As a mom who has not been homeschooled herself and has not been around other homeschoolers, I created my own expectations.
An expectation can be defined as a belief that someone will or should achieve something.
In my mind, I had unintentionally created my own expectations of our homeschool.
My kids would love to do school and would never complain about school work.
My husband, family, and friends would all support my decision and think it was a great choice.
I would love every minute of homeschooling my children and never doubt myself or my choices.
My children would sit still to learn their lessons and never interrupt me.
Then…..real life happened.
My kids often fought me to finish their work and the complaining was sometimes more than I could handle.
My family and friends often reminded me that my children would turn out “weird” if I kept homeschooling them.
I had days where I was tired and honestly, wanted to give up.
And sitting still….well let’s just say I learned that was an unrealistic expectation real quick.
In fact, all of my expectations of our homeschool were unrealistic.
For years, I let these expectations almost cause us to stop homeschooling. I certainly let them ruin plenty of our homeschool days.
As I matured and sought resources and help, I started to see that these expectations were ruining our homeschool, and it was time to let go.
What I Would Do Different to Not Let Expectations Ruin Our Homeschool Experience
#1 Choose Curriculum Wisely
Curriculum is a TOOL. It is a GUIDE. It is not a checklist.
In my early years of homeschooling, I thought we had to finish and complete everything. I treated the curriculum like a checklist that I was going to conquer.
Now I choose curriculum based on my children. I choose a curriculum that fits their learning styles and complements our homeschool mission statement.
I use the curriculum as a guide to teach my children and am not afraid to tweak, skip, and add if necessary.
Need some help with curriculum? Check out my 16 Must-Have Curriculum Resources.
#2 Be Confident
This is something I wish I knew over my past decade as a mother.
I am the mom of my children, and I get to prayerfully make decisions for my children.
Now, it is time for me to be more confident. When I have prayerfully and wisely made a decision for our homeschool, I need to step forward in confidence.
Too often I have let criticism cause me to question my parenting and our homeschool.
#3 Have a Mission Statement
It is so important to know where you are going. Without some sort of plan, you will miss your goal every time.
In our homeschool, I created a simple mission statement to guide our homeschool.
“I homeschool my children to be in charge of their education, spend quality time as a family, and disciple my children to have a growing relationship with Jesus.”
Now instead of using other people’s opinions about my decisions, I let our homeschool mission statement be the guide.
This has been so instrumental in our homeschool that I created a resource for you to use to create your very own homeschool mission statement.
It is the first lesson in my new course Homeschooling that Works: Creating a Homeschool You Will Love Year After Year.
You can grab the first lesson for FREE. Click the button below to check it out.
#4: Find a routine that works and do not be afraid to make changes
A routine is a great way to ensure that you will get work done.
It also provides stability for your children so they know what needs to get done and the order that things usually follow.
Over the years, I have tried many different routines. In fact, in the course of a school year, our routine is often tweaked.
It is important to be flexible throughout your school year as you find what works and what is causing problems.
I have included one of our routines here in this post: Our New Homeschool Schedule.
However, in my course Homeschooling that Works the bulk of the material is creating a schedule and using systems to keep your homeschool moving along.
The course has over 16 videos that guide you step-by-step to implementing systems that truly work. In under a week, you can finish the whole course and be ready to tackle your school year.
#5: Always Keep Your Children's Learning Styles in Mind
In my early years of homeschooling, I thought my kids' lessons had to look like my traditional school upbringing.
However, my kids learn better with movement and change and sometimes even music.
Sometimes we practice our math facts throwing a football. We learn songs to help us memorize the order of the planets and the continents of the world. We get outside a lot on nice days for a change of pace.
Homeschooling is allowed to look different than traditional school. It is one of the big perks of homeschooling.
I love finding new and creative ways to help my children enjoy school and learning.
Do not miss this important aspect of homeschooling.
Make it fun. Make it engaging. And please, let go of those unrealistic expectations.
I wish I would have let go of my unrealistic expectations a long time ago.
Now that I have cut the strings of those expectations, our homeschool is thriving. And it makes this mama so happy.