When Homeschool Moms Doubt – Mentoring Moms
When Homeschool Moms Doubt. Notice the title does not use the word if. Purposefully. Because it is only a matter of time before something (or someone) knocks you off-center. It could be the sister-in-law whose children attend your elementary alma mater. Or the grocery store clerk who unknowingly touched a soft spot in her conversation about why she doesn’t homeschool. It could even come from someone who loves you and your children. But it will happen.
Our purpose in writing this is not to deflate you, but to prepare you. To help you know what to look for and how to handle these situations.
On our Mentoring Moms Show this week, Heidi from Starts at Eight shared some valuable advice about how to deal with doubt. She encouraged us to stop and figure out what is causing the doubt. It is impossible to diagnose and correct it if we don’t even know what the root of it actually is. There are two possibilities.
There is an issue.
There may be a real issue with an area of our homeschool that needs to be addressed. Fine. Work on it. Durenda from Simple Nourishing Home suggests that we remember homeschooling is a lot like parenting. When parenting gets tough we don’t throw the towel in! And just like during various stages of motherhood we have questioned our mothering skills, we will also have doubts about our homeschooling challenges.
Not having an escape hatch has been a huge blessing for me. It forces me to work through the challenges we encounter. The curriculum mismatches. The lack of “me” time. The personality conflicts. The teenage hormones. All of it. Maybe taking all those “options” off the table may help you too. So, at least for this season (you get to define “season”), take the options off the table.
There is not an issue.
But what if there are not any major issues that desperately need your attention, just a nagging lack of confidence. It’s time to take an inventory and look for what might be causing this lack of confidence.
The most common cause is Comparison.
It starts innocently. We are all looking to see what others are doing. Looking for ideas. Motivation. Inspiration. And every one of those reasons are valid. Durenda reminded us to just realize this temptation is out there. To be aware and recognize it when we fall in. If perusing Pinterest boards and reading Facebook articles lead us to view our own efforts negatively, then it is time to stop and remember why we are homeschooling.
Heidi, our resident list-maker extraordinaire, in true Heidi-fashion suggested creating a list of what you have accomplished. I love that suggestion! Of course, I’m that Type-A personality as well. But it is good advise. Take a few minutes to remember what you have been accomplishing. And remember to include those items that may not even be thought of as “school” oriented traditionally. How about your relationships with your children, are they growing? Or their self-confidence, is it blossoming? Just spending time with our children while we still have the time is something that should be on that list! Heidi wrote about how fleeting this time is earlier this year. It’s great to remember all of these things when comparison tries to rob us of our homeschooling joy!
Either way, Seek Support
Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart.
That is a direct quote from our Facebook Community this week. I laughed out loud when I read it. Because it is true. Homeschooling can be hard. If for no other reason than we are new at it and it is unfamiliar territory. But throughout our homeschool journey we will face new and different challenges at each phase and stage. So even the veteran homeschoolers face uncertainty.
How do the homeschool veterans work through this uncertainty and doubt? Usually by reaching out to our support system. Our homeschool friends. Mamas who GET what we are trying to accomplish here. Some of us are blessed to have this locally. To have a great co-op or a field trip group where the mamas just became friends in the process of teaching their children. You are blessed if you have this. Hugs just seem to penetrate deeper when there are real arms attached to them. But some moms don’t have the luxury of this support system locally. Here is an article that might help you identify some homeschooling moms.
Virtual homeschool groups can help. We have a community of moms on Facebook with over 7,000 homeschooling (or thinking about it) mamas who are there to help each other homeschool. We literally have hundreds of posts each week from moms discussing their challenges, asking questions or sharing resources. We are committed to maintaining a safe environment that is drama-free. Many moms have found local support systems from being in our community. And that is what we are here for… To help. To encourage. To advise. To empower.
The other topics we discussed on this Mentoring Moms Show are listed below. We are including resources a few resources that might help.
- Do you ever feel like giving up?
- From one of our readers, Katie, a former Public School teacher. Homeschool Mom, You are Amazing.
- From Cheryl, 2:1 Conference. Homeschool Honeymoon Disintegration.
- From Marcy, Ben and Me. Unmeasurable (A Prayer for the Ephesians and for Weary Homeschool Moms)
- How do you teach a hyperactive child?
- Marcy from Ben and Me has not only written many articles about this topic, but has an entire section of her blog dedicated to this topic. She is passionate about teaching her son who has symptoms of ADHD.
- Jill from Jill’s Home Remedies shared Natural Ways to Help Your Child Focus
- How do you help children love reading?
- Another article from our team-mate, Marcy from Ben and Me. Encourage the love of reading.
- How do you teach children a subject they are not interested in?
- Marcy has a great article about why she is teaching a delight-directed approach that would focus on what her son is interested in. A great read!
- What do you do with the child that needs constant attention when you are trying to homeschool multiples?
Here is the video for this show. We sincerely hope it is a blessing to you and your family!