Homeschooling Mistakes You Are Probably Making
When we first started homeschooling, the LAST thing I wanted to hear was that I was doing it all wrong.
But let’s be honest. We all have had designated seats on the struggle bus. Homeschooling can be messy. And, oh so challenging.
I first started writing this little post in my head, months and months ago. The U.S. public school system had been challenged by Covid, and parents everywhere were finding themselves as insta-homeschoolers.
In my part of the country, public schools are in session once again. However, a large number of families have made the decision to jump into the homeschool waters full time. This is for you.
- You might be trying to recreate the public-school experience at home. It is tempting. Nobody loves a cute room set up more than me. Think of it this way. A wedding is a wonderful and beautiful experience. But the real work begins after the wedding. You don’t need a gorgeous wedding to be truly happy in a marriage. The same principle applies to homeschool. You don’t need all the bells and whistles to homeschool effectively.
- You are putting all of your hopes and dreams into finding the “perfect” curriculum. Let me get right to the point. There isn’t one. I should know. I was a curriculum reviewer for years. Sure. There are curriculums and programs that I loved. But nothing was ever perfect. You have to learn to adapt and adjust curriculum to fit your family. Sometimes it means leaving something out. Or taking more time. Or adding supplements. Or just moving on.
- You aren’t reading enough. Don’t worry. I’m not adding something else to your already busy schedule (though we will talk about that one in a minute). If you aren’t making time for a read aloud EVERY SINGLE DAY, you are doing it wrong. Take it from all the homeschoolers that have gone before you. There are so many great resources to find great books. It is THAT important.
- You are probably doing too much. You don’t need to schedule every second of the day. Don’t be afraid to start slow. Start with just a few subjects a day and go from there. Consider focusing on short lessons. If you have a family with multiple grades and ages, think about combining science and history.
- You are comparing your kids to those in the neighborhood, at church, or online. Just stop it. Comparison is the least effective tool you can use. I know this first hand. My son just graduated with a group of over-achievers from his co-op. These kids were classical musicians, writers, scientists, and more. Most of the time, I was just grateful Josiah at least could carry on a conversation without shaming his forefathers. You will have to learn to navigate the homeschool world of success and create your own measures of achievement.
- You aren’t taking care of yourself. Oh, momma. You need to do a better job of that. Get some sleep. Eat your veggies. Take long walks and do something fun for yourself. Your kiddos need to see that example. Plus, you will be less likely to suffer from homeschool burn-out.
- Your expectations are probably unrealistic. Give yourself grace. You might need to take some time to try and see what works best for you and your family. AND in my opinion, you need to let those babies learn at their own pace. Again. It is YOUR homeschool. And YOUR family. You set the bar.
- You are listening to too many opinions. Oh, girl. If I had a nickel every time some well-meaning soul spoke an unsolicited “encouragement” into my life, I would be a wealthy woman. Most of those “encouragements” dealt with the social ills of homeschooling, the possibility of my ruining my son’s life (forever and ever), and just plain ignorance. I’ve heard it all. Be strong in your choice for your family and children! The homeschooling life has produced countless productive and successful citizens.
I encourage you to find a tribe of folks who can help you on your journey. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and to reach out to like-minded mommas. We are cheering you on!
Rebekah Teague is the homeschooling mama to one busy and beautiful boy. She is married to The Muffin who is a pastor and a really great guy. In her spare time she can be found with a book and a cup of tea. She blogs at There Will Be A $5 Charge For Whining.