Q&A Friday: Your Biggest Homeschooling Mistake

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom

Okay, friends, we’ve bared our souls, now it’s your turn.

Over the past month we’ve heard our contributors share about inner demons like pride, insecurity, and fear. We’ve also heard more practical thoughts about asking for help, traveling more, and teaching styles. Now I want to hear from you!

Why share mistakes? Why rehash the past? Why think about regrets?

I rarely do, personally. I prefer to think of the brighter future ahead of me rather than the dim past fading from view. But if something I have to offer will bring confidence or encouragement to another reader, I will lay it all out there.

Author Katherine Paterson once said that reading is a dress rehearsal for life. When we read, we learn from someone else’s mistakes–with the hope that we might not have to make our own. I believe this monthly series serves a similar purpose.

Of course perfection isn’t ever an option. We will make mistakes–but the fewer, the better.

Have you written a post sharing your biggest homeschooling mistake? If so, feel free to link it up below. Haven’t written a post but have something to say? Please join the discussion in the comments.

I want to learn from you today. What do you see as your biggest homeschooling mistake? Thanks!

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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. Thanks again for this series!
    Here is my biggest homeschooling mistake
    Stephanie K’s latest post: My Biggest Homeschooling Mistake

  2. I feel like my biggest mistake was placing too much trust in the philosophy of, “don’t worry, they’ll get it.” When I was homeschooling my oldest for K,1 and 2 – I failed to do anything rigorous. As a result, when we needed to put her in school the next year, she couldn’t read, write or spell well enough to go into the 3rd grade. It was a terrible feeling to know she was behind because of my lack of effort. I am grateful for grace, she is caught up now and back on grade level for the 6th grade. But, I would advise homeschooling moms to always keep in the back of their mind that their schooling ought to match or exceed the school system’s, just in case they need to make a change.
    Kendra’s latest post: A Tapestry

  3. I love this series because it shows I’m not alone…and at some point or another Ive made most of these mistakes, but we are not giving up!

  4. I just started homeschooling this fall and this series has been a godsend to me! I think not only does one learn from one’s own mistakes but also others can benefit too, if only to know that their feelings and actions are normal and often come with the territory.

    I’m so thankful you ran the series and would love to hear more homeschooling mistakes.

  5. Thank you to all the moms who posted to this series! It’s been inspiring to learn from each other, and although it’s difficult to make mistakes, the important lesson is how we’ve overcome our challenges and can encourage others by sharing our experiences. I was a homeschool graduate and thought that my past experience being homeschooled would make it easier for me to homeschool, but I faced the same fears, concerns and challenges that every mom faces. I am thankful that I can learn from the experiences of others as we navigate this journey of homeschooling together!
    Renee Gotcher’s latest post: My Biggest Homeschool Blunder: Thinking I’d Be Ready

  6. My biggest mistake was (and still is) being too relaxed and ‘assuming’ that when they were ready to …fill in the blank… they would. As a result I have a 15 yo who has very poor handwriting and math basics and a 13 yo who is very insecure in her abilities.

    So my advice is, 1. make them learn it right the first time, even if it is hard and 2. encourage, encourage, encourage and don’t expect them to work completely independently too soon.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your Biggest Homeschooling Mistake. I am glad to report that I have MANY mistakes and that’s good because I am learning as I go.

    When I have faith that Heavenly Father is helping me every single day which He does life is good. However, sometimes I have inspirations on how to carry my day and I am not always true to those inspirations or feelings.

    For instance, I say over and over that I won’t overschedule our family. Guess what this week we had so many fun activities which we all enjoyed. At the end of the weekend I had no patience with my family and I felt overwhelmed with all the work at home.

    One more example, yesterday we had a wonderful play date in the morning and in the afternoon we were going to do school but we found out that one of friends was in need. I prayed if I should just skipped school and teach my children to serve others. After praying I felt good to serve this family. However when I had just a few minutes free I asked one of the children to do school just while we were having a great conversation. Then my child felt sad that I interrupted that precious time.

    I need to be true to my feelings or the inspiration from the spirit.

  8. My biggest mistake is definitely playing the comparison game. I’ve only been officially homeschooling for 2 years, but I find myself so often looking at what others are doing and seeing if we “measure up”. Are we doing all the activities the other homeschool families are doing? Are my kids learning on par with their public and private school counterparts? Do we play too much? Not enough? Ahhhhh! When I sit back and look at MY family and the calling on OUR lives, I am very content with our path. It’s just too easy for me to NOT do that : )

    • yep, mine too. Comparison is a dirty, but enticing game. There are no rules and there’s no winning. Everyone loses with comparison and it’s a huge set-back. There was a recent post on using Pinterest to organize homeschool stuff. I enjoy Pinterest as much as the next Mom, but it’s not the place to go when feeling inadequate.

      I need to take time with the man upstairs when I feel that way, not look at ideas of people who take perfect photographs or have the perfectly organized school room. Life is full of opportunities and I want to take the ones that move us forward.

      So, my biggest mistake is comparison and if I’m not careful, dwelling on areas I don’t excel. This year I strive to be myself – imperfections and all – showing my children that I’m learning too and no one is perfect. Then as they grow, they won’t be shocked when they find out they’re not perfect either (long about 23 or 24! 🙂 ).

      Lana Wilkens’s latest post: What is art?

  9. The mistake I made a couple of years ago was worrying too much about “should” and comparing my children to others.

    I was in a particularly stressful time of life (a remarriage, a pregnancy, 6th kid) and that spilled over into our homeschool. My usual relaxed style had worked for my family and I was never worried about what my kids were learning (or not learning).

    The feeling passed when life calmed down a little, and I vow never to let it happen again.
    Carrie’s latest post: Wordless Wednesday: Pile of Leaves

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