Is the stress of homeschooling getting to you? Do you feel like a failure as a homeschool mom? Dealing with a messy house, unfinished school work, and fighting kids can all make any mom want to quit homeschooling! Are you ready to give up homeschooling? Let me talk you off the edge and give you some solid advice for when you don’t want to homeschool anymore.
#1 Take a Break from Homeschooling
The first thing you need to do is take a break! When we are tired, we don’t make the best decisions. All we have to do is look at our kids for great examples of this. Don’t rush into making a decision. Take time to rest and reflect.
God created us with a need for rest. In six days, we are to labor and do all our work, but on the seventh day – we are to rest. In our busy, hectic, over-scheduled lives – we rarely rest. There is always a never-ending list of things to do from cleaning, cooking, sports, and laundry. If we sit down, we feel guilty! Take time to rest, reflect, and pray before making any major decision.
#2 Stop and Consider Your Season
Never ask a woman in labor if she is ready to have more kids. Don’t ask a school teacher on a Friday in April, if they love teaching. Don’t ask a CPA if they enjoy their job on April 15th. Certain seasons are challenging, even if we are doing a job or task that we feel called to do. Don’t confuse the frustration of the season with a call to change directions.
There are seasons of homeschooling that are more challenging. In these times, we are more vulnerable to feeling burned out and not up to the task. In the bleak midwinter of February, many homeschool moms have fantasies of sending their children off to public school. (Is this you? Get help for homeschool burnout.) At the end of the school year, everyone feels like they are crawling on their knees to cross the finish line in their child’s math book! When you feel like you are ready to quit homeschooling – YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
When you welcome a new baby in your home, are dealing with sickness, or taking care of an aging family member – you might feel overwhelmed and want to quit. Instead, we need to give ourselves grace.
What to know the best-kept homeschooling secret? Homeschooling gives us the space to spread out our work and to take breaks. We have the grace to focus on the essentials and not try to cram it all in. You don’t have to model the weeks and breaks of the public school. You can take a month off if you need to in the fall. You can do some school in the summer. There are so many options!
Provide a rich environment, and your kids can learn and explore with more independence for a season if needed. You have permission to plan your homeschool schedule with grace. This season of overwhelm will pass, and you will be glad that you stuck it out.
#3 When you want to stop homeschooling, Remember Your Why
Why did you begin to homeschool? There is a reason that you dared to go against the flow and not enroll your child in public school. There was a conviction in your heart not to do what everyone else was doing.
Step back from the temporary situation and emotions that you are feeling. Examen why you decided to homeschool. Take time to list all of the reasons why you wanted to homeschool. Our passion for homeschooling can come from the positive impact on family relationships. We can be convicted to homeschool because of school safety or bullying. Perhaps, we are not fans of the modern education movement and want a different type of education for our children. Or, did the Lord lay a conviction on your heart that homeschool was a valuable way to disciple your children to be followers of Jesus? These are all great reasons to homeschool.
Re-discover your why. Then, WRITE IT DOWN. Write down your why and display it. This will remind you on the tough days, and there will be more, why you persevere and what your goal is at the end. When you want to quit homeschooling, your “why” will keep you going.
Simon Senek has a powerful message about knowing your “why.” Mama – God wants you to be a great and inspiring leader of your family. If you are overwhelmed with all of the tasks of mothering and homeschooling, you need to discover your “why” to help you focus on what matters. Check out this great short video!
#4 When you struggle with homeschooling, List Your Blessings
When we are struggling, it can be hard to look up and remember the blessings. Sometimes we just need a mindset reset. Counting our blessings is a surefire way to get our hearts back on track. Take time to reflect on your homeschooling journey.
What blessings have you seen? What aha moments have you been able to witness because of homeschooling? What has been the positive impact of homeschooling on your family life? What has been the impact on your faith life?
Take time to record these blessings. Furthermore, take time to give thanks to God for these blessings. When our hearts are filled with gratitude to God, we are better able to discern God’s calling in our life.
Need help with your schedule? Check out these resources:
#5 Do you want to quit homeschooling because you are doing too much?
Are you trying to keep up with the other homeschooling Joneses? Are you trying to outdo all of the public-school kids around you? Are you trying to prove your choice to friends and family?
Harvard doesn’t have to be your goal. Your child, and your family, doesn’t have to be exhausted and broke trying to get in twenty different extra-curricular activities. The world loves to rush and rush until life is no fun, but we don’t have to follow the world. Homeschooling frees us up to focus on relationships and deep learning.
You can’t teach your child everything that they need to know. There will be gaps. It is okay. Instead, teach your child the skills of learning. These skills free them to learn as they go along. Knowing “how to learn” is the most important lesson of all!
#6 Do you want to quit homeschooling because you have quit taking care of yourself?
Do you put your kids first all the time? Homeschooling is laboring and relationship intensive work. We are with our children 24/7. It is a full-time job of homemaking, plus a FULL-TIME JOB of teaching. You are going to be tired and worn out at times.
It is not selfish to take a break and to practice self-care. You bless your children and your husband when you take care of yourself.
Hopefully, your goal is to homeschool all the way through high school.
I have witnessed many moms crash and burn and not make it to that finish line. The common problems were not finding a balance in homeschooling, trying to do it all, not taking care of themselves, and not having something of their own outside of homeschooling.
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#7 Are You Investing in You, the Teacher?
You are more than just a homeschooling mom. Find your own passion. Fill your tank. Then, you will be able to get back in the race.
Read books that inspire you as a homeschool educator. Paid teachers go to teacher trainings. Why don’t you deserve some time to recharge and focus on your craft?
Like podcasts? Check out: The Homeschool Solutions Show
Get to a homeschool convention!
Spend some time away from your kids. (They will survive.) They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. A little time away will help your husband and children realize how much they take you for granted. It will also give you the space to remember how much you love them.
Frankly, sometimes at the end of the school year – I love them, but I am not in love with them. Time away can be amazing for resetting our hearts and spirits.
Truth: All Homeschool Moms Have Thought About Quitting
Finally, I want to say that we have all been there. Any homeschooling mom who says that they have never considered quitting homeschooling is LYING. We all have hard days and hard seasons.
We have all questioned our calling to homeschooling. In that valley of darkness, it can seem like public schooling is that light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t let your fear or your exhaustion decide for you.
The powerful spiritual impact of homeschooling is a precious gift. We owe it to ourselves and to our children to stop, breath, and pray before we decide to quit homeschooling. Allow God to use your broken, questioning heart to renew your conviction to stay the course.