Hey friend, can I share a secret with you?
You don’t have to be perfect to homeschool.
Shocking, I know.
If you look around Pinterest, it probably feels like you couldn’t swing this homeschooling thing because you don’t love crafts, you haven’t written your own reading curriculum, and math… just, math!
I was terrified to start homeschooling even though I knew it was the right thing for our family.
I’m not perfect! I kept thinking to myself. What if I’m not cut out for this!?
Can you relate? If so, guess what…
You are cut out for this!
No one is perfect… not even the mom who seemingly has a perfectly designed homeschool room, daily schedule, and access to every extracurricular imaginable! There are things she struggles with, too.
We are thriving as homeschoolers and I am far from perfect.
I have plenty of struggles:
- PMDD, which I’ve written about here and here.
- Sticking to a daily schedule consistently.
- I strongly dislike arts and crafts. Strongly dislike.
- Feeling overwhelmed by the idea of messing something up (and let’s be honest, we’re all going to mess something up).
- Worrying that I’m not doing enough.
- And, I struggle to read to my kids every day.
Through our journey I’ve learned without a doubt that you don’t have to be perfect to homeschool! Instead, here are the six things you do need to be.
Let’s just say it – being with your kids all day, every day, for the foreseeable future isn’t the easiest thing in the world! It’s challenging. It takes dedication. Dedication to the task at hand – giving your child a solid foundation for life-long learning. To discovering who each of your children uniquely is and cultivating that uniqueness every day. To the task of learning through all the little moments of life at home.
The thing about homeschooling is someone else isn’t going to do it for you. Right? Even if you choose to use an all-in-one curriculum, motivation is still required! It takes motivation to get up every morning and make sure school happens. To seek out learning opportunities that fit the needs of your children. To still complete the other tasks that require your attention, like cleaning, cooking, and being the keeper of your home.
Homeschooling won’t look the same every day. You or your child will get sick, a friend or family member will have a pressing need you must help with, and the lesson you painstakingly designed will just not work out. That’s okay! You have to be flexible. Flexible to roll with the unique challenges of each day. To thrive through a schedule that’s different from most of the people you know. To change plans when you see the ones you worked so hard on are a big, giant flop.
A really cool thing about homeschooling is seeing how much your children learn through every day activities. The real world is such a great classroom! However, I don’t believe you can just leave your children to their own will every day and assume they will learn everything they need to know to be productive adults in their future callings. We have to be intentional about what we do with our children and the things we treat as important. About what we expose our children to and equip them with. About the regular, daily life that they are apart of in our homes. Literally, everything about homeschooling is influenced by your intentions. Be intentional about what you give your time to!
I hope you noticed this is different from “graceful.” You don’t have to be graceful like a ballerina to homeschool, but you do need to be grace-full, that is full of grace! Full of grace for yourself, when you have had a bad day and feel like you’re failing at homeschooling. For your children, when they struggle to pay attention, be obedient in completing their work, or to understand new concepts. For those nay-sayers around you who wouldn’t know how to support your homeschooling journey if they tried.
I saved the best for last. I whole-heartedly believe that to be a successful homeschooling parent you must be humble! Humility is hard, but when worked at intentionally, it is life-changing. If you set out to homeschool your kids thinking you know everything, you’ll probably fail. Sorry, but I have to be honest. The truth is, you will learn so much more than you ever imagined through your homeschooling journey! Be humble. Be humble enough to tell your children when you really don’t know the answer to their question (and then work together to find it). When a friend or stranger judges you for your decision to homeschool. Just be humble and you might find you’re thriving in your homeschooling.
Did I miss something? Share your thoughts in a comment.