Am I Doing Enough?

At my homeschool support group meeting last week, a mom to a younger child confided her worries about homeschooling. “I want him well-prepared to go wherever he wants to go. I worry that I will mess him up for life. How do you know if you are doing enough?”

This worry is a familiar one. While I can’t say that I have completely lost all of my insecurity about this issue, I am a long way from where I started out. I don’t worry about this nearly as much as I used to.

Homeschooling is scary. When you think about the mass of knowledge that a child must master in just 13 years, it’s little wonder that so many parents are too frightened of messing up their kids to even try.

d-221 books

If you check out very many blogs, you can get the idea that everyone else has this homeschooling thing mastered. After all, this mom has her 12 year old doing college level math, that mom creates gorgeous notebooks detailing her daughter’s history lessons from 1st to 12th grade, and those other moms are teaching their kids 3 different languages, 5 different instruments, and writing their own curriculum “in their spare time!”

There are amazingly creative mothers doing incredible crafty projects with their kids.

There are moms whose science experiments always work correctly. (Mine NEVER do)

There are moms who love learning languages, Shakespeare, and other nifty stuff right along with their kids.

Let me tell you this right now. Those moms are few and far between. There are some amazing mothers homeschooling their kids, but there are just as many average mamas teaching their third graders (gasp!) third grade math!

Yes, your kids and mine have a huge pile of knowledge that they have to consume in 13 years.  But it doesn’t have to be scary getting that stuff in their heads.

Want me to tell you the secret to getting it out of the books and into their brains?




Diligence in the key. You can be the least creative mom on the planet, have very little patience, and be just an average teacher. You can be terribly disorganized and rather messy. However, if you have diligence, you will not fail at homeschooling.

Diligence doesn’t mean sitting the kids in front of the Magic School Bus for science for years on end. Diligence doesn’t mean “Let’s clean the house and call it home ec for the day’s schoolwork!” Diligence doesn’t count mom’s pocket change and say we did math for the week.

Diligence gives a whole-hearted effort day after day, even when things are boring and difficult. That doesn’t mean that you always have wonderful school days where you do every lesson in every subject, but a diligent teacher can look at the week’s work and feel pretty good about what was accomplished.

Find a solid curriculum.

Plug away at school with diligence and a good attitude.

And you will have done enough



Photo Credit:d-221 Books by Az via Flikr


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rebeca Jones
    Jan 23, 2015 @ 15:12:02

    Can you hear me shouting a hearty, ‘Amen’!? I couldn’t add a single thing to make your message better! Blessings to you. 🙂


  2. fairfarmhand79
    Jan 23, 2015 @ 18:19:32

    There’s no like button, so I’ll just say, Thanks!


  3. Judy @ newenglandgardenandthread
    Feb 02, 2015 @ 15:58:50

    Any Mom who home schools deserves an award for the effort and creativity she puts into the process. School today is so different from years ago. We didn’t have a smart phone and google to take care of almost everything we needed. It’s always interesting when I’m in the fabric store to see an older person calculating something in their head while a younger person has a calculator on a smartphone working away. Not necessarily right or wrong, just different I guess. 🙂


    • fairfarmhand79
      Feb 02, 2015 @ 20:31:27

      Thanks for stopping by. I do agree that electronic devices can enable mental laziness. Which is one reason I like homeschooling. My kids have to memorize math facts, learn to mentally calculate things, estimate, and understand processes like long division step by step before they are permitted in middle school to use a calculator for certain types of problems.

      One game that we bought for the family that helps with mental math is the game EQUATE. Of course, my engineer husband kicks everyone’s tails when we play it, but it is quite a mental puzzler.


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