Have you ever wondered what really happens inside a homeschool mom’s head? After all, they are such mystifying creatures, these women who school their kids at home. Do they have it as together as they seem?
We homeschooling moms are a complicated, often-misunderstood puzzle. So, I’m going to reveal five secrets of homeschool moms.
Secret #1: Sometimes we have to think about grade levels.
Yeah, we’ll never admit it out loud, but our kids aren’t the only ones who get stumped when you ask about grade levels. With multiple children, working on different levels for each subject, grade levels can get confusing to a homeschool mom.
You see, we tailor our children’s education to their exact needs. So little Susie may be doing fourth-grade math, but seventh-grade reading. Her sister, on the other hand, may have third-grade math with first-grade reading. It’s all so complicated.
How can you tell if we are stumped? Watch for the pause and the deer in the headlight look; those are dead giveaways.
Secret #2: Homeschool moms deal with guilt.
Oh, so much guilt. It stems from the fact that we are queens of comparison. First, we compare our children to your children. Are they learning enough so they won’t be behind? Or are they learning too much and coming off like weird dorks?
Then, if that isn’t enough, we start comparing to other homeschool moms. “Oh my gosh, Jane’s daughter is in the fourth grade and fluent in three languages, and I forgot to teach Susie how to tie her shoes!”
Yes, guilt occupies a considerable amount of space in the homeschool mom’s head. Eventually, it starts to recede a bit, but I’ve yet to make it to the place where it completely disappears.
Secret #3: Sometimes we have no idea what we are doing.
There I said it. Maybe this one only applies to me, but there are days when I have no idea what I’m doing. My grammar skills are rusty, and to be honest, I was not great at math to begin with. Most days I survive through the grace of God and a healthy amount of Google.
If you sat me down and asked me to locate all fifty states on a map, I’m not entirely sure I could do it. The fact is that I don’t have all the answers, and I never will. What I do have is a great love for my children, fantastic teacher’s manuals, and access to the internet.I don't have all the answers, and I never will. What I do have is a great love for my children, fantastic teacher's manuals, and access to the internet.
Secret #4: We don’t have unlimited patience.
I always giggle a bit when someone says, “I don’t have the patience to homeschool.”
Yeah sweetie, neither do I.
I have threatened (more than once) to chase down the big yellow bus as it drives by my house. Unfortunately, there have been days that ended in tears because mommy ran thin on patience and turned into a scary monster that even Scooby Doo couldn’t handle.
There have been instances when I felt defeated, and I have been ashamed of my attitude. At times, I have wanted to quit. So, I definitely don’t have the patience to homeschool.
What do I have? I’m stubborn. Deep down inside of me, there is grit and determination, backed by a fierce love for my children, that keeps me going with the conviction I am making the right decision and that homeschooling best for my kids. See, while patience is important, it’s only a small piece of a homeschool mom’s character.
Also, I would guess that homeschooling would test the most patient person on earth. I mean what can you expect when you combine never-ending feedings, glitter, and long-division? It’s a situation that would break even the most hardened criminal.
Secret #5: We don’t hate the public school system.
What is it about the words “oh we homeschool” that immediately puts people on the defensive? The truth is, most of us are products of the public school system. My oldest daughter even attended a public preschool, and we had a great experience there. Homeschooling is just the life we wanted and felt called to.
Of course, some homeschool parents have horrendous public school stories, but there are just as many of us who aren’t part of the anti-public school camp. Most of us are in the “to each his own” camp.Most homeschoolers don't hate the public school system. To each his own. Honestly, we don't have the time to fret over how you educate your children.
Plus, honestly, we don’t have the time to fret over how you educate your children. Homeschooling is not the choice for everyone, and we don’t expect it to be. Just please don’t start spouting off a list of excuses for why you can’t homeschool. (Be prepared if you do this, we LOVE homeschooling and will dispell every myth you throw out there.) It’s okay to tell us that you love the way you are doing life right now. We can certainly understand that!
So there you go. I’ve peeled back the curtain and given you a glimpse into the secret world of the homeschool mom. Shhhh! Don’t tell the rest of them that you know! Think you have what it takes to be a homeschool mom?
Take my humorous Homeschool Mom Entrance Exam to find out for sure.
What homeschool mom secrets do you want to dispel?
Erin Persinger is the sometimes goofy, always crazy, voice behind Secret Society of Homeschool Moms. She lives in West Virginia with her husband and two daughters. She and her husband decided to “try” school at home in 2012, and they fell in love with the homeschooling way of life. In between the long-division and the snacks she loves to provide homeschool tips, useful resources, and a healthy dose of humor to her readers. Her blog is a calling and a labor of love. You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.