How to Fail at Homeschooling….

Homeschooling your children is a monumental task. If you ask, most homeschool moms would tell you that their biggest fear is failing! Everyone wants to get it right and do the best for their children. However, sometimes trying hard not to fail at homeschooling is the surest way to fail! Here are seven ways to fail at homeschooling and what to do instead.

Making Homeschool Your Number #1 Priority

This would seem like a positive move. Making homeschooling your top priority will make you work harder and focus on success which will guarantee you do not fail, right? Wrong! Your homeschool is important but it cannot come before all the truly important people in your life. Your husband, your children, and God should always be your primary focus. When homeschooling ranks above everyone and everything else, you will be missing out on the special opportunities to enjoy your family and will quickly burn out. You need clear priorities that place homeschool in its proper place, as something you do not your sole reason for being.

Tips for Success:

Homeschooling is important and can become consuming. However, it should never take the place of your focus on your family and faith. After all, those are probably the reasons you started homeschooling in the first place. You will have more success if homeschooling is a family priority that does not get in the way of living your life.

Great Expectations

You start your homeschool journey or the new year with high hopes. You are going to make this the best homeschool ever. Your children will love every activity and excel in every subject. You will show the world how superior the homeschool model is! Failure is not an option. With homeschooling, you children will be perfect. They will enter college at 15 and earn full scholarships to the most elite programs. Your homeschool room with be the envy of every social media maven and you will still cook nutritious, three course dinners every night before spending hours in front of the fire while Suzy plays Schubert on the piano and Johnny recites Plato from memory. Ah, you will not only not fail, you will be perfect! Nothing is perfect though, and hoisting high expectations for perfection on your children will squash their desire to learn, as well as their creativity.

Tips for Success:

Goals and standards are good, but they need to remain in check. Perfection doesn’t equal success. If you don’t want to fail, accept that learning requires failure sometimes. Your children will not do everything perfectly. That is part of learning. Instead, be realistic. Kids will be kids. Let them explore and make messes. Give your children room to grow at their own pace. Enjoy the journey instead of rushing for the goal. Failing sometimes is actually the best way to succeed!

Too Many Extracurricular Activities

What about socialization? Homeschool kids need socialization. If they spend too much time at home they will be social failures. They need time with other children and rigorous activities. So, signing up for every extracurricular under the sun makes sense. You don’t want to raise socially awkward children. However, running to all the activities causes homeschool failure. Parents and children get tired and worn out. Family life suffers. Getting school work done gets stressful because of time constraints. Instead of giving kids a happy social experience, you create misery.

Tips for Success:

Extracurricular activities are good. They just need balance. Socialization happens everywhere. Homeschool children do not need to be at activities every day. Focus on a few activities that your child really want to do. Pick ones that fit your schedule, budget, and family values.

Not Addressing Learning Needs

Taking a one size fits all approach is a sure way to fail. You choose the top rated curriculum. You know, the one “everyone” at co-op is raving about! This is what will make your homeschool successful. Your child struggles with the work. It isn’t working for him, and you don’t understand why. You keep at it. He just needs to try harder. Failure is not an option. But instead of progress, you both get more frustrated.

Tips for Success:

The beauty of homeschooling is that it is personal and individual education. Trying to force a square peg into a round hole will never work. Every child has learning needs and a unique learning style. If a program isn’t working, the problem is probably the program. When you find resources that fit your child’s learning needs, your homeschool will thrive.

Self Defeating Attitude

There are two sure fire ways to fail at homeschooling. The first is to believe that you will fail. The second is comparing yourself to others. Comparison is the thief of joy. There is no one right way to homeschool. When you set yourself up as not being good enough, you set yourself up to fail. It’s easy to think that someone else, especially someone you only know through social media or blogs, is doing a better job that you. Everyone has struggles and everyone experiences homeschooling failures sometimes.

Tips for Success:

Instead of feeling like you don’t measure up, look at what is going well. Work on building the homeschool that works best for your family. No one has it all together, all the time. You can do this, believe in yourself!

Expecting School at Home

Most homeschool parents went to traditional brick and mortar schools. They know how school works, so they model homeschooling on their experience at traditional school. However, homeschooling is not school at home. Schools are designed like a factory, they are setup for production and testable results. There are rigid standards and strict schedules. Alternatively, homeschooling is an education model, with more flexibility. If you are trying to replicate school at home, it will increase your chances of failure.

Tips for Success:

Homeschooling should be about education at home. It is a lifestyle, not a school choice. Develop a love of learning in your home. Focus on the experience, not checking off boxes to keep up with public schools. You chose to homeschool because you wanted to escape public school education. Dare to be different and educate your children as a family, not a school. There is a fine balance between pushing for childhood development, hitting suggested milestones, and the standards of educational growth while allowing self-led learning, engagement, and natural discovery. Finding that balance for your own homeschool will lead to a successful outcome.

Free Homeschool Student Portfolio

Simple homeschool planning resources you will actually use!  These resources will help you meet state homeschooling requirements as well as add a little organization to your homeschool goals for the year. Inside you’ll find the following resources:

  • Colorful Cover Sheet
  • Student Profile Sheet
  • Monthly Tracking Log
  • Weekly Tracking Log
  • Daily Attendance Sheet
  • Quiz & Test Scores
  • Field Trips Log
  • Physical Education Log
  • Volunteer Hours Log

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