If you’re a homeschool mom trying to do all the things, relax! Let Amy show you the three best things for homeschooling moms to STOP doing right now.
As homeschooling parents, we’re busy. Amen? And not only are we busy, but we often feel like failures. We believe we aren’t doing enough, doing it right, or doing what we should be. Because what we’re doing isn’t the same as Magical Suzy Q Homeschooler who keeps a Pinterest perfect house and does all of the things.
Because you have to do all the things, right?
With the decision to homeschool—and the busyness that comes with it—it’s simple to get caught up in the craziness of all the things we “have” to do.
But let’s talk for a minute about all those things you have to do because I’d like to give you some relief. I want to talk about three things you can stop doing when it comes to homeschooling your kids.
Things That Don’t Benefit Your Kids Educationally
Regardless of where you fall along the gamut of homeschooling methods, it’s safe to say that you’re hoping to get something “educational” out homeschooling. Academics and education may have been the whole reason you chose to homeschool. Or you may want your kid to have enough time to dive into and learn about the things he loves.
Despite our reasons, we find ourselves fixating on where we think our kids should be academically or educationally or even the level of interest they should have in all the things. We won’t let go of that one curriculum that we hate, but everyone else loves. Or we obsess over the new method that everyone is talking about.
Pinterest tempts you to change the entire set up of your school day. Talking to your best friend entices you to revamp your entire schedule to the one that works perfectly at her house.
Sometimes those changes, methods, or ideas are amazing and offer you a break or different perceptive on your homeschooling life. Sometimes they do benefit your kids.
But sometimes they don’t.
And you need to know that’s okay. You do not need to continue to plod through a homeschooling approach that isn’t working or a curriculum your family hates.
Promise. In ten years, you will look back and say why did we stick with that for so long when it wasn’t even helping?
I mean, who is the boss here?
Things That Don’t Matter to, Help, or Strengthen Your Family
A large part of the awesomeness of homeschooling is the way our family relationships grow within it.
So, guess what. If something about homeschooling works against that? Stop doing it.
I know families who decided to homeschool so they could spend more time with a parent who works a crazy schedule.
Those same families get caught up in we have to join all the co-ops and all the extracurriculars and all the things that come along with a thriving homeschool community. And those kids end up seeing that parent with the crazy schedule the same amount of time—or less—than they would have if the kids attended public school.
The beauty of homeschooling is that every family is different. Celebrate that! Concentrate on the things your family needs. That’s why you chose to homeschool, right? It’s what your family needed.
Stay true to that.
Trying to Do Everything
Mama, listen to me. You were never supposed to “do it all.”
Yes, life with kids is busy and messy. And there is So. Much. To. Do. You can easily get overwhelmed as a mama, homeschooling or not.
And yes, we need to do the dishes, pay the bills, and drive Junior to music lessons. Someone has to vacuum before the dog hair takes over the house and plan the menu for next week and, holy moly, were we supposed to be a practice at 5?
Life is crazy busy, but maybe we’re not busy with the right things.
(I know that for some of you, that phrase just made your skin crawl. But hear me out.)
Here’s the thing. Life is supposed to be busy. Life with kids, life in relationship with other people, life as a spouse, life as a homeowner, life as a responsible and caring citizen of the world is supposed to be busy and messy. And if someone told you otherwise, they l-i-e-d to you. They lied to you a lot.
I’m not sure what it is about women, but a vast majority of us tend to cram way more into our lives than we can safely or sanely handle at any given point. Like an overloaded plate of Thanksgiving dinner, we’ve got a river of gravy dripping off the side and a couple of dollar buns toppling off a mountain of mashed potatoes. We can’t carry the second plate of dessert because it’s too small for the three pieces of pie we stacked on it.
Y’all, we’re filling the plates of our lives with things that shouldn’t necessarily be plopped on them right now.Y'all, we're filling the plates of our lives with things that shouldn't necessarily be plopped on them right now.
Do Make Choices
I’ll repeat, life is busy. At every stage of parenting, you will be busy with different things. The busyness of toddlers is different (not less) than the busyness with teenagers. And at those various stages of busy-ness in your life as a parent, you can accomplish different things.
Dig deep into your soul and figure out if the things you’re busy with right now are the things you’re supposed to be busy with.
Is it the best time to serve on the council at church? Be on the board of directors for a local non-profit? Volunteer to take over Thursday night distribution at the food shelf? Write a book about your life experiences growing up off-grid? Foster animals for a shelter? Provide 24-7 drop off daycare for your sister?
If it is, great! Fabulous!
But it might not be the right time. We can be busy with helpful, amazing—even sacrificial things—at a point in our life when they’re the wrong things to be busy with.
So, let’s reiterate:
Life. is. busy. So very busy. And…
…Sometimes we add things to an already busy life that aren’t ours to add at the time we try to add them.
Try These Tips
Start small. Decide what matters to you and your family. Figure out the things on your to-do list that make things happen within the boundaries of your life together.
Research ways to make those things happen as effectively as possible. Look up organizational and time-saving tips to make the best use of your time.
Consider if, at this point in your life, you can honestly take on more. Is right now the right time to do that thing? And in saying yes to that thing, what will you be saying no to?
Mamas, it’s not our call to do it all. It’s our call to do the best things at the best time.
You’re a homeschooling mama. Have you forgotten the power in that choice?
You’re a fish that swims upstream. You’re a warrior. Stand up for the decisions you made. Be strong about the things you can stop doing.
What is something you’re doing that you need to stop doing right now?