How to Beat the 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 12 Comments

  1. What a wonderful read! I came across this post through a homeschooling parenting group and what refreshing and edifying words!

    I recently wrote a homeschooling eBook for new homeschoolers and I’m nervous for it to get reviewed because I shared a lot of what worked for us (because obviously that’s what’s worked for us) but frequently emphasized that every family is different, every child is different, so something that works for us might not work for someone else. I’m anxious because I’ve seen these homeschooling wars and putting my thoughts and ideas out there, in a book, makes me concerned about fallout from those who may not follow the wonderful advice that you’ve offered here.

    Your advice to pray is crucial. It’s odd but I think to pray before I plan lessons, before we commence our day, etc. but it never occurred to me that prayer can be used in this area as well! Thank you for that reminder!

    Once again, I loved this post and I’ll be pinning it for future reference and encouragement.

    Wishing you a lovely day.

  2. Loved, Loved, Loved your article. I actively homeschooled my children in what my children called the “Dark Ages”, No curriculums except ACE and one from California that was too expensive for us. We took ACE and my kids hated it. No homeschool groups, no curriculum fairs, I can’t say there were no computers because we had one that used special cassettes to save your work but you had to know programing to use it. It sat there unused. and what was really bad in my kids minds today “NO INTERNET”. What did we have? I had teacher friends who always gave us materials and books and workbooks and so much more. The important thing was my children were no longer forced to see a psychologist when she wanted to see them without talking to me first. My daughter was no longer sexually abused by older boys in the school and we had the freedom to do what we wanted when we wanted most of the time. They had the freedom to learn.

  3. You can’t see me, but I’m giving you a standing ovation right now! So well put!

    My best advice for homeschoolers is always to take one day at a time and not to be afraid to change things if they’re not working.

    1. Thank you, Theresa! I totally agree with your advice. It is so important to be flexible and to realize that the beauty of homeschooling is the fact that you can make it fit your family.

  4. Wow!!!! what a great article. Thank you!!!! We all need to hear this!!!! I am totally in agreement. I have had so many friends tell me their way is the only way. Well, I have been homeschooling 11 years and their way has never worked for us. That IS why we homeschool. No cookie cutting here. I think it is a major deterrent for new homeschoolers to hear these LIES!!!!! That is one reason we don’t government school. That is the cookie cutter. I wish this article to get in the hands of all homeschoolers. I pray for peace and joy in homeschooling. Its hard work, but worthwhile work. To God be the Glory!!!

  5. This is great! If we take the time to encourage and build each other up, it will be so much more profitable. And then we may actually learn something new from someone who does it a little differently. 🙂

  6. This post is great and I really love how you point out what is wrong, but also solutions. It is easy to get tunnel vision and this post is a gentle reminder 😉

  7. “Realize that what you deem as “the best” or “the only way” may not work for your neighbor. ” Heck, it might not even work for you next week! LOL That’ s the beauty of homeschooling, it can evolve.

  8. Ok, I’m very much an introvert and don’t hang out with many other homeschool moms. Mostly just the ones I go to church with. I clicked on this to find out what the “mommy war” thing was about. Seriously? People talk that way to each other? I’m thinking maybe being a keep to my self type of person isn’t a bad thing. I’ve never heard anything like that from anybody. The most I’ve gotten is the odd smile and then never call for a play date. Which I am totally ok with.

  9. I usually tell people who ask, “what is the best curriculum?” that if you ask 50 people who are their favorites, you will get 50 different answers. I also tell them that ask what is the worst to the same 50, each person will name some the same ones. Not all curriculum is for everyone. I suggest to many that they should borrow and try. Find what works for you. Several times I have loaned out books and other curricula just so someone could try it.If they liked it then they could invest in it. No harm no foul.
    One of the other things I tell people is that homeschooling is not for everyone. Not everyone can do it. Sometimes it is money and sometime it is fear, but I tell them to try it. That being said I remind them that there will be days you have to pull their school work out with pliers and then there are days that we are amazed at what all was done.

  10. This is the most realistic..but brutally honest..article I have read.Yes,that why I as newbie do not attend exposes,ect due to this, very reason..of competition.For me that is ok..The most important thing is to enjoy your journey and your child/ern..otherwise you have miss the whole point!!If it was perfect..there would be only one program,ect or method!That is the beauty of it,its not perfect so are we not perfect..so relax and use what works for your as a famil,y it is as simple as that..

  11. Thank you for sharing. If I am not careful, I can fall into this sin. I am thankful to the Lord that I have homeschooling mom-friends who doesn’t judge. I love reading comments on homeschooling facebook pages and I see some can be in this situation. I know that the reality of homeschooling is not really pleasant and days can be as difficult but the grace that the Lord has given me and my kids is enough for us to continue on what we have started. What a blessing this article to me. Thank you.

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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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