Google+ Authentic Parenting: Six Ideas To Overcome the Homeschool Guilt

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Six Ideas To Overcome the Homeschool Guilt

A couple days back, I posted how now and again, I'm overcome with the Homeschool Guilt. The feeling of not doing enough, of not seeing results, of wondering if we're doing all right.
Now obviously for me, that stems from being schooled myself, where nearly all you do is 'show you' work. Tangible stuff. Paper stuff. Physically measurable things... We grow up with the idea that it's only there if it's measurable.  As unschoolers, most of the learning our kids do isn't visible or tangible. But then one day you overhear them talking about Egyptian burial rites and know they did pick up something along the way...

But I'm diverting. I wanted to write this post to hand you a couple of tools to overcome that homeschool guilt and get back on the happy homeschool trail. Because it's no good to be stuck with guilt, even if it's all just in your head and without ground.

  1. Spend more time doing 'educational' things with your kids. It can be just about anything they're interested in, or it can be worksheet, if that tickles their fancy. If you're feeling guilt about not being 'hands on' enough, chances are, you aren't so, make up for lost time and play with them, work with them, craft with them, until they ask you, to leave them alone!
  2. Listen to your kids and find out what they've been learning when you were stressing about it. 
  3. Refresh their environment. Use this momentum to take out some old toys, fix broken ones, put those away that aren't age appropriate anymore or aren't being played with. Set up their creative materials in a way that inspires them to use them. Read more about creating rich environments in my post 'The Art of Strewing'.
  4. Go somewhere together. It can be as easy as a stroll through the park or a visit to a grocery store, learning happens everywhere. Or you could take them to a museum or an exhibition, whatever both you and your kids are interested in and feel good about. Remember, learning happens everywhere. 
  5. Bring in an interesting person to do enrich your kid's skills. Feel insecure about their math skills, ask around with your friends if one of them is math savvy and wants to do some math play with your kids. Your child loves physics, but you forgot everything you learned in high school? Maybe there's a retired physics professor in your neighbourhood who'd love to do some fun experiments with your child.
  6. Go on Pinterest and do the first three activities you see that your child would be interested in. You can find plenty on my Kid Craft and Activity board.
In any case, even by doing the things that make us cringe, our children are learning (if only about the fact that it makes us cringe), so relax and enjoy their experience. They'll surprise you with everything they soaked in.
Only last night, we watched an episode of Bones and my daughter told us 'well, they're not real skeletons, they're dummies and fake blood and then they film it and make it look real'. Kudos to you, my sweet one!

photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via photopin cc



  1. Awesome post! I'm at the very, very beginning of this unschooling journey and sometimes I fret over being able to let go. I can be a bit of a control freak. I am going to bookmark this for future stumbling and reminding.

    Thanks for linking up on Friday Favorites!

    1. Most of us have been brought up with this false sense of control over our learning, infused with 'show me' work that we do in school, when we don't SEE the results of our kids learning, it can get scary. Hang in there, it does get better :)

  2. This is great! We do traditional schooling for now (could change in the future, depending on my kids' needs) and supplement their education at home. I think these tips are just as applicable to our situation.

    Thank you for linking up to Friday Favorites!


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