Are you new to homeschooling or thinking about doing so in the future? What do you think of when homeschooling comes to mind? A beautifully coiffed Mom teaching her neatly dressed children, while simultaneously polishing the furniture and baking bread? Exquisitely mannered children doing everything they can to please said Mother? This is my wake-up call to you…that’s not reality!
Don’t fall into the trap of believing all the sugar-coated stories you hear of homeschooling! While there may be amazing families out there who seem to exemplify perfection- this is not the norm! Homeschooling families are real families with real issues, just like yours.
This was almost my homeschooling downfall- I was comparing myself to the fairy tale version of it, and if you’re a new homeschooler, you need to know the truth! That’s what I’m going to tell you today.
– Your house will be messy at times, but learning is happening, and memories are being made!
My table looks like this at least three times a day.
It will get cleaned!
This is where the learning and memories come in.
Remember that your house is lived in 24 hours a day. Don’t beat yourself up if it gets a little cluttered at times. It happens when you’ve got kids at home- all the time.
– Your laundry will pile up, but that’s a great excuse to do school in your jammies!
Don’t panic. This is extreme- I’ve got twelve people in the house and one washer and dryer.
Bailey learning in his jammies
Yes, there are going to be days when your kids have to wear mismatched socks (that happens a lot here) or you will remember the night before church that your son doesn’t have clean pants (that happens a lot here, too). That’s okay. It’ll get done. If my kids are perfectly happy wearing their pajamas, and we’re not going anywhere, that’s fine! Less laundry for me!
– There will be bickering and crying at times (and not always by the kids!!), but love and friendship will win out!
Notice the mismatched socks!
– There will be days…or weeks that you feel just plain burned out, but flexibility is one of the benefits of homeschooling.
Take the day off and go somewhere!
Put in a DVD or let your kids follow their own interests for a while. Believe me, that’s learning at its best!
That’s a salamander she’s holding.
– You’re going to want need to be alone at times, but that’s okay! Everyone needs some downtime. If having some alone time is going to help you be a better parent, by all means, do it! If you can’t actually get away (like me), get creative. Take a few extra minutes in the shower, send the kids outside, or let them watch TV (they’ll be fine).
I didn’t write this post to discourage you, but to encourage you. Homeschooling is such a tremendous blessing and joy, but if you go into it with unrealistic expectations, you run the risk of disappointment, which homeschooling is not.
What advice would you give to new or prospective homeschoolers?
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