Homeschooling Through The Seasons – Encouragement for the Weary
Grace, Grow & Edify is dedicated to recommending quality resources to benefit homeschooling families. This blog contains and is monetized through sponsored posts and affiliate links. Please see our full disclosure policy for detailed information.
Homeschooling Through The Seasons – Encouragement for the Weary
Have you ever looked at a snippet of another homeschool family’s life and judged them silently? Most of us have, maybe not intentionally, but it happens. We might see another family homeschooling with a boxed curriculum and think they are doing it wrong. Or perhaps we know life schoolers and think they aren’t getting a thorough education. One of your friends could be using the local university model school a few days a week, and we say she isn’t actually homeschooling. Whatever the case, we are all guilty of assuming what we think we know about other homeschool families.
But here is the deal, what if we judge them on that season and not the whole journey?
If I were to show you where we started in our homeschooling journey compared to where we finished, my family might look like two completely different families. Why? Because we grew and evolved over time. Where we began is not where we finished.
Isn’t that what the homeschooling journey is all about anyway, growing, learning, and progressing as a family and individuals?
Making Good Decisions For Your Family When It Comes To Homeschooling
I want to encourage you that there is nothing wrong with doing what is right for your homeschool family in various seasons. If you make a mistake or fail, that is ok. Growth comes from failure sometimes. The longer you homeschool, the more you learn and grow as a homeschool mom. There are no perfect homeschool parents; we all begin homeschooling with different lessons and things to learn. Even the most put-together knowledgeable homeschool mom will make mistakes.
So if you are in a season of having babies and homeschooling, you might make a different choice than if you had all older children and homeschooling. Right? It makes sense to me.
I decided to go with a box curriculum when we first began homeschooling. It was a good place for us to start since I knew nothing about home education. But once I had educated myself on all that homeschooling offered, I realized I could take the training wheels off and venture out on our own. But that boxed curriculum got us through a season.
However, with all that said, I think we have to weigh our homeschooling decisions carefully. When I consult with homeschool parents, they are often on the brink of choosing to change something up because they are at the end of their rope. Or they feel like they don’t have options.
Please know there are usually more options than you realize!
Stop Doubting Your Ability To Homeschool Through Seasons of Life
Here is a perfect example of a choice I made once when I doubted my ability as a homeschool mom. Or, to put it plainly, I panicked when I found out I was pregnant with my second child and thought I wouldn’t be capable of homeschooling my oldest while having a newborn in tow.
I had friends using the local university model school to send their children three days a week and then homeschool the other two. I convinced myself that this would help us homeschool well for at least the year I had the baby. So, if I am being honest, there were a lot of pregnancy hormones and anxiety at play when I made this choice.
Well, let’s just say we gave it eight weeks. It was not for us. I lost all flexibility in our schedule, we couldn’t choose our own curriculum any longer, and some cliques made my daughter cry when I picked her up each day. The same homeschool families we were friends with wouldn’t play with my daughter at school.
It was a rough patch for our family. We tried it, and it was a terrible fit.
Things might have been different if I knew myself better and had confidence in my ability to homeschool and have a baby at the same time. But looking back on that entire situation, I see now that I was making a decision based on fear and the unknown.
Here Are 5 Ways You Can Continue Homeschooling Well Through The Seasons
- Slowdown in seasons that require much of you. When you know that things might become busier in your family’s life, you might want to evaluate your schedule and see what you can eliminate. Extracurriculars that require much of your time or a lot of drive time may be something you want to rethink. Or serving outside of the home might be another area you want to pause for a time. Volunteering and anything that requires much of you might be the first things to eliminate if time is an issue for this season of life.
- Readjust your homeschool plans and routine more often. Many times, in our homeschooling journey, I have noticed that we had some lifestyle changes, yet I tried to continue our daily routine the same way. You can make a few tweaks or changes to your routine or plans, which can significantly impact the day and your family—tweaking and shifting when you need to also reduces stress! It is always a good idea to refresh your homeschool routine and plan accordingly.
- Get advice, feedback, and support from God and your husband first. I used to struggle in this area. But I have learned that I must consult God and my husband before others. It is easy to go to your girlfriend and ask her advice, but your husband has a better view of what’s happening daily and behind closed doors. Your husband can be a great help to you with advice and bounce ideas off of him to develop a good game plan for what season you are in. I have also learned to pray BEFORE I plan my homeschool year. If I want God to bless my homeschool, I need to include Him in the planning. I can do that by praying and giving Him my anxieties and struggles before anything or anyone else.
- Take advantage of homeschooling resources that can and will help you each season. If you know that you are about to embark on a busy season of life, you might want to choose a curriculum that is geared toward independent learning or that doesn’t require too much from mom. If you are entering a busy season, it is a great time to tap into online courses, apps, and classes led by someone other than you for a season. Or find easier ways to do homeschool prep and planning. It might be a good time to add art, fun electives, or things that aren’t rigorous but keep the learning going.
- Stop fearing change. Change can actually be good; the problem is that we fear what we don’t know. If we make all of our decision from a fear-based place, we are likely to make some bad choices. Pray over your options and future, give it all to God and let Him guide you.
I hope these ideas encourage you to make necessary changes and adjustments when you need to. Nothing is permanent, and the homeschooling journey is long, so take your time!