Confessions of a Homeschool MOM

12 Confessions of a Homeschool MOM

Hi! I’m Nike. If you’re new to this blog, my family is entering our fourth year of homeschool this year. I can hardly believe it!

My husband and I live in Middle Georgia where we homeschool our two boys, ages 5 and 8. They are entering kindergarten and third grade this upcoming school year.

I love blog posts where homeschool moms keep it real. I know that, for most of us, we enjoy homeschooling our children and want to highlight the many positives of being a homeschool family. However, not sharing the unglamorous side can be crippling for new families who may think they’re the only ones experiencing tough moments.

So, to all the moms (and dads) experiencing any of the following, you’re not alone. Here are my twelve confessions.

1. It’s challenging.

Contrary to what people, who haven’t a clue about homeschool, think, homeschooling is not an easy job. When done properly, it takes a great deal of time, research, knowledge, preparation, discipline, patience, coordination, and proficiency. Whether purchasing a curriculum or making your own, the work that goes into ensuring your children are well educated is extensive. Some bad eggs may give homeschool a bad name, but for the rest of us, we put in that work!

2. It’s uncertain.

Truthfully, I believe there’s a season for everything. I don’t know when our homeschool season will end. Whether it ends after high school or next year, only the good Lord knows. Anything can happen. My kids may want to try out traditional school. Homeschool may be outlawed (Lord forbid!). Or, it may just stop working for us. All I know for certain is, at the moment, we’re enjoying this time and hope it lasts as long as God allows it to.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

3. It’s lonely.

I’ve been blessed to meet and befriend other homeschool moms who invite our family out for parties and playdates, but at its core, homeschool is lonely. That’s because at the end of the day, it’s just me, my kids, and their curriculum. Being the primary teacher in my children’s life means that sometimes I’ll feel isolated and overwhelmed. And while the truth is I’m not alone and this is the plight of every homeschool parent, it sure doesn’t feel that way during those tough moments.

4. I get unmotivated.

I don’t jump out of bed every morning and greet the day like Mary Poppins. Sometimes I’m unmotivated. Sometimes I dread the monotony that homeschool routines can often fall into. Sometimes I’m sad. Sometimes I’m sick. Sometimes I haven’t slept well. Sometimes I doubt myself. There are many motivation killers that can throw me off course at times. But I’ve learned that perseverance is what you do long after your motivation has left you.


5. I don’t know everything.

The truth is, I still have so much to learn. In fact, my boys are becoming smarter than me by the day. They’ve become experts on topics they’re passionate about and the beautiful thing is they’ve also become my teacher in that regard. As a homeschool mom, I’ve realized one of the best things I can do for my children is not to teach them everything, but to connect them to the resources they need to teach themselves.

6. We have tough days.

Most days are great, but some days my boys just won’t cooperate. Sometimes there are tantrums. Sometimes there’s defiance. Sometimes I wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Yes, crying, yelling, and everything in between can be heard on any given day. We aren’t perfect homeschoolers.

If these walls could talk, they'd tell you we're not the perfect homeschool.

7. Unschooling myself is hard.

Since I was trained by the good ol’ public school system, I constantly have to unschool myself so that I can open up more to the reality that we don’t have to sit in a classroom doing schoolwork every morning. There are other ways to learn. In fact, children are learning even when we’re not actively teaching them. Still, it takes time to accept that my children can learn even when I’m not standing at the whiteboard lecturing.

8. I don’t hate public school.

I am a product of public school. So is my husband. So are my friends. We all turned out just fine. I went to an excellent college, earned a degree, and even earned a professional degree. I’ve had some of the most amazing teachers and some not so good ones. I don’t hate the public school system. I thank it, because it was an option when my family couldn’t afford to send me anywhere else. I didn’t take my education for granted. I used it to my advantage, making sure I excelled so that I’d be a great candidate for college. Whether my boys are homeschooled, go to public or private school, I’d make sure that they excel, too.

9. The house gets messy.

You can imagine the mess that accumulates when a family spends most of their time at home. Hey, we live here! In fact, the only time our home is spotless is when we have guests, and everyone panics to “get the house together.” Yes, we have chores and cleaning schedules, but somehow at the end of the day, it seems like every single item we own is covering the tables and floors.

I cleaned my house today... memes, inspiration, quotes

10. I’m glad I didn’t buy a curriculum.

When we first started homeschooling three years ago, I used every free resource I could find for my then kindergartner. He learned to read, write, spell, and do arithmetic without a boxed curriculum. You can find the list of resources I used, here. Holding off on purchasing a curriculum offered more time to study how my son learns, which helped me choose a curriculum that best fit his learning style. Even better? The money we saved that year was put toward extracurricular activities and family trips!

11. My schedules are for show.

I have what I like to call my “ideal schedule” and then there’s reality. That reality becomes our routine. The difference? When I schedule things, it puts our family on a timeclock and makes everyone stressed. When I establish a routine, it invites spontaneity and allows the day to flow organically. Believe it or not, we used to have an alarm that sounded when it was time to move on to the next lesson, eat, have recess, etc. It wasn’t fun for any of us.

12. It’s rewarding.

This is such a cliché, but it’s true. I love learning more about my children, their strengths and weaknesses, their preferred method of learning, how they tend to deal with frustration. I love seeing and being a part of their progression. I love spending the day with them. They are my little buddies!


 

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, it’s worth mentioning that even though some negative moments are highlighted here, the positive moments definitely hold more weight.

I want to hear from you: What are your homeschool confessions? Let me know in the comments below!

 

5 Ways You're Sabotaging Your Homeschool

5 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Homeschool Success

When I stumbled across the book, Don’t Limit God, by Andrew Wommack, I found myself unable to put it down. Let me confess that I don’t watch television and am unfamiliar with Mr. Wommack’s ministry, so I don’t know much about him. What I do know is that God spoke to my heart through his book.

Earlier this week, I posted a photo on Instagram with Wommack’s book pictured. A friend of mine inquired of the book by asking how it resonated with me. Instead of replying with a long-winded comment, I decided to write a post about it.

Now this book focuses on taking limits off God to expand our potential for success. Obviously, it resonated with me business-wise, but I felt led to share how the book resonated with me when it came to my homeschool journey. As a disclaimer, these points are directed at me also, so I am not pointing fingers. And, of course, this post is from the perspective of Faith.

Here goes…


5 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Homeschool Success


1. You Don’t Believe You Can. This is a common concern amongst homeschool parents—they just don’t think they’re cut-out for the job! I shared this sentiment, despite the fact that I studied curriculum development and earned a Master’s degree in Education. There were several “buts” that I begged God to consider. “But I’m not smart enough.” “But I’m not patient enough.” “But I don’t have enough money.” The list seemed infinite.

Still, God said, “With me, you are enough.”

If God had a limited mind like us, He would’ve never called Sarah to bear the promised son even though she was past child-bearing age. He would’ve never called Moses to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land even though he had a speech impediment. And, He most certainly wouldn’t have called Christ to take our place on the cross even though we didn’t deserve such grace.

So, you see, it may not make much sense to you but God certainly knows why He called you. In fact, God has a history of choosing unqualified candidates to carry out His purpose. The Word says, “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise” (I Cor. 1:26-27). Why does God choose unqualified candidates? “So that your faith may not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power” (1 Cor. 2:5).

With God, you are enough!

2. You compare yourself to others. It’s dangerous to measure the success of your homeschool by the standards of other homeschool families. Yes, I’ve had a few noses turned up at me when I confessed to building my own curriculum rather than purchasing a boxed one. Yes, sometimes I subscribed to the belief that our homeschool would be more successful if we had money to do things like “that other family.” But in those moments, I limit God…and you will, too.

God wants us to discover that there is more than one cookie-cutter way to run a successful homeschool. Don’t miss out on some beautiful discoveries by trying to be like that other family. Those “beautiful discoveries” may minister to struggling homeschool parents one day.

Instead, we must adopt apostle Paul’s attitude when he says, “I do not think I am the least inferior to those ‘super-apostles.’ I may indeed be untrained as a speaker, but I do have knowledge” (2 Cor. 11:5-6). Here, Apostle Paul admits to not being a great speaker like the other apostles, but he doesn’t allow comparison to make him feel inferior. Instead, he focuses on what he does have and trusts that God will compensate for the rest as he carries out God’s purpose.

There is something that you have to offer your homeschool family and community that no one else can. Ask God to reveal to you what that “something” is, so that when you find yourself feeling inferior to other homeschool parents, you can quickly remind yourself that you also have what it takes.

3. You don’t aim high enough. Guess what? You’re called to raise the bar, not submit to it. Deuteronomy 28:13 says this, “The Lord will make you the head, not the tail…you will always be at the top, never the bottom.” This is God’s vision for those who obey Him.

Let me paint a picture for you; last year, I read numerous resources about homeschool and subscribed to some really “average” ideologies. For instance, it’s become a culture to boast of laziness, expect bad days, and count an impromptu day at the beach as a “field-trip.” Let me just say, there is grace in these practices, but we should never set them as our standard. We limit God when we try to be like everyone else.

Instead, aim for excellence in your homeschool. Boast of productive days, set high expectations, and call an impromptu day at the beach what it truly is…a day at the beach!

4. You’re too busy. In order for our homeschool to reach its potential, we must take enough time out of our busy schedule to just be still, hear God, and receive instruction. God speaks to us in many ways, but the Word reminds us that sometimes God’s voice is but a gentle whisper that can only be heard when we quiet our lives (1 Kings 19: 11-12).

Some of us make our lifestyle unconducive to having a growing relationship with God. There are never-ending house chores, a morning full of school work, an afternoon full of extracurricular activities, and an evening full of scrambling to catch up on work that was missed. And then we go to bed with all the cares of this world dominating our thoughts, infiltrating our hearts and spirit.

I’m here to tell you that if you are not still enough to receive God’s instruction for your homeschool, you are treading dangerous waters. But don’t just take my word for it, remember that it is God who lights our path (Psalm 119:105).

5. You fear failure. This has by far been a primary concern amidst homeschool parents— the fear of failing to properly educate our children. In fact, this fear has been strong enough to drive many parents to quit. What a way to limit God and your homeschool potential!

Why focus on the worst case scenario when you can focus on all the wonderful things that could go right? “As a man thinks within himself, so he is” (Prov. 23:7). That means, if you’re not careful, what you believe will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Fear cancels out faith. And without faith, there is no hope. Therefore, you must visualize your child’s success. See them holding that college degree, succeeding in their dream career, purchasing their first home—whatever hopes you have for their future, meditate on it (Hebrews 11:1).

Lastly, I want to remind you that God did not give us the spirit of fear, but the power, love and self-discipline to carry out His purpose for our lives (2 Tim. 1:7).


Homeschooling is challenging enough, don’t do it without God’s help! If you are reading this and have not accepted Christ into your life, but want to, simply repeat this prayer:

“Dear heavenly Father, I know that I’m a sinner and I need your help. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ, died for my sins, was buried, and rose from the dead to fulfill your Word. I accept Christ into my life and into my heart as my personal lord and savior. Thank you, Lord, for forgiving me. I now rejoice because I am free from condemnation! In Jesus name, Amen.”

If you said that prayer and believed it with your whole heart, CONGRATULATIONS! You are officially born again! Drop me a line at nikemanderson@gmail.com and let me know how I can help you!