Help, I feel like I am failing as a homeschooler
My family is in a period of transition. I feel like I have said this a lot in the last couple years. I said it when I was pregnant with Peanut, and I struggled. I said it when we moved from Germany to the states. I said it when I was homesick and when I had a new baby and when I started a new job. And I am saying it now. It almost feels like a dirty word. Saying “my family is in a period of transition” feels like an excuse. And I don’t want to make excuses. Scratch that, I don’t want to feel so down on myself and what I am doing that I feel like I have to make excuses.
It almost feels like a dirty word. Saying “my family is in a period of transition” feels like an excuse. And I don’t want to make excuses. Scratch that, I don’t want to feel so down on myself and what I am doing that I feel like I have to make excuses.
And really, it’s silly to feel this way.
The reason I feel like a homeschool failure is that my homeschool today doesn’t look the same as it when we first started homeschooling. The things I do now with the kids are not the same kinds of lessons I did with the kids when Bug was a kindergartener and life was different.
I still have the same ideas about education. I still feel like the early years should be spent in nature as much as possible. I still believe in stories and the magic of childhood and language and teaching strong phonics (when the child is ready). I still am in love with the ideals of classical education, I still love teaching history in chronological order, and I love the great books and the idea of teaching the kids Latin.
I still love hands-on learning.
I am still the same person. But- life is not the same. Now, I have three children to teach, and a little Peanut to distract us. The kids are older. Everything is different.
I have been letting myself feel like a failure because now, Bug is taking a class with his Writing and Rhetoric book, instead of listening to me teach it. I am feeling like a failure because he has been watching YouTube science videos before tackling experiments on his own instead walking through them with me.
I’ve been feeling like a failure because he is growing up, and spreading his wings and things have changed. I’ve done less and less for him . . . But he has not been doing less.
There is no reason for me to feel like this, and dear Homeschool Mama reading this post- if you are struggling with the changing of the seasons and your children growing up, I hope you know you are not a failure either. We just need a change in perspective. It’s time to celebrate the independence. I need to recognize the work I did to get us to this point, and celebrate that Bug now knows how to write and submit assignments for online classes without my help. He knows how to set up activities and art projects and complete them without guidance. He’s learned to learn. He’s doing exactly what I wanted him to do.
And that is okay.
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Thank you for your honesty. I can definitely relate. Most of our homeschool years, I was very involved with my eldest because he was my only. We were very hands on and like best buddies. Enter the baby…my 9 month old has really flipped how we do things. I love my baby and I wouldn’t change him being here for nothing. But homeschool is different. I’d like to be very hands on, but practically I just can’t do as much. Sometimes I feel guilty. My eldest is starting middle school next year. Change was bound to happen even without my little one. Now I’m trying to pick curriculum and it is so stressful. I’ve got to force myself to be realistic. In the past I could easily give hours of focus, but now my oldest has to be more independent. I guess these are growing pains. I’m thankful that I have a baby to cuddle when my eldest is in his own world. If God blesses us with another child that will dramatically change things too. It’s all a bit scary…but maybe exciting too. I just have to change how I look at it. God bless! ~Amber D. PS: The website is my old blog. I am currently working on getting my new one running.
During my first year of homeschooling, we had an autism diagnosis for the oldest and a younger sibling who hated the attention given to the other during lessons. One a day when I was feeling like a failure and doubting our decision to homeschool, I bumped into a seasoned homeschooling mom in the grocery store. She told me that if you do not feel like a failure now and then, something is wrong. She explained that feeling like we are lacking somewhere shows that we care about what we are doing, that we are willing to step back and reassess, and that we are willing to make changes as needed. Feeling like we are failing our children hurts and can fill our minds with doubt; but we need to understand that it comes from a place of love because we honestly want what is best for our children. If you never question if you are doing a good job, you are probably not doing a good job.
Not sure if her advise will help you, but it has gotten me through times when doubt has crept in over the last 4 years. I think you are doing an amazing job.
Thank you for sharing those words of wisdom. I needed to read that.
wow I so needed to hear this Thank you!
Thank you for your transparency! I’ve been struggling, too. I always feel like I fall short especially because I have Parkinson’s. My now 13 year old has his ‘teen’ days, too. Thanks for showing us all that we’re not unique in feeling this way. You are awesome.
You know that there are days that we all feel like failures or all feel like we are succeeding (snow days or not) and that’s just life. Homeschooling is such an amazing gift that we have the privilege to enjoy. We are so lucky! Thank you for all you put into your blog