This post has been on my mind for a while and I feel I just need to spill out my brain here. HA HA You are welcome! I’m going to be real and vulnerable so get ready. I’m going to show you inside the mind of a homeschooling mom!
I never thought that I would ever be a homeschooling mom. Honestly, I was against homeschooling, but happy for anyone else that chose to homeschool. (Here is my story of why I started to homeschool)
I secretly just thought they were crazy.
How did they get anything done?
Why would they give up their free time at home to teach their children when a free school is more than capable of doing it for you?
Yes, yes I know, if you are a homeschooling mom you are cringing right now or you might have gone through something similar. Sometimes I still ask myself these questions from time to time. These were my thoughts 6 years ago, and let me tell you a lot has changed inside my brain since them.
I now am that crazy homeschooler mom that loves to be home, teaching her boys.
I knew homeschooling was hard, I just didn’t realize how hard it would be. Not just physically, but even more so mentally. The greatest battle of a homeschool mom is conquering her doubts and fears when they show their ugly face. Here are a few of the doubts and fears we face daily:
- Am I doing enough?
- Is my child receiving a good education?
- Are they receiving the life lessons they need to be successful?
- What more can I do?
- Does this type of learning work?
- Will others treat us differently?
- Do I have enough self discipline to teach and practice what I teach even when I don’t want to?
- Fear of offending your friends because of a comment made regarding homeschool.
Regardless of all of these fears and doubts, let me tell you I am still homeschooling. All of the thoughts going on inside the mind of a homeschooling mom is very similar to all other moms. We have the same concerns and worries. We just all may go about it differently, but we all want the best for our children. Here are some things I have learned throughout the past 4 years.
Warning…..You are entering inside the mind of a homeschooling mom….HA HA!! It may find it is not far off from your own.
#1 – First and foremost I learned that I am my children’s mother.
You may be thinking…..duh! You didn’t already know that? Let me explain. Before I homeschooled, I was what I called the 3C’s mom: the cook, the cleaner and the chauffeur.
My concern was focused on my kids being groomed with clean clothes and a healthy meal and then I happily passed them off to others to teach them. I honestly had no idea what they were learning in school. Yes, I knew they were learning to read, simple math, science and history, but I didn’t know the method or how my kids were being taught these things. I knew homework was a nightmare and usually began and ended in tears. (My son was only in kindergarten).
Since homeschooling, I have become an intentional mother! I pray a lot over specific concerns for each child. Everything I do I try and do with purpose and find a way to teach my children in the process.
#2 – I am more than capable to teach my children
This was a concern as I started homeschooling. Was I smart enough to teach them? Where do I even start? I had never once doubted the public school system in regards to teaching my boys. As far as I knew, they were thriving. I just accepted the fact that my boys may or may not be the top of their class.
After all I didn’t love school when I was a kid. I honestly remember thinking as a child, “No one likes school, so I shouldn’t either.”
When people asked me if I was excited for school to start, regardless if I was or not, I would always say, “No”. Over time, I’m sure it became more and more true. I remember graduating from college thinking that I was never going to open another book for a long time. Society had engrained in my mind that school is just what you did. You step on the conveyor belt and when you step off you are ready to go to work and make a living.
However, since I have homeschooled my boys, an entire new way of thinking has expanding my mind. I don’t have to know everything to instill a love of learning within my boys. I can learn right along side of them, which I have!
#3 – Trying to change your way of thinking is like climbing a mountain! It is slow moving, but when you catch glimpses of the view it takes your breath away!
I know for our family, homeschool is what my boys need, yet I find myself trying to teach them public school at home. This is extremely difficult with multiple kids and isn’t near as much fun!! HA HA Again and again I have to reevaluate and reassess as we change the way we look at the best way to educate our kids. It’s funny…..how we homeschool now doesn’t look anything like public school.
It is a mindset shift.
There are many ways to do something, and you can get off the conveyor belt to do it.
As we have learned from the past, any new way of thinking comes with its challenges. Abraham Lincoln knew as a young boy that slavery was wrong. His way of thinking went against the majority. George Washington knew that if this new American Country elected a king, then it wouldn’t become the country it is today. He had an expanded view that created the constitution that this country stands on.
These two great souls in history are just a few who thought differently and with each of these examples there were moments of doubt, moments of fear and moments of loneliness.
Does this automatically mean that public school is not a good choice? Absolutely not! Not everyone can or should homeschool, but be open minded to different ways of thinking. My husband has a quote by Henry Ford hanging up at his work that says, “If you always do what you have always done, you’ll always get what you always got.”
My thoughts of homeschool over the years have drastically changed, which has improved our family lifestyle in many different ways. If I had not been open minded and receptive to what The Spirit was trying to tell me, we wouldn’t have been able to experience the joy that comes with teaching our children.
#4 – Homeschooling can be lonely
Another thing going on inside a homeschooling mom’s head is loneliness. Homeschooling can be a very lonely place. You have all heard the saying, You can be in a crowded room and surrounded by many great people, but yet you feel lonely.
It’s lonely as your friends discuss their child’s teachers and the achievements each child is making. It can be lonely as your friends discuss the struggles one of their kids are going through, and you are uncertain how your friend will react when you share with them a similar struggle and how homeschooling them helped. Loneliness can surface when you feel you need to resist the urge to express your thoughts on homeschool, because somehow it comes across that you are putting down the public school system and their parent choices.
There have been many times when I am talking with a friend and I share an exciting milestone that occurred during homeschool that day and after I share the story I start to get the vibes that I should stop talking.
Could all of these thoughts in my brain be made up? Absolutely! However, this is a battle that is constantly being fought when you are doing something that the majority of those around are not doing.
It is difficult to find an understanding ear when it comes to the homeschooling mom’s brain.
If you don’t homeschool, I ask you to be that ear for that mom who does. She isn’t trying to put your children down, or your parenting skills. I promise! She has enough to worry about.
#5- Doing something hard is EMPOWERING
Yes, inside a homeschooling moms head has lots of doubts and fears, however the opposite is true as well. When you see your child accomplish something or read a book that is difficult it does something to your mom heart, especially knowing you had a part in it. You know all the bumps and obstacles that occurred for your child to accomplish that difficult task. It becomes a family celebration when hard things are accomplished.
#6 – There is an added joy in my mind that wasn’t there before
I have never felt more joy and happiness than when I have been teaching and learning along side my boys. My faith in my Savior Jesus Christ has grown as well as my relationship with Him. Prayer has become a real and tangible resource that I use daily. My relationship with my boys is beyond anything that I would have imagined.
There are moments when I feel my heart is going to burst and is hard to describe or put into words how I feel. This may be something that remains in my brain to savor a bit.
At the end of the day here are a few words of advice: Don’t feel sorry for homeschooling moms! Just love them! Ask questions! Don’t compare your life or your kids as she throws up her brain all over you. 🙂 She just wants to talk with other moms and have a connection with other moms. That connection is simply and beautifully the fact that we are all trying really hard to raise righteous, happy children.
WE ARE MOMS!!