Not Sure If You Want to Keep Homeschooling? Burned Out? Read This. (5 Ways to Enjoy Homeschooling) - Sarah Mae
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Not Sure If You Want to Keep Homeschooling? Burned Out? Read This. (5 Ways to Enjoy Homeschooling)

Not Sure If You Want to Keep Homeschooling? Burned Out? Read This. (5 Ways to Enjoy Homeschooling)

I love homeschooling my kiddos.

But that wasn’t always the case. In fact, I felt fearful, nervous, inadequate, and unsure. I read homeschooling blogs and posts from homeschooling moms who seemed to be so good at schedules and crafts and organization. I began to feel like I had no business homeschooling. I’m not organized, I’m not detailed, and I’m not into crafts or strict schedules.

But I know now that those aren’t the requirements for homeschooling.

I also know now I’m a Type-B mom. And I’m finally okay with that. But before I accepted embraced who I was, I almost quit.

I remember sitting down on a friend’s couch and telling her that I thought I should just put my kids in school. I wasn’t cut out for homeschooling, and I didn’t want my kids to miss out. I felt so torn up about it. What to do?

On the drive home from her house, I called another homeschooling friend who put her daughter in private school for a year and I explained my thoughts and asked her for advice. She asked me this question, “Why did you decide to homeschool?”

Good question. I somehow hadn’t even considered it in such a long time I had forgotten about it. But there it was: Why?

I said to her, “I want to disciple my kids, and teach them according to their bents and strengths. I want to do life with them and help along, preparing them for the world.”

And there it was. The biggest thing was that I wanted to be with them, discipling them, day in and day out. Yes, I want them to have a strong education, but first and foremost I want to teach them how to live.

It was that conversation that reminded me of the beauty of homeschooling, and further more, it made me realize I didn’t have to homeschool according to how anyone else did it. I could tailer our homeschooling to my personality and our unique family dynamics. Recognizing this truth was a game-changer for our family. And now, I am not fearful, and am much better at not comparing myself to other homeschool moms. I am enjoying homeschooling, and I adore watching my kids grow into who God fashioned them to be.

Here are a few things I’ve learned that led to me enjoying homeschooling…

5 Ways to Enjoy Homeschooling

Know Your Why (and Revisit it Often)

Do you have a “why”?

When my friend asked me why I was homeschooling, it brought me to the core of the matter. It made me think about the purpose behind why I am giving myself to this work of educating my children. And you know, once I answered that question, it was a fresh wind to my soul, and felt excited and delighted to homeschool again.

That was two years ago and I still find it such a joy to home educate.

Embrace Who You Are

There is accepting yourself and there is embracing yourself. I say, embrace the beautiful person that God wove you together to be. Sure, you have your quirks, your shortfalls, and there is that pesky sin-nature, but the core of who you are, all that color stuffed inside your soul from the Master Artist, that’s you. And your personalty is God-given and I believe He delights in it, because when you are fully you, He is fully glorified. To deny who you are, or to try and be like someone else, is to deny His handiwork. So maybe you’re not into details, or maybe you rock at them, either way, be you in how you homeschool and you will experience great joy in the process.

Go With What Works for Your Family

Everyone has a different family dynamic. What works for me isn’t going to necessarily work for you. Figure out the unique chemistry of your people and go with it. Do you like to sleep in and get school going late morning over pancakes? Great! Do you like watching the sun rise and hitting the ground running? Great! Strict schedule keeper? Rock it. Flexible, do school throughout the day mom? Cool. We are all different, and there isn’t a right or wrong way to homeschool. Figure out your family puzzle (as Sally says), and get on with it!

Don’t Push Your Kids Before They’re Ready

Each child learns at a different rate. The beauty of homeschooling is that you don’t have to push them before they’re ready. You can watch and observe as they grow and how they learn, and push gently when the time is right. You’ll know. You gain confidence the more you do this homeschooling thing. I used to think I had to understand how my children learned before we even began, and it overwhelmed me! I finally let that go and just did my best, and it became evident when something was or was not working. I didn’t have to force understanding it, it just presented itself.

Here’s the thing, I once read or heard (can’t remember where) this illustration that helped me in teaching my kids: If you look at a class photo, the kids are different heights. You might have an extremely tall child, or a short child, and varying heights in between. That is what it’s like inside a child, it’s just that we can’t see it, and so we tend to treat children as if they’re all in the same place mentally. The reality is, they aren’t. With homeschooling you have the opportunity to know your child and go at their pace.

My daughter is an avid reader, but my son, who is eight, has struggled. He is still only reading BOB books. But he is improving slowly, and I get to be with him to encourage him and not make him feel anything other than what he is, smart. 🙂

Don’t compare your kids with other kids, and be careful not to push them before they are ready. You’ll know.

How does this make homeschooling more enjoyable? You won’t be fearful, you won’t be pulling your hair out when your child isn’t understanding something, and there won’t be nearly as many tears. Unfortunately, the pressure is on for kids, and they feel it, and it is causing unneeded stress in their little bodies. Let them be who they are. Let them enjoy schooling (okay, they won’t enjoy all of it!). Let them be kids and play and for goodness sake, it’s okay if they don’t know world history by first grade!

I’ll end this section by sharing with you what my mentor shared with me, “If you want your children to be brilliant, read to them tons (and give them good books), have them around adults, and play good music!” 😉

Put Blinders On

Honestly, I have avoided our local homeschool conference for two years because I didn’t want to get neurotic about our educational choices. I know that if I go and look at all the thousands of choices, I will compare, fret, and get overwhelmed. It seems there is always something I could be doing better, and wouldn’t you know XYZ has just the product to help me! And ya’ll, I’m a sucker for it. Avoiding the choices the last two years has been very good for me, and I’ve been happier for it, I’m sure. Irony alert: I got asked to speak at CHAP this year, our local homeschool convention! Ha! So, I will be there, but if you see me, remind me to put my blinders on! 😉

Just as an FYI, I don’t there is anything wrong with looking over curriculum choices at a conference, and I’m sure I’ll do it this year, since I’ll be there. The point is that once you make your decision, be confident in it! Go forward, no comparing, no looking back! And this goes for what you read online as well. If you aren’t encouraged by it, bop away and move on! You are you, you are woven uniquely by God, and you are able to school your babes!

Here’s to the delight of homeschooling!

SM

P.S. Get The Type-B Homeschool Plan (lesson planning for the rest of us) for only $2.99 by clicking HERE!

The Type-B Homeschool Plan - 14 Days to Homeschool Ready!

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  • Diana

    Thanks for the reminder!!

  • Anna Stewart

    Sweet lady, as a fellow type-B mama, I’m right with you! We laid back types love our flexibility and sometimes forget how awesome it is to be relaxed. We’re finishing up our first homeschooling year, and I wasn’t sure we’d continue. Funny thing – I was inspired to start homeschooling at the Mom Heart conference in CO in 2014, and this year at the same conference, I was rejuvenated and inspired to keep going for all the same reasons you mentioned above! So, you’ve played a nice part in our homeschooling life. I can’t thank you enough. =) Keep up the good work, mama.

  • Mae

    Yes! I’m a type-B mom. We do slow mornings…and clean and school through out the day…pretty slowly with tons of fun breaks inbetween. I’m a “play before work” type personality…which is super difficult for homeschooling. :/ trying to embrace it though. Sometimes, I feel like a failure. I’ve noticed my kids learn far beyond what I actually teach them. God fills in the gaps!

  • Katie Warner

    i needed this. I think my biggest stresser is Common Core that the schools are using, i panic about if she needs to know the same standards they are teaching. she is struggling with ten frames and places in kinder and i just don’t know how to teach that. i need to pray for patience and confidence <3

  • Kelly Willington

    I have my two girls in public school (for two/three years now) and two smaller boys at home. I have always tossed around the idea of homeschooling, but until this next year wasn’t able to actually do it because of another child in the hospital and other stressful life factors. I think my biggest fear in homeschooling is that they will miss out on something by being home with boring mom. Maybe they will miss out on friendships, sports, other mentors that are important in life, or other activities that are free in the school system. I’m still really undecided about the next year and my husband is not totally sold on the idea either. It’s hard to know what is the best decision sometimes. I think God fills in the gaps, no matter what choice you make for schooling. BUT, I do miss them throughout the day, and at the same time, I appreciate the break…I guess I’m still praying about next year, and am open to the idea if I really felt God lead us in that direction.

  • http://www.Littlehousebigworld.com/ Lindsay S.

    Thanks for this post. We will be transitioning to homeschooling for 1st grade, and I appreciate the laid back and graced filled wisdom.

  • http://ripplesograce.blogspot.com Amber

    THANK YOU!!! I so needed to see this today. It was just one of those days. I was seriously about ready to take my kids down to the local school and sign them up. I was so encouraged by reading this tonight and looking forward to another homeschool day tomorrow.

  • Shannon Bradbury

    Thanks for this post. Days have been tiring lately.And besides a good cup of coffee, I needed this encouragement! We’re 8 years into homeschooling, and sometimes all I need is a little pep talk and i am good again.

  • Jenni Emerson

    Thanks Sarah! I’ve been thinking of my vision for homeschooling and plan on writing out why I want to homeschool. My kids are only one and three years old but I sometimes worry if I can homeschool since being at home is sometimes so hard. So I’m going to write out my vision because in my heart, I am really excited to homeschool and feel it’s God’s plan for our family. I have a great mentor who homeschooled for 30 years and I think she would agree wholeheartedly with your post. She always encourages me just to do it my way and not feel pressure. I’m sure your sessions will be a blessings to those listening to you at CHAP. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and your heart. Blessings!

  • Jen

    Thank you, Sarah. My son is going into pre-k this year and I’ve really felt the need to homeschool, but fear and anxiety have held me back. The books, the blogs, the pins… It’s incredibly overwhelming to just jump in and start when all the advice is 1,000 steps ahead of you. Last night, I read a blog, “Large Families on Purpose”- she homeschools her nine kids and talked about scheduling. By the end of the article I was in tears. Not only am I not cut out to homeschool, I’m not cut out to be their mother. But then, by the grace of God, your email popped up in my inbox this morning and gave me a sense of peace and redirected all of those fears. I want to homeschool because modern schooling isn’t providing my kids with what they need. Why on earth would I try to mimic that? I will not fall short in their education because I have a beautiful vision that God has given me in what their schooling needs to look like. Sarah Mae, you are a Godsent and thank you for having the courage to be you and share that with others.

  • Jana Beaber

    I’m the home schooling mom of 3 boys. My youngest is also 8 and BOB books are about his reading level as well. It is good to hear of other moms who have sons with the same struggle in reading. It seems like everyone is a critic and an expert when it comes to your childs reading skills. I find myself feeling like I am so glad we home school, or else he would be shuffled into remedial classes and labeled. Or, I end up thinking that if I had put him in school he would have learned to read by now! It’s my mommy multiple personality disorder. Thankfully, I have a supportive husband and we are like minded on our ‘why’ of home schooling. Which is crucial to have when things get tough! (I should probably type it up and print it poster size to hang in our school room as a daily reminder for myself!)

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