10 ways you’re making your homeschool day harder than it needs to be

10 ways you're making your homeschool day harder
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

I woke with dreary eyes. The thought of the day ahead seemed pretty bleak.

At breakfast time I pulled out our latest read-aloud (an activity I usually love), thinking I’d rather go to the dentist than proceed.

But I plodded ahead through gritted teeth–I have a job to do after all, my inner drill sergeant announced–the result not at all inspiring for any of us.

We would have been better off that morning with a Sparkle Story to listen to over breakfast, a cup of warm tea for the mama, and a few extra minutes to regroup and plan peace for the day ahead.

Ever have a day like this?

Homeschooling can be hard enough, but I sometimes find I make it even harder on myself by falling into negative patterns or mindsets.

Here are a few ways you may be doing the same.

1. Refusing to put down the book.

That life-changing title that’s on all the popular reading lists? The one you absolutely hate the sight of, but continue to diligently read page after page so the kids will be properly “educated?”

Return it to the shelf, por favor. Your kids can read it on their own if they want, but in the meantime choose another you actually look forward to. It won’t take long to get the kids excited about it, too.


2. Ignoring the forecast.

It’s been a long winter, folks. Okay, maybe not the Laura-Ingalls-Wilder-we-may-not-physically-survive-kind, but challenging just the same.

Preserve your sanity at all costs! If the morning forecast predicts sunny and over 50 degrees, do not by any means continue with the normal indoor routine.

Take school outside for the day, or cancel it entirely so you can enjoy the fresh air with your babes.

3. Doing too much yourself.

Are your kids old enough to help out more? If you’re trying to do all the homeschooling as well as all the cleaning and cooking, burnout will be your faithful companion.

I regularly ask myself when working on a task: “Is this something the kids could do?” For many years the answer was no, but now (at ages 8, 9, and 10) there’s so much they are capable of. I just have to remember that it’s my job to teach them.

4. Pushing them too hard.

If the atmosphere around your home feels heavy and oppressive when it comes to the words school or learning, stop and reevaluate.

I loved Kari’s post last week about pushing. When I’m tempted to do the same I ask myself: “Do the children really need to know this right now? Is it relevant to their lives in this moment?”

A recent example for us was memorizing the Lord’s Prayer. The church we attend often recites it as part of the service, but the kids didn’t know it. I began to help them memorize it and within a week or so all of them could say it confidently. They wanted to learn it because it was clearly relevant to their lives.


5. Homeschooling from a place of fear or worry.

I can tell it every time, in myself or others: the tightness of the forehead, the exhaustion, the burden. I can take a single moment where something goes wrong and mentally project it into the future–the results are never pretty.

What we need to deal with in our home today is, well, what we need to deal with in our home today.

Let’s not make our lives harder by imagining all of the “what-if’s” that may or may not happen later. How does that even begin to serve us or those we love?

6. Forgetting yourself, your passions, and your own education.

Your self-sacrifice taken too far does not benefit anyone living under your roof. A sleep-deprived homeschooling parent will not be at his best, nor will one who has given up everything she once loved so she can teach her kids instead.

We teach our kids through what we love. We teach through who we are. We teach through what we learn and get excited about. Anything else can’t possibly convey the lifestyle of learning we’re hoping to model.

7. Hanging on to too much stuff.

Did you see the recent article stating that most Americans have over 300,000 possessions? Three hundred thousand?! Yikes – I don’t want that for our home.

We simply can’t create an atmosphere of inspiration when we hang on to and have to clean and care for that number of things.

Cancel school for the day if your kids are old enough to help sort through their stuff. If they aren’t, declare a “movie week” – each day show a movie to your young ones while you tackle the area of your home that would give the most return on investment if it were decluttered.


8. Refusing to step outside the grade level box.

“John is in 2nd grade, so this year he needs to master this, this, and this.”

Embrace the freedom that homeschooling offers you, and the ability to let go of all those boxes, compartments, and categories. Your child is a once in a lifetime individual – shouldn’t he have a once-in-a-lifetime unique education?

If there are things you must cover, then cover them. But make sure you can ask and answer the question “why” in a way that makes sense. Then snuggle on the couch with John and find out what he would love to learn about — enjoy the fact that you have the time to spend doing so.

9. Comparing, comparing, comparing.

Imagine how much more peaceful our days would be if we could toss out the beast of comparison once and for all. Instead it seems so natural to compare our families with other families, or to compare one sibling with another sibling.

When we do that, everyone loses. When we stop, we’re free.

Instead of holding each student up to the same blanket standards, ask “Is this child making progress?”

It might be only a little, but if you can focus on what they can do instead of what they can’t it will encourage instead of intimidate.

10. Forgetting what’s most important.

It’s the classic Mary/Martha story–the tendency to focus on the details of our lives to the detriment of the depth in our lives.

When we step back and slow down, we can rediscover the wonder and joy of our homeschooling lifestyle.

Are you putting attention on your core priorities most days? Are you nurturing a love for books, words, numbers, and most of all–each other?

Deep breaths, mamas and papas. Let’s lighten up, not take ourselves or our kids quite so seriously.

Maybe, just maybe, doing so will make our lives a little bit easier. And we’ll stumble upon joy in the process.

“The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.”
~ Robert Louis Stevenson

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.

About Jamie Martin

Jamie is a mama to three cute kids born on three different continents. She is the co-founder and editor of Simple Homeschool, where she writes about mindful parenting, intentional education, and the joy found in a pile of books. Jamie is also the author of a handful of titles, including her newest release, Give Your Child the World.


  1. 6 & 7 speak to me so much right now! I think I’m declaring a movie week! Thank you!

  2. Thank you for this timely reminder. We are homeschooling through a crisis right now. Our oldest dd who has many adoption issues, FASD and RAD ran away from home a week ago. She is safe but in a mental health respite care home and may need to be moved to a hospital setting soon. I need to drop my worry about how little “school” we are doing right now.
    Blessings, Dawn

    • I’m so sorry to hear about the trouble with your daughter, Dawn. We had a crisis 3 years ago and I told myself that my kids were learning about life. The books can wait (((hugs)))

    • I’m so sorry to hear this, Dawn. As a mama to adopted babes I can imagine at least a small tinge of your pain and heartache. Sending up a prayer for you and yours. And you’re absolutely right, keep family sanity the priority instead of the worry about academics and watch God show up to fill in any gaps. xo

    • A hard road Dawn,
      But, I truly believe God never gives us what we cannot bear. You, are the beacon of love in this broken child’s life. Love, covers a multitude of sins. Teaching our kids is more than book learning, it’s about teaching compassion, tolerence, forgiveness and other character traits. You, are a fabulous teacher xxxxx

    • I feel for you. My stepdaughter has RAD and it’s very hard to find the joy in parenting with her. I have to continually remind myself how far she’s come in the 2 years she’s lived with us. Especially on the days it feels like we’re back to square one…. again.

      • We’ve adopted and my oldest bio daughter did a social studies project on RAD…. Not much is publicized about this but it is HUGE! I wish more people knew there was such a problem. AND to watch for it when kids are adopted or premature.

    • I can also identify. Our daughter who we adopted 4 years ago at the age of 7 also has RAD along with many other special needs. But by far the attachment/control/abandonment stuff is the most difficult to deal with. Praying for you.
      Jen’s latest post: It’s Official!

  3. Planning space in my homeschool schedule is so important to the happiness of our family. I plan 4 day weeks with a week off every 6-8 weeks. I also add in an empty day when our calendar gets busy. It keeps us all happy – and normally I’ve forgotten about that day and it’s a surprise for me, too! 🙂

    The key to my happiness with homeschooling is never to take myself too seriously. If we aren’t having fun and smiling at some point in the day, then I know I need to just relax and smile more – and to find the joy in the day.

  4. These are all great, but #7 is where I’m at right now. I just told the kids yesterday that we’re going to have a deep-cleaning session before Easter because we’re up to our ears in “stuff.”
    Shelly’s latest post: Unlimited Gaming? Not These Unschoolers!

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I appreciate all that is said here. I declare, Jamie, you can read minds. =)

  6. Love this, Jamie. Going to save it for later, as I can already see myself doing some of the above things and I don’t even homeschool yet!
    Jessica’s latest post: 30 Day Challenges

  7. #7 about too much stuff – good grief, YES! Apparently, I’m a minimalist at heart because I can’t think clearly in a mess. And with 5 kids, my house is ALWAYS a mess. I keep telling my husband I want to get rid of stuff just so there’s less to deal with, less cleaning I have to deal with … but for some reason, we keep accumulating rather than eliminating. What the what?!?! Time to get tough on my packrats here.

  8. thanks so much for this. really. and i have two kids born on two continents! 🙂 going to find out more about you, Jamie. Thanks again.
    Emily @OurAwesomeAdventuresAbroad’s latest post: 2014

  9. I JUST literally was having THE most frustrating morning, I told the kids I needed to go to my room and pray before we continued with school. I came in here, prayed and flipped open my laptop to see what SH’s post was today. And THIS actually brought tears to my eyes, the timing was so perfect. Thank you, thank you. The clutter in my home is making me crazy–who needs math subtraction when we need to SUBTRACT some things from our schoolroom! Thank you, Jamie! I can return with joy to my children and lead them well.
    Kari Patterson’s latest post: Why can’t Oma swim? (On unanswered prayers and the way of childlike faith)

    • So blessed to hear this met your need in the moment, Kari. God’s divine timing is so gracious. And I’m totally going to borrow the idea of going to my room to pray before we continue school in the difficult moments!

  10. Such good reminders! I’m one of those who reads but doesn’t homeschool 🙂 But I needed this also!

  11. Do you think these 10 still apply when kids hit the middle school and high school years? I meet so many families that adopt a loving, guiding, relaxed attitude during elementary, but by age 12-13, it’s “time to get serious” and the pace and focus changes. I’m really wrestling with this. So, does this change for olders? Or should it?
    Sarah M’s latest post: Weekly Review

    • That’s a great question, Sarah. I would recommend taking a peek at the book Leadership Education by Oliver and Rachel DeMille – it kind of covers the childhood phases of learning as they relate to child development and how these principles apply at older ages. You can also check out their site: http://www.tjed.org

    • Sarah, I have 8+ kids (I say “+” because I include my SIL now), aged 24 down to 8. With the obvious and (un)predictable challenges along the way, in some important ways, I would say our experience has been ideal. Not perfect – but ideal. Meaning, it all works out in the end, and the things that are truly most important are thriving. With that brief intro, let me say that in my experience, the principles that Jamie outlines are totally applicable all throughout life; AND…yes, it looks different as the child matures. And I am completely convinced that it should. If you get the early years right, with a solid foundation of family and cultural values, and nourish their love of learning as they grow, by the time they hit puberty they are eager for more serious study time (uninterrupted by “kid” chores and “parent” priorities), they thrive with some form of reporting/feedback (I stopped short of saying “accountability” because it’s a loaded concept for some, and can backfire if the wrong kind of “motivation” is applied). They get a special kind of inspiration from wholesome peer interactions, and often do really well with mentors outside of the family for some things. There is so much to say on this. I would second Jamie’s suggestion of Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning. Here is a link for more, if you’re interested: http://www.tjed.org/2011/06/homeschooling-excellence-phases-learning/

      Here is a sample of the book mentioned: http://store.tjed.org/sites/default/files/free-sample-downloads/PhasesTeaser.pdf

      If there’s any way I can be of assistance, please feel free to be in touch!

      • Thank you, Jamie and Rachel! I am blessed by both of your responses:) Reading more on the tjed site, I’m thinking a few things are at play for us. My 13yo needs that peer academic interaction and craves it (I’m working on it for next year!) I’ve tried to put her in the path of mentors of similar mind to her own (blunt, strict, straightforward adults, lol) and this has also been a good thing for her, as these mentors speak a language that I do not speak (I am not blunt and straightforward, lol). I’m hoping to find more of these mentors for her next year, but she may be stuck learning how to get along with me:) Another thing, she just has brain dead days and she honestly tells me this. Yesterday was one of them. If we ditch math and try again the next day, there is a night/day difference in her mental ability. She goes from knowing less than a 6yo to bordering on genius, lol! I’m not sure how to handle all these drastic sways in ability! One day she can’t focus, the next she’s on fire. It is especially hard when there are deadlines looming, and she’s having another brain dead day (brain dead days happen about 2 days per week out of 5! I’m feeling unproductive). Anyhow, sounds like the book will have some valuable info for me.

        • My teens often need to go back to bed. Sometimes I have to send them back to bed 3 times in a morning! When they are brain-dead, I generally assume they are needing extra sleep, and I send them back to bed 🙂 Usually, they will wake up with the on-fire brain you referred to! So, you might not have to give up on the whole day, but it’s ok if you do sometimes

  12. I LOVE this post. Reminders are always good. I think homeschooling gets a tighter scrutiny than other educational paths sometimes. I have recently found your blog…one of my blog readers recommended I visit yours…so glad! x

  13. I totally agree with Sarah…. I struggle with knowing how much to push focus and getting the work done with my 12 year old! Given that focus is not one of her strong points, how will see learn if I just say thats ok you can do it tomorrow, and tomorrow comes and she still doesn’t get it done!! I have 5 amazing treasures but I’m finding each day I’m losing my way…… I’ve been homeschooling for 7 years, I pray that my joy is renewed…. Posts like these are sooo timely!! Thanku and Praise God for your advice!!
    Smiles Sharnee 🙂

    • Sharnee, I would recommend taking a peek at the book Leadership Education by Oliver and Rachel DeMille – it kind of covers the childhood phases of learning as they relate to child development and how these principles apply at older ages. You can also check out their site: http://www.tjed.org

    • Sharnee, it sounds like your daughter is in Love of Learning Phase! Perfect for her age!

      So much in today’s world urges us to push our children to mature scholarly behaviors when they’re young, and then does not challenge them appropriately when they’re older. Backwards!

      Focus does not come naturally to most children, and contrary to popular belief, it’s not generally a learned skill. Cultivated, perhaps, but a LOT of it has to do with the actual biochemistry of childhood. As kids undergo the normal hormonal changes associated with maturation, their brains literally work *differently*. SO helpful to know!

      If you’re careful to nurture her love of learning during this time, and model for her healthy study habits, passions and interests, as she matures she’ll naturally trend toward focusing on those things that will give a hint to her great passions, interests and purpose in life.

      By contrast, those younger kids who *do* naturally focus often have an atypical neurological type, and it can sometimes lead to adult ills such as stress, anxiety, obsessive disorders, etc. So yay for her! She’s “normal”!

      But hopefully to be a little more helpful, I would second Jamie’s suggestion to read Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning. Here’s more on Love of Learning Phase: http://www.tjed.org/2011/05/homeschooling-excellence-love-learning-phase/
      xoxo rd
      Rachel DeMille’s latest post: Money, Education, or Mission (A Teenage Conversation): The Weekly Mentor by Oliver DeMille

  14. Once again, thank you so much!

  15. Ahh… words for the soul. I needed this! Thank you.

  16. In my opinion you have one of the best homeschool blogs. Here’s why: You post frequent, original content that a lot of home educating parents can relate to. You are honest about your struggles and clearly passionate about your children’s education. Thank you for being authentic.

  17. Jennifer says:

    Perfect timing! We just got our household goods from an overseas move back to the States, and I’m cringing with every new box opened, looking at all these things we don’t use. Some items were in the attic the entire six years we lived in Germany! Obviously we DON’T NEED THEM. Time to sort the chaff from the wheat and simplify. Thanks for the terrific post!

  18. Wow, you basically just reiterated what God has been showing me this past year. The most recent revelation (that I would add to your list) is that I was created to serve – not self, but others – and I also need to teach that to the children. So, we are making our homeschool even more flexible so we can be available for whatever God puts before us.
    April @ A Simple Life’s latest post: 3 Days Only – Get “Teach Your Children To Cook – The Simple, Healthy, Cheap Way” for $1.99

  19. Thank you ever so much for this! This has been our first year homeschooling and unfortunately one of the most eventful in our immediate family. Lots of medical situations with my parents and injuries that are causing me to have to retire (thus dramatically decreasing our household income.) I can’t tell you how many blogs & educational sites we’ve signed up with & honestly I overwhelmed myself by trying to keep up with parents who obviously have been at this a while & know when to push & when to yield…

    This is a huge learning experience for us & this post couldn’t have come any sooner! I have tons of “What-Ifs” that, after reading this today, will politely be placed in Pandora’s Box, never to be disturbed again. Love, Light & Eternal Blessings to you for these well-timed words of encouragement! 🙂

  20. What an awesome post! I can totally tell when my day (week) is going sideways, that I’m guilty of committing one (or all) of these. When I don’t, I get this: http://mydailycrumbsblog.com/stop-doubting-homeschool-mom/

    Have a great homeschool day!

    Katie @ MyDailyCrumbs
    Katie @ MyDailyCrumbs’s latest post: Have an Organized Closet in 5 Steps: (and it includes wine!)

  21. Wow. This is all challenging right now. I am homeschooling my youngest of 3 boys. This is his first year to be homeschooled. He is 11. I homeschooled my oldest all the way thru and my middle son till 5th grade. I find it hard to manage the simplest of things with my youngest and he does not enjoy learning with me. He is very oppositional. I do find myself worrying a lot, relaxing little and comparing myself to everyone. We have a great homeschool community, which is great, but homeschooling only one child is beyond challenging and very lonely.

  22. Whitney says:

    I see Facebook and Twitter buttons….where the heck is the print now button?!

  23. I’ve just stumbled across your blog today, so glad I did. I home school a 12 yr old daughter with ASD and learning difficulties and a 15 year old son – reluctantant book learner!
    Both were in mainstream, I removed them 3 years ago. Your comments on “what if ” helped. I constantly second guess what if they not learning enough, won’t get a certificate of education, don’t choose a profession, list is endless. Your what if post turned this around for me today. I now ask myself “what if they turn out God fearing, helpful, generous, loving, productive members of the community, because we decided to learn at home?

    • I now ask myself “what if they turn out God fearing, helpful, generous, loving, productive members of the community, because we decided to learn at home?

      YES, Donna! Exactly.

  24. Beautiful post, Jamie! Like Maggie I’m not a homeschool Mom or a Mom at all, but your words have wisdom for life in general. And… one of those photos looks a lot like the waterfront in downtown Wilmington… could it be?

  25. So fabulous! Guess what ..teachers in school do this too, it just doesn’t look like it when you are in there! We all need these reminders.
    Sarah…does your daughter have a “can’t think “day 2 days after a short night? It is not last night’s sleep, but the night before last night that makes you sleepy today. (Does that make sense?) Also allergies will give brain fog, like nothing else. On bad math days, I went back to concrete, move around manipulatives or number skills, so when we were read to move forward, we had even more skills. Try to think of it as glueing basics down. You might be shocked at how “going back” actually helps her move forward. Numbers always floated for me unless, I had some thing to pin them down. I hope both of those help.

  26. Today I had a breakdown and I began to fear the future for my soon-to-be 5 year old son. He’s going through a lot of changes in his life right now, so I understand his frustrations and hurts, but that doesn’t make my life any easier. But I have a question for you–or anyone else interested in answering. I can’t seem to break away from the “traditional” idea of school. No matter how hard I try, I find myself back at the desk with lesson plans, worksheets, and…boredom. I want to be more creative in my approach, but I have no idea where to begin. I want to get away from this idea that homeschool has to be like school, but again, I have no idea how to do that and succeed at it. I want him to keep learning the general basics, but I also want to do fun activities, or discover how to “unschool.” I’m lost, and I’m sure if I keep up at this pace I will end up sending my son to public school, and that is my deepest fear!!
    Tristine’s latest post: My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?

    • I would strongly recommend that you read the book Leadership Education by Oliver and Rachel DeMille. It will really help – don’t give up! This post might help as well: http://simplehomeschool.net/help-my-5-year-old-wont-do-school/

    • Follow your instincts! There are good resources to help you do this. I find the Charlotte Mason philosophy & methods to be a great way to do school in a relaxed, informal, part-of-life way. We spend a lot of time reading good books, enjoying nature, music, poetry, and art. My kids are naturally picking up reading, spelling, grammar and we have time to just be/love each other.

      Check out AmblesideOnline.org and/or Karen Andreola’s book A Charlotte Mason Companion.

    • I have 4 children ages 12,9,8,3. I homeschool all of them except the toddler she plays but is learning from watching them.My youngest son (8) Hates book work. He has adhd and just doesn’t function with them at all. We found that the computer programs, like starfall (taught him reading when nothing else worked) Jumpstart (pre k thru 6th) teaches all the basic skills using games and animation, work for him. when its turned into a game he learns and thrives but if you test him using books and paperwork he fails badly. Find what your child needs. My oldest daughter (9) thrives off book work and being able to see how much she has done and often is caught doing extra bookwork after school hours and on weekends. Our schedule is so very simple from
      9-11 workbooks (online for youngest son)
      11 -12 Lunch
      12-1 is recess
      1-3 is reading (their choice of book) or art (my 8 & 9 year olds LOVE art and the 9 year old plans to be an artist.
      on days where we have dr appts or such its a day off, I can run errands with the 3 year old while they “do” their schoolwork, and we trade official holidays for the ones we want. Instead of presidents day or Martin Luther King we get valentines, birthdays, and such. If we finish all our planned work before the school year is over we are out early. If we finish later, we finish later. It is freeing for the children and me this way. They asked me if they could home school thru college! 🙂 i said sure thats what online college is.
      Rebecca Edwards’s latest post: Pork dinner with Mushroom gravy

  27. Thank you! I knew some friends were missing the Homeschooling idea when they assigned homework that had to be done at 8pm…what happened to family time? Remember that they are to be taught when you do anything…walking, riding, etc…they learn by doing…with you. Enjoy!!!

  28. I would LOVE a “printer friendly” button on your blog as someone else has already mentioned in these comments… There are so many times the information is something I would like to print and add to my binder for future reference. I am starting homeschool in a couple of months and I am preparing now for ‘those days’ that I know will come when I need to re-evaluate what I am doing.
    Please consider adding a printing option… Please, Please, Please

  29. Definitely #5 as well as 6 and 10. It’s scary homeschooling when we’ve had the system looking at us for so long. I know what it’s like for cps to come into my house (RAD stepdaughter falsely accused her dad of abuse). I’m trying to adopt her so it’s extra scary to have people in our home looking at us again. Not letting that terror into our home school is difficult.

  30. Off topic a bit, but is that the Cape Fear River in downtown Wilmington? I recognize that scene! LOL

  31. Yes, yes, and yes. Great points for sure! Love #7. About a year ago, I tackled our basement, which had become the catch-all for everything that didn’t have a home. Boxes and boxes of junk. Took several vanloads to our church rummage sale, a vanload of books to donate at the library, and van after vanload of stuff to Salvation Army and Goodwill… Oh, and was able to donate a vanload of old electronics as well. I couldn’t believe how much LIGHTER I felt after our basement was so much emptier. It really makes a difference! 🙂
    Michelle Caskey’s latest post: Train Your Son to be a Great Husband

  32. Awesome article… and very applicable to mother hood in general… especially for a stay at home mother like myself… (I can’t speak for those who work cause I don’t) 🙂

  33. I’m just starting homeschooling this year..grade 1 and this article comes at just the right time…thank you!

  34. Karen Yingling says:

    I am not a homeschooling mom – but WOW! These points are right on for our family! So much wisdom – don’t limit it to home schoolers 🙂

  35. I have start homeschooling my son for Preschool because we dont have the money to spend for preschool. I am having a hard time staying motivated to do it. I feel really stressed about all the what ifs! Am i doing good enough for him to learn from me, Is he going to understand what im saying, What am i going to do if he doesnt understand what im doing! All this goes through my head and i basically shut down! Please let me know if you have any tips or anything that can help me! He is 3 years old! And i just feel very overwhelmed! Thanks in advance!

  36. I needed this! I am 7 months pregnant and simply exhausted. I just can’t seem to cut myself some slack and take our days slower. I push until I crash which is not good for any of us. Thank you for the reminder.

  37. Thank you for this at a very timely moment. Our local school system forces us to take our 5th grader in for TCAP tests in the spring. I am very happy where my son is in his studies but the questions on a sample TCAP book does not seem to be what I find relevant. So, that is where my worry is focused right now.

  38. I loved this article, thank you. I read recently how you stopped using any formal math curriculum in your homeschool. Our childrens’ ages are similar, so this was especially intriguing for me. I would love to do that with one of our sons, who is 11. Can you direct me to any links that would discuss how families do this, how they handle the doubts about “keeping up with others on grade level”, then later deal with high school transcripts, etc. I would love to start reading more on this….I would also love to hear what you currently do with math with your older kids, what your future plans are, and thoughts on this as well! Rhonda

  39. Tammy turner says:

    Love your post in your blog! I just have a few slight questions I’m new to learning the homeschooling business. I’m wanting to teach my kids at home I feel they would have a better understanding of everything if I did! My question is why is everything about homeschooling seem so scattered, first you have to find rules and regulation guidelines within your state. Not only that you have to choose a curriculum based on each individual child! My biggest worry is that I’m being scared away by all of the information and cost where on earth can I find peace with these two issues?

  40. This was a great post! I’m in the fear boat! my kids were in public school and it ruined their love of learning and now that we homeschool i want to take it easy and let them lead but once again public school ruined that too and it’s so hard to find anything they want to learn. i also struggle with making sure they know enough for the testing we have to do. I want to just have them learn what they want for the future they want in life but the tests want them to know everything. it so frustrating trying to make things fun and enjoyable when the state has other expectations.

  41. Beautifully done–every homeschool mom needs to read this! Sharing…

  42. Okay, this has nothing to do with this blog, but I have a question. My daughter is writing a report on Ancient Egypt. Do I help her with corrections before hand, or do I let her turn it in as is, and correct it afterwards. I want to give her guidance on report writing, but also it’s hard to say if it’s too much. Sorry about the change in subject.

  43. I feel like I could re-read this post monthly and still get something out of it. Thank you Jamie!

  44. point 8 depends where do you live
    in Polish school my son is making by internet he HAS to learn the programme because he will have exam at the end of the school year – he can make more but not less because if he will not pass the exam he will be kicked out from this school (lose permission of making his school duty outside of school) and will have to make stationary one.
    In case of French school (we live in France and here children have duty of education not of school) we are having controls once a year when we are checked on our programme and if our child doesn’t differ too much from level of “regular” child at normal school. Again he can make more but if he knows less we are risking to lose permission for homeschooling and that mayor office will force us to send him back to school (where, as I have written in my comment to other article here, he developed Selective Mutism and phobia)
    So lot depends on place where we live and rules of the country/state.

  45. This is perfect advice for EVERYONE! It’s so easy to be overwhelmed by the very routines we make for ourselves. It’s wonderful to have found your resources and we look forward to enveloping your ideas and philosophies into ours. My children are older and we are plagued with the comparison and criticism from outside our home from those who do not share our schooling philosophies, even among family members. It’s created quite a divide. Thank you for #10 especially, the reminder to not take myself quite so seriously will soften my approach, and ultimately succeed in teaching the things importance.

  46. I needed to read this today. I was in a slump and you had the encouragement I needed. Thank you for inspiring me! Such a blessing to this mama’s heart.

  47. Anna Eccles says:

    I really needed this post right now! I should print out the heading for each and make it an inspiration board. We start school back up tomorrow. Hoping your advice sticks. Thank you Jamie!

  48. Kristy Houle says:

    Thank you so much for these thoughts. This is my first year homeschooling and I feel like I am drowning. I was a public school teacher (2nd and 3rd grade) and an elementary principal for the last ten years and everyone told me how great I would be at this and how easy it would be. Ha…..were they wrong. I think my kids are doing great with the work and the curriculum…they love being homeschooled, but I am definitely finding myself NOT doing many of the things you mentioned. I am really enjoying your blog and all of your encouragement….keep up the good work!

  49. I am a vetern homeschool mom/grandma having started in 1984 and now working with the grandkids. I have experienced everything you mention and I love you suggestions. Thank you

  50. Hi mommas, I’m always encouraged when I read articles such as this one. But my question is how are things when the children are older? Is it still ok to still have such a relaxed attitude? My oldest is in 7th grade.

Share Your Thoughts


CommentLuv badge

Never miss a blog post,
PLUS get Jamie’s FREE ebook: