When I hear about someone who has been homeschooling for a long time, I think “Man, they must have it all figured out by now.” Then, I realize that there are homeschool mommas who look at me and think the same thing.
You see, I’ve been homeschooling for sixteen years. I’ve taught all grades from preschool through graduation. I’ve had one go off to public school for high school. I’ve had one try high school only to come back home, because it wasn’t a good fit. My youngest is wrapping up middle school at home with me this year.
You’d think, by this point in my homeschool journey, that I’d know what I was doing, huh? Well, I do – kind of.
There are times that I fall victim to two big lies homeschooling moms believe, and I allow them to distort my view of this homeschool blessing. I never even realized that I was believing them. Nor did I realize that they were sucking the joy right out of my homeschool.
Three Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe
#1: There Is a “Perfect” Curriculum for My Family
I used to ask people for their opinions about what homeschool curriculum we should use. I used to read blogs looking for opinions and suggestions. Then, I would become convinced that whatever I was reading about was the solution to my current problem. So, I would order that next great thing, and realize that it wasn’t a great fit either.
After many years (and many wasted dollars), I realized that there is no one-size-fits all curriculum. What works for one family or even one kid in my own family may not work for my family or another kid in my family. Each kid’s learning style is different. Family dynamics are different.
Truth: There is no such thing as a “perfect” curriculum. There’s only the one that works right now.
#2: It’s Possible to Have It All Figured Out
In addition to believing I could find the perfect curriculum for my kids, I used to think that once I found it all our homeschool stress would be gone. Because I’d found the “perfect” curriculum, everything would be smooth sailing. Really, I’ve been homeschooling for 16 years. Shouldn’t I have it all figured out by now?
Oh my was I wrong! As I said, just because something worked for one of my kids didn’t mean it worked for all. Take spelling for instance. I found the perfect curriculum for my oldest on my first try! We trucked through Spelling Power for a few years before my middle one was old enough to start it.
Bam! We hit a brick wall with him. Learning spelling rules wasn’t working for him. I purchased three more spelling programs before I found one that worked for him. Spelling Power worked like a charm again for my third child.
Truth: I have learned over the past 16 years that I do NOT have it all figured out. I still struggle through some days. I still purchase books that don’t work. I still over- or under-schedule our days. I still lose my cool when things don’t click as quickly as I think they should.
#3: It’s Possible to Do It All… All the Time
I used to believe I could be Super Mom. I could be able to cook a hot breakfast, bake homemade bread, homeschool my lovelies, keep my house spotless, cook dinner from scratch, and meet my hubby at the door with a smile when he gets home from work. Of course, I’d be dressed nicely with my hair done and makeup on.
The reality looks more like instant oatmeal, store-bought bread, homeschooling in the midst of piles of papers and art supplies, dinner in the crockpot (if we aren’t having leftovers…again), and a “hi” from the other room as hubby comes in after work. All done in sweats or yoga pants and a messy bun! We’ll pretend I’ve had time to shower at this point in the day.
Truth: I can only do what I can do. Some days, I’m rocking my homeschool, the house is moderately picked up, and dinner is cooking when hubby gets home. Other days, hubby comes home and we’re still doing school, the house is a wreck, and we’re eating pb&j for dinner. Most days, fall in between. I no longer strive to do it all…all the time. I strive to do what I can to the best of my ability. That’s all I’ve got!
Encouragement for Homeschool Moms
Breaking Free from the Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe
Each of these lies is destructive. They create self-doubt. They lead me to sabotage my own success on this homeschool journey. They shake my confidence when things are going well. Even though I know these thoughts are lies, they still resurface from time to time and make me question myself.
So, I have to remind myself that these thoughts and feelings aren’t true. They are not the truth, therefore they should have no impact on my outlook for the day or the homeschool year. I can’t operate a successful homeschool based on things that are not true.
The real truth is…
The truth is that some days will rock, and some days will not. The beauty of homeschooling is that I have the ability to roll with the punches. I can take our good days and use them to propel me through the tough ones.
The truth is that I am doing everything I can to give my children the best education they can get. I’m working to tailor their education to their strengths and work with their weaknesses.
Even on my not-so-great days, they’re getting a great education in the security of a loving home! And, that’s the truth!
Which of these lies homeschooling moms believe have you fallen victim to? How did you break free?
updated from an article originally published June 16, 2015