Perspective for when you Fear you aren't Doing Enough

Jack: “Dad!  I finished 11 subjects today in school!”
Matt: “11 subjects?!”
Me: “Yes, Jack did a great job today, he finished everything on his list, but we ran out of time for a few of the subjects on Emma’s list, so that is a bummer.”
Matt: “Heather, we took like 4 subjects a day in school, don’t you think you are trying to do too much.”
Heather: “That was high school! The subjects were an hour and a half long!”

This is a common conversation in our household, one that actually just happened this week.  I knew that we had a great school day, the kids were attentive, they did everything that I asked them to do, they had positive attitudes, but when dinnertime rolled around, we had not finished everything that I wanted to do for the day, and I was disappointed.

Have you felt like that before?  That you aren’t doing enough?

Perspective for When you Fear you aren't Doing Enough in your Homeschool

It seems to be a common thread with homeschoolers (and really all moms I believe), to think that we are not doing enough with our kids. 

When you think about educating your child, you want to fit in every subject.  You are concerned when you don’t hit on everything every day, or you are worried that they aren’t keeping up with their peers in public school.  The comparison begins to seep in, and you wonder if you are doing enough.

You don’t want your child to have gaps in their education.

The funny thing is that all kids are going to have gaps.  There is no possible way that you can teach your child every.single.thing.  Yet, time and time again, you feel disappointed when you don’t get to every single science experiment, or the math lesson was only half done, or perhaps the reading has slowed down.  Or maybe that one project your child started is incredibly slow moving, and you have a new theme you want to start. Or perhaps it is another interruptions with a younger child or a pet?  Don't ask me how I know about that last one...

It is easy to fall into this trap.  To think that there are gaps which should be filled in by you the parent and teacher of your child.

I’m here to tell you that it is just not the case (and perhaps I am also telling myself!).

The amount of second guessing that homeschool moms do can be a bit overwhelming.  I am a member of several homeschool support groups and there is a lot of conversation about not getting to do all.the.things. 

However, when you sit down and look back at your day, what have you been able to accomplish?  More often than not it is a very long list of items, not only “school subjects” but also life skills that you are teaching your kids.  You are giving them a frame of reference when it comes to learning – that it is all encompassing.  That it concerns every part of life, not just the subjects of traditional school.

There will be gaps in your child’s education.

And it won’t only be your child, every child will have gaps in their education.  There isn’t a public school, private school, or homeschool that will be able to teach every bit of everything to your child.  You know what?  That is OK!  It is OK for your child to have gaps.  Do you know why?

It causes the student to seek out the information that she needs when she needs it.

One of the main reasons that we homeschool is to give our children a love of learning; a desire to seek out the knowledge that they need in all the different areas of their life.  You want your child to learn everything that they need to learn.  They need to learn how to discover, investigate, and research so that when they are older and find something that interests them, they have the tools to learn more.

When you give your student the tools they need to pursue the information they need and want for their life stage then you are doing a service for them.  You are giving them the tools they need to make decisions for themselves in the future – decisions about what is important in their own lives, and what they need to know for their specific situation.

Join the Townsend House community in order to help you find peace in your homeschool!

Now, of course we want our children to learn a great many things, and there are so many wonderful experiences that we can share with our kids. Don’t get into the habit of thinking that because you missed that one item, or several items, that it isn’t enough.  That is self-defeating, and does no good for anyone involved.

If you think you are not doing enough, you will tend to become more stressed while you are teaching your kids.  Every interruption, instead of being taken with grace, will become a huge sore spot on your day.  When you get stressed out, your kids will get stressed out, and even less work will be finished.

It may be difficult to deviate from your plans – it certainly is for me.  I like to check off boxes, and perhaps you do as well.  But, instead of being discouraged when all the boxes are not checked off for the day, perhaps just start there the next morning, continue working through what you planned to work through, but the next morning.  Eventually you will come to a place when you plan out your week that you will not have quite so many boxes to check off daily.

This is a lesson that I tend to relearn every fall when we start our homeschooling in full force. 

Do you struggle with feeling as though you aren’t doing enough in your homeschool?  How do you let go of those comparisons and move forward in your day?

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