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.
Evaluate what you want. For you and for them.
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, and 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.
Big Emotions Journal for the Homeschool Mom
Introducing the Homeschool Mama’s Toolbox, a set of resources designed to help homeschooling mothers deal with big emotions and specifically address their thoughts. Your brain and thoughts are important tools that need to be regularly sharpened, and the Toolbox is here to help you do just that.
Incorporating mindfulness practices into your homeschool is one of the most effective ways to separate yourself from your thoughts and be present. The Toolbox includes three questions from Dr. Amen, author of Change your Brain, Change your Life: What am I feeling? What is the thought behind my feeling? What is the story behind my thought? These are questions that you can practice regularly to get the most out of them.
The Toolbox also encourages a daily meditation practice to help you distance yourself from your thoughts and just be present. Guided meditations such as Guided Meditation on Controlling Negative Thoughts and Guided Meditation for Inner Peace & Calm can help you get started.
Additionally, the Toolbox offers a Thought Care Checklist to help you deal with challenging situations that may arise in your homeschool. By considering alternative perspectives, you can reframe your thoughts and deal with the situation in a more positive and constructive way.
With the Homeschool Mama’s Toolbox, you can learn to influence your thoughts and create a better reality for yourself and your family. Download the Toolbox today and start sharpening your tools!