Home Advice Avoid Common Thinking Traps While Homeschooling

Avoid Common Thinking Traps While Homeschooling

by Rosetta Stone

Avoid falling into comparison traps or suffering from unhealthy expectations with these 3 helpful tips

What overwhelms you as a homeschooler? Is it the responsibility? The work? Perhaps, but I doubt it. Though homeschooling is a challenging path, most of the time when we experience feelings of failure and discouragement it’s because we have fallen into a few common homeschool thinking traps. In my experience, it’s mostly our fears and feelings that get us overwhelmed, not the actual work.

Thinking Trap #1: Unhealthy Comparison

Making unhealthy comparisons is probably the number one thinking trap homeschoolers fall into. It can skew a homeschool mother’s perspective and result in feelings of failure or inadequacy. Homeschoolers are very admirable people and what they do on a regular basis is amazing and impressive. It’s probably natural but not necessarily good to make comparisons. You and your children are unique, having your own strengths and weaknesses and what works for others may not be right for you. In addition, every family also has it’s own dynamics and needs.

We can learn a great deal by following the example of one another, however, it’s not usually very helpful to mimic styles or accomplishments. Ultimately, we must paint our own picture of what homeschooling looks like for our family. Let’s not get overwhelmed by comparison or even the numerous homeschool ideas we see on Pinterest and Facebook. Give yourself permission to bow out of unnecessary projects and activities and focus on what’s really important for your family. Keep it simple and be yourself!

Skill: Learn to assess whether your thoughts are inspiration or comparison. Then discern if it can be appropriately applied to your own homeschool situation and if it’s suitable for your circumstances. If not, drop the idea. If so, adapt it to meet your individual family needs before applying.

Thinking Trap #2: Unrealistic Expectation

Healthy expectations are needed to run an effective homeschool. But often, we limit ourselves by having idealistic expectations of what our homeschool should look like. Then when difficulties and trials arise, and they always do because they are part of life, we have limited ourselves and our outlook because in our minds we have already decided what a good homeschool should be. Then when we can’t fulfill that expectation we get discouraged. If we have the wrong type of expectation about homeschooling then we cannot adapt our methods to accommodate special circumstances and it’s due to our limited thinking.

Difficulties such as moving, having a new baby, and illness or injury can impact our ability to operate our homeschools the way we would like. These types of circumstances cannot conform to most of our expectations about homeschooling, so we fall into a thinking trap. When moms find they can’t live up to their own expectation of what homeschooling should be they begin to feel like a failure. Don’t fall into this trap; consider the alternatives and possibilities! What parts of your expectations for your homeschool or method can be adapted?

Skill: Keep your expectation realistic and allow for flexibility. Adapt your routine, methods and approach to fit your circumstance.

Thinking Trap #3: Failed Responsibility Concept

I know many moms who get overwhelmed trying to give all of their children everything they need, or think they need. There are so many curriculum and resources available that it’s overwhelming, especially to the new homeschooler. What if I miss something? How can we possibly do it all?

Providing our children with a good education is our goal. But the idea that we must provide them a fail proof education, without gaps or limitations, is an unrealistic concept. We have taken on the responsibility of educating our children, that’s true. And it’s a big one, but what does that actually look like for us as parents? Unlike a traditional classroom setting, homeschooling has a very different dynamic and is more similar to the one room school houses of the beginnings of formal education. The teacher spends a little time with each child, instructing them where they are in their learning, and provides the atmosphere for learning.

Homeschoolers often manage multiple ages and abilities in their homeschools while guiding each child through a program of learning. Our role is as teacher, yes, but even more as guide, helper, and facilitator of learning. We are there to help them when they need it and to provide the tools for their success. Let go of a failed concept of responsibility; it will remove a lot of pressure and enable you to be the helper your children deserve as you support them on their educational journey.

Skill: Keep your responsibility concept in check by setting educational goals for each of your children. Work toward meeting the goals and providing tools, materials, and enrichment to assist them where there is need.

About The Author

Stephanie has been a military spouse for 19 years and has homeschooled her three creative kids for more than 14 years. She writes about her homeschool and military life experiences on her blog. When she isn’t teaching, writing or moving she enjoys art, sightseeing, gardening, and cooking

The content provided in the article(s) is intended for informational purposes only. The thoughts and views expressed are solely those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views, position or policy of Rosetta Stone Ltd.(“Rosetta Stone”) or its affiliates, or those of any party other than the author. This is not a paid endorsement, and no endorsement by Rosetta Stone of the author or the publication site should be inferred. Any sites identified or linked to the Rosetta Stone site are developed by people or parties over whom Rosetta Stone exercises no control. Accordingly, Rosetta Stone neither endorses nor assumes responsibility for the content of any site in or linked to a Rosetta Stone site.

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