Expectation vs. Reality
by Homeschool Alliance coach Stephanie Elms
Nothing feels more critical than picking a curriculum or choosing a homeschool approach—we homeschool parents put so much time and energy (and worry!) into the decision! The good news is that families can and do make all forms of education work and there is nothing inherently right or wrong with whatever choices we try.
That said, sometimes our expectations of what homeschooling “should” look like can affect whether or not what we choose works for us. We naturally go into the process with a variety of expectations, such as having happy, compliant kids, maintaining a certain level of organization or having peaceful days filled with productive learning.
And then our expectations run smack into the wall of our reality.
The kids are anything but happy and compliant. We can’t seem to stay on top of it all despite our best efforts. Our day feels anything but peaceful as we get pulled this way and that by life’s ups and downs.
Then the doubt sets in. We start second guessing ourselves and telling ourselves that we or our kids are just not cut out for doing this. We wonder why we are struggling when it seems like everyone else has this all figured out.
So what do we do when this doubt inevitably creeps in? As paradoxically as it might seem, the more that we can “accept what is” and let go of our expectations, the easier it is to figure out a path forward.
We can trust that uncertainty is not a sign that we are doing something wrong but rather a natural (and integral) part of how the homeschooling process works.
We can learn to make peace with that uncertainty recognizing that it comes with the territory.
We can use these moments of self-doubt as opportunities to work on letting go of our illusion of control and as a reminder that we can trust that things will be okay.
So take a deep breath and remember that everything is not solely dependent on you. It is okay if you don’t do everything perfectly. It is okay if you don’t know exactly how everything will turn out.
Because that is where the magic happens—in the process of:
- getting to know your kids
- getting to know yourself
- growing and learning together
Lucky for us, homeschooling is not about having it all figured out but rather about the process of discovery along the way.