To borrow a phrase from Rumi, sometimes the challenge of life isn’t figuring out what would make you happy but learning to recognize the barriers to contentment that you’ve built up within yourself. So often, the secret to happiness—in homeschooling and the rest of our lives—is to let go.
Let go of the idea that you have to a map to get where you want to go. You’re writing the map every day of your homeschool life. It’s OK that you don’t always know where the next turn will take you. You don’t have to be in control all the time for your homeschool to be successful.
Let go of the nagging thought that everyone else is doing this better than you are. Trust me, people are thinking the same thing about you. When we compare the highlights reel of other people’s homeschool lives to our own bloopers reel, we’re always going to fall short.
Let go of the idea that there’s a right way and that if you keep researching Facebook groups and buying curricula and going to seminars, you will eventually find it. Focus instead on what works well enough, and concentrate your energies there.
Let go of feeling like you need to be perfect. Something has to give. If it’s the laundry, or dinner, or a math lesson, accepting that you can’t do everything is an important part of feeling peaceful about your life.
Let go of guilt. Don’t hold onto mistakes, which you will inevitably make. Learn from them, forgive yourself, and move on.
Let go of the notion that life has to be busy to feel successful. Slow down. Do nothing. Let your kids play outside all day, or build a pillow fort and draw comic books all day. Don’t check your email at lunchtime. Resist the urge to multitask. Focus all your senses on drinking a cup of tea.
Let go of your fear of failure. Your kids will fail. You will fail. With the right attitude, failure can be the most empowering experience in the world. It’s how you learn, and it’s how you practice getting back up and trying again.
Let go of your expectations. It’s easy to imagine what a “perfect homeschool day” might look like, but if you get too caught up in trying to replicate your vision, you miss the opportunity for your homeschool to unfold naturally. There’s nothing wrong with planning, but be open to following the path where it leads you instead of trying to force it in a specific direction.
Let go of worrying about the future. It’s OK that you don’t have it all figured out. You don’t always have to know what’s going to happen next. Focus on the step you need to take right now.
Let go of micromanaging. It’s easy to get distracted by things like “how much multiplication should a third grader be able to do?,” but getting too focused on small details can get in the way of seeing the big picture. What’s your goal for your homeschool? When you start to get bogged down by too many micro-details, shift your focus to the bigger picture and let that guide you instead.