An open letter to the discouraged homeschool mom. You are not alone. We’re in this together!
Dear Discouraged Homeschool Mom,
You researched for hours on end. You chose just the right curricula. You read all of the information. You planned out all the lessons. You bought all the supplies. You created the perfect homeschooling space. You envisioned the first week of your homeschool year as a perfect time of igniting a love for learning in your children, exploring the world, having meaningful conversations, and watching them blossom!
But it didn’t happen that way, did it?
Somebody was in a bad mood. You didn’t have everything you needed for that science experiment. Somebody was moving slow and throwing your schedule off. Somebody didn’t like a curriculum you picked. Maybe, you didn’t like a curriculum you picked. Whatever it was that caused your vision to crumble, it has you discouraged.
If you’re new to homeschooling, right about now you’re probably saying, “What was I thinking?!” Or maybe it’s, “I’m not cut out for this!” You may have even been on the public school’s website a few times trying to figure out how to re-enroll the kids before they get too far into the school year.
If you’ve been homeschooling for a while, you’re not surprised by these setbacks, but that doesn’t mean it’s not discouraging for you as well.
We’re in our 9th year. I have a senior and a freshman (the oldest already graduated). And you know what? This is exactly how I feel about our first week of school!
Our first day REALLY didn’t go as planned.
The kids got new puppies over the weekend before school started (not the ideal scenario, I know, but that’s another post). Neither of them had slept much the two nights before, so getting them out of bed was a challenge in itself. Guess who got to take care of the puppies while the teenagers were trying to wake up? Mm-hm. Me.
That meant I didn’t have time to make sure everything was ready, so I felt like I was a step behind the kids, rather than a step ahead, all day long.
Oh, and I also had these grand plans for them to get dressed in the awesome t-shirts I made for them and have a mini 1st day of school photoshoot. And maybe we’d get done early and run to get ice cream or something for a first day of school treat. They were still in their pajamas at 3:00 pm…
By that time, I was a very discouraged homeschool mom.
Nothing had gone as planned. We had issues with some of the curricula. An assignment that should have taken 15 minutes took two hours. We didn’t even get to some of the lessons I had planned. And did I mention we have two new puppies? The interruptions were endless!
I found myself getting frustrated and making a few comments about how the day wasn’t going as planned. I could see frustration building in my kids, too. I knew this was not the way we needed to start off the school year!
So, I took a minute to re-focus on the big picture.
I called it a day and had them go get dressed in those fancy t-shirts. It was the end of the day, but we headed outside and took those 1st day of school photos anyway. Then we piled in the truck with Dad, left the puppies in their crate at home, and drove to Sonic for dinner. That’s the part of the day that I will always cherish.
There have been stressful moments throughout the rest of the week, as well. And even though I’ve been doing this for a long time and expected to have to make adjustments, I have still been discouraged and disappointed in myself for not getting it right from the beginning.
And so I write this letter to you to say this…
You are not alone, sweet homeschool mom. Whether this is your first year or your 10th, we all struggle with self-doubt and discouragement. Take it one day at a time and do the best you can that day. One of my favorite Bible verses is found in Lamentations 3:22-23.
“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness.”Lamentations 3:22-23
Think about that! We get a fresh slate every morning! And through the example of God’s unending mercy for us, we can also show mercy and grace to our children (and ourselves). Your faithfulness to your family will not go unrewarded.
If you are overwhelmed, reach out for help!
There are numerous Facebook groups out there where homechool moms come together to support each other. You can probably even find one for your geographical area where you can connect with others in person, as well. We’re all in this together!
We’d also love to have you over in our Facebook group. I’d be honored to be part of your support circle!
Be encouraged, homeschool mom!
You are valued, your effort is noticed, and your love for your kids always shines through!