Four Reasons Why Homeschool Feels Like It's Not Working

Believe me, you’re not the only mom who hid tears from her child because she was certain she had bitten off more than she could chew with this whole homeschooling thing. The decision to homeschool is a big one —a huge one! Homeschooling is not for every parent out there. We’re traveling down a road less traveled, and it’s normal to feel like a failure at times.

While some us may be blowing our doubts out of proportion, there are valid concerns that give us reason to worry. I have a few ideas why your homeschool might feel like it’s not working and why you might be ready to throw in the towel. (Ask me how I know.)

You’re a stickler about checking all the boxes.

So much of what we do for homeschool can’t be checked off a list:

  • discovering a passion
  • running errands with mom and seeing how the world works
  • figuring out how to work together with siblings to accomplish a goal
  • growing in character traits such as persistence or integrity

Many of us went to public schools as kids. We have a picture in our heads of what school should be like. But isn’t that why we decided to keep our children at home —so that we could create something different from our public school experience?

Four Reasons Why Homeschool Feels Like It's Not WorkingIf homeschooling isn’t working for you, it might be because you’ve created a mini public school in your very own home and nobody is enjoying it. I like checking boxes just like any other type-A homeschooling mom out there, but when you are driving everyone nuts because the boxes are not getting checked off fast enough and you fear falling behind, you need to step away from the planner for a few days. 

You compare your kids to other kids.

Comparison can do no good. Ever. It only puts undue pressure on our children to live up to ill fitting expectations. You're not behind anyone when you homeschool. Your homeschool is its own entity, so forget the comparisons.

You ignore your child’s preferred method of learning.

You might love reading, worksheets, and hours of filling in blanks. But those types of learning might be why your child hates homeschooling. Pay attention to how your child prefers to learn. What makes him excited?

I know that not everyday can be a carnival of homeschooling activities, but maybe it’s time to incorporate some of your child’s ideas into the routine. Pay attention to how your child learns best, not just the way you prefer to learn or to teach. 

There’s not enough fun happening. 

Homeschool moms can be a serious breed of folks. We love lists and plans and planners and checking off boxes. But sometimes in the midst of all the checking, have we lost the spontaneous fun of homeschooling? When was the last time you took a field trip? Not a trip with a booklet to fill in but simply touring and enjoying?

Fun is a necessary ingredient for homeschool.

When was the last time you played math games instead of doing a regular lesson? When was the last time you laughed at your kids’ joke (even the ones that make no sense)? When was the last time you sat and enjoyed your kids with no agenda and no boxes to check? Fun is not merely the icing on the homeschool cake; it’s one of the cake’s key ingredients. If you haven’t had fun in a while, do something fun. Today.

Homeschooling is hard; there’s no doubt about that, but don’t give up homeschooling when the challenges arise. Change course where needed: loosen up, inject more fun, and nix the comparisons.

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