Home ADHD Survival Guide Honest Encouragement For Hesitant First Time Homeschool Parents – It’s Okay To Feel Anxious

Honest Encouragement For Hesitant First Time Homeschool Parents – It’s Okay To Feel Anxious

written by familyadhd
Homeschool Project Pinhole Projector Solar Eclipse

The boys using the pinhole projector they made with Patrick to view the eclipse–a last-minute project because I am not the perfect homeschool mom.

Dear First Time Homeschool Parents,

So, you’ve decided to embark on homeschooling this year! Whether by choice or out of necessity, welcome to the ranks of homeschooling parents across the world.

Perhaps you’re excited! Maybe you’ve found a curriculum you’re absolutely in love with and resources you feel confident will assist you in creating the best possible homeschooling year you can for your child or children. If that’s the case, then that’s amazing and we wish you all the best of luck as you embark on this new journey.

However, if you’re still second-guessing every choice you’ve made from curriculum to the choice to even homeschool at all, you’re not alone!

We chose to homeschool out of necessity. I was never the type that fantasized about homeschooling the boys with Pinterest-perfect projects and Mary Poppins-worthy lessons. When friends talked dreamily about how excited they were to eventually homeschool their kids (most of which never went on to do so), my insides cringed as I smiled and said, “I know my limits and that’s just not something I could do, but I totally respect anyone who can!”

As fate would have it, it was something I ended up having to do.

And dear doubtful homeschooler, I had all the same doubts and fears that you have now.

I wondered how I’d ever figure out, let alone complete, the complicated lesson plans provided with our curriculum.

I struggled with whether or not I’d actually be able to teach the boys anything, even though I’d worked in classrooms in special education for years.

I looked at my workload, I was already a WAHM, and wondered how I’d juggle work and homeschool.

I had panic attacks, envisioning the kids failing out of school and inevitably life because I’d been the source of their educations.

The fact is, all of these fears and doubts mean you care … a lot! And honestly, that’s a great foundation for the skills you need to get through a homeschooling year.

And while every day may not be easy (we had entire years that were absolute agony, to be honest), by the end of the year you will look back and feel a sense of accomplishment for your child/children and for yourself.

Now, I’m not going to pretend homeschooling is my cup of tea. In many ways, I still find it a struggle, but I will say that the more time goes by, the less I worry daily—now, it’s more like once a week. 😉

Here is the reality of homeschooling, in my opinion, for those that don’t feel completely confident doing it:

You will have bad days. In fact, some days will be a total wash. Know when to quit for the day or to change things up and do something you know is easy for them and for you, then start fresh the next day.

You will question yourself … frequently. As I mentioned above, I still question regularly whether or not I’m destroying the boys’ entire futures. In reality, I’m probably not, but that doesn’t mean I recognize that to be true every day. Know that you’re doing the best you can and as long as you’re getting things done (even if it’s at your own pace) you’re probably doing okay!

You will have serious homeschool envy. There are some homeschooling parents out there that have their stuff together. And not just prepped and ready, but TOGETHER. They have projects scheduled every day, they tie every subject into every other subject seamlessly and they make Martha Stewart look like a kindergartener building popsicle houses. They’ll talk about how wonderful every day is and how beautifully their child is doing. You’ll look at your irritated child as you try to explain something for the second time and wonder, “What am I doing wrong?”

Friend, you’re not doing anything wrong. The reality is, some people do find homeschooling a breeze, but the majority of people I know struggle! Some just hide it better behind beautifully orchestrated projects and sugar-coated posts on social media. Don’t worry, maybe your child didn’t build a scaled replica of the Taj Mahal while you studied India in history & geography, simultaneously tying it into math by discussing volume and measurements while cooking an authentic Indian meal. Would it be nice to be able to pull that off? Of course! Is your child going to end up jobless and penniless because they didn’t? Doubtful.

In the end, the best advice I can give you is this: Know your limits, know your child’s limits and just do your best.

If you’re frustrated, take a minute. If they’re frustrated, give them a minute.

Research the programs you use and if something ends up not working, chuck it and use something else. We’re starting on our 6th year of homeschooling for our oldest and 4th for our youngest. Different programs work for each kid in some subjects and every year we re-evaluate what did and didn’t work before we start a new school year. There have been years where I’ve scrapped programs mid-year to replace them because they clearly didn’t work for us. Homeschooling is a constantly evolving process, from my experience.

You’re going to be okay! And if homeschooling ends up not working out in the end, that’s okay, too! You know your child/children best, give yourself the confidence to make decisions knowing that to be true.

Sending positive homeschool vibes your way,

Doria A.K.A. Your Fellow Hesitant Homeschooling Mom

 

P.S. If you’re curious about the programs we’re using this year (and ones we’ve used in the past) I’m happy to share if people are interested! If you have any questions please feel free to share them below. Also, please feel free to share your words of encouragement or advice below if you’re a veteran homeschool parent.

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43 comments

Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle August 30, 2017 at 1:30 pm

I can’t imagine how nervous I would be to home school my kids. I’m actually not sure I could do it with my workload. I’d also be terrified that I wouldn’t do a good enough job. It’s a HUGE responsibility!

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familyadhd August 30, 2017 at 1:53 pm

Definitely! I had all of the same fears before shifting to homeschooling (and still worry about most of this lol).

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Kendra August 30, 2017 at 4:12 pm

I am totally high fiving you for homeschooling! I tried it for a year…epic fail!

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familyadhd August 30, 2017 at 4:46 pm

Thanks! Yeah, it’s rough! I feel like nobody really talks openly about how hard it is, even years in 😀

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Jamie August 30, 2017 at 8:14 pm

Homeschooling would make me a nervous wreck, but I do have serious homeschool envy! There are so many cool experiences and teaching opportunities that we could do, sadly, I’d lose my mind doing them. lol

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familyadhd August 30, 2017 at 8:31 pm

Hahaha! I will say, the fact we can homeschool while traveling and use that for organic teaching moments is amazing, but I am not the queen of Pinterest projects. lol

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Marysa August 30, 2017 at 10:11 pm

Homeschooling is definitely a big commitment! I haven’t homeschooled before, but I do know some parents that do. It really is a lot of work, I think I would be overwhelmed.

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familyadhd August 31, 2017 at 2:32 pm

Definitely!

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Kendra August 30, 2017 at 10:58 pm

You guys have so many great experiences while homeschooling. This is a great post for people who are thinking about doing it.

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familyadhd August 31, 2017 at 2:32 pm

Thanks 🙂

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Cris of Kiss My Tulle August 30, 2017 at 11:02 pm

I have no interest in homeschooling my kids but I love that you are!

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familyadhd August 31, 2017 at 2:33 pm

Hahaha thanks!

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Joely Smith August 31, 2017 at 1:26 am

Such an empowering post for those starting out! It’s not easy but it gets easier as you keep at it! It’s all about finding your family groove and not allowing yourself to be judged. I homeschooled first out of necessity due to my daughter’s medical needs. Then it became something we all loved. This was long before homeschooling became even close to normal or mainstream. There are so many support systems now, and groups! Power to those who decide to take this route. For some it is the best option!

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familyadhd August 31, 2017 at 2:33 pm

It definitely is for some!

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Dogvills August 31, 2017 at 5:50 am

Both my kids are grown up now. I don’t think I could have homeschooled them back then. This just isn’t for me. I have high respects though for parents who are homeschooling their children.

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familyadhd August 31, 2017 at 2:33 pm

That’s how I felt before it became a necessity 🙂

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Chubskulit Rose August 31, 2017 at 6:32 am

I applaud and respect you for homeschooling your boys. I wanted to home school my son but I am one of those doubters. I worked in school before I became a MOm but I don’t have the courage to do it for my own children, homeschooling is not for everybody so kudos to you.

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familyadhd August 31, 2017 at 2:34 pm

It really is a totally different thing when it’s your own children!

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ricci August 31, 2017 at 6:49 am

You go Mama!! I have heard that homeschooling is hard and it sounds like you are doing a GREAT job so far!!

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familyadhd August 31, 2017 at 2:34 pm

Thank you so much! <3

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carrie @ frugal foodie mama August 31, 2017 at 6:52 am

Man, I give mad props to parents who choose to home school. I used to be a junior high/high school teacher, and even I don’t think that I could handle homeschooling my own kids.

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familyadhd August 31, 2017 at 2:34 pm

Hahaha right? It’s a totally different scenario!

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Melissa Dixon August 31, 2017 at 9:16 am

I loved homeschooling my daughter, I did it for K-2 grade. I loved being able to teach her to read, do basic math, and write. It was so rewarding!

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familyadhd August 31, 2017 at 2:35 pm

That’s great that you found such joy in it!

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Nancy at Whispered Inspirations August 31, 2017 at 10:29 am

I have many friends who have chosen to Homeschool and they say it is the best choice that they have ever made for their children’s education. I hope you find it rewarding!

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familyadhd August 31, 2017 at 2:36 pm

That’s great! For me, I think I’ll find it rewarding if it’s clear down the line that I haven’t totally destroyed their educuations lol. I’m still not he “homeschool type”, but we do what we’ve gotta do 😉

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Nancy at Whispered Inspirations August 31, 2017 at 10:30 am

I have many friends who have chosen to Homeschool and they say it is the best choice that they have ever made for their children’s education. I hope first timers find it rewarding!

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Gingermommy August 31, 2017 at 10:31 am

This is a great post for those starting out with Homeschooling. I can imagine that there would be some hesitation for first timers, but with your encouraging post I am sure they can move past the jitters and find it very rewarding.

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familyadhd August 31, 2017 at 3:05 pm

I think it varies from person to person, but definitely the longer you do it the less you feel completely overwhelmed … for the most part 😉

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Kathy August 31, 2017 at 12:01 pm

I’m glad you wrote this. I was wondering about homeschooling. I know my girls love it at public schools though too. I have always wondered whether I should homeschool or not.

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familyadhd August 31, 2017 at 3:06 pm

It’s a tough decision! Glad you found it helpful 🙂

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Jessica Holoka August 31, 2017 at 2:44 pm

I’ve always admired parents who took the time to homeschool their children. I can remember having some tough times during elementary school. I probably wouldn’t have minded having my mom be my teacher and learning in the comfort of my home. Best of luck!

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Nancy L August 31, 2017 at 4:16 pm

It is very sweet of you to provide encouragement. My sister-in-law homeschools her children and I’m sure she was anxious, especially when my MIL was very blunt with my SIL and said the children should attend a parochial school (Italian MIL’s, ha-ha!). My niece and nephew are now 8 and 10, have never stepped foot in a school, and are happy, bright, and well-adjusted children. I’ll admit I was worried at first since my SIL is from Columbia and she was still learning English herself, but the children are thriving. It’s a personal choice and not an easy one to make.

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Lori Bosworth August 31, 2017 at 5:13 pm

My brother homeschooled his five daughters. Three of them went on to university and one is now a doctor.

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familyadhd August 31, 2017 at 5:58 pm

That’s amazing!!!

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Jessica Scull August 31, 2017 at 8:35 pm

You are such a good mama! Those boys are so lucky

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familyadhd August 31, 2017 at 9:08 pm

Aw thank you! Your little guy is pretty lucky, too 😉

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Victoria Heckstall August 31, 2017 at 9:39 pm

This is such a great post. You guys have so many great experiences while homeschooling. You are so lovely and good mom to your child.

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familyadhd August 31, 2017 at 9:47 pm

Aw thank you <3 That's so sweet of you to say 🙂 The silver lining to homeschool (aside from the fact they do so well that way compared to in a traditional classroom) is the fact we get to have so many amazing adventures!

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Lynndee September 1, 2017 at 8:24 am

I truly admire parents who homeschool their kids. I have a friend who homeschool her kids and she says it’s not a piece of cake, but she’s determined to continue homeschooling them. Best of luck to you and your kids.

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familyadhd September 1, 2017 at 10:08 am

That’s fabulous! Yes, I’ve never found it to be super easy myself 😉

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Aduke Schulist September 1, 2017 at 7:47 pm

I’ve been doing it for 11 years and I still feel anxious. I think each new grade brings new challenges, but also so many rewards.

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familyadhd September 1, 2017 at 8:17 pm

Very true! I definitely feel more at ease the second time around each grade with our youngest, but yes, every year is completely a new set of challenges 😉

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