Once upon a time there was a perfect homeschool mom. She woke early in the morning and read her devotional before the sun woke up. She then greeted her family with a nutritional breakfast prepared with a heart of joy for her children. As they sat together and talked about all the books they were reading and the many Science projects they would complete that week she smiles, loving the atmosphere of happiness she has made. From here she prepares an amazing lunch for her husband and sends him to work with a smile and a kiss.
Once he is on his way, she homeschools her children with joy and never gets annoyed or overwhelmed. How could you get overwhelmed when you are raising brilliant children who love to learn and listen to every request? Every meal is nutritious. The house is clean. The garden is perfect. Her husband comes home and they talk in the evening about everything that went perfectly that day before reading together for the night or building the latest amazing experiment. The children go to bed and mom rests knowing she has done all she can that day to bless those around her.
There is no perfect homeschool mom
Does this sound like a fairy tale to you? Let me walk you through a typical day here.
The alarm screams at me at 6:30 demanding like a dictator that I leave my comfy bed and start my day. WHY?! By 6:45 I am up and I head out in to my yard to work on different things that need work. I leave the kids in the house with their dad. After all, you don’t want to talk to me until I have had this quiet time to get ready for the day.
By 8:00 I come in hot, sweaty, and worn out from an hour of intense yard work. Generally hubby is getting ready for work while the kids are in full on fighting mode over something silly. I make a straight shot to the shower. While in the shower I will break up at least two disagreements. The kids make their own breakfast.
Most days my daughter will start her school work independently. During school there will be at least ten times that I say the words, “sound it out” or “you are smarter than you think and you don’t need to give up.” From there we do reading time.
Throughout the day it won’t surprise me if I hear words like “Don’t fart on your sister,” and “give back his piece of paper he found under the couch.” You might even hear me say, “You can not kill each other. I just forbid it!” Lord forbid I have to ground my son… I think he has decided grounding is the worst thing on the planet. In fact he said the last time he was grounded, “you have literally ruined the entire world. Everyone will be miserable forever because of you.” He’s 5 people! Really!?
Dinner is planned and everyone eats. By the time the kids are in bed I sit down to do my work from home work and at bed time I crash in to bed ready for rest. My son hasn’t slept through the night since the day he was born so I know at least 3 times in a night my 5 year old will wake me up.
Perfect doesn’t exist.
I guarantee if that mom exists, she is tired. She is probably overwhelmed by the standard she has set for herself to be perfect.
So if perfect doesn’t exist then what?
It’s actually quite simple. Change the standard. When you model yourself after the perfect homeschool mom you will always come up short. You will live your life feeling like you are not enough. Because you feel like you are not enough, you will never be the mom you could be. When you throw out that view of what a homeschool mom should look like, you have the chance to make your own standard of what you should look like as a homeschool mom.
This is freeing because you can look at the needs of your child and your family. Do you have a struggling learner? Do you have a different work schedule? Do you sleep in because you don’t function before the sun?
3 ideas to redefine your standard
Look at your limitations
The best way to set your new standard of a successful homeschool is to start by understanding your limitations. By accepting areas where your family struggles you won’t expect someone to do something they aren’t able to do.
Look at your strengths
Sometimes when we look at others we limit ourselves. What are you strongest at? I have a love for Science and hands on experiments. I also love to read. If I try to be the best at other teaching methods because I want to match someone else I am missing my strengths. My children will learn better if I embrace my strengths and set a higher standard for myself in those areas.
Set realistic boundaries
What can you realistically accomplish in a day? This will differ for every mom. What is realistic for you? Figure these things out and set your standard. Know that this will change for every season of life you are in.
Will you be reworking your standard this year? I would love to hear about what you change in the comments.
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