I was in tears.
Another failed science experiment.
More piles of laundry and dirty dishes taking over the house.
Homeschooling friends that were teaching their children more than I was.
Frozen pizza for dinner… again.
Wait… had I even showered that morning?
No wonder I was in tears!
Looking back at this time early on in my homeschooling journey, I can now easily spot the reasons I felt so disheartened and overwhelmed.
I can identify 5 specific mistakes that I was making in our homeschool.
Are you making these 5 homeschooling mistakes?
I didn’t need to plan out extensive and involved science experiments. That was pressure I was putting on myself.
Simple hands-on activities, games, age-appropriate science books and documentaries, and time outside would have been PLENTY to provide a rich science foundation for my kids.
This would have required very little prep and would have provided hours of engagement and rich learning.
But my perfectionism got the better of me.
I wanted my children to have the most thorough program. The richest experiences. THE BEST.
But what good is THE BEST when we end up in a pile of miserable tears?
So ask yourself this…
Are your expectations realistic? Or are your standards way too high?
Are you aiming for perfection when good enough would be, well… good enough!?!
Don’t let perfectionism make you miserable.
2. Doing Too Much
Looking around at all of the laundry and dirty dishes, of course I felt overwhelmed!
I was doing way too much!
Homeschool the kids, clean the house, stay on top of the laundry, get dinner on the table, pay the bills…
The list was endless and there was no way humanly possible I could get it all done.
I’ve gotten MUCH better over the years at recognizing homeschooling as the full-time job that it is.
My husband and I decided to divide up the household responsibilities.
We also required that our children help. We were well aware of the fact that they were still little and would definitely not be able to clean and organize to our standards.
But we knew that we’d be laying a foundation.
A foundation of respect and appreciation for their home and their family. So we raised them to help from this early age and have continued on as they’ve grown.
You know the saying, ‘many hands make light work’?
Well it is absolutely true!
The sooner you stop trying to do everything yourself, and begin delegating and asking for help, the sooner you will experience peace.
In what areas of your life could you use some help?
I know it’s not easy to ask for assistance.
I still feel sweaty and uncomfortable whenever I reach out to ask someone for help.
But you know what?
I do my best to get over it and ask anyway!
So consider joining me, OK?
Get to it! Ask for help and stop doing too much!
When I think back to this time, how in the world did I know that my friends were teaching their kids more than I was teaching mine?
It’s not like I was spending every waking moment with them!
We had children with different personalities. We had our own unique skills sets and teaching styles. Our lifestyles were different.
I was making a false projection. And I latched onto it out of a place of fear and
In my constant comparison, I felt I wasn’t measuring up.
Not only did this add unnecessary stress
Are you currently comparing yourself to someone else? Their parenting style, the way they dress, the meals they cook, or the home they live in?
And remember that chances are very high that someone you know is comparing THEMSELVES to YOU.
Yep, it’s true.
Don’t let comparison trick you into believing you’re not enough.
4. Focusing on Your Weaknesses
I remember a conversation I had with a friend years ago. We were chatting on the phone as I made dinner for my toddler and preschooler.
“What are you making?” She asked.
“Orange Chicken and rice.” I responded.
“Wow”, she said. “You guys have that a lot!”
I immediately felt the sting of judgement.
I felt like she viewed my culinary skills as sub-par.
And you know what, maybe she did! I really don’t know.
But to put things in perspective, guess what this friend did for a living?
She was a PROFESSIONAL CHEF!
Why in the world would I compare my cooking skills to a professional chef’s!?!
Do you see how ridiculous this is!?!
There have been plenty of “Trader Joe’s orange chicken and rice” seasons in my life. We also had a fairly substantial “frozen pizza season” going for a bit!
And you know what? Nobody died. Everyone in my family has survived and we’re all pretty darn healthy too.
Focusing on this “weakness” of mine didn’t do anything but make me feel inadequate.
Nobody else in my house was complaining about my lack of culinary talent.
And it definitely didn’t leave much space for me to focus on my strengths.
How about you?
Are you spending precious energy fixated on your “weaknesses” to the point that you’re unable to identify your strengths?
Do yourself a favor and STOP focusing on your weaknesses.
5. Neglecting Self-Care
One of the BIGGEST dangers for homeschooling moms that I see ALL THE TIME is not prioritizing self-care.
This is usually the first thing to go as we juggle the needs of everyone else in our family.
But guess what?
When we neglect our self-care, we stop feeling like ourselves. And when we stop feeling like ourselves we inevitably stop feeling like an actual human being.
It’s easy for resentment to creep in and guess what robs us of joy?
What self-care practices make you feel the most like yourself?
A bubble bath and a glass of wine? A cup of tea and a good book? A latte and walk with friends?
Stop neglecting your self-care!
To recap, here are 5 oh-so-common, homeschooling mistakes:
- Doing Too Much
- Focusing on Your Weaknesses
- Neglecting Self-Care
The sooner you address these 5 homeschooling mistakes, the sooner you will experience more peace, joy, and fulfillment.
Let me know if you’re struggling with any of the above!
Love this list and appreciate getting the reminder to take care of myself in the process- so hard for me to do! This homeschooling life is such a journey.
Sarah Takehara says
It sure is a journey, Suna! I think remembering to take care of ourselves is one of the toughest parts of homeschooling. Here’s to intentional self-care!