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Stop, Rewind, Start Over: When Homeschool Moms Mess Up

Did you ever have one of those days? You wake up in the morning filled with excitement about what your homeschool will look like, and everything goes wrong.

First, the cat throws up, and you step in it. You enter the kitchen and find that your energetic children have taken it upon themselves to make their own play dough. The tell-tale sign is the flour that is caked onto everything. The table, cabinets, walls, and floor are absolutely covered with a substance that used to be a powdery flour but is now similar to a hardened paste since the children tried to clean it up with a wet rag.

Undeterred, you start a pot of coffee, determined that this day will get better, pull out a scraper, and set out to make the kitchen presentable again.

It doesn’t get better. The kids are fighting, the phone keeps ringing, and you have to send your daughter searching the sofa cushions for pencils.

You take a deep breath, pull out the read-aloud, and begin the homeschool day. After finishing the chapter, you ask one of your kids to narrate. Nothing. Next child- no answer. You realize that you’ve spent the last 20 minutes pretty much reading to yourself.

And that’s when you lose it. All of the pressure building up throughout the morning comes hurling out of you all at once. Your kids sit there wide-eyed as you begin a 10-minute, red-faced lecture about the importance of obedience and attentiveness and how they should know this since that’s what your unit study’s been focusing on all this time, and…

Suddenly, you realize that you’ve messed up. Big time.

Sound familiar? I’m going to let you in on a little secret. It happens to all of us.

Every. single. one. of. us.

We homeschool parents can be way too hard on ourselves, especially newer homeschool moms, so today I’m going to share some things I’ve learned in this journey about the reality of being your child’s teacher.

What to Remember When You Mess Up as a Homeschool Mom (and you will mess up!)

You are not alone.

You’re not the only homeschool mom who messes up. Whether you’re a homeschool mom of 20 days or 20 years, I’m telling you, you are going to make mistakes. It comes with the territory, but don’t let it get you down. The best way to grow is to allow yourself to make mistakes. Sure, they don’t seem so nice at the time they’re actually happening, but isn’t it amazing how God can use our imperfections to, well, perfect us?

A little grace goes a long way.

How often do you remind yourself to give your kids grace? Pretty often? Me, too. Now, how often do you remember to give yourself grace? Are you struggling with that one?

One thing you need to keep at the forefront of your mind is that you are human. You make mistakes, I make mistakes, and it’s okay. The important thing is recognizing it, applying what you’ve learned, and starting over again.

The best way to grow is to allow yourself to make mistakes.




Be humble enough to apologize.

You know what? This is hard for me. I am stubborn, and I hate to admit it when I’m wrong. Hate it.

Letting your kids know that you realize you were wrong is not only the best way to let your kids know that you regret what you did, but it is an excellent model for the importance of humility. After all, how can anyone know what it is to truly forgive if they’ve never been the one to ask for forgiveness?

Your homeschool days will very rarely go exactly the way you want them to.

Your kids think the world of you.

As horrible as you think you may have acted on a given day, I guarantee that your kids can and will forgive you. You are their hero, and there’s nothing in the world they want more than to just be with you.

Perhaps that’s one of the reasons that Jesus was so drawn to children while He was here on Earth. They have the capacity to forgive in a way that most adults just aren’t capable of- the kind of forgiveness that He intends for us to have for one another.

That’s something to think about, isn’t it?

It doesn’t mean you “aren’t cut out for the job.”

Don’t throw in the towel and send your kids back to school on a whim because you’ve stumbled here and there. In fact, don’t give up even if you think you’ve done nothing but make mistakes. There is no such thing as the perfect homeschool.

Use what you’ve learned in your journey and seek out a homeschool routine that works for you and for your children. Oftentimes, the worst moments for us homeschool moms is when we find ourselves comparing our homeschool to others. It’s fine to look to others for ideas, but don’t try to become carbon copies of them. All families are different, and no two homeschools will ever look the same. That’s a good thing.

Having a bad homeschool day isn’t the end of the world. I’m going to be perfectly honest here and say this to all of you new homeschoolers:

Your homeschool days will very rarely go exactly the way you want them to.

You can strategize and make lists to your heart’s content, but chances are, something will happen to foil your plans. Does that mean the day is ruined? No way! I’ve found that some of our best homeschool days were filled with unexpected “interruptions.”

If you can embrace that one truth, you are far less likely to have a meltdown in the midst of your homeschool day.

And even if you do, that’s okay.

Stop. Rewind. Start over. You’ve got this.

I’m Shelly Sangrey, a Christ-following, homeschooling mom of 11 and wife to my ever-patient husband, Shawn. After spending years trying to discover the Lord’s will for me, I finally realized that I could use my spiritual gift of encouragement to lift up other mothers who have taken this rewarding, yet sometimes tiring, journey of homeschooling. When I’m not busy chasing kids, homeschooling, drinking coffee, or devouring books at the library, you can find me at my blog, There’s No Place Like Home, or on my YouTube channel of the same name.

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