If I'm being honest, I have to admit that I used to be insanely judgmental of those who homeschooled their kids. I spent four years training to be a teacher, then an additional two years obtaining my Masters, so I couldn't see how someone sans rigorous academic training could provide the same education as formal schooling. Thankfully, now I know that despite the mistakes every homeschooling mom will make, choosing to take your kid's education into your own hands can, and often does, provide a wonderful environment via exceptional learning programs and more one-on-one academic experience.
After running an educational program for young children from my home, and teaching my own son, I have without question changed my mind about the benefits of homeschooling. Homeschooling is the right choice for certain children and their parents, and is usually comparable, if not beyond the standard, of public education.
Despite the clear benefits, though, it's not always easy to be both teacher and parent. As a teacher in a more traditional classroom setting, I was somewhat emotionally detached from my students. I simply focused on the work that needed to be completed in order to achieve our collective goals. By contrast, as a mom homeschooling her son, when my son says he doesn't want to practice his letters because he would rather play in the yard, it's, well, hard to say no. So, yes, I have made the following mistakes that I'm sure most homeschooling moms do and, honestly, that's OK. After all, no one is perfect.
She Forgets Her Role
Usually, the home is a less authoritarian place than a traditional school, and there is certainly more time and space for collaboration and discussion. Having said that and regardless of how "strict" a home is or isn't, it's important to remember that you are still in charge — whether you're wearing your parent hat or your teacher hat — and your child needs to learn how to take direction and finish tasks.
She Doesn't Rotate Out Her Resources
Keeping on top of resources — like toys, play activities, and stationary — is hard enough in the classroom. When you also live in your learning space, it can become difficult if not damn near impossible to stay organized.
I say cut yourself some slack, regardless of whether or not your house is a mess or your kid is simply playing the same learning game three days in a row.
She Focuses Too Much On Being Pinterest Perfect
There are a lot of envy-inducing Instagram posts and Pinterest homeschool classrooms that can leave you feeling like, well, a failure. Comparing yourself to a photo that only shows one still image, likely carefully posed and curated, isn't good for anyone.
Yes, finding inspiration from these posts is a great idea, just try to remember that they don't usually show a whole day in the life of a homeschooler.
She Tries To Be Perfect
Any teacher will tell you that you can't teach an amazing lesson every class, on every day of every week. It's just impossible. You should aim to do a few outstanding classes a week, then some very good ones, followed by some average ones, and eventually saving a class for busy work when you're sleep-deprived and not feeling well.
When it comes to your kids' education, it's more than understandable that you'll want to be the perfect teacher always, but cut yourself some slack.
She Blames Herself
Moms can be pretty hard on themselves, regardless of their choices or circumstances. However, when you're a mom and a teacher, it's my opinion that the constant self-blame game is ramped up a few notches. It's pretty damn common to start feeling guilty if your child doesn't understand a concept, or correctly answers a question.
In the end, though, and what's always worth remembering: your kid isn't going to be perfect, either. They won't get things on the first try, just like you won't.
She Allows Frequent Interruptions
There are some welcome interruptions to the school day, like assemblies or recess or whatever. As a homeschool teacher, I've realized the interruptions of daily life are far more common than a run-of-the-mill assembly, so it's much more difficult to keep your kid on task.
She Doesn't Listen To Her Children
Homeschool moms are in a unique position when compared to traditional classroom teachers; primarily, you have a small classroom where you can devote more one-on-one time to your student (or students).
In my experience, it's worth taking this intimate opportunity to really listen to your child's feedback. Do they like a topic or subject? Do they understand a concept or fact? Do they have ideas for what you should cover next? Feedback is really important in order to improve your lessons and help your child to thrive.
Being a mom is hard. Being a teacher is hard. Being a homeschooling mom is next level ninja Olympics, my friends. You are bound to make mistakes, but I promise those mistakes aren't the end of the world.