Everywhere I interact with homeschool moms, whether it's in person or online, I hear about the same struggles:
My kids loved homeschooling at first, but now they resist everything I try.
I constantly feel like I'm not doing enough.
Mama, I hear you. That's why I decided to create this blog. Give me a few moments, and let me tell you about how everything can shift.
I'd like to invite you to explore a different way of living together and parenting. If your parenting and homeschooling has been what I call “traditional” (punishments, time outs, power struggles, yelling, “Do what I say right now!”) – I'm going to nudge you in a new direction.
It's called connection parenting.
Don't worry, connection parenting doesn't mean you never say no, your kids run wild and there are no boundaries. It simply means we are going to step back from the power struggles and let your kids have a voice.
It changes everything about your relationships and your homeschooling!
Here are some resources about connection parenting, nudge nudge:
- The Explosive Child by Ross Greene
- Raising Human Beings: Creating a Collaborative Partnership with Your Child by Ross Greene
- Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
- Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
- How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elizabeth Mazlish
- @yournaturallearner on Insta
- @flourishinghomesandfamilies on Insta
- @raising_yourself on Insta
Learning Doesn't Happen in Grade Levels
Next, I'm going to introduce you to the concept that learning isn't neatly carved into grade levels, and you don't have to live within these metrics in your homeschool.
School needs to work this way, for various reasons – but homeschool doesn't. And most kids don't develop evenly across all academic subjects, anyway.
Losing the school mindset is a process we call deschooling. And it's a process that unfolds over time. Kids usually have an easier go than adults who were raised in the school system. Like me. You, too?
Tied into deschooling is a flip from deficit-based, rote memorization learning to strengths-focused and interest-led learning. With a heaping side of sensory integration, mental health awareness, and supporting neurdiversity in ourselves and our kids.
Here's a very short list of books to help you jump out of the school mindset. Be aware, once you read these you'll be forever changed:
- How Kids Learn by John Holt
- Teach Your Own by John Holt
- The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto
- Free to Learn by Peter Grey
Life Skills Are Important
Did you know that there are such things as Adulting classes now? Because in so many schools, kids and teens aren't taught basic skills that used to be part of home economics and shop classes.
And sadly, many parents aren't equipped to share these life skills, either.
To bridge this ever-widening gap, on this blog we're going to talk about scaffolding, intentionally building independence, and why everyday life skills need to be a big part of homeschooling.
Here are some good reads:
- Home Ec for Everyone by Sharon Bowers
- The Scaffold Effect by Harold S. Koplewicz
- The Useful Book: 201 Life Skills They Used to Teach in Home Ec and Shop by David Bowers
Your Family Culture
Next, we're going to talk all about family culture.
I have one. You have one. It's not a concept that's talked about much, but it's critical to tie together all the concepts I've introduced into your unique homeschool, daily plans and routines. Family culture is the glue that holds everything together.
This is so, so important: your family is unique in a myriad of ways. There is no point trying to do what other families do, as attractive as it may seem. Keep reading, and I'll explain what I mean.
Our Family: My husband is a high-level software engineer, gamer, and all-around geek. I am a university trained musician (marching band 4-ever) but work part time at home as an administrative assistant for an interior designer. I've never been an awesome housekeeper (hence my need for routines and organization) and the kitchen isn't my happy place – so meals have to be simple and quick and planned in advance.
We like video games, graphic novels, Dungeons and Dragons around the dining room table on cold winter afternoons, and pizza every Friday night. I'm an avid crafter. I have an only child who is neurodivergent. We live in the mountains and like that our yard is basically forest. Half the year is cold and mostly rainy. I don't like to be outside when it's cold and rainy.
Another Family: A bustling family with 5 kids who live in a warm climate, have a flower and vegetable garden, keep chickens, and love baking their own bread. Maybe Mom is a veterinarian; they love animals and have all kinds of pets, and Dad stays home or works part time at the local bookstore. They have a neatly trimmed yard, and live in a neighborhood with lots of kids.
Their routines are centered on animal and garden care, cooking homemade food all of time, canning and food preservation, and being outside in the warm climate all year round. They skate, surf, and live within walking distance to shops and restaurants.
Do you see how our family cultures and homeschool choices would be wildly different? And should be wildly different? That is the joy of this homeschooling life.
Let's find your family's one-of-a-kind mix of personalities and priorities.
You're Doing Enough
And finally, we'll shift the focus to you, mama.
You pour yourself out daily for your family. Let's talk about filling your cup, what's important to you, and bringing moments of creativity and joy back into your days.
Building your family culture, routines, and flow will open up space for you to mix in those things that bring you life.
- Reading with a hot cup of tea
- Practicing music or a craft
- Taking a walk or doing yoga or another exercise
- Pursuing a degree online
- Taking a nap
- Having dinner with a friend
- ________________________ <— whatever lights you up!
All of this adds up to a purposeful, intentional life where “I never feel like I'm doing enough!” will become a thing of the past. Instead, all around you will see the results of cooperative parenting, simple routines, life learning, focusing on strengths, and building a family culture.
Not perfect. Not without struggle. But enough.
You can do this, mama!