow bus you go next year. Instead, they serve the sole purpose of helping you stay on track with homeschooling YOUR WAY.
Reason #4: Not having a plan.
You know the saying – if you fail to plan then you’re planning to fail. And it’s true. I don’t know about you but when I don’t have a plan for the major things in life, things can get overwhelming pretty quickly.
I like to think of homeschooling as something as major as buying a house or a car. I’ve decided to take my kid’s education into my own hands and while I don’t overthink it or stress out (for the most part), I still realize that I’m making small payments and deposits into their life tank. I am teaching them how to make it in life without me and their father one day. And that’s a pretty big task.
In hindsight, I want to make sure that our plan is what’s best for our family, according to our unique family dynamic. My plan may not look like yours, or the next mama, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not a good one. Make a plan that involves homeschooling YOUR WAY, and don’t look back. While you’re at it, make a Plan A and Plan B for those “you never know” moments.
Want to keep homeschooling from being hard?
By now you’ve noticed that I love saying homeschooling YOUR WAY. But the truth of the matter is that I talk to so many mamas who are looking for their homeschooling ah-ha moments in all the wrong places. They are looking for and through plans that work for others instead of looking within. This means being okay with looking different, schooling different, and just being different all around.
So what if you’re not part of a physical COOP program? Who cares if you only homeschool four days a week? What real difference does it make if you homeschool year-round or 9 months straight? The main questions are – is your family thriving? Are you thriving? Are your kids learning? Are you learning? Are y’all having fun?
I’m not gonna sugar coat it and say that there won’t be hard days, because there will be. I won’t lie and say that there won’t ever be times that you question your ability to do this thing, because you will. And that’s okay.
To help alleviate some stress and help you get on the track to homeschooling YOUR WAY, I want to offer you my Homeschooling YOUR WAY Planning Pack (FREE FOR A LIMITED TIME). It’s not a typical planner so don’t write it off just yet. I like to call it my gap filler. It fills the gaps that other planners may have and is versatile enough for printing and reusing year after year.
It comes with pages to help you write your why, mission statement, statement of beliefs, what homeschooling your way looks like, track goals, keep up with important info about state requirements, and more! It’s a 15+ page resource that you’ll be glad you have!
Here’s to homeschooling YOUR WAY!
Michelle Huddleston is a Proverbs 31 wanna-be wife, a mama to 4 blessings, and the author + content creator behind the thriving ministry With the Huddlestons. She is passionate about helping today’s families thrive in all things faith, family, and homeschooling. Michelle’s virtual homeschooling community is one of the fastest growing organizations and is packed with a free COOP program, highly engaging eCourses for Kids, and innovative curriculum supplements. Connect with Michelle across most social media platforms and don’t forget to snag her Amazon best-seller Just for Today’s Homeschooling Mom!
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