Homeschool is wonderful! There is nothing better than getting to teach your own children. Better yet, as a believer, you are able to teach your little ones about God and His world. Despite the wonders of homeschooling, many mothers become overwhelmed. This overwhelming feeling zaps the joy out of homeschooling and may make families second-guess their decision to homeschool.
I want to lay out why homeschooling mothers may feel overwhelmed and ways to help overcome these challenges.
I feel so lonely
I have been working at home for the past year. I am introverted and have really enjoyed the change. However, there are times I miss going into the office to socialize with my peers. Homeschool mothers oftentimes find themselves isolated. During the day, these moms are busy with school assignments, cooking, cleaning, changing diapers, etc. There are not many opportunities to be around others outside their children. I know everyone reading this loves their children, but you need relationships outside of your kids.
The most important relationship a homeschooling mother needs to foster is her relationship with her husband. If you find yourself not having any quality time with your husband, this must change! It is more important for your children to see a healthy relationship with their parents than for your kids to perfect their times table. Don’t get me wrong, your children learning math is important but keep things in perspective!
Outside of family relationships, you need relationships outside the house as well. Foster relationships with other homeschool mothers. Go to a park together as a group! Also, make time for you to get outside of the home without children. I realize this doesn’t can’t happen every day. Your family needs to work it out, but you must make it a priority. For example, my wife has a monthly woman’s bible study at our church. This is something baked into our schedule. I know on the first Tuesday of the month, I am going to put the kids to bed, and I need to clear my schedule.
You must make interacting with others outside your children a priority!
My kids are driving me crazy!
We are just coming off Thanksgiving. We spent a lot of time with family. While this was great, we were ready to come home. We all know we need a break from family after a get-together like that. Homeschool moms have a similar situation with their children, except there is no break! Again, I know everyone here loves their children. They are beautiful blessings from God. But goodness, after a while, they can get on your nerves.
As in the last section about loneliness, it’s important to have some time away from the kids. These breaks don’t have to be anything too big, though! Maybe it means mom goes and spends 5 minutes alone in her bedroom to relax. Maybe it means it’s mandatory to play outside when the weather is nice.
One of the wonderful things about homeschooling is you make the rules. Structure your day in a way that gives you and your children the most room for success. If you need that morning coffee and want to make it lazy in the mornings, then fine. If there are particular times of the day that your children are wound up, then make that playtime. Feel the freedom to tweak the schedule to keep everyone sane.
If any husbands are reading this, I’m not letting you off the hook. Most homeschooling dads are working during the day and typically aren’t as active in the homeschooling process. Now, this is fine, and it is up to the couple to decide how and what they want to teach their children. However, dads don’t forget to be involved. If you see your wife struggling, ask her how you can support her. Maybe you can take a kid or two and teach them individually. I plan on teaching some evening subjects with my kiddos as they get older. Husbands follow what the apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
You’re homeschooling your kids? Oh…
The dreaded conversation.
“So, what school do your kids go to?”
“We are homeschooling our children.”
“Oh…..aren’t you worried about them being socially awkward.”
I think every homeschooling family has had this conversation in some way, shape, or form. It’s no secret that many friends and family will disagree with your decision to homeschool. Despite the many reasons you have for homeschooling, you simply won’t convince everyone about your decision.
This can be a difficult pill to swallow, especially when the people that disagree with you are close to you. It is important to pivot back to your “why?” Why are you homeschooling? Why did you decide to take this path? For example, the “why” my wife and I are homeschooling is due to stories we have heard of children being called a different name and gender at school. Not only that but the parents were not notified of it! Stories like these that made us look harder into making homeschooling a possibility. Knowing your “why” can help bring you comfort.
Speaking of comfort, it is more important to seek comfort in Christ. We are told to cast all of our burdens (Psalm 55:22) and anxieties (1 Peter 5:7) onto him. We must not hold onto these hurts cast onto us by others. Cast them back onto the only one capable of handling them.
I hope this list helps assist you next time you are feeling overwhelmed. I will leave you with these words again from the Apostle Paul.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Johnny Sanders lives in Duncan, Oklahoma, with his wife, Mary, and their two children, Elijah (1) and Natalie (3). Johnny and his wife are in the early stages of homeschooling their young children. Johnny owns and operates an online Christian Counseling practice called Truth & Grace Counseling. You can reach him by call or text at 405-351-4641, email firstname.lastname@example.org or through his website, truthandgracecounseling.com.