One of the hardest things about homeschooling is that there’s no report card at the end of year telling you how you’re doing. We tend to chalk up our successes to good luck or fortuitous timing and to take all the blame for every challenge we run into. But chances are, you’re doing better with this whole homeschool thing than you think you are. These six signs are all indicators that you’re on the right track—and we think that’s something you should celebrate with pride.
You’re happy to start your day.
One of the best signs that you’re doing just fine as a homeschooler is that you like doing it. Sure, there are bad days—but if for the most part, you’re upbeat, energetic, and excited about the prospect of a new homeschool day, there’s a good chance your homeschooling reflects that.
You’re always surprised by lunchtime.
Time drags when things are hard, but the hours seem to fly by when everything is going well. If lunchtime manages to get the jump on your and your kids most days, that’s a sign that you’re all really engaged in what you’re doing—which is a sign that your homeschool is a productive, positive place.
You’ve gotten comfortable with moving past mistakes, wrong turns, and things that just aren’t working.
You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to try curriculum materials that don’t work, classes that feel like curses, and being too strict about something that turns out to be not all that important. When you’ve hit your stride as a homeschooler, you’ll be able to recognize your mistakes, own them, and move on, a little wiser.
You find yourself taking a new homeschooler under your wing.
A sure sign you feel confident about how you’re doing as a homeschooler: You’re willing to share your experiences and insight with other people. When this happens, you’ve become an expert—maybe not in homeschooling in general but certainly in your particular homeschool.
It’s sometimes hard to plan your days—not because you don’t know what to do but because there are so many things you want to do that you don’t know where to start.
When your to-do list is so exciting that it’s actually a pleasure, you know you’ve figured out a system that’s really working for you. Yes, it may turn out that you can’t actually do all the things you’d like to—but that’s a much happier challenge than feeling like there’s nothing you want to do.
You don’t feel the need to defend homeschooling every time someone makes a rude comment about it.
It’s very human to feel defensive when you’re still figuring things out—and some comments deserve a reasoned rebuttal. But as you grow more confident as a homeschooler, you’ll realize that you don’t have to engage with every misinformed stranger you meet. Sometimes, you just smile and walk away.
AMY SHARONY is the founder and editor-in-chief of home | school | life magazine. She's a pretty nice person until someone starts pluralizing things with apostrophes, but then all bets are off.