How to Plan for Your Homeschool if You Don’t Want to Continue

How do you plan for an upcoming homeschool year when you’ve hit a wall? Hit the wall, meaning you’re not sure you want to continue.

I’ve been there at least twice. I didn’t put them in school. Self-reflection revealed I wasn’t hitting a wall of frustration with homeschooling, I was frustrated with my kids, which really meant I was frustrated with how I was relating to them, and also how I was task mastering myself with unrealistic expectations.

However, I held on. I refocused my energy and intentions, essentially I reimagined my homeschool life, and asked myself: what did I really want for myself and my family?

Violet and Zach at the zip line: how to plan for your upcoming homeschool

Since you know the rest of the story, you know I held on. I refocused my energy and intentions, essentially I reimagined my homeschool life, and asked myself: what did I really want for myself and my family?

There is so much opportunity for self-reflection, growth, and transformation on this homeschool journey. Here are the things I’ve learned I needed to reflect on, assess, and plan for.

So I’ll share with you what I needed to know how to plan for your upcoming homeschool year when you’re not sure you want to continue…

First of all, homeschooling really is an amazing educational and family life option.

It’s a whole lot of parenting, but I continue to scream from the mountaintops, “IF YOU CAN DO THIS, YOU SHOULD DO THIS!”

Yet, if you’re planning an upcoming homeschool year right now, I’m thinking you want to continue but something is getting in your way of fully embracing it.

Let’s discuss the possible roadbocks.

1. Mama’s self-care is a requirement, not an option.

Sometimes I need to be in my house alone. And sometimes I need to do yoga quietly, meditate with headphones in my ears, drink a cup of morning coffee without interruption, or go outside to do chores for nature therapy. Downtime moments are required when you’re a homeschool mama.

A self-care is required. What does self-care look like for you?

Consider the ways you can prioritize self-care in your daily routine. How can you ensure that you have the time and space you need to recharge and take care of yourself?

Self-Care is not an option for the homeschool mama. How to plan for your upcoming homeschool.

2. I can influence my children, but I cannot control them.

Somehow, knowing that they come out of you means you should be able to give them whatever you think they need, provide for them, convince them what you know to be true, and dictate their path, and yet, and yet….there comes a time, say eleven, or thirteen, or definitely by fifteen, where they exercise their ‘independence muscles’ and declare “I’m gonna decide or do or think for myself.” And that was just the way it was meant to be.

How do you balance influence and independence?

Reflect on how you can strike a balance between guiding your children’s education and allowing them the space to make their own choices. How can you be an influence in their lives while respecting their growing independence?

3. Academics are not synonymous with education.

Even in a homeschool. The most challenging thing ever is to get over the notion that formal studies are an education but sitting on a computer learning chess maneuvers is not. Prescribed science experiments are an education, but slime-making is not. Watching soccer on YouTube how-to’s is an education, but watching FIFA isn’t. Learning to edit and create YouTube makeup videos is not, but reading anything from the Sonlight reading list is.

What defines an education in your eyes?

Challenge traditional notions of education and consider what truly constitutes a meaningful learning experience for your children. How can you create an environment that fosters holistic growth beyond academics?

We need to ask ourselves and get clear on what we believe an education is anyway?

4. I will have to answer the age-old question into eternity, or at least for as long as I homeschool, but what about socialization?

Since I believe most of the time I am ultimately being asked if my children are being cared for. Glad the public cares.

(But the general public, when you tell me I have such lovely children, but follow up with a concerned, ‘But do they ever leave the confines of your home?’ you got to ask  ‘How do they be nice, except that they socialize to learn to be nice’)? Sigh.

How do you address the S question (and other questions arising from the non-homeschool supportive community)?

When faced with questions about socialization, how can you respond confidently? Consider how your children’s interactions, both inside and outside the home, contribute to their development as individuals and members of society.

5. I may have been the greatest educational recipient in our homeschool world.

Geography, philosophy, American history, geology, arithmetic, romance languages, this paragraph could go on and on. My education has been an adult-sized shot in the arm.

What are your true educational priorities?

Think about your own educational journey and your desired outcomes for your children. What subjects or skills are essential to you, and how can you ensure they’re a part of your homeschool curriculum?

6. There is no one right way to homeschool. Just do it.

Observe others. Plan it. Change it. Accept mistakes. Acknowledge failure. Observe your kids. Keep moving. Keep learning. Just like parenting.

I’ve learned, I know a lot, and I’ll never know enough, and I don’t need to. That’s not the long-term goal.

How can you embrace the diversity of homeschooling approaches and trust in your ability to create a unique and meaningful educational journey for your children?

Embrace the freedom of homeschooling! Just remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Your journey is uniquely yours, and your children will flourish as you take the leap and create a learning path that resonates with your family’s values and aspirations. You’ve got this!

7. I know a lot, and I’ll never know enough, and I don’t need to.

The kids will learn what they need to learn when they need to learn it, if I haven’t already taught them, or found them resources. Gaps are in everyone’s education. Everyone’s. The end product of my child is not to become God or Google.

Life is learning. And continues to be a thing long after they live in your home.

How will you inspire your children to embrace learning as a lifelong adventure, even after they’ve left the nest?

As you guide your children through their homeschooling journey, remember that education isn’t confined to a classroom or a specific time frame. It’s a lifelong adventure that extends far beyond the walls of your home. By nurturing a love for learning, you’re empowering your children to explore, discover, and grow throughout their lives. Keep igniting that curiosity and watch them thrive!

8. I am seasonally interested in homeschool academics.

Somewhere between September and December, I love formal academics. Between Christmas and Valentine’s, I am fading interest. I faded, and am holding on, in February. I decide unschooling is the way to go by May. By July, we’re waking up late on no schedule whatsoever.

But just a couple of months later, we all declare we should get to formal academics!

How do you adapt to your changing homeschool seasons?

Acknowledge that your homeschool rhythm may change throughout the year. How can you navigate these shifts in enthusiasm and energy, and still provide a rich and fulfilling learning experience for your children?

9. It’s not a cliché: the days are long, but the years are short.

We recently graduated our first child, our seventeen-year-old daughter. Such a pretty baby, and walking down the mall hallway I wondered why everyone wasn’t greeting her. Good thing she was cute, because she didn’t sleep, and she cried a lot. It was an overwhelming start to parenthood. There have been plenty of challenges since then. Now that she’s walking the bridge to adult independence, I can see that these years have been very, very short.

How can you infuse each day with intention, ensuring that the days are both purposeful and memorable, even as the years seem to slip by all too quickly?

Yes, the days might feel long at times, but remember, the years are truly short. Seize the moments, create lasting memories, and cherish the progress you and your children make together. Your dedication and love as a homeschooling parent are shaping not just their education, but their entire lives. Keep going, and let your journey be a testament to the beautiful moments you’re crafting for both today and the years to come.

Madelyn graduating from homeschool high school

So how to plan for your upcoming homeschool? Plan with purpose and embrace the journey.

When we know why we’re doing what we’re doing, that we can wake up every morning and know it has a purpose, we can weather our challenges more easily.

Also, when we create a plan (& a practice) to address our moments of frustration or overwhelm, we don’t dread the hard homeschool moments. Ultimately, when we’re clear on what we believe an education is anyway, what the purpose of our home education intentions is, we don’t flounder when someone shares a new curriculum, routine, or method, or criticizes our “way”.

When we explore our unhelpful mindsets from our own experience of education and explore the unhelpful mindsets of our culture’s approach to education, we can release ourselves from unrealistic expectations, focus on our family, and enable a more child-led education.

When we clarify our plans around morning routines, daily routines, homeschool planners, and curriculum choices, we don’t need to be drawn into yet another idea about homeschooling: we can just do our thing.

And when we create a plan to address the challenges of large-family homeschooling, small-family homeschooling, toddlers, teenagers, sibling rivalry, complaining, conflict, and boredom, we feel we can do this homeschool thing for the long term.

When we know how to address the challenges of this homeschool life, like dealing with our big emotions, our kids’ big emotions, doubt, overwhelm, and anger, we will feel like we’re mothering our kids beautifully.

Therefore, when you know that perfection is found in the imperfection, you’d be a whole lot more confident, unafraid at declaring your homeschool (& life) choices.

Remember, this journey is yours to embrace, reimagine, and shape according to your family’s values and needs. It’s never too late to redefine your path and find joy in the adventure of homeschooling.

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”

Vincent Van Gogh

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Teresa Wiedrick

I help homeschool mamas shed what’s not working in their homeschool & life, so they can show up authentically, purposefully, and confidently in their homeschool & life.

Call to Adventure by Kevin MacLeod