If you have homeschool mom guilt, you’re in good company. We all do. Today I want to help you feel better by sharing just one example of my guilt. And it’s a good one.
You may have heard about my Quarterly Planner printable. I developed it at the end of one school year to motivate my kids to finish the year well. It worked so brilliantly that I decided to use it every quarter of every year. To provide extra motivation, I promised my kids that we would go out to eat when everyone had finished their work for the quarter.
The kids finished all their work right on schedule. I silently cheered for myself. This little motivational tool was all my idea, after all. Their planners had every box checked off. We had a wonderful time celebrating their achievement at a favorite restaurant.
There was just one little problem:
I hadn’t verified that they had done their work.
I think encouraging my kids to work independently is really important. I allow them to do their math and check their own answers, for example. They are also responsible for some of their own language arts, some Bible, and science. Science, literature/writing have built-in accountability because we do these subjects in our home-based co-op. I have honestly not had to remind them to do their work on these subjects. It’s always done.
So imagine my shock when I discovered that not one, but two of my kids hadn’t been doing their math. I was very, very unhappy with them. They had lied to me. They were disciplined for that. They had to complete the extra work in addition to their current workload and, of course, were not allowed to celebrate with us after the following quarter. We also had many Bible-based discussions about lying.
I was so unhappy about my kids’ behavior, but I was also very, very unhappy with me. I felt incredibly guilty that I had trusted their self-report and hadn’t verified it. I learned that I needed to always oversee their work and check it. I also learned in discussion with my kids why they hadn’t completed their math. Neither of them were understanding their curriculum. If I had talked to them about it sooner, I would have discovered the problem and addressed it. I changed curriculum for both of them and they have been on track ever since. I’ve verified that. 🙂
The moral of this story isn’t just trust, but verify. It’s also that every homeschool mom like every homeschooled child makes mistakes. Our mistakes are never the end of the world. In fact, they’re a good way of experiencing God’s grace anew. They keep us humble. They can draw us closer to others who can relate to our failings. They can even make us laugh.
If you’re feeling guilty, talk to God about it. Talk to your family about it. Talk to your friends about it. My friends at iHomeschool Network are admitting their homeschool mom guilt. My guess is you’ll feel a lot better after reading. Read their stories by clicking here or on the image below. If you’re really feeling brave, tell me your homeschool mom guilt story on Facebook.