Big, fat, ugly tears.
Exhaustion from trying to paste on a smile.
And you’d throw in the towel but it’s lost in the Bermuda Triangle of your laundry zone.
Not feeling the whole homeschool thing right now?
Oh, mama! Pull up a chair, grab a yummy beverage, and get ready to know that you’re sooo not alone if you just don’t like homeschooling right now!
I don’t always like homeschooling. There, I said it.
Yes, even me, a “fun” mom.
Overall, homeschool life is amazing.
But, it definitely has its ups and downs. And I do not always feel like a homeschool rock star.
If you’re looking at that big yellow bus with longing, I encourage you to read on.
Take in these ideas and tips.
Have a good think.
And know that I’m sending you big, ol’ positive vibes to help you during this time 🙂
When Your Homeschool Dreams Turn Into Nightmares
Well, maybe not that drastic 😉
If you’re like most homeschoolers, you start off your homeschool adventures with big hopes and rose-colored glasses.
Then, real-life hits.
None of this was quite what you expected.
You’ve seen all those gorgeous Instagram pictures with these perfect layouts of educational materials and smiling kids in spotless, color-coordinating outfits.
Pinterest is full of incredible ideas to easily rock your homeschool day.
And Facebook! Well, all those posts and videos make homeschooling look so simple and satisfying.
Logically, you know that social media is just a quick, sneak peek-a mere glimpse into a family’s life. You’re pretty sure that everyone has their moments of mess and mayhem.
BUT, you’re starting to feel like you’re telling yourself this until you’re blue-in-the-face. And you already have plenty of parent-teacher conferences 😉
Perhaps homeschooling was a calling for you? Like, you felt pulled to this lifestyle.
Or maybe you had no choice and have taken on this responsibility due to your family’s situation (work, special needs, etc.)?
No matter why you’re homeschooling, you feel like you’ve been doused with a bucket of ice water and left cold, dripping wet without a towel (it’s still lost in that laundry zone).
All these negative thoughts start swirling around in your head. Why can’t you make this homeschool thing work? How do all those other homeschoolers make this gig look so perfect and easy and fun?!?
You’re Not Alone If You Don’t Like Homeschooling
One of the worst things, when you don’t like homeschooling, is the feeling that there must be something wrong with you. Everyone else makes it look so easy, perfect, fun, enjoyable, (fill-in-the-blank).
You feel like a failure. Aren’t you supposed to love being with your kids 24/7 and watching all those a-ha moments?
I’ve got a secret for you that I truly hope boosts your spirits and eases your concerns –>
99.53% of all homeschoolers do NOT like homeschooling at some point
(That’s not from any scientific research. I made up that number after chatting with my homeschool pals.)
Whenever I hear another homeschool mom timidly admit their current dislike for homeschooling, I feel like Glinda the Good Witch of the North (I just wish I had her magic wand!).
“Come out, come out, where ever you are!” a.k.a. There’s no need to hide! Or feel scared or guilty.
You don’t have to like homeschooling all the time. You don’t have to be perfect. Heck, you might even feel like the Wicked Witch of the West some times!
A member of our Rock Your Homeschool! Facebook Group shared a post about feeling like a failure and considering the idea of giving up homeschooling. Her message touched me and tons of other members.
Between the lines, I could sense her exhaustion, frustration, and despair. I so desperately wanted to reach out and give her a giant hug and shoulder to cry on. And let my own tears fall as I recollected my own moments of helplessness and hopelessness.
Although her situation might not be exactly like yours or mine (since every homeschool is unique), I believe a great exercise to do when you find yourself in this type of situation is:
- Take a deep cleansing breath.
- Step back and assess what’s going on.
- Take a bit of time to sort it all out.
Let’s Take a Closer Look at What’s Going On…
You wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Your grand plans and prep work end up being flops. Or maybe your nine-year-old refuses to come to the table to start his homeschool work?
Some days, your homeschool just seems to flow. But, what happens when it feels like a dam was built up and your homeschool (and sanity) could burst at any minute?
It’s normal to not like homeschooling for a day or even a week. Sometimes, you’re going through a rough patch and a homeschool month can really take its toll.
I’ve even had a whole year when I thought I just couldn’t do this whole homeschool thing. Being new to homeschooling, pregnant with our fourth boy, and chasing a toddler all added up to a miserable time.
Which brings me to my point…quite often, life circumstances have a major impact on how we do or don’t like homeschooling.
Another big effect on our current frame of mind is comparison.
Unless you’re made of steel or just don’t give a fig about what others are doing, comparing our homeschool reality to other homeschoolers’ lives carefully curated pictures, videos, and stories can make you feel worthless, less than, and just not good enough.
So, what IS going on in your homeschool life? Consider these questions:
- How long have you been homeschooling? Do you need a break? Or help getting started?
- How many kids are you current homeschooling? And how many children are you caring for in total?
- What’s your current life situation? (This can mean a lot of things like health, finances, faith, stress, etc.)
- Are you battling a chronic illness or other health condition?
- Do feel a lack of support?
- Is comparison syndrome rearing it’s ugly head?
- Are your kids driving you nuts (not listening, not motivated, resistant)?
- Do you feel like life is falling apart or like you can’t get your act together?
- Is it draining to be with your kids 24/7 and feel like you can never have time for yourself?
- Are daily chores and errands being neglected or delayed (and it’s causing you stress)?
You may have a bunch of other things going down in your life. When you’ve got a sec, jot down what’s driving you bonkers in your homeschool. Or use a voice recorder app to get it all out.
**ALL homeschoolers experience at least one of these things at some time. NONE of it is bad or means that you’re weak or a failure. As moms, we already have a lot on our plate. Homeschooling adds to it. You don’t have to be a supermom 😉
Acknowledging what you’re actually dealing with can help you realize that your frustration is valid (and not just you being a raving lunatic). #askmehowiknow
Sometimes, our thoughts spin a tad bit out of control, especially when we’re upset, tired, and frustrated. Sifting through the extraneous/irrational to get to the meat of the problem can help.
If you’re super lucky, you have another homeschool mom (or other super cool friend) who gets it and doesn’t pass judgment.
And remember, you can always join our Facebook Group where an amazing group of homeschool ladies will wrap you up in a big bundle of support 🙂
So, What’s a Homeschool Mom To Do? Practical Ideas & Tips
In most cases, you do have options. And, even if you don’t have an option (due to requirements or time constraints), there are definitely things that you can do to make your homeschool life better.
Some fantastic options include:
- Take a break (from homeschooling, activities, etc.). If you’re not properly functioning, there really is no sense in pushing on. Again, #askmehowiknow. Your kids pick up on it and things go downhill fast. Taking a day or week off will not ruin your kids, especially when you wisely use that time.
- Ask for help from friends, family, spouse, or church. Personally, I find it very hard to ask for help. But, I’ve learned that asking for help is actually a sign of strength, not weakness 🙂
- Outsource for subjects, cleaning, or errands. Need help teaching math? Don’t have the energy to clean? No shame in seeking professionals who can assist. Also, cyber school has been a wonderful option for homeschool families that need educational support in some way.
- Focus on core subjects (or just one subject). Yes, electives are important. But, when you’re feeling overwhelmed and not liking homeschooling, temporarily taking out extras is A-OK.
- Have a sit-down with your kids. In an age-appropriate way, chat about what you’re thinking and feeling. Your kids are probably already picking up on those vibes. Be honest about it and watch their respect level go up. Clearly communicate what you need and want during this time.
- Do you have a local co-op? Perhaps participating in classes at a homeschool co-op would ease the burden of teaching specific classes and give you other homeschool moms to connect with.
- Temporarily return or start of public/private school. This option is NOT evil or wrong! Homeschooling is not for every family. You must do what’s best for you and your kids. And you may find that you want to return to homeschooling after a break.
Improving Your Mental Outlook When You Don’t Like Homeschooling
If you decide to stick with homeschooling (or don’t have a choice), you’ll find it super beneficial to work on your mindset.
When you make a positive transformation with your thoughts, your feelings and behaviors will naturally come into alignment as well. A little tip from my days as a mental health therapist 😉
Here are a few ideas for working on those positive thoughts. I use these exact ideas to stay positive, motivated, and to change gears when life gives me lemons.
Remember: this type of change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, practice, and patience. But, believe me, it’s so very worth it!
- Admit and acknowledge your current feelings/thoughts. And remind yourself that it’s okay. None of it is “bad”. It’s what you’re experiencing right now and signs that it’s time to do something about it.
- Affirmations: These positive self-statements can have powerful effects when used with intention and consistency.
- Journaling: Writing down (or talking out on a voice recorder app) what you’re going through is therapeutic.
- Workng on your patience: Not everyone is a naturally patient person. You can learn how to be a more patient homeschool mom.
- Self-care for busy moms: Feel like you need to lock yourself in the bathroom to regain your sanity? I hear ya! Find out how to make time for self-care as a homeschooler and get ideas for enjoying this invaluable time.
- Make priorities and stick to them. Not always easy to do but I know you can do it!
- Finding and using support (Facebook groups, counseling, co-op).
- Tweaking expectations. Somtimes, you think there’s something wrong with you or the curriculum. Often, you just need to tweak your expectations. Life doesn’t always work out the way you plan it or think it should be. Adjusting what you expect based on your current reality will go very far in helping you have a more positive mindset towards homeschooling.
- Stop that comparison game. Consider a social media detox if you’re really feeling low.
- Focus on one good thing for the hour, day, week, month, or year. This step helps with comparison and shifting your thoughts towards what’s working 🙂
- Remembering that Rome wasn’t built in a day-and your homeschool is the same! Improvement in your homeschool life probably won’t happen overnight. And that’s okay. Because you’re working on progress, not perfection.
Oh, there’s so much more to be shared about what to do when you don’t like homeschooling. Expect updates to this post, as well as further posts to encourage and support you in your homeschool adventures.
When you’re with your kids 24/7, you can have the feeling of being alone yet crowded. It’s really the oddest thing! This experience, in addition to a gazillion other things, can lead to you not liking homeschool life.
I know you’re coming at all of this with a huge heart full of love and the desire to do what’s best for your kids. And I believe you will.
Trust in the process and all will be well 🙂
Peace and love to you now and always!
Are you just not liking homeschool life right now?
Share your struggles and concerns in the comments area below.