No question, the parenting experience isn’t entirely as we imagined it before we brought our first children home. Neither is homeschooling.
We need to attend to our dashed homeschool expectations.
So how to deal with dashed homeschool expectations?
In both parenting and homeschooling, I have had far more frustration and confounding moments than I conceived were possible.
And in both, I have had far deeper satisfaction and happiness than I imagined I could experience.
A messy mixture.
Both parenting and homeschooling have required me to continually evaluate what I want for this part of my life and my children’s lives too.
Since I only have them for a short time, what do I want to do with them?
- What kind of fun do I want to experience with them?
- What memories do I hope to create?
- What daily activities are important for them to learn?
- What life habits do I want to teach them: like brushing their teeth, reading regularly, building authentic friendships, learning to make meals?
- How do I want to teach them to show care for others too?
- How much time should we spend on social activities?
- How much time should we spend on extracurriculars?
Be realistic: you can’t do everything. But you can do plenty. Focus on the plenty.
How am I choosing to influence my children?
Whatever things I think I can mold, there are so many things about my children I can’t mold.
They were born into the world to be who they were meant to be.
If you’ve had more than one child, you’ll know what I know: they are all very different.
- They receive me differently in different scenarios.
- They receive each other differently.
- They value different things.
- They are preoccupied with different things.
- They have different emotional climates.
- They also influence me differently.
In fact, the essence of who they were born to be is influencing my understanding of the world, influencing my experience of life, and propelling me into growth too.
What do I hope the messages of my life will send to them (never mind the ones I’m unaware that I’m sending?)
Because more is caught than taught.
All this to say, the homeschool path is only loosely determinable. You gotta roll with the reality of your lack of control.
Celebrate the whole thing: the mess, the memories, the moments.
I celebrate the magical unknown: the mess, the memories, the moments. Because this is the homeschool parenting journey.
And more importantly, I celebrate the beauty of the ones that have shared this journey with me.
Combine their personal growth story with mine: you get a lot of mess.
Combine their beauty and aptitude with mine: you get a whole lotta lovely.
For these are the ones, the lovely ones I get to walk alongside in the mess, the memories, the moments.
When we’re looking at our homeschool world from this vantage point, we are attending to our dashed expectations.
Toolbox for Big Emotions Workbook
Journal questions that aid in your self-exploration, to get curious about what you’re feeling, how you’re taking care of yourself, and what your general thought patterns are as you homeschool, so you can show up on purpose in your homeschool.