Three Things Every Homeschool Mom Needs to Read Before Starting the School Year

Here you are again, your toes dangling off the edge of another fall semester. Maybe you aren’t ready to dive into this yet. Are your good friends Doubt and Exhaustion hovering around you already? Whispering reminders of all your failures and asking things like, “Who do you think you are? You can’t do this.” and “Don’t you know you’re already behind? The rest of the county started last week.” Well sit down, Momma and Co., I got some words for you.

You’re not alone!
Although it may feel like it, this is not a one mom show. In order for this to work in the best way possible, each student must be at the very center of his or her education. Empower them to own it! Let them help lead the way. They are your biggest allies in this game.

If there is tension between the two inner-most circles, fall back on your Family. I use this term loosely because your back up ring may not be actual blood relatives. In my own story, we had family members that were discouraging about our choice to homeschool. This is not Family. Pardon my use of a homeschool mom curse word but: tune that crap out! Ain’t no time for that mess. Your Family is the circle of people around you that speaks empowerment and encouragement over you and is there to offer advice or simply just listen. If you don’t have this established yet, reach out. You’ll probably find another mom dealing with the same struggles. If all else fails, we, at Momma’s Desk, want to be that voice of hope to you. You can even get individualized coaching if you need a boost. Contact us today.

Finally, your greater Community has a ton of resources and ideas to help your student follow their bliss in the classroom. My youngest brother, Joshua, got to try his hand at blacksmithing during a history unit study when my Momma discovered and contacted a local blacksmithing master. And guess what? Josh fell in love with the ancient art and now we have a forge in our backyard. #classichomeschool So look up and around and all over, I think you’ll be surprised at what you find.

Please practice self-care
Do you know where we get our shame triggers according to shame researcher Dr. Brene Brown? From our family of origin. This doesn’t necessarily mean we were or are verbally shamed growing up, she cites the origin for her own shame of being sick or resting (Shame says, “Weak and lazy.”) were modeled to her as a child. Her parents never took the time to rest when they were sick so she determined in her subconscious that to do that would be shameful. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles and if we, as parents, are aware that this is how shame is taught, we can cut it off at the pass and avoid (or at least prepare for) situations and people that trigger our shame. For example, that one youth group leader that guilts parents into over-commitment or that ’sweet on the outside, cyanide on the inside’ mom that loves slipping passive aggressive comments through her smile. “Bless your little heart.” Fortunately, this shame awareness practice doesn’t just make for kids with a healthy shame immunity, this primarily helps you. This is Self Care 101. Speak gently to yourself, as you would a dear friend, and extend to yourself a little grace. Take a break. Breathe a little. Laugh it off. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. And then move along. Your children will learn to handle their own shame triggers the same way.

Don’t lose your perspective
This is a marathon. This is not a sprint. Yes, the stakes are high… this is your child’s one and only life, so we cannot afford to lose our perspective or our grit! You have been called to this moment, like Esther and Deborah and Miriam and countless other heroines, to do an amazing work. No one else can do it like you can and, even if you don’t have all the answers right now, keep going. Baby step it if you have to. And in case no one has asked you this recently: why in blue blazes NOT you!? You are competent and creative and capable of miraculous things like, I don’t know, PROVIDING LIFE to the child or children in your classroom (ya’ll adoption mommas know that providing life through adoption is just as much of a beautiful-painful-amazing process as physical labor). So when it comes to the education of these mighty tinies, why the heck NOT you? Now go get ‘em, Momma!

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