Homeschooling can be one of the most rewarding experiences as a parent! But deciding to homeschool and then doing it confidently are two very different things. So many moms end up winging it, googling homeschooling tips, and hoping for the best. They ask questions like…
“Am I doing the right thing?”
“Am I doing enough?”
“Did I pick the right curriculum?”
“Are my kids even learning anything?”
As parents, we spend almost all of our time & energy on our family’s well-being, don’t we? All of us want to know we are doing right by our children. How can moms maintain their sanity & the best interests of their children? The best course of action, at least to me, is to start with our own selves. The secret sauce to finding peace in our decision to homeschool long-term starts with maintaining our sense of self and staying true to who we are as individuals.
So how do we homeschool with confidence for the long-haul?
Confidence is not a personality trait. You can gain or lose faith in yourself as quickly and frequently as the seasons change. Confidence is a muscle that needs to be exercised! It is learned behavior that can be developed by forming proper habits. Your self-identity is inextricably linked to self-confidence.
To be able to homeschool for a long time, it is essential to know who you are and why you choose to homeschool in the first place. All the homeschooling tips in the world won’t help if this piece isn’t set first. Here are three things you can do today to help build up those confidence muscles, reclaim your sense of self & homeschool with conviction.
1. Value Your Work
Do you genuinely see the value in what you do daily for your children? Our culture equates self-worth to the income a person brings in or how high up they climbed the career ladder. Our motherly duties may seem trivial or unimportant compared to the work of a high-level executive or a CEO. But truthfully, the reasons we admire the CEO’s and presidents of huge companies are not because of their income; we respect them because of their influence & impact on people’s lives. As a homeschooler, you are literally responsible for rearing the next generation of thought leaders, engineers, doctors & entrepreneurs. That is huge!
The task of homeschooling is not a simple item to tick on our to-do list or a chore that we need to get out of our way. Mentoring your children, teaching them civic values, honing their character & modeling love are perhaps the most influential activities you could undertake. Take pride in your homeschool & carry it out with dignity. Eat healthy, exercise & take care of yourself. You are irreplaceable, and your work is valuable.
2. Practice Self-Love
Authentic self-love is not vain or selfish. It is a spiritual practice. You may decide to whip up a quick face mask with lavender & cocoa butter. Or decorate a room in your house. Self- love is an artistic process. You cannot pour your heart out if it’s empty. Fill your cup with something creative you do for yourself, whether writing, sewing, or crafting. Carve out a sliver of time in the day to express yourself in artistic and aesthetic ways. It might seem silly when you are running on low fumes, and your to-do list is a mile long to take time out of your busy day to paint a pretty picture. But it makes all the difference. Just like friendship, creativity is not essential to our survival. But it brings meaning to our lives. It gives us purpose and peace to our souls.
On days when you don’t have much time, find ways to be creative in your daily routine. Some examples could be arranging flowers for your dining table, lighting candles for your living room, beautifully garnishing your dinner, or doing your hair differently.
You can even make your creative outlet part of your school routine. You like cooking, cook with your kids. If you enjoy taking photographs, teach your kids & yourself photography. You can make your homeschool come alive by bringing your unique personality into the lesson plan. It will make homeschooling decisions such as curriculum choice or style of teaching that much easier.
3. Be Self-Compassionate
Building conviction and self-love into your daily routine will boost your confidence. Practicing self-compassion makes you resilient and flexible to change. It will keep you from completely falling apart when things do not go as planned.
What is self-compassion?
It is your innate knowledge that there is potential in every mistake you make to learn and grow in strength and wisdom. We are most often our worst critics. Self-compassion comes from being aware of your strengths and weaknesses. It is a way to be gentle to yourself & give yourself permission to overcome mistakes & move forward in uncertainty.
Three ways you can start practicing self-compassion today:
- Set aside 20 minutes of meditation or prayer. I know it’s hard to find any time to yourself when you have to steward young children. Try to wake up early in the morning or use nap time as solitude time. Use this time to meditate & reflect on yourself & your goals. Repeat affirmations to yourself. Try not to scroll through social media or listen to a podcast during this time. Use this time to learn about yourself, soothe yourself, and rejuvenate your mind.
- Develop a growth mindset. A growth mindset believes that all our goals & dreams can be accomplished through dedication and a willingness to learn. With a growth mindset, you are more receptive to change. Roadblocks become obstacles to overcome instead of deal breakers.If you feel like you are not qualified to teach your child, developing a growth mindset will overcome your inner critic. You will be able to learn alongside your child & ask for help when you need it.
- Start a gratitude journal. Homeschooling is not something you have to do, it’s something you choose to do. Seek out the positive aspects within your day about homeschooling. Some positives for me include, I spend more quality time with my boys. I get to spend mealtimes with them & make sure they are eating nutritious food. I get to witness the joy in their face when they have solved a difficult problem. What are some benefits of homeschooling for you? Write down your list every day, so you know why you are doing what you are doing.
To be able to sustainably homeschool for the long haul, it is vital to develop a strong sense of self and be comfortable in knowing who you are. Self-confidence is a habit that can be formed through valuing your worth, developing a creative outlet & being self-compassionate.
I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes by G.K. Chesterton –
“How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness.”
For more homeschooling tips, be sure to download our free guide, “The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling!”