Confessions of a Lazy Homeschool Mom

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Alright friends, it is confession time.

This one is hard for me to admit. It is even a little embarrassing.

But God has convicted my heart and shown me an area of our homeschool that desperately needs to change.

So here I am, admitting my flaw and confessing to the world that I am a lazy homeschool mom.

At first glance, I think “lazy homeschool mom” sounds oxymoronic. But dig a little deeper.

See if you have any of these lazy homeschool mom characteristics:

* You do no extras- no supplemental exercises, no fun art projects, no trips to the library to look for more books on any given subject.
* You eliminate parts of the lesson plans that might cause additional work for you (even if you know your children will enjoy them).
* You don’t do any messy projects because you don’t want to deal with the mess.
* You don’t participate in many extra outside the home activities because you think your schedule is already too full.

Do any of these sound familiar?

They are all painfully true to me.

Please note that I do not neglect to educate my children. We do the education thing, but it is the fun stuff they are missing out on. The very aspects that make homeschooling, homeschooling, not school at home.

That is what we are missing.

For the past three years, I worked full-time while homeschooling. I used that as my excuse. I was too busy to do any extras, but since losing my job three months ago, I no longer have that crutch. But nothing has changed in our schooling.

Lately, the Lord has really convinced me of how much more our homeschooling experience could be. Not just for my girls, but for me too. We are missing out on having fun, gaining a deeper knowledge of our studies and making memories.

As part of my New Year’s focus word – intentional – I’ve also vowed to be a more intentional homeschool mom.

We are going to do those messy science experiments.

We are going to do fun art projects.

We are going to get out of this house and explore God’s world.

No longer are we going to do solely book work. We are going to truly embrace homeschooling…and I’m going to take photos, lots of photos (you’ve been warned!) to remember these days because they’ll be over in the blink of an eye.

I pray the truth that I’ve shared with you in this post won’t cause me to lose too many friends. I don’t have it all together. I’m not your Homeschool Mom of the Year. I never dreamed of homeschooling, but God has called me to this life and He isn’t done with me yet.

I’ve shared my heart with you because I wonder how many other homeschool moms share these same feelings. If you do, please know that as I pray for God to change my lazy homeschool mom spirit, I’m praying for you too. We may not win the Homeschool Mom of the Year trophy, but we won’t win the Lazy Homeschool Mom of the year award either.

There is no shame in admitting your flaws, but know that God can  and He will change your perspective if only you’ll allow him.

Need proof?

We made these homemade birds nests out of chocolate chips, shredded wheat, chow mein noodles and peanut butter on Tuesday. Was it messy? Absolutely. Did it cause my blood pressure to rise? A few times. But was it fun? Did we enjoy ourselves? Most definitely and that is what matters.

On today’s lesson plans…paper mache Earths. Please pray for me.

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Heather Bowen

Heather is the founder and owner of Upside Down Homeschooling. She is a homeschooling mom of two little girls. Heather and her husband, Andrew- author and founder of Project Conversion, have been married for nine years. They reside in southeastern NC and have recently joined the Catholic Church. Heather is a nurse by trade, but left her nursing scrubs behind in October 2012, to become a full-time work at home mom. She is a professional blogger and speaker. You can also find her blogging at FrugalHomeschoolFamily.com. She and her husband will also be launching CatholicFamilyResources.com later this year.

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Comments

  1. says

    Heather — I have a feeling you may be a bit hard on yourself. :-) I’ll pray for you as you try to do more “fun” things with your children. In reading the homeschool blogs out there in blogland I think we can beat ourselves up for not doing that science experiment, or that fun art project.

    Thank you for sharing your heart. Hugs to you!

    • Heather Bowen says

      Hi, Mary! I probably am a bit hard on myself, but I feel like homeschooling can and should be so much more than we were allowing it to be. We need a little fun every now and then! ;) Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Blessings to you, sweet friend!

  2. says

    I love your open heart. If anything I believe you will gain friends. Women and men that realize that we do have selfish sinful hearts. For me it is an everyday struggle, to not want to do what I want. To give of myself to my kiddos and my family. I know that God blesses me and gives me joy when I do. Love that your are living intentionally for God and for your family.

    • Heather Bowen says

      Kelli- not doing what I want to do is a daily struggle for me too. :( So thankful for God’s grace and strength that gets me through each day. Blessings to you, friend! :)

  3. says

    Lol, I can relate. We go through seasons where we do a lot and seasons where we just LIVE. Prayers for you as you purpose to be more intentional with your homeschooling. :)

    • Heather Bowen says

      Vicki- I know those “just living” seasons all too well. I think the past three years of our homeschooling journey have been that way. Praying for changes for all of us in 2013. Blessings to you :)

  4. Leslie says

    I can totally relate to this post. I have good intentions but often time, space and well, just lack of motivation, keep me from doing the “fun” stuff with my daughter. Thank you for sharing your feelings and letting me know I’m not the only one.

    • Heather Bowen says

      Leslie- we have the lack of space issue too, but I’m trying to make the most of it. The fun times are worth it! :)

  5. says

    I felt this way at the beginning of the school year. A bit of a homeschooling slump. I prayed about that A LOT! God has renewed my spirit and refreshed my passion for homeschooling and we have started back full force after Christmas break. Thanks for sharing. :)

    • Heather Bowen says

      Shasta- I’m so glad God has renewed your spirit. I can definitely feel my passion for homeschooling increasing as I’ve prayed for God to renew my heart. He is so good like that! Blessings to you, friend! :)

  6. Tanya C says

    Thank you for being so honest! Reading about how other mothers are just as real as I am makes each and every day worth it. It helps to keep me looking ahead and not throwing in the towel and gives me some motivation and encouragement to dig a little deeper and get my hands dirty right along side of my littles.

  7. says

    You know…I was just thinking that I needed to add in some FUN to our homeschooling days. The kids have scouts and play sports and we do some cooking (because it has a purpose), but I dropped the one thing they have been really enjoying: handicrafts. Handicrafts are special hands-on projects and crafts that the kids create, sometimes over the course of a week. So, I need to get something picked for next week! How did those paper mache Earths come out?

    • Heather Bowen says

      Jessy- The paper mache earths were so much fun. We will be painting them today. They took longer to dry than I expected. You can see my weekly review post that I posted on Sat. for pics! :) Thanks for checking in!!

  8. Anne says

    Thank you for sharing. Although I am a Mom that does the craft thing, and science thing, and the library thing, I always feel like I could do more! And I can share that sometimes doing less is more at our house. Overdoing the “fun” stuff makes it less special. So, I have tried to do one thing a day to make it “fun” for the kids. Here are a few tricks I use: 1) use plastic tablecloths, or aluminum paper to cover surfaces when doing art is a blessing. Things can be cleaned up in minutes! 2) http://www.deepspacesparkle.com/ is my go-to site for art. I pick a project and show the inspiration picture to my kids. Within 30 minutes, the art is done and they are impressed with their work. No researching online for hours to find an art project that is age appropriate. I have 2 frames on the wall and once our project is completed/dry, I put their art in there. Makes them feel like little artists; 3) For science, I find watching educational movies or reading Magic School Bus books can add some “fun” to a more strict curriculum (we are using Apologia). Some books/videos will include short science experiments that can be done in 30 minutes with everyday materials.

    Good Luck!

    • Heather Bowen says

      Thank you for these suggestions, Anne! I will definitely put them into use. When we completed our paper mache project on Friday, I was wishing I would have used a plastic table cloth, but the mess cleaned up rather easily and the fun made it worth it! :) Blessings!

  9. says

    I can totally relate!! I’ve been struggling with this exact issue!! Thanks for sharing your heart and struggle. It’s so nice to know that I’m not the only one struggling with this balance!!

    Blessings,
    Annette

    • Heather Bowen says

      You are never alone, Annette. If this blogging experience has shown me anything it is that whenever I feel like I’m alone, there is always another sweet homeschool mama going through the trenches with me. Blessings to you, sweet lady! :)

  10. Stephanie E. says

    Sweet friend, I think you are taking notes from my brain. I am such a “Lazy Homeschool Mom”. Maybe you and I could team up together to become more accountable. xoxo

  11. says

    I think I am at a different place but still lazy. We do all the fun messy things and I feel like we do too much of that and not enough of the sit down and study work…. We have mud days, nature days, art days, kitchen days…. we create and create some more…. I can relate in that we need to find a balance between it all. Boy do I! :-)

  12. says

    Thank you for showing again how homeschool momma’s are real! Everyone could do better and I love that you see things God is showing you.

    My word for 2013 was Intentional as well… I posted about it on my blog New Year’s Eve. I will be checking in on you often to see if I am living up to our word this year, as great as you will be!!

    • Heather Bowen says

      Hi, Kayla! I have heard so many people saying that their word for 2013 is intentional, at least we have a lot of accountability partners. I will definitely be following your blog! Blessings!

  13. says

    “Lazy” is in the eye of the beholder. I can’t see that label for you in what you describe. I congratulate you on opening up your heart and your desire to see things from your children’s perspective. Some kids do a lot of messy, learning projects on their own, but family time is special and it’s a great way to spend it, creatively. It’s often easy to view what others are doing and feel left out—sort of. Perhaps just having more freedom in homeschooling is what you are looking for.

    • Heather Bowen says

      Hi Kathy! I think God is really trying to stretch my concept of what I think homeschooling is and shape it into the homeschooling life He has planned for us. My ears are now fully open! :) Blessings to you!

  14. says

    Good luck in making this year more fun! I have been there. Sometimes I dread the messy projects and I too get a rise in blood pressure. Some days I just want to get done. I can’t wait to hear how your paper maches earths turned out! We have a paper mache project coming up with science soon. We “should” have done it this week but I put it off!

  15. says

    I can so relate to this post. I am homeschooling my 7th grade daughter, first time homeschooler. I work full time and we hardly ever do anything fun. We did go to the zoo in September, I suppose that was fun. It’s pretty much all work and no play. How did you do fun while working?

    • Heather Bowen says

      Barbie- Honestly, we didn’t do much fun while I was working. We were lucky to get the bare essentials in…my best advice is to make the most fun out of your days off. Take full advantage of the little time you have.I just tried to focus on the fact that this was the season God had put me in and it would not last forever. Blessings to you and your family!

  16. Carol I. says

    Thanks for sharing … I’ve been feeling the same conviction lately! So much fun can be had with our kiddos! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to overhear your child telling other kids about how much fun they are having homeschooling!

  17. says

    Love this!! I love that so many homeschool moms are trying to be more intentional this year (me to) what a great thing to strive for in so many aspects of life! Looks like the kids had a lot of fun making a mess! ;)

  18. says

    ha – how funny, but girl … “* You don’t do any messy projects because you don’t want to deal with the mess.”

    you should see our table. its always a wreck when the boys are awake, and that’s totally ok! Can’t wait to see your next project!!!

  19. Traci Overbey says

    Wow! This exact thing has been weighing on my heart the past few weeks. I’ve been “doing school” at home instead of homeschooling and it’s been my prayer to help me loosen up and enjoy these days with my kiddos and let them enjoy it too. Thank you for your honesty and for inspiring all of us.

  20. Samantha says

    I’m a freshman in high school. My mom doesn’t neglect to educate us, but she would qualify a “lazy homeschool mom” lol lol. But she is a great teacher ;)

    • Heather Bowen says

      Samantha- you are sweet! Your mama must be proud :) And look at you, reading homeschool blogs. Go girl!! :)

  21. Sharon says

    Thank you for sharing this. This is my first year of homeschooling my youngest daughter who is in 6th grade. I feel lazy sometimes especially when she points out that she use to do fun stuff in public school. I am going to really try to do better for next year.

    • Heather Bowen says

      Sharon- all we can do is try. I’ve made some big mistakes in our 4 years of homeschooling, but I know my daughters (though they might not always show it) appreciate me for trying.(Hugs)

    • Heather Bowen says

      LOL, Tara! So was I!!! But, I must say…no one was injured in the process, my house is still standing AND we had some fun!

  22. Leigh says

    You have expressed my sentiments perfectly! I am exactly what you have described above. Thank you for having the courage to step up and admit your short-comings. It is an inspiration!

  23. chrystal says

    I’m so glad I came across this-after googling “homeschool mom I’ve lost my fun”…SO glad to see I’m not alone! I used to do all kinds of crafts and holiday things with my kids while they were in public school, now we cyberschool and I feel like I’m not “fun” anymore. Ugh….I’m hoping it’s a stage of life and busyness, but not one that will stick around for too long.

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