Fighting the Homeschool Mom Guilt
We are well into the second half of our school year and if you are anything like me, you’re tired. Never mind that we just had a holiday break, that break gave us a taste of what freedom looks like and now we are longing for summer. We know that it’s just around the corner and we are having a hard time getting out of what we are calling the homeschool slump.
I refer to this as “short timers syndrome” we know that the end is near and we are ready for a fresh start. And even though we still have several months of schooling up ahead, we have tricked ourselves into believing that we are staring at the finish line.
It’s about this time of year I start to assess where we are in our homeschooling and I begin to feel guilty about all those unmet expectations. Enter the homeschool mom guilt. Sometimes I don’t even know what those expectations are until I feel like I am failing at something. Then I find myself fighting off the mom guilt that entraps me and makes me a slave to homeschooling. Where is the freedom in that?
So how do we conquer the mom guilt? I knew I wasn’t alone in these feelings so I gathered up some of my homeschool mom friends and asked them to share what makes them feel guilty? Not surprising, the same themes popped up among all of us. So here are the Top 5 reasons us homeschool moms feel guilty and the truths to conquer them.
We are behind in our curriculum
Alright, I’m just going to go ahead and confess right here, that we have never once finished our curriculum in a single year. I have a great friend who uses the same curriculum I do and she is the most diligent and consistent person I know and she always finishes by the end of the school year.
I used to judge my failures against her successes until one day I realized that I was running in a race by myself and I am the one who chooses the finish line. I found so much freedom in that. I like to linger on subjects. Sometimes I want to spend the day at the zoo instead of discussing Ancient Rome. I don’t want to feel rushed or guilty for making that choice, so if my one-year curriculum extends to two, I’m okay with that. We are not slaves to our curriculum, let it work for us and not against us.
We are not having enough fun in our schooling
Is school supposed to be fun? Just kidding. Unless you are an unschooler or perhaps a true Charlotte Mason homeschooler, you are going to have a hard time finding fun in every subject. Not every child is going to find math fun, and grammar? Who likes grammar? But as I tell my children, “I’m here to educate you, not entertain you.”
Having said that, lay aside the guilt and try to just focus on doing one fun thing a day. It can be simple, like tea and cookies while you read, or going outside to do your history lesson. Find simple ways to add more delight in your homeschooling but don’t worry too much that they are not having fun.
Too many “life” issues getting in the way of getting school done
Are doctors appointments or therapies ruling your life? Do you have a difficult child that requires a lot of extra re-directing time? It’s easy to feel guilty about what you can’t get done in school when life gets in the way. My encouragement to you is this: The Lord sees. He knows your heart and he knows what your children need to know. Ask Him to fill in the gaps during these times and to give you wisdom in ways to make it work.
Sometimes it is just a season, but if your season turns into years- maybe the Lord is leading your family in a different direction. Pray about it and seek his guidance. In the meantime get creative and find different ways to do school. Maybe you do a video curriculum and can use your driving time to watch the videos. Maybe this is the season that all school is done online, or your students take classes outside of the home. I know someone who only schools in the evenings. Their school day is from 5:00-9:00. All appointments are over and there are no other distractions. Her kids sleep in later and she has the morning to her self. Remember, it’s your homeschool, do what works for your family.
Having to chose either school or a clean house and not doing well with either of them
I don’t know a single homeschool mom that doesn’t struggle with this. I often joke that you can have educated kids or a clean house, but you can’t have both. While some moms balance this amazingly, most of us are just getting by. This is an area that we can easily get bogged down with and we have to be reminded that our worth is not found in a clean home. Homeschooling is our job and should be our priority.
Having a neat and tidy home is not impossible though. Find a routine that works for your family and stick to it. This might mean you have a certain time of day you pick up, or maybe you clean house every Saturday. For some of you (myself included), you may have to lower your expectations for this season of life and develop a “good enough” philosophy. For more encouragement, you can read my post on How to Homeschool and Manage a Household.
Having a child who is struggling with a subject but not knowing how to help them.
When we homeschool the weight of our child’s education is on our shoulders. When we have a child that is struggling, that weight can often times seem unbearable. What do we do? Where do we turn? Are we doing enough?
We have a child who really struggles with math. Math is not a subject that I am strong in. It soon became apparent that my explanations were not helpful and her struggles were beyond my scope of understanding. After struggling through a year of math, we changed curriculums, moved her back a year and got her a tutor.
As homeschoolers, we have to know what our limitations are and be willing to do what is best for our children. If finding a tutor is cost prohibitive, reach out to your fellow homeschooling moms and dads for help. Trade services with someone, contact local colleges, find online programs. If you think the problem might be bigger, have them tested to rule out any learning issues.
Homeschooling is tough y’all and the mom guilt is real, but we have a Savior who comes along beside us. Be encouraged!
He tends his flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. Isaiah 40:11
Angela is a mother of 4 and wife to her aspiring wanna be ninja warrior husband. She blogs at Schooling with Grace, where you will find lots of encouragement, real-life homeschooling, and grace for those of us that can’t seem to get it together. Outside of homeschooling and loving on her family she enjoys nights out with friends, real conversation and getting caught up in a good book. You can connect with her on Facebook and follow her on Pinterest
JOIN OUR CONQUER THE HOMESCHOOL SLUMP GROUP ON FACEBOOK HERE!
Latest posts by Tiffany (see all)
- A Homeschool Mama Accountability Partner - February 16, 2018
- Resurrection Day: An Easter Activity Book Curriculum Review - February 16, 2018
- 4 Ways a Low Impact Schedule Can Boost Motivation - February 15, 2018