Hey, girl! I know that you’re tired. Some days, tired is an understatement! You are exhausted, plain and simple. You question whether homeschooling is the right fit for your family. You question if you’re equipped to handle the responsibilities and requirements for the challenge. You see all of these other homeschool moms who make it look easy. Not only that, they make it look easy AND joyful. Where’s YOUR ease? Why can’t you find YOUR joy? It doesn’t seem fair and you are ready to throw in the towel and give up. Then you think that maybe your kids will be better off in public school.
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First of all, I wish I was right there beside you to give you a great big hug. I know you’re hurting and disappointed. But, mama, listen: it’s okay. Homeschooling can be tough. Really tough. And that ease and joy you see from other moms probably came after they went through the challenging and hard times that you didn’t see. None of us go into homeschooling having all of the answers. Honestly, the majority of us fell into it with no clue at all what to do or how to do it. No plans whatsoever.
You better believe we made mistakes. Sometimes small ones. Other times huge ones. Sometimes we cried and felt exactly the way you feel right now. I’ll let you in on a little secret – sometimes we give up.
We give up on the ridiculous expectations.
We give up on comparing our homeschool experience with other people’s.
We give up trying to “keep up with the Jones’s”.
We give up on the strict no-room-for-negotiation routines.
We give up on chasing perfection.
We give up on trying to do “all the things” all the time.
We give up on systems that don’t work for us (even if they worked for everyone else).
We give up on materials we don’t like.
We give up on teaching styles that don’t match our kids’ learning styles.
We give up on going it alone.
We give up on all of the things that make homeschooling one big stressful thing on our to-do list.
While we give up on these things, we embrace others. Give up the stress and embrace the joy. What do we embrace?
We embrace experimenting and trying new things.
We embrace our own unique journeys.
We embrace the fact that every homeschool and homeschooler is different and that it’s okay to be different.
We embrace homeschool goals that fill us with excitement.
We embrace the time and freedom that homeschool provides and the fact that we don’t HAVE to have a schedule.
We embrace the messiness and focus on the journey of learning rather than just the outcome.
We embrace the ability to ditch anything that doesn’t work so that we can find the things that do.
We embrace the ability to switch up the way we teach to match the way our kids learn.
We embrace the network of homeschoolers all over the world who are there to offer support, guidance, and understanding.
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If you feel like throwing in the towel, but there is still part of you that really wants to make homeschool work for your family, I implore you to do three things:
- Assess what you are doing that could be causing you stress. Then identify ways you can change the way you do things to make your life easier. For example, if you are stressed out because your kids don’t get through every single lesson, consider reducing the number of lessons they do each week or spread them out over time.
- Take a break. Sometimes that’s all we need to do. Step away from the planners and the worksheets. Get outside. Go for walks. Head to the museum. Visit neighboring cities. Read books. Do some learning out in the real world, without the schedules and quizzes. Then slowly get back into the swing of things. You may find that you come back feeling re-energized and more confident.
- Connect with your support system. Lean on family and friends for help. Make friends in the homeschool community and reach out to them. Tell them what’s going on and ask for help. You’d be surprised by how much people are willing to comply.
But most of all, take heart! You are stronger than you give yourself credit for. If this is truly something you want for your family and that you feel is the best option, you can move mountains. I believe in you!
Love & Strength,