Since we started homeschooling this Fall, one of my biggest struggles is feeling like I’m not doing enough with my kindergartener. Shouldn’t she be reading by now? Am I using the right curriculum? Am I failing as a teacher?
These are thoughts that run through my head almost every time we do school. So often when someone asks my child if she goes to school, we reply by telling them that she is homeschool. And then, BAM! Pop quiz! Can you read? Can you write your name? What’s 10 plus 2? It’s like they are testing whether I’m qualified to teach my child.
As the mom and teacher, it’s a lot of pressure. I begin to seek purpose and joy from seeing my child succeed academically. When they fail at something (like every kid does), I can’t help but be discouraged.
Raising a Different Kid
The pressure to raise a well-educated child as a homeschool mom can be overwhelming. When we commit to allowing our children to learn at their own pace, they may not line up with what other children their age are learning at public school. They can be ahead or behind, but raising a kid who is different does not have to be a negative thing.
When a child has the freedom to learn outside of the box, they can discover confidence in their God-given talents. We must remember this on the hard days. We are doing things differently, and our primary goal is to honor God through mentoring and teaching our children.
How Can we Honor God in our Homeschooling?
- Bible time: Having a morning Bible time before doing school encourages our family to remember what’s most important. Our primary goal in homeschooling is to educate our children in a way that points back to Christ.
- We can be encouraging: Give a high five or set up a reward system when they succeed. When our children don’t achieve, we can be patient and say kind words to help them not give up.
- Give them space and jump in when necessary: Since I am working one on one with a child, it can be easy for me to correct their mistakes quickly. When I step back and give them some time to look over their work, they often catch their errors and don’t become so frustrated with me.
Find what works for your family
While I would love to be involved in a homeschool co-op like Classical Conversations, in this season I’ve had to say no. At this time, having so many little ones is exhausting, and right now we need the structure of being at home. I still make it a priority for the kids to get out of the house, but we do spend most of our days at home doing our daily routine.
When we get busy, and I’ve said yes to too much, I become stressed, the kids become tired, and it doesn’t benefit our family.
I’m learning that it’s okay to stay home. Home is where my kids are learning to help me fold laundry and make lunch. They are learning real life skills that they will improve on each day and carry with them into adulthood.
I’m learning that sitting at the table and being still while working on workbooks isn’t the only way to “do school.” Our kids are learning through everything. I pray that I will trust God to provide the wisdom and endurance to keep going on the hard days. I pray that I would resist the temptation to compare myself to other homeschooling moms.
If you are new to homeschooling and feel like you can’t live up to other homeschooling moms, then I encourage you to step back, pray and focus on what’s important. It’s okay to do things differently!
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