If there’s anything I’ve learned about homeschooling, it’s that I’ve spent way too much time worrying about it.
Any fellow worriers out there?
We just reached a major milestone on our journey and graduated our oldest son. (Go us!) It’s been an emotional month looking back over the last nine years. At the risk of sounding like one of those old cliche moms, it went by so fast.
It really did.
Amazing how you can go from wondering when it will end to wondering where it all went. I’m officially a veteran homeschool mom. Go figure?!
When all was said and done none of the worrying I did over the years ever helped my son succeed. Worrying never solved anything.
It never made anything on the journey easier. It only ever made things harder.
My youngest son is going into 7th grade in the fall, and I’m resolving to worry less on this last stretch I have with him.
Join me in letting go of homeschool mom worries. Here’s a fresh list to get you started!
1. Teaching High School
I spent the majority of my homeschooling journey worrying about what homeschooling high school would be like. It’s intimidating, no?
How will I teach calculus and chemistry?
The answer is simple. You won’t!
At least not if you don’t want to anyway. There are so many resources available to homeschooling families that it’s easy to outsource any subjects you’re not comfortable teaching. Remember, there will always be a way to teach what you don’t know. Don’t let fear of high school keep you from enjoying the best years of the homeschooling journey. I loved homeschooling high school. It’s not as scary as you think!
On the other end of the spectrum, let’s not get carried away worrying about “homeschooling preschool.”
Every once in a while I’ll see some version of this question pop up in a homeschooling Facebook group: “I just started homeschooling my 3-year-old. What curriculum do you recommend?”
Play-doh. I recommend Play-doh.
I don’t comment because what I really want to type in response is something along the lines of Seriously? Three?
Read aloud, pretend play, color, create, watch Paw Patrol. Heck! NAP with your three-year-old. (I’m sure you could use it). Soak up every single second of this chubby finger phase you can because these precious years are fleeting and you don’t want to waste them worrying about “homeschooling” your toddler.
But I don’t say any of that because it’s a Facebook group and we all know how scary those can be.
Moms of little ones, just be the rockin’ mama you are. That’s the only lesson needed for now!
3. Other Homeschool Moms
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” ~Theodore Roosevelt
Isn’t that the truth?
Other homeschool moms can be intimidating. Conversations around the co-op coffee pot can be a little overwhelming at times. One mom swears by the Charlotte Mason method; another mom believes unschooling is the way to go. Some moms buy school in a box, and other moms dutifully piece together the perfect unit studies for free at the local library. Online classes or not? This publisher or that publisher? Ahhh!!!
It is so easy to fall into the comparison trap in the homeschooling community. Do what works for your family and feel good about it. Period!
There will always be people that don’t understand your decision to homeschool. They come in all shapes and sizes. Family, friends, strangers in line at Target.
Just let it go and enjoy your journey. You can’t change others’ opinions, and you’re not homeschooling your children to prove anything to anyone. It’s simply a lifestyle choice. Embrace it! Be proud. Homeschooling is NOT an easy job!
5. Keeping the House Clean
I used to be an excellent housekeeper. Then I started homeschooling. The end.
You’d think because you’re home all day that you’d have plenty of time to clean up the place, but you’d be wrong.
It’s just the opposite, actually. Being home all day only means you’re never able to clean anything because humans are always there! Add homeschooling on top of the everyday circus that is your household, and you’ve got an even bigger mess.
No matter how hard you try, there will always be dirty dishes in the sink. (This is feeling a bit like a life mantra at the moment.)
6. Finishing Every Lesson in the Book
At the start of every school year, I get a fresh new planner and sit down with a tall stack of crispy curriculum. Then I proceed to torture myself with this very broken lesson planning technique. Maybe you can relate?
I immediately look to see how many total lessons there are and divide that number by 30 (weeks of school) and then I divide that number by 4 (days a week) and voila! I have lesson plans. This gives me a rough idea of how many lessons I need to complete each week to finish the curriculum. Or so I think.
It takes about one week for this plan to fall apart. And then you know what I do? I do it all again.
How many lessons are left? Divide. Divide.
This happens about 758 times during the school year, and we never finish. Ever.
Complete what you can. Do your best. (Nobody ever finishes every lesson!)
I admit I do worry about this some, but it’s a waste of time.
My boys have never been extremely social, and that doesn’t have anything to do with homeschooling!
Listen, your kids are who they are. They’re going to make friends. They’ll get out into the world in their own time, and when they do, the right people will love and appreciate them for who they are. It’s really that simple!
What are the homeschool mom worries you’d add to the list?
Adrienne Bolton is a freelance writer and veteran homeschool mom. She began homeschooling in 2009 to meet the needs of her oldest son who struggled with the public school setting. Her boys have had different experiences with homeschooling, but both have thrived in spite of her. Her oldest son transitioned from public school after fourth grade and her youngest is 100% homegrown, having never stepped foot in a traditional classroom. Now with one son in college and one working his way through high school, she is proof anyone can do this. She writes with humor and heart, peppered with occasional snark and sarcasm. When she is not writing or working you can find her with a good book in hand, snuggling her massive Pitbull fur baby, or making something yummy in the kitchen. She loves to cook, bake, and be outdoors in the sunshine. The beach is her happy place and she's a true flip-flop wearing Florida girl. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.