Do you wonder if you’ll ever be confident in your homeschooling choice?
From one homeschool mama to another, I’ll tell you: it doesn’t just happen. There are homeschool moms who have done this homeschool thing for years and they still don’t declare confidence.
So, can I homeschool my child confidently?
You will undoubtedly 😉 question your homeschool choice in many different directions before you finally decide you’ve had enough of doubting.
- You want to enjoy these homeschool years and be fully present doing them (or at least be present more often than not).
- And you want to know that the choices you’re making today will bear out in something useful and purposeful for your kid’s education and their lives (oh, and that you’re not wasting your life either).
- You want to own your choices because you want to be at peace.
- You want to fully appreciate your homeschool days because you know that you only have these kids for an abbreviated period of time.
- I’m sure you want others to appreciate your homeschool choice too, but you know that might not happen any time soon, if ever.
- And you have way too much to do to be worrying about whether you should even have started this homeschool thing in the first place. Worry is a time suck and you’re tired of wasting time.
So can you be confident? In a word, yes. You definitely can be confident.
How can a homeschool mama be confident so she knows she can homeschool her child?
I offer 9 ways you can answer the question, can I homeschool my child?
First, own your real thoughts.
Why do you not feel confident right now? Be clear about the reasons for your doubt.
Why do you think you can’t confidently homeschool?
Before I give you a few reasons you may be doubting, grab your journal and write your first three to five thoughts on why you might be doubting your homeschool choice. (ps I’d love to hear those thoughts so if you want to send them to me, you may do so at email@example.com).
- Do you doubt your ability to tackle a particular subject or topic, like teaching them to read, understanding the basics of essay structure, or remembering what line graphs are?
- Do you doubt your ability to consistently do or organize educational activities?
- Or do you doubt that your kids will want to do anything beyond spending time with their screens?
- Do you doubt you’ll know what to do when they say they’re bored?
- Do you doubt whether you can create an effective homeschool routine that you’ll actually follow through with?
- Or do you doubt whether you can enable a home education when you have a child with a learning challenge?
- Do you doubt because the schooled people you know are pretty confident that their way is better?
- Do you doubt you have the patience or emotional capacity to be with your homeschool kids all the time?
Sometimes there’s energy beneath that doubt that feels kinda vague.
But we generally know that that feeling, that energy coursing through our bodies, or the heat coursing through our palms or gut, is probably anxiety, worry, or doubt.
And we can only get to its root if we can name it.
So what is the reason for your doubt?
- Get specific, write it down, and look at it.
- Is that all there is to your doubt?
- Or are there more reasons for your doubt?
Now that you’ve written your doubts on paper, how would you address a friend who had those doubts?
Second, be vulnerable about your reasons with someone, Why can’t you homeschool confidently?
But, please, do it with someone you believe to be “homeschool-supportive“. Cause why reveal your deepest, darkest concerns to someone that won’t know how to support you?
(You know they’ll just tell you to send the kids to school: a magical pill for the non-homeschool masses.)
If you don’t have a homeschool-supportive community I offer you that too. I’ve created a Patreon Support community for authentic, intentional homeschool mamas who want to show up on purpose.
Hey, and if you want to chat about your homeschool doubts and have someone walk alongside you as you explore them, to help undergird your homeschool confidence, you can book a free call to connect with me.
When you share your vulnerabilities with others who know the homeschool life and know the unique challenges and joys that you experience, you’ll be able to genuinely air your thoughts, get advice, gain insights, and discover increased clarity that will decrease doubt and increase confidence!
Third, recognize when you’re paying attention to someone else’s thoughts about your homeschool choice.
Other people’s thoughts have value, of course. If someone thinks differently than you, that conversation can be a useful opportunity for you to clarify what you think and/or get new ideas.
Sometimes other people’s thoughts help us get clear about our thoughts, even if their arguments don’t ring true.
One of the most repeated voices that distract us is the collective voice of what others might think.
As a television actress, Lucille Ball had plenty of practice responding to other people’s opinions, and she learned, “Not everyone likes me, but not everyone matters“.
Don’t ask what other people think about whether you can homeschool your child. You get to decide!
Fourthly, research and plan a little more.
But I don’t mean research and plan new curricula or resources or philosophies.
Research and plan…
- why you’re doing what you’re doing
- what you believe to be an education anyway
- how does your child learn
- what are the challenges you may have withdrawn your child from a conventional education?
- what’s your relationship with doubt
Having well-thought-out intentions for doing this homeschool thing will be your due North, your reminder to come back to the most important thing: your WHY. This plan will boost your confidence and ensure a well-rounded education.
Fifth, embrace your strengths (so you can homeschool your child and have fun too!)
Recognize and capitalize on your unique strengths as a homeschooling parent.
What do you do that is especially amazing?
- Do you have a gift with a certain creativity?
- Are you organized and know how to round out a kid’s education in an interesting way?
- Do you know how to be especially a parent when under stress?
Sixth, set realistic expectations (or you’ll self-sabotage and definitely not feel confident homeschooling your child).
Homeschooling can be challenging, and it’s important to regularly assess your expectations.
Honor and acknowledge your humanity as a homeschool mom too: you have needs, you can’t do everything, you won’t do everything flawlessly, and every day won’t be your best day.
Seventh, practice your flexibility and adaptability muscles.
Stay open to trying new approaches and adjusting your methods if something isn’t working: your commitment isn’t to a method or approach, it’s to your child.
Homeschooling allows for personalized learning, so embrace the freedom to tailor your approach to your child’s needs. Which means, you need to listen to your children. Take cues from who they are and how they learn.
And as with all mothering, you can make your plans, but girlfriend, life happens, and sometimes it requires us to shift and change.
So this is just a reminder that you will need to practice flexibility and adaptability.
Life will require it.
Eighth, don’t forget to celebrate your progress.
Take time to celebrate both big and small achievements with your child.
These are some of the things we have done:
- We have celebrated our 1st day of homeschool with a not-back-to-homeschool day.
- Had not-back-to-school picnics.
- We’ve celebrated 100-day parties, Fridays, because they’re Fridays, and the kid’s birthdays are always holidays for a homeschool family.
Find reasons to celebrate!
Recognizing their progress and milestones will not only boost their confidence but also remind you of the positive impact you’re making as a homeschooling parent.
Ninth, practice trusting yourself if you want to homeschool your child.
Believe in your abilities as a mother educator (relisten to Teach your Kids Confidently even if You’re not a Certified Educator a few episodes back).
Learn to trust the choices you’re making for your child’s education and their lives.
Note to self: though the education system has warm bodies on the local school’s planning committee for next year’s educational goals, these plans are not the true north for every child’s education either.
(How do I know? Just ask yourself: did my education serve me so that I would live life purposefully so that I was equipped to become who I was meant to be so that it did not miss a beat to prepare me or spur me on to be my own reason for being on the planet? No? Well then, you don’t need to compare your plans with the school’s plans.)
If you want to trust yourself, you need to be reminded that there is not one right way to homeschool either.
You’re not going to find the perfect way, the perfect curriculum, or the perfect approach. And even if you found it, you wouldn’t be able to perfectly enact it.
You won’t always choose the right activities, you won’t always engage your kids as the ideal mother, and you will make choices you think are right at the moment that you later determine weren’t the best choice or the most informed choice.
No one does this mothering thing perfectly. And no one does this education thing perfectly. No one. Not the school. And literally not one human parent out there.
There is not one right way to mother to be a perfect mother, but there are a thousand ways to mother with love.
And there’s not one right way to homeschool either.
However, the closest to truth north that you can prepare for is to look into the eyes of your child and ask your child this:
- who are you?
- why do you need to be on the planet?
- what do we need to do to help nurture you, prepare you, and encourage you, so you can live your life purposefully for such a time as this?
You can use this one person as your true north: the one getting the education and living the life: your child.
So take a deep cleansing breath, and accept your perfectly imperfect, homeschool life.
Do it in whatever way seems right to you today and continue to learn and process and grow and discover a new way tomorrow.
If you’re getting started homeschooling:
- Planning for Upcoming Homeschool in 11 Essential Steps
- How to Do Child-Led Learning
- Why do you want to deschool?
- How do I unschool?
- How do I decide what kind of curriculum I should use?
- A simple guide to homeschool without a homeschool room
- Can I teach my own kids?
- How do I know if I’m successful in homeschooling?
- Reimagine your Homeschool: Nine Simple Steps to Plan
Remember, you know your child best and have their best interests at heart.
The transition from a schooled mindset to a confident homeschool mindset doesn’t just happen with a step into the homeschool world.
Homeschooling confidently is an ongoing journey, and it’s normal to have moments of uncertainty. By implementing these tips and strategies, you’ll develop a strong foundation and feel more empowered in your homeschooling adventure.
So can you homeschool your child? Absolutely!
Reimagine your Homeschool Workbook
Introducing the Reimagine Your Homeschool Workbook! Reflect on the past year, assess what worked and what didn’t, and build the homeschool you truly want. Evaluate curriculum, routine, philosophy, and plan for the future. Get renewed inspiration and fresh ideas.
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Call to Adventure by Kevin MacLeod