Lies homeschoolers believe

7 Lies Homeschoolers Believe

I should be embarrassed to admit this, but the first thought that ran through my head after deciding to homeschool was, “She’ll never get to ride the bus!”

I don’t know why that felt like something lamentable.

After all, when I rode the bus to middle school, a kid in the back of the bus (are all boys that age pyromaniacs?) lit a firecracker that blasted forward and lodged in my friend’s heavily hair-sprayed, highly combustible hairdo, badly burning her and leaving her partially bald for the next several months.

Why would I want my 5-year-old daughter on the school bus?

I laughed over that strange lament all last month as my family and I toured China. We spent, literally, hundreds of hours on planes, trains, metros and buses. My kids kept telling me exactly how much they despised public transportation. And I have to say I completely agree with them!

Buses stink!

Funny thing, though — my lament over never getting to ride a bus wasn’t my only odd thought.

Some other silly lies I’ve heard new homeschool moms worry over are that their kiddos will never get to go to the prom, or they’ll never get to play football. Just ask my kids how many proms they’ve attended and how many team sports they’ve played in our community.

But the truth is, there are some really harmful lies out there that can really cause us moms problems!

If you’re a homeschooler you’re probably familiar with several of these lies homeschoolers believe. You may have even suffered firsthand damages.

Are you listening to these lies?



7 Lies Homeschoolers Believe:


Lie # 1: There is a perfect homeschooling method.

I wasted years searching for that elusive, perfect method. I read and studied all the books I could get my hands on, and tried out different things.  Each of the methods have fantastic components.

Honestly, I’m convinced that John Holt, Maria Montessori, Charlotte Mason, Susan Wise Bauer, Loris Malaguzzi and all of the pioneers of the homeschooling movement would be great friends and get along fabulously. But none of their methods was entirely and completely perfect for my family.

The conclusion I’ve reached after all these years is that any method I choose needs to be adapted individually to each of my children as well as my own teaching style and my family situation at a particular point in time. So it changes daily. As such, it can’t really be classified.

And what I’m doing today may not work tomorrow.

That may sound daunting, but it’s actually freeing. Spend a week hiking in a national park and creating Charlotte-Mason-style nature journals. Then dive back into school and study intensely for awhile, like a Classical homeschooler. Spend your afternoons digging into the whys and hows of electricity with hands-on experiments a la Reggio Emilia.

Change your method up weekly or even daily to suit your children and your own interests. Combine several methods, or throw them all to the wind. Homeschool is so much more palatable (and you’ll actually WANT to do it) when you are enjoying it along with your children!


Lie #2: You must find the ‘perfect’ curriculum for your child.

Have you ever thought that all your problems would be solved if only you could find the perfect curriculum? One that your child loved so much he would work through it voluntarily and independently.

Have you spent countless hours, along with your hard-earned money, searching only to realize that a curriculum was not what you expected, or that your child hated it?

Perfect curriculum is about as elusive as a perfect method. In all my years of homeschooling, I’ve yet to find a curriculum that would make my children joyfully jump out of the bed every morning, raring to to dig into school. If only!

Learning is work. It’s absolutely worth the work it takes, but it’s still work! If offered a choice between learning something difficult and playing outside, what would you choose?

Honestly, the curriculum in your closet is worth two in the catalog, just like a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Just get started with what you have, make adjustments as needed, skip anything dreadful, and persist.

It’s easier to fine tune a decent curriculum than to find one that is exactly what you’re looking for. And it works better in the end because you already own it so you can just get started.


Lie # 3: Experienced homeschoolers have it all figured out.

This one makes me laugh because I am the very definition of an experienced homeschooler (8 kids for 17 years now!) and am still trying to figure it all out. Each of my children is different, plus each child changes from year to year.

Or more like from day to day.

The one thing I have figured out is that I will never completely have it all figured out, haha!

However, I do know myself a little better than I did 17 years ago. I know my tendency to always bite off more than I can chew, so I have learned to only purchase half the curriculum I think I need. I remind myself that Rainbow Resources will still be in business next December, and I can always purchase more curriculum if I need it.

I also know that I am happiest when I have interests of my own to explore and I bring my children along for the ride rather than the other way around. Ain’t nobody happy if mom ain’t happy, right?

So even if I don’t have it all figured out, my experience has helped me to waste less money and time, and to be happier, all of which greatly benefit my family.


Lie #4: You’re not good enough.

Or smart enough. Or patient enough. You don’t even have a teaching certificate!

I’ve had so many friends tell me that they could never homeschool because they had trouble helping their children with math homework. I’ve had other friends tell me that they could never homeschool because they didn’t have the patience.

The reason I can help my children with their math is that I do it day in and day out alongside them. My degree (which I’ve never used) is in Mechanical Engineering, so I took a holy ton of math classes. And yet, I attribute my sharp math skills to teaching my kiddos daily. Use it or lose it, you know?

Homeschooling just has a way of making us better. We don’t homeschool because we’re good enough. We homeschool out of faith or because we’ve been called to it, and our Father in Heaven makes us into enough.

Remember that feeling like you aren’t good enough is a form of pride in that you are comparing yourself to someone else and finding yourself lacking. Comparison is the thief of joy.


Lie #5: You can and should do it all.

Wow, I see so much of this particular lie! And it’s not exclusive to homeschool moms — it’s a lie pretty much universally suffered by all moms. We allow other’s expectations to sabotage our happiness.

You are told that your kids should be professional athletes, play 3 musical instruments proficiently and be bilingual before the age of 12. And you should look like a supermodel, keep a pristine home, feed your family organic meals, and volunteer with at least three organizations.

Talk about stress!

I am particularly susceptible to this lie. It’s my nature. I love lists and accomplishing things, and I base my self-worth on how much I can cross off my lists.

My two oldest have left home for university. They both play the piano, violin, flute, guitar and organ, plus they played soccer and competed in Irish dancing, ballroom dancing and debate. I have spent the last 18 years of my life hauling little people to private lessons and orchestra rehearsals and practices and games. Not to mention all the money I spent paying for all of these things..

Both of those children have chosen occupations completely unrelated to any of the things I helped them pursue. I can’t say I’m sad that they aren’t going to be musicians or dancers or professional soccer players. I didn’t really want that for them.

So why did I spend all those years on those things? What was my objective?

I’m asking that rhetorical question because I don’t know. I sincerely don’t regret most of it, but I don’t know that it gave their lives more value or purpose.

What speaks volumes is that I’m doing a whole lot less with the rest of my kiddos. Each of them plays the piano (I’m a pianist, how could I not teach them?) and takes private violin or cello lessons and we participate in a local youth orchestra on Wednesday afternoons, but that’s it. I’m not running myself ragged.

Here’s a good question for you to ask yourself. Will my kiddos benefit down the road, through adulthood and into eternity from the sacrifices I am making for them right now?

Make sure that the things you are pursuing are things you will be glad to have spent your money and time on twenty years down the road.

It helps me to categorize things in my life as good (wholesome entertainment, brain-candy books, team sports) better (learning, nutritious meals, family work ) and best (family prayer and scripture study, family relationships). Be careful not to exhaust your limited time and resources on things that are merely good and not leave time for the things that are better and best.

It would be tragic if the only things my children could think of to comment on at my funeral was that the house was always spotless or that I was always perfectly coiffed. Tragic, I tell you!

I’d much prefer to have them remember serving together, traveling together, and laughing together. I want them to remember me as happy!


Lie #6: You have to teach your kiddos ALL the things.

This is an overwhelming lie for homeschoolers, and one I believed right up until a few short years ago.

As a mom, you tend to keep a running tally of all the things you need to do. If you’re like me, there are times it keeps you up at night! One of the hugest items on that list (because it spans 18 years) and one of the biggest priorities is to make sure your children enter the world prepared.

That means teaching them to feed themselves and care for themselves and provide for themselves, as well as being a productive and useful member of society. Putting it that way makes it sound easy.

But in reality, it means they should know how to clean, do laundry and dishes, mend clothing and sew. The should know how to prepare nutritious meals, garden, grow food, and grocery shop. They should be able to earn money, save money, buget and invest. They should be able to change a tire, maintain a vehicle and a lawnmower, and maintain a home.

On top of that, they should be proficient at math, reading and writing. They should understand biology, chemistry and physics. They should speak at least one foreign language fluently, play an instrument proficiently, and draw well.

Don’t  you just love those, ‘Everything your first grader should know’ books that take such a prominent place on the shelf at your local library? I don’t, lol!

I stressed over teaching my children ALL of these things before they left home. I made never-ending lists and checked things off. And just the other day, my oldest told me that I had never taught her biology. What?

She had apparently forgotten the extensive human biology course we completed.

And they do! Children forget things they learn! I couldn’t tell you half of what I learned in school! Homeschooled kids aren’t exempt from forgetting things they learn.

Your children will forget the things they choose not to remember, no matter how well you teach it or how many hands-on, fun projects you use to impart the learning.

We made LIFE-SIZED HUMAN BODIES, complete with working models of every single system. We ran red and blue yarn (the circulatory system) to and from our working model of the lungs. We memorized the bones in the skeletal system.

And she remembered nothing of it, although my 2nd child does remember it and loves biology. Interesting, huh?

Your children will learn the days of the week and the months of the year and the seasons and how to use money and tell time, because your child needs to live in and interact with his world. He will question you until he makes sense of things in his own mind. And the things he has no interest in and doesn’t feel the need to know, he will forget, no matter how much effort you put into teaching it.

What does that tell you about your need to teach ALL the things?

What you truly need to teach your children is how to learn and to love learning. Teach them how to fish so that they can fish for a lifetime.


Lie #7: Everything depends on YOU.

I tell myself this lie so often that I actually often believe it. It’s a sad mantra.

The truth is that it’s kind of a self-fulfilling lie. The more we take on, believing that nobody else will do it, the less our families will feel responsible for.

Your kids’ feelings won’t be hurt if you feel the need to mop the floors on your own (or wash the pots and pans or scrub the toilets) because you don’t think your kiddos do an adequate job. They’ll happily let you take over. In fact, if they’re at all intelligent, they may intentionally perform household chores worse in order to get you to take them over.

Your children are absolutely capable of helping around the house and completing household chores to your standards. Just teach them how and communicate your expectations.

Your husbands wants to be involved, too. He probably won’t do household chores the same way you would, but he wants to be part of things. Let him without criticizing his methods! And thank him when he’s done!

When someone appreciates your work, doesn’t it motivate you to do more? Maybe he’ll volunteer to take on the foreign language you’ve been dreading.

Further, your Father in Heaven wants to help you in your endeavors. And He is always with you. You are never alone! He wants your children to have everything they need, too, which is a happy you!





You can conquer these lies homeschoolers believe.

When you believe a lie long enough, it becomes your truth, even when it’s ridiculous. And they can suck the joy right out of your homeschool.

Spending all day, every day with your kiddos means that they will probably share your beliefs. Wouldn’t it be sad if they also shared the burden of any destructive lies that you believe? It’s time to change your thoughts so you can change your actions.

Continually reminding yourself that these negative, destructive thoughts are lies is the first step to being able to refute them in your mind.



Pin these lies homeschoolers believe for later!




What lies are you listening to?



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