Encouragement from a ‘Retired’ Homeschool Mom

If you are educating your children, you are doing GOOD WORK. As a Homeschool Mom, sometimes we might feel that we should be “doing something more”. No. Teachers don’t also try to be lawyers or bankers at the same time, right? Well, YOU are a teacher. Don’t let society try to tell you that you are “just a” anything.

There will be hard times. We all have googled local bus routes or something similar. Just take an attitude adjustment/regroup day–take a rest and pray. You got this.

Make sure your spouse doesn’t get left out. I know it feels that your focus is 100% kids and 10% not losing your road (yep, that’s 110%), but loving and allowing him to love you will encourage and sustain you.

There will be naysayers. There are a lot less of them if, when they broach the topic or make a snide remark, you pretend it was a question and you launch into a 20 minute fangirl session of homeschooling, liberally sprinkled with research and your child’s fabulous work (all children have some fabulous work at something. Even “I TOTALLY love homeschool because Sally asked me yesterday about stars and we spent half an hour researching astrophysics!”). It generally hushes the Nosy Nates.

There will be times when you just know you are ruining your kids. They are late readers or math haters or you completely forgot to cover the order of months of the year (ahem). Don’t worry, no one remembers everything they are taught. Schools never cover everything. Look logically at any gaps, make a plan, but don’t fret my sweet homeschool mom.

Remember to relax. Homeschooling can be (mostly) easy. Ask for help if you need it. Be firm but loving, vaguely structured but also inquisitive. Some of the best learning happens on rabbit trails.

You might wonder how other homeschool moms do it all. We don’t. No, seriously. If you look closely at instagram photos of fresh baked bread on the corner of a sunlit table near the elbow of a diligent 7 year old practicing writing, you can almost see that the rest of the table is covered in papers, dishes are in the sink, the dog just tracked in mud, and the photographer is taking the pic one handed VERY quickly because the other hand is holding the-not-quite-potty-trained 2 year old who discovered he can work diaper tabs. But you will get better. You will learn what chores can slide, how to do freezer meals, and where that thin line is between “chores” and “child labor”

If you want advice from an older, (now retired) completely distracted or laser focused (because there is no middle ground) homeschool mom who, thank the blessed Lord, ended up with homeschooling household that looked more like a bunch of professors-in-residence co-existing relatively peacefully, even during teenage years, feel free to contact me through fb.

Otherwise, God bless and keep your homes and schools. God protect and inspire you. Keep up the good fight of raising humans. And much love to you.

~ Stephanie Reynolds

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