Top 10 Do Nots for Homeschool Moms

It’s easy to get wrapped up in curriculum choices, programs, groups, and activities in homeschool life. After all, these items can help you create structure and rhythm that are helpful to raising children. Now that it’s summer, let’s emphasize what not to do next year.

  1. Don’t discard the main goal: grow children who love God and love other people. There are so many mandates in that sentence, however, let this be the center of your schooling. Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his deeds are pure and right. Do the hard thing. Shape your kids. Show them their Creator and how His hand covers your lives. Maybe you can memorize math equations but not really know how to work them… but you can’t fake this one!
  2. Don’t let curriculum dictate your goals. Curriculum is a tool. It’s not God. Curriculum can’t know your family, your child’s capabilities, nor your life situations.
  3. Don’t get caught up in “keeping up with the jones'”. Expect exceptional work from your children at the level to which they are working. You know in your heart of what they are capable. Just because Sally next door can (insert skill) doesn’t mean your child should have to right now. Be patient in the process.
  4. Don’t accept work done half-heartedly. Measure your expectations fairly for each individual child, but get that child in the habit of doing their task with mastery. Success happens via thoroughness, resilience, persistence and creativity around problems.
  5. Don’t accept a poor attitude. Poor attitudes are ruinous, inconsiderate and unacceptable. Allowing a poor attitude will follow your children like a storm into adulthood. Expecting a good attitude teaches your children how to reframe situations in healthy ways and look for the positive. It makes them less selfish and invites more joy into their hearts.
  6. Don’t take the easy way out. It’s faster for you to do things for your children sometimes. It’s smoother to bribe or cajole but it reaps laziness, boredom and dependency in your kids. Encourage your kids to do hard work, and see their confidence grow, their talents deepen, and their ability to acquire new skills accelerate.
  7. Don’t slip from your routine. Life happens, but protect the time you have for schooling and do your best to preserve your schedule. Even unschoolers need to devote hours to a school schedule while running a home and meeting life’s demands!
  8. Don’t beat yourselves up! If you don’t meet a goal, maintain something, or your kids are moving slower than you’d like, take heart, there are so many ways to recover!
  9. Don’t go it alone! Join a co-op, or if you don’t like a co-op for your kids then at least join a mothers support and information group!
  10. Don’t lose yourself in your kids. Remember and honor your needs. You’ll be a better teacher if you’re spending time with God, and are well rested, fed and encouraged, still engaged in your own hobbies or intellectual person?
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