What do you do when homeschooling is hard?

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When homeschooling is hard

You know the days I mean. The rough days. The hard days. The tired days.

You stumble out of the bedroom, eyeballs dry and itchy, fumbling for a cup of coffee to start the day. The baby didn’t sleep. The big kid crawled into your bed in the middle of the night to escape the monster under the bed. You stayed up half the night with your anxious teen, consoling them and reassuring them life will get better. Or one of the countless other ways we homeschoolers find ourselves ever-fatigued.

We all have our less-than-ideal days.

In fact, this post is hastily written late this week because I have had a whole week of these days!

I am curious to ask you, how do you handle the bad days?

Do you beat yourself up because you’re another week behind on the math curriculum?

Do you become easily frustrated with your sleepy child’s sloppy handwriting?

Does it all start to feel too big, too overwhelming, so you unwind with some mindless social media scrolling? (But we all know that only makes things worse. You end up double beating yourself up when you see how gracefully all the other homeschoolers handle their challenges!)

Having trudged through many, many a tough day I have learned that the easiest way to homeschool is to roll with the punches. Some days will be great, some days will be a struggle. But every day is equally another day of our homeschool life, and it’s all a part of the longer term journey.

It’s all about managing your expectations

And knowing what your non negotiables are

When I got clear on what was non-negotiable in my homeschool, I felt empowered and capable – even on my worst days. For years I had been struggling through hard days trying to tick off all the curriculum, squeeze in some more learning, and altogether doing too much.

But it all started working for the better when I was honest about what was truly important to me – what was my non-negotiable. When I admitted that I actually didn’t care if we skipped a week of math (provided we spent that time snuggling on the lounge reading books, watching movies, and strengthening relationships) everything felt easier. When I decided that just a little math, a little writing (as much as possible and no more) was enough – our hard days became ordinary days.

What is important and non-negotiable for you is entirely unique to your family and the season of life you are in. I have a whole lesson in my online course, Nurture Your Homeschool, that will guide you through unpacking what is most important to you and your family. 

In the meantime, it helps to be realistic about your expectations and to give your family the space to thrive even when life is stressful. You will make things easier if you get clear on what is important to your child, yourself, and your whole family.

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