Be encouraged by the fact that despite my many mistakes, my kids not only survived, but are thriving now as adults.
As a new homeschooling mom, I started off with very idealistic (and unrealistic) expectations. I pictured my kids joyfully starting their school work, and working diligently with a good attitude, as I very patiently worked with them while also handling the little ones who needed my attention.
It didn’t take long for me to realize those were unrealistic expectations.
It isn’t very often that the reality of homeschooling meets our picture perfect expectations.
Our kids aren’t going to always want to do school, and we aren’t always going to be patient amidst the confusion. Even with diligence, it’s unlikely that we will finish the whole school year by Christmas.
We need to be realistic in our expectations to avoid disappointment and discouragement.
One of the biggest struggles in homeschooling is finding the right balance in our activities and schedule. Busyness can be a homeschool mom’s greatest enemy!
When we allow ourselves to get too busy, we neglect our priorities, which then leads to frustration and guilt. Less busyness is better for the entire family, and makes for a more peaceful home.
3. Judging my homeschooling “success” on the wrong things
Even though I knew better, there were times when I judged my homeschooling “success” on the wrong things. I would feel it was a successful day if we were able to cross everything off our list – all the lessons were done, all the boxes checked, etc.
What I failed to remember was that if those things were done with a bad attitude, it really hadn’t been a successful day.
How much better it is to gauge our homeschooling success on how much our children are growing in character and wisdom, than on if they are “caught up” for their age/grade level, or getting all their work done daily.
4. Being too serious and intense
Along with the unrealistic expectations, sometimes I was so focused on everything we had to get done, that I just couldn’t relax and enjoy the process. I scowled more than I smiled. I wasn’t enjoying homeschooling, and I wasn’t enjoying my kids!
As a result, my kids weren’t enjoying learning. They did much better when I purposefully chose to slow down, smile, laugh, and have fun.
5. Comparing myself to other homeschool moms
This is such a common trap, and one that we all tend to fall into as homeschooling moms. Comparison will steal your joy, and lead to discouragement.
6. Thinking I could do it all
Do you notice once again — the problem of unrealistic expectations?
I thought I could and should be able to do what every other homeschooling mom was doing. I thought I could homeschool, have lots of outside activities, and still maintain my home as I always did.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that I couldn’t do it all.
It all comes down to determining your goals, and then choosing what needs to go in order for you to accomplish those goals.
7. Neglecting self-care
It’s easy to get caught up in meeting the needs of the family that we fail to take care of our own needs. It’s vital that you put care of self at the top of your priority list. If you aren’t getting the sleep you need, and nurturing yourself spiritually and emotionally, you are going to burn out.
You cannot pour into others when you are running on empty, so be sure to take time regularly to fill you own well.
Anyone else want to admit their mistakes? We have all made our fair share of them. The key is that we recognize our mistakes, learn from them, and keep going!
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