The feeling is all too familiar. One day you feel confident that homeschooling is the best possible choice for your family and that you're doing a great job, and the next day you're questioning everything. With so many ideas, best practices, and perfectly staged visuals of what homeschooling should be bombarding us from every side; it's no wonder anxiety hits about whether we're doing enough or doing it right.
We're here with a few reminders to keep in mind when the nerves hit. Hint: you're doing a lot better than you think you are.
You are teaching your kids to learn. The sooner you let go of the pressure to teach them every fact and concept in existence, the easier you'll find yourself able to make the most of your days with realistic expectations. The process of learning is a slow burn and is defined by far more than the ability to recite multiplication tables.
There is more value in the non-academic side of life than meets the eye.
Get dirty. Play together. Go outside. Try new things. Live. Connections made while experiencing life go a long way.
Allow time for your children to ruminate and be curious. Learning happens naturally and often unexpectedly when the doors of opportunity are opened, and foundations are laid to allow for it. Don't be afraid to roll with the ebb and flow of life and take breaks when the time comes for a slower season. Fresh eyes upon revisiting a concept after some time away can do wonders.
Almost anything can be found in a book. How often do we look up information throughout the course of a day, during school or otherwise? Time spent with good books is never wasted.
When in doubt, shift. We optimistically begin new efforts and ideas. Sometimes they work, other times they work until they don't, and sometimes they just don't take it at all. Remain open to reevaluating when you need a new solution, and maybe you will all be more ready to revisit an idea later on.
You do not have to hold yourselves to ideas or methods that do not resonate with your family. Practising a new habit or skill to incorporate it into your homeschool can be difficult and take a long time and a lot of effort, but sometimes this is a necessary development that takes place over the course of years. Perhaps in the early years, read-aloud time lasts just five minutes, but you know it's worth trying again each day to flex the muscle and develop the rhythm of reading together daily. Other times, you will see that an idea or method you wanted to love is just not for you and choose not to force it. Don't be afraid to pave your own path.
Say it with us: comparison is the thief of joy. The truth is nobody can fully know what goes on in another family's homeschool. Glean ideas you love from others, then put on the blinders and go to work in your own home with your own people.
Take it one day at a time. A homeschool education is the culmination of years spent together learning and growing. Don't try to figure it all out right this second. You only get it today once. Do your best with it. After all, our children aren't the only ones growing into the people we will become.
You know your children's and family's needs best. Maybe reading came easily for one child while it was a slow and tedious process for another. Perhaps you sense the need to try a completely new angle to help a child grasp a difficult math concept. Lean into your intuition!
Enjoy the journey. There is no perfect way to reach every child, but there are many beautiful ways to connect with your own on a daily basis. Take a deep breath, recenter, and keep learning and growing together.
Keep your head up. We are forever cheering you on. Some seasons are indescribably challenging while others feel beautifully organic and full of connection, and it's all part of the grand journey. Experiencing those moments of hard-earned understanding alongside your child makes it all worth it.
If you're looking to keep learning open-ended and on your own terms in a way that it is prepared for you in a gentle structure, we've got you covered. Be sure to download our free samples and check out our unit studies, morning basket packs, and subscription options to see how Harbor + Sprout can breathe life and wonder into your homeschool!
You've got this!
ABOUT DANIELLE from HARBOR AND SPROUT
Danielle is the mother of 5 wild things and the heart of Harbor + Sprout, which is a thousand dreams, ideas, and conversations all coming to life. Most of her favorite childhood memories consist of walking barefoot through creek beds in Kansas, fishing off the back of a canoe, or watching thunderstorms from the front porch, and now she loves bringing her kids in on the magic.
She realized early on in motherhood that everyone was very content to be forever reading books, exploring outside, creating, and being together, and homeschooling was the clear path for a lifetime of making memories. Danielle has a deep love of learning, and in the quiet of the night, when everyone is tucked in bed just a room away, you can always find her up too late reading a book. Curiosity and wonder are forever alive in her, and now she gets to share this passion with her own children and all of you through Harbor + Sprout!