Enjoy Success by Getting the Most out of Your Mistakes

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Everybody makes mistakes and homeschool moms are no exception. However, mistakes can be a steppingstone to success in the future if you handle them correctly.


Admit Your Mistakes

One thing that’s always popular at a homeschool conference is when there is a panel of veteran homeschool moms who talk about lessons they’ve learned and what they would do differently.

I love their raw honesty and have learned more from these ladies’ failures than their successes. In fact, I wish my future self could have talked to my younger self and given some advice.

Let me give you an example of a mistake I made in homeschooling high school.

When my oldest got to high school, I had her do all her work independently. There was tons of work! She got a great education but missed out on so much family time. She felt isolated.

I had to admit that I made a mistake.

Admitting mistakes doesn’t just help others; it helps yourself!


Discuss Your Mistakes with the Lord

The Lord is our Father and Counselor. He is always there to listen and love us. Share your mistakes with the Lord and discuss it. Pour your heart out—your intentions, motives, and things you didn’t realize. The Lord loves to hear our hearts.

I really felt bad about what I had done and how it had impacted her. Not sure if I had made a mistake or not, I prayed about it and sensed the Lord show me that some independence is awesome, but complete independence was too much. And I needed to lighten the workload.

For more on planning high school classes, read How I Design Our Own Homeschool High School Courses

Have you made mistakes? Let Him speak to you through His Word and His Spirit.


Explore Alternatives

Look back at your mistakes and try to come up with alternative ways you could have done or said something.

This is something I started doing in my forties, and it was better late than never. After almost 20 years of exploring alternatives, I see how much it helps me in similar situations.

I had a hard time exploring alternatives in my situation because teens definitely need quiet to study and a lot of their work is independent. I thought about having them study in the same room and decided that was not an option for the most part.

Cutting the workload was easiest because I found new resources that covered more with less.

After several ideas that I dismissed, I came up with a new plan.

With my high school students, I decided to include them in family studies for history where we would read aloud, craft, play games, cook, bake, and do other hands-on learning along with academic assignments. The rest of my kids blocked off time each week to learn with the family. This would end the isolation of my teen.

For an example of using hands-on learning in high school, read Our Most Popular Economics Assignment: The Apartment Project!

For a fun hands-on history idea, read Host Your Own Vaudeville Show to Study History.


Process the Lesson

What is the lesson you have learned from examining your mistakes prayerfully?

I am always learning new lessons as the years go by.

Anne from Green Gables told Marilla that she never made the same mistake twice. Well, I can’t say that about myself, but I do see growth.

I explained all my thoughts and ideas to my husband and the next teen in line for high school. They understood my reasoning and liked my plan, especially lightening the workload. Julianna still had a lot of time alone to study, but she never felt isolated.


Make New Plans

Once you have prayed, explored alternatives, and processed the lesson, it’s time for action! Use your newfound wisdom to make future plans to put that new wisdom into practice.

This is where the rubber meets the road. We reject things that did NOT work and try out something that does work.

Well, I already shared my plan which I continued to use and tweak for the next 3 children.


Reject Condemnation

Don’t allow past mistakes to define you! You are not your mistakes.

You are defined by the Lord in His Word. You are an overcomer, more than a conqueror. You rule and reign! You are His: adopted, forgiven, redeemed, and bought at a price. Your sins have been completely wiped away. You are brand-new inside. You are filled with His Spirit. Walk in WHO you are, not your mistakes!

I’ve apologized over and over to my oldest child, but finally she told me that she saw a lot of blessing in her education and though she understood my feelings and would do things differently with her own children, she had no negative feelings toward me. That’s when I realized I was walking in condemnation and had to reject lies and embrace the truth.

The truth is: “There is no condemnation for me because I am in Christ Jesus.” (see Romans 8:1). My daughter had forgiven me, and I needed to forgive myself so I could embrace the future!


Embrace the Future

Look forward to the future with hope!

God is good, and He loves to bless us. He doesn’t waste anything, even our mistakes and failures. Often, it is from the deepest pits in my past that I am able to minister hope to others.


Because Jesus took me past my failures to a bright new tomorrow. I know He will do it for you, too.

Until next time, Happy Homeschooling,


Meredith Curtis


Meredith Curtis, homeschooling mom, writer, speaker, and publisher, loves to encourage families in their homeschooling adventure. She is the author of Economics, Finances, and Business 1-credit high school course, American Literature & Research 1-credit high school course, and HIS Story of the 20th Century. You can check out her books, curricula, unit studies, and Bible studies at, read her blog at, and listen to her at Finish Well Radio.



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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).