Before you began homeschooling, did you ever see or meet what you thought was the perfect homeschool family?
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I remember meeting a few homeschool families and being impressed by the respect their kids showed, and how well behaved they were. The moms seemed happy, and talked about how much they LOVED homeschooling their (well behaved) children.
At that point, I had a very idealistic view of homeschooling:
- Homeschooling mothers were perfect, with perfect kids
- They were better parents with better children
- Everything was rosy because they homeschooled
- The greatest challenge faced by these moms was which spelling curriculum to use
Talking to moms at the first homeschool support group that I attended, confirmed this vision of perfect (and happy) homeschooling moms and their perfect families.
I have to admit that I began homeschooling with this very idealistic view point and expectation, but soon realized that perfect homeschool family that I envisioned in my mind was a myth!
There is NO SUCH THING as a perfect homeschool family, and I wish I had known that sooner! It would have saved me some tears, doubt, and feelings of failure.
The truth is that every homeschool mom:
- Has days where she cries (from frustration, fatigue, or discouragement)
- Doesn’t always LOVE homeschooling her children
- Isn’t ALWAYS happy and cheerful
- Doesn’t always have it together
- Has doubts and fears just like you do
The truth is that all homeschool kids have their bad days as well — days when they have bad attitudes, are disrespectful to their parents, don’t want to do their school work, argue with their siblings, etc.
The thing we fail to remember in our idealistic view of the perfect homeschool family is that we are ALL human, and none of us are perfect! Bad days are part of the homeschool package, and are what make us depend on God while recognizing our need for Him.
It’s time to recognize that the perfect homeschool family is a myth, and strive to do what God has called us to do, rather than try to “be” what we think we need to be!
Ask God what He wants for your family, and then be faithful to follow His leading.
More important, I think it is time that we got real with each other!
While I don’t think we should sit and talk about all of our homeschool struggles, or how bad our kids have been behaving, etc. all the time, we DO need to admit that we struggle, and ask others for help and encouragement.
By doing so we not only find that we aren’t alone in our struggles, but we also get practical tips as to what has helped other homeschooling moms deal with those struggles.
Don’t act as though you never struggle, or have days when you cry with discouragement. It is an ENCOURAGEMENT to other homeschool moms to know that the struggle is real, and she isn’t alone.
I recently got a comment on a post in my series Why Homeschool Moms Cry, from a mom who needed to know she wasn’t alone.
She felt that she alone had kids that rebelled. She felt that she was the only one who ever cried over her children who weren’t “perfect”. She thanked me for the honesty in my post, as she didn’t feel like she really ever saw that in the world of homeschooling.
That is NOT the way it should be. Let’s rally together and support and encourage each other.
Yes, we should strive to be our best and raise kids with a heart for God, who are obedient. But we also need to remember that homeschooling is not a guarantee that our children won’t have good attitudes all the time, or won’t even rebel at some point.
God calls us to be faithful and leave the results with Him.
I encourage you to focus on winning the hearts of your children as you point them to God with your example and your teaching. Make those things more of a priority than the academics.
Don’t worry about “looking perfect” as this will create a focus on changing behavior, rather than changing the hearts of your children.
Let go of the perfect homeschool family myth, and realize that there will be hard days (or weeks) in your homeschooling, but God will bless you for obedience as you seek to let Him lead in your family and homeschool.
***This post is part of the HOMESCHOOL MYTH BUSTERS SERIES. Click the link to read other myths about homeschooling.