Confessions of a Homeschool Mom: 12 Lessons I’ve Learned

Our family started homeschooling 11 years ago.  And while our children have certainly learned many valuable lessons.

So have I.

homeschool, homeschool mom, tips for homeschool moms

Here they are in no particular order:

   1. Homeschooling is more about character development than academics.

We all learn academically (and I relearn many concepts), but we also learn about each other, ourselves, and the Lord. I half-jokingly call it part of my sanctification process.

   2.  Flexibility is absolutely necessary.

I aspire to fully embrace the wise proverb: ” Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.”

  3. Being pregnant & adding a new child or toddler to the homeschool environment will always affect the flow of the day.

Over the last 11 years of homeschooling, our family size has grown from 4 to 9 children.  Which means routines & schedules change every few years as we adopt a new normal during the transition (See # 2 for further explanation)

  4.  Schedule breaks & times when you put away the “homeschool teacher” hat

My husband encouraged me to set a certain time when I’m “off the clock” for being a teacher, which meant the children could no longer ask me school-work related questions.

5. Write lesson plans in pencil (or erasable ink).

Some days (okay most days) don’t go as planned on paper.

The baby needs multiple diaper & wardrobe changes, or is fussy because of teething, the toddler disappeared quietly & made a mess in another room…again & then someone is having a meltdown over math.

Yes, that’s a real-life scenario from a day in the chronicles of our homeschool.

6.  Home-education is a priceless gift I’m giving to our children.

The return on the investment of time & money spent is well worth it in the end & I’d gladly do it over because of the fruit we’ve seen in the lives of our children.

And it doesn’t hurt when your college-aged child has professors telling him to make sure he thanks his mother for the way he was educated!

7.  Have clear, realistic expectations (for yourself & your children). 

And write them down.  There’s nothing more discouraging than having a “do it all” mindset.

And I have over-achiever tendencies, so this is definitely an area that I’ve prayed through over the years.

8. Don’t allow the opinions of others to affect your decision to home-educate.

While our family has only experienced this on a small scale, the truth is there will always be naysayers.

Stand confidently in the decision you’ve made for your family, as believers living our lives in obedience to Christ means His opinion is the only one that truly holds any weight in the matter.

And by God’s grace, the fruit of the seeds sown will be evident to all who have eyes to see.

9.  Teacher’s Manuals are a guide not a taskmaster.

So if you have a different approach from what’s written & it’s working for your child or your family dynamics, then go for it!

I no longer feel guilty if my younger ones don’t get to experience all the hands-on activities in a school year.  Especially if doing those activities is going to leave them deficient in building blocks like phonics, reading & math.

  10.  I’m the teacher, but I’m also a student.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had my own “ah-ha” moments where I learn something I didn’t know or finally understand something I was taught but never mastered.

And by embracing this mentality, I model for my children what I hope they become, life-long learners.

11. Standardized tests don’t paint a complete picture.

Now, I’m not devaluing standardized tests. Our children take them from time to time, and the older ones took the ACT/SAT for college entrance.

In the younger years, I learned from veteran mothers to use these tests to help me see which areas needed more attention for the next school year.

I found this advice very practical and comforting at the same time, especially because first-year test results with one child had me feeling like a complete home-education failure.

  12.  Blogs & Books are no substitute for talking with others who are on the homeschool journey.

Personally I read blogs on a regular basis & I certainly appreciate you being a reader here at Finish with Joy, but I am also incredibly thankful for the opportunities I’ve had to learn from other homeschool moms.

In our digital world, there still remains tremendous value in being able to have a phone or face-to-face conversation with another mother who can relate to what you’re experiencing.

This is why I’m so excited to announce that later on this year I’ll officially launch my homeschool coaching business.  Make sure you’ve subscribed to my email list so you can get all the details when that happens!

What are some lessons you’ve learned in your homeschool journey?

Let me know in the comments.

Spread the love


  1. Going to share this – great insights! Homeschooling definitely is educational for everyone, including Mom! I have great admiration for you doing it with 9 kids! You deserve a medal, Mama!

    • Hi Jenny!

      It’s been an amazing journey so far, and I’m thankful for all that our family has learned in the process.
      I appreciate you taking the time to read, comment and share!

  2. This will be really helpful to save as I’m starting out with my two littles very soon! Thanks!!

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.