Homeschool Mommy Wars


 
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Mommy wars happen everywhere - including in homeschooling.  Stop these 5 lies that are ruining homeschooling.

There is a growing trend in the homeschooling world that breaks my heart. Chances are if you’re involved in a homeschooling group  {online or in real l ife}, you’ve seen it too.

The homeschooling mommy war.

I see it everywhere– in homeschooling groups, co-ops, online groups, homeschooling blogs…

Anywhere that you have a few homeschooling mothers together, you’ll probably begin to see it.

The competition, comparison, tearing down…

It is a raging battle, and it is all based on lies.

There are five lies that are fueling the homeschooling mommy wars and these five lies are ruining homeschooling:

Lie #1: I’ve found the perfect curriculum and if you’re not using it, then you’re doing it wrong.

Newsflash! Curriculum is NOT one size fits all. There simply is no perfect curriculum. Your curriculum {no matter how much it cost, who published it, which method it utilizes} is no better than mine. You may have found the “perfect” curriculum for your child- but that “perfect” curriculum may be a recipe for disaster for my child. Please, by all means, share with me the reasons you love your curriculum. Tell me what is working well for you. Heck- you could gently even point out potential downfalls in my curriculum choices, but don’t think less of me if I choose a different program for my children.

Lie #2: Your homeschool looks different than mine- so you must be doing it all wrong.

I’ve heard this one used in various contexts. It’s the great homeschool method debate. Here’s the truth: traditional homeschooling is no better than unschooling. Just because I can finish my school day in two hours and your day lasts six hours doesn’t mean that I’m any better than you. We’ve all chosen the homeschooling path because we want something different for our children. Why should we expect every homeschool to look and act the same?

Lie #3: Homeschooling will save my child and/or homeschooling will make my child a better Christian.

Nope. Simply not true..and if this is why you’re homeschooling, I suggest you stop now. You’re setting yourself up for failure. Homeschooling cannot accomplish something that only Jesus can do. Homeschooling in and of itself is not a magic solution. While the lessons taught within your homeschool can certainly have a positive impact on the life of your child, it is your silent testimony {ahem- the way you treat others}, the way you live your life that will have longer lasting effects.  Homeschooling can lay a good foundation- but your curriculum won’t save your child.

Lie #4: Homeschooling is great all of the time.

Truth: every single homeschooling day is not good. In fact, some days are plain out bad. When we paint a picture of homeschooling that never shows a bad day, we’re setting new homeschoolers up for failure.

Lie #5: If you don’t homeschool, you’re ruining your child.

While I firmly believe homeschooling is the BEST option for my family, I completely understand that homeschooling is not the best option for every family. For some families, it may not be feasible. That’s okay, love them anyway.

So now that we’ve identified the lies, let’s talk about 5 strategies to fight the battle:

1. Build up instead of tear down. This is so important. Homeschooling is hard. We need strong sisters in Christ to encourage us every step of the way. New homeschoolers are looking for the veterans to step up and welcome them with loving arms, to share wisdom with grace and acceptance. Do you remember when you first began homeschooling? Your anxiety level was through the roof. Did you have a friend who encouraged you in your journey? Or did you have someone who made you feel even worse? Which person do you want to be?

2. Think before you speak. Consider how your words will be received before you say them. Words can hurt and they can’t be taken back. I can still remember words that were spoken to me when we began our homeschooling journey over five years ago. I can recall the people who really encouraged me, but I can also remember the people who made me want to give up before I even got started.

3. Be real. Be honest. It’s okay to admit the fact that you had a really bad homeschooling day. It’s okay to admit that your third grader is still struggling with reading. It’s okay to admit that homeschooling high school scares you to death. When we are transparent with each other, we develop a deeper level of trust and understanding with our homeschooling friends. We need these close relationships. Homeschooling can be downright overwhelming and during those days when we’re not sure how we’ll ever make it through, we need our homeschooling comrades to come alongside us and bathe us in prayer and encouragement. However, they can’t do that if you never admit that you’re having a struggle.

4. Drop the legalism! This applies to so many areas of our life and homeschooling is no exception. Don’t place your convictions and beliefs on the backs of your homeschooling sisters. God has given you a path and a vision for your homeschool. He may have led you to the perfect curriculum. He may have guided you to the perfect type of schedule for your homeschool. But remember, He gave you a vision and a mission for YOUR homeschool, not your friend’s homeschool.

5. Pray. This is the single greatest weapon when you find yourself in the midst of a spiritual battle, and the homeschooling battles are certainly spiritual battles.  The enemy wants nothing more than to see the homeschooling movement fail. He doesn’t want you to be able to raise your child in the Christ-filled environment of your home. He would certainly rather see you give up on the battle and quit homeschooling….and sadly, this happens every day. Homeschooling mothers are at their wit’s end. They don’t have fellow Christian homeschooling mothers to turn to for encouragement. They throw in the towel and close their homeschool. Would the situation have been different if they had the support and prayers of other mothers on the journey with them? Would the situation have been different if they had transparent friends who shared their struggles too?Would the situation have been different if they realized the spiritual battle they were fighting?I believe it just might have been a different outcome.

Sweet moms, it is time to put an end to the homeschooling mommy wars. It’s time to wave the white flag of surrender. Surrender to Christ. When we fully surrender to Him, we’ll love as He loves. We’ll encourage and build up. Your homeschool will be stronger, your family will be stronger, and those around you will grow in love as they see Christ’s love active within you. Today’s the day to declare an end to these silly battles. We, as homeschooling families, have an opportunity to change the world…let’s come together and revolutionize homeschooling. Let’s rally together and help the world to see the blessings of homeschooling, in order to do this, we have to drop our shields and join hands. Let’s do it. Today.

This post was inspired by the following status that I posted on Facebook after noticing an increase in drama and tension in many homeschooling groups. The post had an overwhelming response of homeschooling mothers who were desperate for a change. I was asked by many to expand my thoughts into a blog post, and thus this post was written. I pray that it encourages you. I pray that it empowers you to be part of the change in the homeschooling movement.

Here is the original post:

Prepare for a rant in 5…4…3…2…1…… homeschooling moms are some of the most legalistic people I have ever come across. Despite popular belief, there is no perfect homeschool curriculum. There is no perfect homeschool schedule. There is no perfect homeschool method. There is only what works for you, for your family, and for your unique situation. So, step off your pedastal. Realize that what you deem as “the best” or “the only way” may not work for your neighbor. Encourage them anyway. When you get so focused on which curriculum someone does or doesn’t use that you berate and belittle them instead of building them up, you have just sacrificed what could have been a beautiful friendship on the altar of your narrow vision of homeschooling. Is it worth it? Is it Christ-like? Just something I have seen happening all over the homeschooling world and I am tired of it. I feel a blog post coming on….okay, rant over. Continue your evening.

 

Share with us one piece of advice to encourage a mom in the trenches of homeschooling today. Together, we can do this!

 


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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this and your heart!!! I completely agree and have been part of such a group. It was so sad and very disheartening to me. I am so thrilled to be part of a Christian homeschool group that is both encouraging and uplifting now. WONDERFUL POST!!!

  2. Hi Heather!
    Great post! I can relate to so many of your points: the good, the bad, the ugly of homeschooling 🙂

    May God continue to bless you on your homeschool and faith journey!

  3. Tis the reason for constantly referring to my “No Drama Mama” cup! haha!!
    I don’t have time for anyone’s rules, standards or down-the-nose lookers.
    I have to answer to God for how I obeyed HIM and HIS standards.
    It’s totally time to steer clear of the strife. I think I may be blind/naive to anything going on!….or take it for what its really worth..nothing! haha!
    I’ve been friends with LOTS of home educators over the years (I’ve been blogging/educating for 8 yrs.) and have a special place for each one so even if there’s strife between/among any of them, I’m oblivious because I choose love, grace and acceptance above all.

    I thank you for speaking up on this!!

  4. Love this Heather!! I agree…we need to stop engaging in needless & unnecessary Mommy wars 🙂

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Hi, there! I’m Heather Bowen, and I am so glad you’re here.

My passion lies in helping homeschool moms balance marriage, motherhood, homemaking, and homeschooling all while remaining sane!

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