Homeschool with Purpose and Find Your Ground

By Holly Giles | Family


This year marks my ninth year of home-schooling. During those years my intent was to home-school with purpose. However, each year I took on the role of each home-school mom stereotype at one point or another.

Through the years I have:

  • Made my children sit at a desk far too long with lessons that they didn’t understand and ultimately no purpose.
  • Joined the local co-op so my children would not be misfits.
  • Made all my own food from scratch (briefly) so I would fit in with the park day mommas.
  • Kept my boys from doing some really cool stuff because their math lesson was not done.
  • Cried in the bathroom at least 485 times thinking I ruined my boys’ life along with mine.
  • Tried at least 32 different pieces of curriculum and methods of learning.
  • Have said to my children possibly 53 times “Don’t do that when we get to the field trip so I can make friends with the other moms and they will let their children play with you!”
  • Threatened to put them in school.

I am sure the list can go on for miles, but you get the idea. However this year, I have settled in, found my ground and am comfortable with who we are as a family. We can’t sit for long periods of time and we don’t fit in at ANY co-op so far. I like to make my own food at random, we never miss out on cool stuff, I am eclectic in my lesson choices and well, my boys play with knives and can make fire without a match. If you want to hang with us, I would love to have you!

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However this year, I have settled in, found my ground and am comfortable with who we are as a family.

I do still cry in the bathroom on occasion because fear and confusion do take over at times. My learning lifestyle choices are quite different than what society says is “supposed to happen” in home-school. After eight years of trial and error and pushing back what I felt was our way of learning I finally stood my ground and found purpose and you can too.

Close your eyes and take a deep breath and envision what the rhythm of YOUR family is.

What brings you joy.

What do you want your children to know when they leave your home.

What matters most.

  • Does a full course curriculum work for your children?
  • Are you running here and there to activities that are important to the well being of your kids?
  • Is the curriculum you are using meeting the needs of the heart of your family?
  • Is the coursework stifling creativity in a child that wants to blossom in a certain area?
  • Are you just getting through the day and not looking forward to tomorrow with your kids?

If you are just getting started in home education please give yourself grace in your first year. It takes most families several years to really sink their feet into what works for them. If you can go in with your eyes wide open and your textbooks loose, you will be ahead in the end.

Structure, routine, and rhythm look different in every household. Yet having it in place can save your sanity.  Structure being a loosely based, overall plan. Routine is where you do a similar activity every day or week. Rhythm is where your family syncs. Your lifestyle, family interactions and what makes your family unique.

homeschooling on purpose

Your weeks may not look the same but your family can still have a rhythm. You may not do the same thing daily or weekly but your structure is still in place.  Sometimes just having a basic, simple routine can help build up your structure which in turn develops your families rhythm.

For my family our rhythm is like the tide coming in and going out, the seasons that come and go. Our weeks can be uprooted and fall behind in math, but our rhythm stays the same and it keeps our children on an even emotional keel. In turn our family does not take disruption to heart, we ebb and flow and get back into rhythm.

Have you found your ground?

 Do you know your purpose this year?

Has your family’s rhythm revealed itself to you?

If not, begin this year with some space to allow your structure to build and your routine to flow. In doing so your stress levels will not rise, which in turn will not overflow to your children and together you can find your purpose.

Enjoy this time, it does go by fast. Even when you are in the bathroom crying, contemplating the yellow school bus.



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