3 Things That Will Sink Your Homeschool

Homeschools are not invincible.

No matter how much we want our homeschool to survive, it takes more than just a desire of our hearts to keep it thriving.

I can speak so clearly on this issue because we are now into our third year of homeschooling and we are only just beginning to move from surviving to thriving.

water vortex

As I sit here, I can think of three families right off the top of my head whose homeschools have failed. They’ve called it quits, packed it up and sent their kids off to public or private schools. I’m not here to bash any form of education. Each family has to do what works for them and what they feel God has led them to do. However, if God leads you to homeschool, no matter how difficult it may get, we have to keep our trust in Him and know that He will see this good work through to completion. We have to be aware of how the Enemy works. We have to be on guard and know that Satan wants to see our homeschools fail. He knows that has less of a chance to get at homeschooled children and that makes him furious. He’s a clever one though and he knows just which tricks that will bring a homeschool crashing down.

There are many things that the enemy can and will throw in our path to get us off course. But here are my 3 things that will sink your homeschool the fastest…


This is the single thing that causes the most homeschool fatalities and often times it starts out very innocently. As a new homeschooler, you want to find out all the information you possibly can. You subscribe to as many homeschool blogs as you can find. You connect with all the fellow homeschoolers in your area. You join a local homeschool group or co-op.

And it begins.

You start noticing little differences in your homeschool. You think these other women have it all together and you’re an unorganized mess. You see their children who can speak five languages and play 12 instruments. You see their preschooler who is reading on a 4th grade level and you look at your children and think they aren’t functioning at an appropriate level. You begin to doubt your ability to teach your children and think you are most definitely ruining them. You think you must have misunderstood God when He called you to homeschool and you doubt His faithfulness. But God tells us

“When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise”- 2 Corinthians 10:12

When you give in to these thoughts, Satan has won and your homeschool will fail.


You started homeschooling your children out of fear.

Fear of the horrors of public school.


-school shootings,

-getting in with the “wrong” crowd,


Let me make a confession here, I’m guilty of this. One of the major reasons we decided to homeschool our children was because the local elementary school our daughters would have attended had a 9 year old girl who was pregnant. Not that I thought my child would end up like that child, but I simply didn’t want my children exposed to those ugly realities at such a young age. Thankfully, God has changed my heart and has shown me many better reasons to homeschool our daughters. If you homeschool solely for reasons based on fear of the public education system your homeschool will not thrive. Fear is simply one of Satan’s attempts to control your thoughts and it directly contradicts what we know to be true.

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7


You believe that you are in control of your homeschool and you attempt to run it all.

You schedule your days to the minute.

You have made all of your daily lesson plans for the entire year prior to the first day of class.

You refuse to get off track, believing that the entire world will stop if math, spelling and reading aren’t all done for 2 hours five days a week.

You don’t let God into your homeschool and believe you’ve got it all covered on your own.

I’ve been that girl. The first year and a half of our homeschooling journey was miserable to everyone involved. We were slaves to our five hour a day kindergarten schedule. There was no fun in sight and relationships were not being nurtured. Oh yes, my children learned to read and do basic math functions but the stress level was through the roof and most days ended in tears. Truthfully, I’m surprised we made it through. I just knew in my heart that homeschooling was meant to be so much more than what we were doing and I prayed to God to take over our homeschool. The day when I finally “let go and let God” take the reigns, is the day when we started thriving. Each day I pray for God to interrupt my plans and give us opportunities that we normally would have missed.

Moms, you weren’t called to this lifestyle to do it on your own. You were called to be a teacher’s assistant- an assistant to the one and only Teacher we need. Give your days over to Him and watch what He can do.

Homeschool Moms if you find yourself in any of these places, stop what you’re doing right now and pray with me.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for this awesome life you’ve called us to lead. Help us to protect our families from Satan’s evil schemes. Let us look only to Jesus for comparison. Don’t let our eyes be clouded by what other homeschools look like. Remind us that you’ve made us just how you want us to be. Replace our fears with your perfect peace. Knowing that you’ve promised us that even though we will have troubles in this world You have overcome them all. Let us put our trust in you to be the King over all of our lives, including our homeschools. We know that our help comes from You and you alone. In Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen.

Heather Bowen is a wife, homeschooling mother of two sweet little girls, Labor & Delivery nurse and most importantly a daughter of the King. She blogs at Life of a Homeschool Mom where she brings love and encouragement to moms through all the seasons of homeschooling. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.

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  1. Great advice! We are now beginning our second year of full time and permanent homeschooling. We attempted it several times in the past out of necessity and due to circumstances. Those times were not intended to be forever but a transition period. I was not ready and neither were my girls. I learned a lot during that time about their abilities and why they were struggling in school. However, eventually God prepared us all for this journey called homeschool and we all know its for the best and for his Glory. My girls do not speak 5 different languages, my son will not be reading on a 4th grade level in kindergarten this year, but we are learning how to love each other and love the Lord in a way not possible when you can only spend a few hours a day together (most of that just preparing for the next day at school). This is a lifestyle and a journey. Enjoy it. As long as they are learning to read, write, add, subtract, multiply, and divide, they will be prepared to live their lives. You can learn anything as long as you can read and they will not leave home without knowing that after 12 years of homeschool. Relax and enjoy the ride. Watch and see what God wants them to know and the rest will come. When they love what they are doing and learning they will run with it and learn much more than you can teach them with stressful schedules.

    1. “This is a lifestyle and a journey.” You are right. It’s so much more than just schooling. It’s about relationships both with family and with our Lord. Nothing can compare.

  2. Thanks for the great reminders! We have had our kids in both public school and homeschool. I’ve seen both sides and this year God is leading us to homeschool all three at the same time. I know I’ll have to be very careful of not breaking rule number 1. Learning does not come easily to 2 of the 3 of our kids and I know I’ll be tempted to think they are not measuring up. Actually, it’s not really me that feels that way, it’ll be the thought that others are noticing it that will drive that fear into me. Thanks again for all the encouragement!

    1. Andrea- Good luck to you! If God is leading you to homeschool all three of your children, He will provide you with all the necessary tools and knowledge to complete the task. Just keep focused on Him. He will guide you.

  3. “You were called to be a teacher’s assistant- an assistant to the one and only Teacher we need. Give your days over to Him and watch what He can do.” Wow, that really goes straight to the heart of things. Thank you for such a timely & blessed post.

    1. Kim- I struggle with all 3 of them daily. What matters is that we don’t give in. We don’t conform to what the world is telling us. We keep focused on what God is telling us. 🙂

  4. After reading this, I thought, “those three things will sink anything you set out to do”. Thanks for the reminder that it applies to our homeschools, too. God bless!

  5. Terrific encouraging post! And I’m guilty of committing all three issues (a lot!) I’ve copied and saved your prayer. I’m a visual person, so I’ll be placing it right where I can see it…every morning! Thank you for sharing!

  6. Awesome post Heather! I know that there have been days I wanted to quit because I have compared myself to others, even to the public school system, and haven’t felt like I was doing enough. I know I only have 1 to please, and He is the one who has equipped me to do this.

  7. Great post! I couldn’t agree more. One thing I find, and I guess this falls under comparisons, is that other people’s opinions and input easily discourage me if I stew on it too much. So when people start in on the whole socialization/how long will you do this/but what about this…routine I just tune them out and focus on my calling.

    1. Melinda, me too!!! The opinions of others, especially if it’s someone I care about really affect me. I just try to remember that this is MY path, not theirs. Keep your head up, you are walking the path God has created for YOU. 🙂

  8. I think homeschooling works kind of like a marriage. You need to commit to it for the long haul, pray a lot, and nurture it patiently. You can’t control your children any more than you can control your spouse.

  9. Wonderful inspiration, when I homeschooled my first set of kids, I learned it was to nurture them in the Lord. I thought it was about advancing them and education, but it wasn’t. Now with my second set, it is so much different. So relaxed, and this blog came at the right time to refocus my energy on teaching them the foundations of the word, because nothing else matters in the grand scheme of things. I see the most important thing we can instill is the word of God. I have one set out the house and in college and though they are advancing educationally and exceptional scholars, I wish they had more dependence on the word of God. So with this set, I shifted my emphasis, God first and everything else second. I have rededitcated our homeschooling to his will and taken my hands off the reigns;)

  10. Wow, I so needed to hear this…Going on homeschool year number 5 and your words were felt deep in my heart. Thank you, Thank you and Thank you

  11. Well, that pretty well sums me up!! We are in our fourth year and still feel like we are surviving but then again we did just add another baby to the mix. I love the way you related each of the reasons to spiritual things – definitely an eye opener.

  12. Beautiful! You learned all that in three years!? Thankfully I’ve learned some of these things. But, this will be our 13th, one graduated and the other a junior and I still find myself needing to be reminded of these things. Maybe I should print them and put it in the front of our logbook. 🙂

  13. We are just in our first year, two months in and in some ways it does feel like survival. I am utterly exhausted. The big challenge for me is control bc I want to do everything myself. With 4 kids, three with special needs, it is a lot. I recently decided to hire a babysitter to come in once a week to help me with the kids. It is hard for me to do but I think that having help will make it more likely that we can do this!

  14. It has been such a relief to understand that “homeschool” is not “school” but rather “learning” . We have to set schedule, we may do an hour a day of structured lessons. We like to see the whole day as opportunity for learning rather than trying to force a square peg through a round hole. 🙂 We are all happier for it!

  15. Excellent article! I will have to confess that though we have been homeschooling for 7 years now, cutting God out of the classroom is detrimental! Due to a move coming up, I cut down to what I thought were the necessities. Guess what I also let slide? Our Bible lessons and often, our morning prayer. Guess how the last month has been for our classroom? Yea, big mistake. God is necessary for the Christian life and a must for the Christian homeschool.

  16. Good stuff! My issue has been “control”. We’ve been homeschooling for over 6 years and each year I learn we can be more flexible…. this year especially as we have our house for sale. I have a list maker, checker-offer, love my routine personality and this has been an area of growth and backsliding for me. I’ve learned we don’t have to do every single thing listed in our prepackaged curriculum. In fact, I’ve even learned to put together my own curriculum or tweak other stuff to make it fit our flow better. In my first 2 years of homeschooling I would have never ever done that. I’ve learned it’s okay to skip 2 or 3 science experiments over the course of the year, that I can modify assignments to fit our current family schedule and best of all, I’ve found that it hasn’t hampered my children’s education but enriched it because I’m not dictating every single thing and we’ve made more room for exploring what interests them.

  17. Thank you! Love it,..now to live it. I have a figity emotional five year old,..an Asperger’s 8 year old and a very bust 1 year old. We are in our forth year and I am constantly over planning and setting expectations high. I to have had many days end in tears. I feel I have to have it all together and forget to let it go sometimes. The honesty that other Moms bravely share is what keeps me going. Thanks again for the positive reinforcement. I always have believed that the stronger you are the more a threat you become to the devil. BUT I guess I never took that into consideration with our journey of homeschool. That alone will be a reminder to let my light shine even brighter on the days I want to run away.

  18. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.
    This is our first year and are having serious struggles I think because of #3. This post was perfect timing. Thanks!

  19. Seriously, this has been one of “those” weeks. I am in my 4th year of homeschooling 5 children. I feel like my school plan is pulling against what my children want. They want to play. It’s wonderful how well they all play together. But I feel like they either walk all over me, or I’m pushing so hard they can’t fight back. But I can’t keep up the fight all the time. Reading your article, I’m trying to figure out what it would mean to “let go.” What does that mean? Don’t push? don’t require them to get their work done? Don’t schedule the lessons? I’m sorry. But I don’t understand. I feel like there is something in this topic that would help me out, but I’m just not grasping it.

    1. I am not the author of this blog,..but funny enough we are all Heathers. I responded above. I wanted to offer the best I could as I feel your pain. I have had a few days Kids 10 Mom 0. For me letting go IS doing my best holding the kids accountable but allowing and giving credit for those other learning moments that happen,..say during play or when the questions veer outside a “planned” lesson. Standing back at the end of the day knowing you gave it your best, looking for what went right and chalking up a win for what ever THAT may have been no matter how small. Letting go does not mean giving up but it means that we have a captain. We should be enjoying this ride as a passenger or perhaps first mate. All the worries of is it enough,..the guilt am I doing the right thing,…the burden of defeat when we have a bad day……this is what we let go of. Letting go always brings me back to footprints, my mother always had this on the wall,along side the serenity prayer. After all it is called WALKING in faith. I hope this helps and that you can find peace in your heart and home.

  20. I read lots of blogs and never comment. This time, however, I want to share something with you. July two years ago, just before decision time whether to homeschool my three boys (then, going in to 4th, 1st, and starting Kinder.) or put them back in public school, I felt defeated, lost, and hopeless. I had decided that day, I couldn’t do it. Laying in bed that night, tears streaming down my face as I prayed my heart out, I hear the ding of my phone. I knew I had an email. Thinking I needed a distraction, I looked. A friend had emailed me this very blog post!!
    It was an answer to my prayers. The one I was praying at that exact moment. Don’t you just love God’s timing?!? I suddenly felt joy, hope, encouraged by every word I had just read! I was going to homeschool!!
    I am, in fact, homeschooling my boys for the second year now! We are loving it and thriving. I found the email tonight and reread your post. Again, thank you for the encouragement! This post was written just for me!!! I will hold on to it for the day I can pay it forward.

  21. Such great reminders, i have done all of these things and I know that His ways are so much better! Thanks for the encouragement and the post. God bless

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