Mama, are the doubts looming large today? Do you feel like you are not enough–or that you are not doing enough? Grab a steaming cup of coffee and let me offer you some homeschool encouragement.
Encouragement for Homeschool Moms
Mothering is the hardest job on the planet; teaching is the second hardest. You are doing both. If today is one of those days when you feel overwhelmed and unequal to the task, let me be the friend who puts her arm around you and reminds you what an amazing job you are doing. We all need a little homeschool encouragement.
Let’s talk some truths.
You Are Enough
Sure, you may not have your teaching degree, but that doesn’t mean you can’t teach second-grade spelling or eighth-grade world history. You’ve been through it yourself! And even if you can’t remember a thing about the War of 1812 (except, perhaps, that it happened in 1812), you are resourceful. Search this site, ask Siri, pile the kids in the van and go to the library, or enroll your child in an online class. You can do this!
Do you know the secret of all teachers–those at home and in the classroom? You figure it out as you go. We are all winging it.
You Are Doing Plenty
Mom guilt is real. No matter how much we do, we fear it is never enough. You may be teaching handwriting, history, math, spelling, and reading, but you worry your child is missing out or falling behind children in school.
Your children are on their own path, so you don’t need to look to the right or left. If you have a friend who is constantly bragging about the amazing projects her child completes at his school, it’s time to nod and smile and tune her out. Children in school need organized projects and hosts of specials because they don’t have the free time to discover and pursue their own passions. Yours do.
When you homeschool, your classroom doesn’t have walls and bells. You are giving your child more than enough.
You Are Teaching to the Mind and Heart
Some days you wonder if learning is even happening because you spend the whole day addressing attitude. That’s not a failure–that’s a win! Because you are that amazing mom-teacher combo, you can teach character as well as knowledge.
No one loves your child more than you do. No one will take the time to work through struggles and heart matters like you will. Classroom teachers are wonderful people, but they don’t have that kind of time or personal insight into your child.
You are teaching more than a student; you are teaching a whole person. That is a gift.
Your Child Does Have Connections
As soon as you announce you are homeschooling, your mother (and pretty much everyone else) will ask the infamous question: “What about socialization?” No doubt you have a stock answer, and you can rattle off the outside activities your child does.
But in the quiet of your mind, you may worry that your child doesn’t have close friendships and that it is somehow your fault.
If your child is feeling lonely and wanting a friend, that is completely normal. Though they are surrounded by a sea of people, kids in school still feel lonely and want friends. In fact, a child may have lots of so-called “friends” and still feel isolated if those people are cold or disloyal.
We all go through seasons of loneliness. Provide opportunities for your child to meet others, but don’t stress if this is that season for her.
In the meantime, your child is not short on meaningful connections. She has a family who loves her completely and absolutely. She has people to laugh with her, cry with her, play games and watch movies with her. She has a strong connection of family, and she is incredibly fortunate.
Your Love Is Strong Enough
You are especially in need of homeschool encouragement if you are concerned that homeschooling is ruining your relationship with your child. You see the conflict between you as a direct result of being both teacher and mom.
First of all, conflict is part of any relationship. It’s how you deal with the conflict that makes an impact. By working through your differences in a healthy way, you are setting up your child for success in future relationships.
Conflict between parent and child is common for every family, regardless of their schooling choice. By all means, get help if you need it, but know that homeschooling is not the root of the tension. The struggle is simply a part of raising kids to be independent adults.
You Can Take Time for Yourself
If you are a homeschooling mom, you know this fact: there are not enough hours in the day. You will always have too much to do and not enough time to do it.
If you start burning the candle at both ends, you will quickly deplete yourself physically and emotionally. Maybe you are already there.
You absolutely must allot time for self-care. Get adequate sleep, exercise, and nutrition. Plan some activities in the week that you enjoy. This is not you being selfish; it is giving you the wind in your sails to propel you through your day.
When you take time for yourself, you can bring your best to others.
You Can Be Real
In addition to Bigfoot and Nessie, there is a mythical creature out there: the mom who does it all well. She can manage the teaching, the cleaning, the cooking, the driving, and still be patient and nurturing.
Just remember, she’s not real.
I know what you’re thinking, “But I know her!” Maybe this woman is your sister-in-law or a mom in your co-op. Maybe it is a blogger or social media maven. Sure, she may be a flesh and blood person, but you are only seeing a snapshot of her life. I guarantee she burns toast, wears the same shirt two days in a row, yells at her kids, and sometimes hides in the bathroom just to get some time to herself.
No one does it all well.
So make your life more manageable. Scale back, prioritize the essentials, and ask for help. It’s okay to be real.
You don’t need to be Superwoman. You are amazing as is!
You don’t get accolades as a homeschooling mama. You don’t get bonuses or promotions. You may not even get a thank you. You do what you do out of love for your kid. Period. It’s noble, but it’s also hard.
So hear this: you are incredible. You are hard-working, selfless, and brave. You are making a difference in the life of your child. Your kitchen may be a mess, your kid may be wearing a Halloween costume in May, and you may have eaten a PopTart for breakfast and lunch, but you are moving mountains one inch at a time.
You can do this. I know that because you already are.