Seven MORE Things You Should Stop Doing If You Homeschool

Seven MORE Things You Should Stop Doing If You Homeschool
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A couple years back, I wrote a piece called Seven Things You Should Stop Doing if You Homeschool. I’m still homeschooling and still taking notes. So, for your entertainment and enlightenment, here are seven more things we should stop doing if we want to harness the true Awesome of our homeschooling experience.

1. Stop taking every single life experience and categorizing it as a school subject.

We all say things like, “Oh! We made cookies today! That counts for home ec…and math, too, because we doubled the recipe.” Or, “this walk in the woods counts as science!” Yes, by doing all those things, you are technically studying those topics. But when you start breaking down every life experience into subjects, your kids (and you) will start believing that every thing you do has to count for something. Every single thing.

Ask me how I know.

Psst. I’ll let you in on a secret. You are not living a subject, you are living life. Just make the cookies, and enjoy eating the whole pan together.

2. Stop making every single issue you face in your day into a homeschooling issue.

Your kid is not sassing you because you homeschool. Your kid is sassing you because you’re the parent.

You may also enjoy…Homeschooling Can Be Hard. Here’s How to Deal.

It’s a universal parenting issue, reallyβ€”not singularly a homeschooling problem. You are not having trouble figuring out what to cook for dinner because you are a homeschooler, you are having trouble because you have people to feed. You are not struggling with keeping your house clean because you homeschool, you are struggling to keep your house clean because people live there. And you will discover this if you…

3. Stop hanging out with only homeschooling families.

Someone once messaged my Facebook page to thank me for sharing memes that weren’t necessarily “the things that homeschooling moms would share”. She asked how in the world did I find the pages that I followed? Answer: I branched out.

Listenβ€”I’m not just a homeschooling mom, and neither are you. I’m a mom. Mom encompasses a lot of different women. Figure out how to hang with all of them. You can learn something from every single person you meet, and I don’t want to squash that by only filling my social media feeds (and real life adventures) with the singular qualification of someone having to be a homeschooling parent.

4. Stop thinking everyone who asks why your kids aren’t in school today is looking to turn you in or start a fight.

Some homeschoolers have a habit of walking around half-cocked, waiting for someone to ask The Question, so then they can rant to their homeschooling friends about The Nerve of The Person in Public to Inquire About My Child.

Y’all. When did we get so damn sensitive?

It is quite possible the person simply asked to make polite conversation, and “no school today?” seemed a more appropriate attempt than asking your child’s opinion on the presidential candidates. It is also quite possible that the person asking has a brother/aunt/cousin/best friend/co-worker who homeschools, or that they (gasp) are a homeschooler themselves.

5. Stop making everything about the project.

Eventually, there will not be a fun project to go with the subject you are studying. There will not always be a cute Pinterest worthy post for what you did today. Sometimes the project makes sense, and other times it’s just a total waste of time, money, space, and glitter.

The crazy thing is that sometimes our kids figure this out way before we do.

6. Stop trying to prove how smart your kids are.

You can’t say out of one side of your mouth, “I wish people would stop quizzing my kids in public!” and then out the other side, while at the family reunion, have your child parrot what they’ve learned this week in homeschooling under the guise of, “Gosh, my kids must just love learning so much! They can’t stop talking about it!”

Hey. I get that you want people to understand that you’re not just sitting at home watching hours of cat videos on YouTube. But telling all the public school senior high cousins that your 9-year-old son tested at a 12th grade level and should basically be sitting next to them in school is maybe sorta asking people to get out the pitchforks.

7. Stop doing what doesn’t work.

Which is to say stop trying to fit a star-shaped peg into a pencil-shaped hole.

Which is to say if the thought of doing year round school makes you want to cry tears of acid, then for goodness sake, take a summer break.

It’s also to say that if Best Math Curriculum Ever makes you break out in hives, don’t use it.

And if you can’t wrap your mind around being part of the local homeschool co-op, then maybe don’t do it.

There is no award for the homeschooliest homeschooler or the unschooliest unschooler. So just maybe concentrate on whatever glorious mix of life and learning works for your family.

Are you guilty of doing these things? Check yo' self. -- Seven Things To Stop Doing If You Homeschool

Tired of the sugarcoated version of homeschooling? Read my book The Homeschool Highway: How to Navigate Your Way Without Getting Carsick.

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26 thoughts on “Seven MORE Things You Should Stop Doing If You Homeschool”

  • I totally see a need for #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7. πŸ˜‰ I have to say that #1 is my current homeschooling pet peeve.

  • And you are officially my new favorite blogger. Well put and bravo!
    Half the reason it took me so long to get into homeschooling was that I thought I didn’t fit the homeschool mom persona. Thanks for the encouragement!

    • In the early years, I thought there were many times I needed to get *out* of homeschooling because I didn’t fit the homeschool mom persona. So, yeah. I feel ya. πŸ™‚ Do your thing and rock out loud while doing it!

  • Really enjoyed this article, i struggle with 7 all the time. The part about co-ops really hit home, we have been trying to find one, but nothing really fits. Might just do without it.

    • Co-ops. I think we tried at least five before we found one that fits. And the one that fits is super small and super specific to our family. Co-ops by their very nature are tough for homeschoolers. A homeschoole family builds their entire existence on what works for them…and then you stick them in a group with a bunch of other homeschoolers who are also doing what works for their own families? It’s just plain hilarious sometimes, completely frustrating at other times. πŸ˜‰

      • Yes, that is our family. I felt like I *had* to do co-op. By the second semester, burn out quickly hit and it became hivy dread up there with public school events! I will cherish the friends we made, but sports and the occasional park meet-ups are happier, more relaxed chatter time for us.

  • I’ve been homeschooling for quite awhile, all the way back to the days when practically every homeschool mom wore denim jumpers. I had one and I hated it, lol! The jumpers became an inside joke at our house. My two oldest decided I was just a homeschool rebel; unexpected brownie points for mom πŸ™‚

  • I recently started homeschooling and found this to be great advice. #4 made me chuckle because I just came back from shopping and a barrista asked if I was back to school shopping or trying to avoid it. I simply answered, “My son is homeschooled so neither really, just picking up a few things.”

  • Love, love, love this post, as well as, the previous “stop doing” list and your whole blog! I have NEVER fit into the “traditional homeschool mold,” and I’ve often shied away from many conversations started by homeschooling moms who should maybe read this list. Until about two years ago, I felt hesitant to even call myself a homeschool mom, because we do kind of a “homeschool hybrid,” where the boys go to a school two days a week, and they’re home with me for three. I always felt I “didn’t measure up” to the expectations of homeschooling but never fit into the “public school mom” circles either. I have always encouraged moms to find their best for their own home while, internally, feeling like such a misfit.
    Blogs like yours are helping me to see more and more the “old school” version of homeschooling just isn’t what is expected these days, and it’s ok to be different than everyone else. That’s what helps the world go round. 😊 (…Guess I’m finally being able to live out some of my own advice. Lol.)
    Thanks for all your encouragement and giving a sense of belonging. πŸ’•

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