Even after eighteen years of homeschooling I can’t claim to know it all or have all of the answers. I’m still learning, still struggling, still looking for ways to improve. However, I have come across four misconceptions that are common among homeschoolers that deserve a second look.
They’ve say experience is the best teacher (is that a saying??) and there’s nothing like being in the trenches, making lots of mistakes, and looking to others to learn what is necessary and what is not.
Here are 4 common misconceptions that seem to suck everyone in.
#1: Everything Has To Get Done
This might seem obvious but when months have gone by and no one has touched a math book, or the house is in constant disarray, it doesn’t feel ok.
Chances are you know deep down those things happen, but sometimes you have to really allow yourself that freedom to let some things go, without the guilt.
I’m not talking about laziness, or finding excuses to avoid necessary tasks. There are typical things that go hand-in-hand with raising kids. Having kids at home all day adds an exponential load.
As homeschooling moms, we have to force ourselves to keep an eye on the bigger picture. What are our overall goals? How does each part of the day fit into that picture? Don’t allow the outside pressure, the “shoulds”, to override the necessary, and don’t always make the urgent thing the important thing.
Which leads into the next misconceptions…..
#2: Keep Kids Busy
Kids will learn when given the freedom to do so. Allowing them time to play while you finish dinner, catch up on the housework, or chat with a friend won’t set them back.
Even better, give them large, unstructured, amounts of time to play. Try to see play as their primary job instead of seeing play as a waste of time or something they get to do when their “real” work is done.
Kids learn great things when given ample amounts of time to let their imaginations go. Cognitive skills, physical abilities, social skills, and vocabulary are just a few. Instead of keeping them busy, let them free.
#3: Technology Is Bad
Even the prevalent argument that phones are causing anxiety and depression in teens is misleading and something experts don’t agree on.
Do the research for yourself and find out how you want to implement it. Here’s a link for a great list of reasons why you should consider it.
#4: Throw Everything You Have Into Being A Mom
Sure, we know we need to model patience, sharing, and an overall godly attitude. Kids need to see us praying, hear us talking about God, apologize when wrong, clean up after ourselves, work hard, eat healthy, brush our teeth….I mean, the list goes on.
This is always (ok, usually) in the back of any good mom and dad’s mind and doesn’t need to be emphasized.
Things moms often fail to model? Self-care, personal growth, and friendship. These are put on the back burner while raising kids, and the kids grow up never seeing mom accomplish any of her own goals, unintentionally push friendships aside, and sacrifice herself for her family.
Please, don’t get me wrong. Husbands and children are top priority; they should take up the majority of our time.
BUT it’s ok to learn new things, to put a little time towards doing something you enjoy, to have a friendship to feed. Kids will see these things and realize that learning is a lifelong process and can be done for fun.
They’ll see the joy of friendship without the drama of youth (hopefully).
They’ll see a balanced life, one that is full of hard work yet still has room for other important things.
Losing yourself in the role of mother means stifling the talents and gifts God has given you.
It’s ok to think outside of the box. It’s easy to feel like the common way is the right way. Every family has a different beat. Don’t be afraid to march to yours.
What are some common misconceptions you have found?