“What is your biggest homeschool obstacle?” It was just a random question in a Facebook post. I stared at it blankly, thinking. Such a simple question, but an immediate answer didn’t come. Sure, long division is hard, but that answer didn’t seem right. Yes, I will admit there are times when organization is an issue. Choosing the right curriculum can also be tough, but that didn’t fit either. Something tugged deep inside me. That’s when I realized it. I knew my biggest homeschool obstacle…….It is me.
Now I know there are tons of things that can be considered homeschool obstacles….the slow reader, the struggling mathematician, or even trying to juggle it all. Those things can all be challenging, but at the end of the day, it always comes back to one thing. Me.
I live in constant fear that I’m not good enough. I don’t hold a degree in education, nor am I a parenting expert. There are days when I have limited patience. Other days I just can’t find the answers to the endless streams of questions. Some days my insecurities threaten to eat me alive. On those days I remind myself that this is my calling, and that no one knows (or loves) my kids as much as I do. Plus, I need them to support us when we are old, so I really have more drive to make this work than anyone else would.
(Related reading – Let it Go)
My homeschool fears…..they lessen as time goes on, but they are still there, haunting me just the same. They wiggle in the deepest parts of my mind, even when I say I don’t care. The fear of being unsocialized, the fear of failing assessment scores, or the fear of raising gothic adults who never want to become anything in life. The sole responsibility for my children’s education rests in my lap. There is no one else to blame if things go wrong. My fears keep me awake at night. They can also stop me from mommying at my full potential. In the end, I just have to do the best I can and press forward.
(Related Reading: Parents: Cut the Cord from The Hmmmschooling Mom)
MY desire to quit
There I said it, there are days when I want to quit. Every now and then I want to throw in the towel and just be a normal mom. Sometimes I get tired of this whole homeschool gig. I just want to lay on the couch, and watch Hallmark movies all day. There are times when I would like to plant those little butts right on the seat of a school bus and spend the entire day alone. I want a clean house. Shoot, I even want to go to the grocery store solo. See, sometimes I get selfish. How do I overcome it? I remind myself of why I started. Then I review my long-term goals. Next, I ask myself if anyone else will care as much as I do or try to achieve the same goals? Will anyone else care if they live in my garage forever because they have a poor education? Probably not.
(Related Reading – A Letter to My Daughters)
My lack of discipline
There are days when I feel like being a homeschool mom requires the discipline of an Olympic athlete. We work REALLY hard….day in and day out. Some days I want to sleep in, and sometimes I want to give in and skip the math lesson. There are times when I just want to ignore my children and grab a book to read. Guess what that would accomplish though? Nothing, and we would just end up behind. It’s a constant battle with myself to have more discipline.
(Related reading – Managing Chaos)
MY desire for perfection
I thrive on order and perfection. In my mind, I want to use the perfect curriculum, keep the perfect house, and create outstanding meals. I would love to have neatly pressed children, with ironed matching clothes, and cute braids. In reality, most of the time we look like a before picture from an extreme makeover show. Last week I considered letting my youngest wear a lama costume to homeschool group, just to save myself an argument. The problem is there’s no room for perfection as a homeschool mom. Inevitably we just have to let some things go. Then we have to accept that it’s okay and move on.
(Related reading – The Pinterest Mom Perception)
See….The problems have never been long-division, reading, or even socialization. Nope, at the end of the day, it all comes down to me. I THINK those things are problems, so they become one. So what do I do to keep from being my own worst enemy?
I remember MY why – I started this whole homeschooling gig for a reason, so I revisit that. What do I hope to achieve? Then, I remind myself that no one else cares about the education of my children as much as I do, and that no one else has as much riding on the outcome. So how about you? What is your biggest homeschool obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
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