Liam (age 6), mastering math
"When we decided to homeschool our oldest, one of my hesitations was math. I'd never really enjoyed it, much less taught it, but Sonlight offered so many great curriculum options that I felt we couldn't go wrong. We landed on Horizons, and it's been a great fit! My son looks forward to the colorful workbook pages and the manipulatives." — Whitney N. of Raleigh, NC
If you are a new homeschool mom or thinking of homeschooling, lean in close, I want you to hear this.
You can do this! You can homeschool.
Almost weekly, I have the same conversation with moms who tell me they could never homeschool because of one reason or another. Some of the reasons they share are:
- They are overwhelmed by the amount of pressure.
- They aren’t sure they can commit the time.
- They feel they lack the patience to teach their child.
- They don’t feel they have the ability to teach their child well.
- They don’t know where to start.
The truth of it is, I think every mom that has ventured to homeschool has had those same thoughts at some point.
I remember when I first started contemplating homeschooling our oldest child, ten years ago. I was so overwhelmed and had no idea where to start. I doubted myself daily and tried to talk myself out of it on multiple occasions. But my husband was my biggest cheerleader. He helped me remember the goal we were trying to reach together as a family.
Our purpose, our family goal, became my motivation. I sought out seasoned homeschool moms, asked a thousand questions, and researched every question I could come up with. My fear began to dissipate, and my confidence grew.
I want to share four things that helped me get over my fear of homeschooling.
1. Identify Your Homeschool Purpose
You must determine your goal, or your why, before you start. Write it down and put it in a place that you will see regularly because you will want to remind yourself often.
Think of it like running a marathon. When you are running mile after mile, the mile markers serve as motivators. When you see how far you’ve come and know how much further you have to go, you stay driven. It’s the same in homeschooling your children. You will need those mile markers (your goals) continuously in front of you to keep you focused, making quitting less appealing.
Goal-setting can be a bit scary when you sit down to a blank sheet of paper, so I suggest that you check out Sonlight’s goals to get you started. Sonlight also has a guide called How to Set Great Goals for Your Homeschool that you and your spouse can work through if you need a little more guidance.
2. Let Your Purpose Guide Your Curriculum Selection
When you start with a strong purpose and goals, selecting curriculum will be much easier. Reflecting on your family’s preferred learning style will also help you beautifully connect your purpose and curriculum. Selecting a curriculum that meets your family’s needs and what you are passionate about is the key to replacing fear with enthusiasm.
When I was searching for curriculum, I always found myself drawn to Sonlight. It fit our family more than any other curriculum:
- the literature-rich learning
- the all-inclusive setup
- the pre-planned Instructor's Guides
- the mission mindset
Sonlight got me excited because it looked like so much fun to teach.
Another thing I liked about Sonlight was the transparent description of the curriculum. I felt like I wasn’t being sold something, but that Sonlight truly had my family’s best interest in mind.
There are so many curriculum options today—new ones all the time!To conquer your fear of choosing a curriculum, focus on the ones that are transparent up front, and let you know why you should or should not buy. If you use a curriculum that matches your goals and needs, you will find you can homeschool without fear.
3. Find Your Tribe of Homeschoolers
Once your goals and curriculum are in place, you can focus on other areas that strike fear in your heart. Tell fear goodbye by surrounding yourself with like-minded homeschool moms, either in person or online. Find people you can share your frustrations with. If you are struggling in an area, find someone who is gifted in that area to give you ideas.
If you struggle with time management, read how others juggle homeschooling and a family. If it’s fear of not having the patience to teach each child, find a Sonlight Connection Group and talk to other moms about how you are feeling. (I promise you are not alone.) There are so many resources out there to help you on so many topics—a huge arsenal to combat fear.
4. Make Scripture and Prayer Your Foundation
Lastly and most importantly, staying rooted in Scripture and prayer is essential. This spiritual foundation is what holds everything together. Just when I think I’ve put all the puzzle pieces in the right spots, I realize I can’t hold it all together in my strength. I have to depend on God’s strength for that. He can take away our fear when we ask Him.
What’s holding you back? You can do it, mama! Face your fears and show your kids how strong you are.