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Dear exhausted mom striving for homeschool perfection.
I have great news for you! News that you will find liberating!
THERE IS NO SUCH A THING AS HOMESCHOOL PERFECTION!
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Here! I said it! It took me a long time to find this out, but I did! On my last drop of hope, I finally got it and gave up on homeschool perfection!
I gave up on having the perfect homeschool room as well, that never gets used and of buying curriculum other moms brag about that don’t work for my children and are not a perfect fit for us!
In fact, I had an epiphany and gave up perfection all together! Perfection according to others, books, and magazines. Perfection that brings comparison. Perfection that makes me constantly dissatisfied, constantly upset because things did not go according to my big unrealistic plans I copy from somebody else! Yes, this kind of perfection sucks and I’m done with being a perfectionist.
I’m not striving for perfection anymore! I’m striving for joy, peace, and memories in our homeschool, doing what it is fit for us, at our own pace, within our own natural abilities. No pressure, no hurries, no comparisons.
Don’t be fooled by the “homeschool perfection” you see in pictures on social media of “perfect homeschool moms” doing the “perfect activities” with their “perfect kids” every day!
That is simply not true! We all have our imperfect days – ALL OF US! And they happen more often around here I can guarantee you that. A picture is NOT worth a thousand words. For instance, we had Poetry Teatime today and before I tell you the whole story, take a look at my Instagram post. 😉
Here is the story not told by the picture:
I baked fresh gluten-free scopes made from scratch (that didn’t taste that good), set up a beautiful tea table for me and my children in our living room (that they had to clean before because it was a disaster), took the perfect pictures to share on Instagram and as soon as I finished reading the second book, my daughter dropped her beautiful tea cup and smashed on the floor! Immediately the perfect teatime atmosphere was gone! My daughter was devastated, I was upset and there went our perfect homeschool activity of the day – THE END!
Homeschool Perfection on Pinterest is not for me either!
I gave up on trying to do all those amazing “pins” ideas we spend hours to find on Pinterest. Don’t get me wrong, I do love Pinterest!
I’m not the crafty, DIY type of mom and just the thought of the mess will drive me crazy before I even start it!
Yes, those moms are awesome and I wish I was the kind of mom who is all about doing hands-on projects, arts, and crafts, etc. But I am not and I found that trying to be someone I am not or doing things that are not natural to me and to my family will not in any way make our homeschool days successful.
I need to be simply me and homeschool my kids out of my strengths, my gifts, and talents. Don’t get me wrong, I love challenges and I do challenge myself but I’ve learned that everything organic is better. Let nature takes its course in your homeschool.
So this is my humble advice to you, dear exhausted mom striving for homeschool perfection:
Ask yourself: What feels natural to you? Reading books? Going for nature walks? Playing board games that teach your kids? What do you and your children enjoy doing together?
See, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, my mom would always tell me, and so is perfection! Perfection is what is fit for you!
Think about it. What do you consider a perfect dress? Not small, not big, not too long or too short, the color or pattern you like… one that makes you feel good and comfortable wearing, right? Oh, and one that you can afford buying too!
Perfection is doing homeschool over the kitchen table if this is the most comfortable spot for you and your family. You don’t need a school room out of a magazine, but if you do have one and love it, this is your perfect learning spot!
Get rid of this perfectionism and exhaustion, will you?
Last year, I got very ill. For many months I was in and out of the hospital, sometimes having to stay overnight.
I had chronic stress, adrenal fatigue, Hashimoto’s kicking in full speed and my body stopped absorbing iron. This is what hustling for years did to me. On days I couldn’t hold a glass of water in my hands, my kids brought their books to my bedroom and sat on my bed beside me to do school.
I still get emotional remembering those days and can’t help but cry while I type this. It wasn’t the place where we were homeschooling that mattered to them, it was what we did together that we loved so much and did not want to miss a day doing it.
Please take the time to read my post on Hustle: Confessions of a Burned Out Mom once you finish reading this post. I also wrote a blog post about slowing down and making memories with our children. Today I can look forward to our best homeschool years ahead.
Our life is too short and we never know when our last day will be.
Make memories with your children and make every day the best day of your life with all despite the imperfect moments in it.
I want to get to the end of my day thanking God for giving me those moments I will never forget! Knowing that my kids love to learn and I still love to teach them.
To be sure that we have a beautiful, strong and loving relationship is the most important thing to me.
“Girlfriend, it’s time for some realistic expectations. When we expect perfection in ourselves and others, we’re setting ourselves up for perpetual disappointment, discouragement, and disillusionment. We’re bound up in the chains of perfection instead of being free in authenticity! However, if we expect mistakes and failures to occasionally happen, we won’t be so disappointed when they show up. And they will show up! Not only that but we”ll be more content with reality and more effectively able to lead our kids. And here’s the bigger picture result: If we expect life to be imperfect, messy, and sometimes challenging, we won’t be tempted to hide our reality from others because we won’t feel as if we’ve failed. That’s some freedom every homeschooling mom needs!”
What kind of memories do you want your kids to have from your homeschool days?
I don’t want my kids to remember me as a sergeant who dictates the orders in the morning every day and pulled out the huge to do list as I piled up the books over the table – yes I did that on my first years of homeschooling! I am so glad those days are over and I bet my kids are too!
What do you picture as a perfect homeschool day within your natural abilities and your kids learning styles?
Do you beat yourself up most of the time charging yourself with guilt and condemnation because you think you are not perfect?
Please don’t do that to yourself! You are perfect if you don’t try to imitate anyone else or do things that are not natural to you.
Now, close your eyes and imagine having that perfect homeschooling day where everyone is loving it and have a big smile on their faces? What was it like? What were you doing? How were you learning? You are on this homeschool journey with your heart and your soul because you love your children and you want the best for them!
I’ll tell you this, my kids still think the best thing for them is when mommy is fully present, cuddling on the sofa (even if some of them are upside down on the sofa), reading them stories and talking about it afterward. We have the best conversations after reading books together and draw many lessons from it.
So, ditch perfection all together and trade it for your full presence being simply yourself!
Maybe we just need to simplify our great ideals of a perfect homeschool and focus on seeing beauty in the ordinary moments of our days instead.
After all, our children are learning and growing beautifully as we simply love on them. And you are making memories together – and that, dear homeschool mom – it’s just PERFECT!
And with all these things, love, which is the bond of perfection. Colossians 3:14.
Your turn: How does this post speak to you? What can you let go in order to find perfect peace and joy in your homeschool and life?
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Ana is the unhurried homeschool mom of 3, wife, and homeschool blogger.
She loves to encourage, inspire and empower moms to go from stressed to blessed by providing them with the tips, strategies, and resources they need to succeed. Ana is the founder of They Call Me Blessed and the creator of:
- 5 Days to Your Best Homeschool Years,
- Hebrew for Homeschoolers,
- Charlotte Mason Online Conference,
- The Homeschool Sisterhood,
- Grow Your Blog Partying in 30 Days, and
- the Beyond Blessed Life Planner.
She leads a vibrant free community for homeschool moms on Facebook and you can connect with her at www.facebook.com/theycallmeblessedblog.