Lessons on Being a Homeschool Mom with Teresa Wiedrick

Our Cousin shares: Lessons on Being a Homeschool Mom with Teresa Wiedrick.

Lessons on Being a Homeschool Mom with Teresa Wiedrick

Lessons on Being a Homeschool Mom with Teresa Wiedrick

Our Cousin Teresa Wiedrick shares her wisdom at Capturing the Charmed Life and the Homeschool Mama Self Care Instagram and Facebook groups. She also takes time to share with us here 7Sisters. We love hanging out with her whenever we can!

Join Teresa for this homeschooling wisdom.

There were a few things I assumed I would learn as a homeschool mom. Here are seven lessons I thought I would learn:

  • How to teach a kid to read.
  • Growing the gift of patience (I learned a few tools to address impatience;)
  • How to not lose my marbles (you betcha, girlfriend, definitely learned tools to address this).
  • To become a multitasker (yup, did learn multitasking, but don’t recommend it).
  • How to incorporate a school in my home.
  • Relearn high school math concepts (nope, didn’t learn them!)
  • The best way to homeschool my kids. (Spoiler alert, there is no “best way”. Thanks for reminding me along my homeschool journey, 7Sisters!)

Guess what? These weren’t the lessons I learned.

Rather, the following seven lessons are what I’ve learned during my decade and a half homeschooling my four kids.

1) I learned I had wildly unrealistic expectations about how much we could accomplish

I had such a hard time getting anywhere on time, I didn’t have a natural ability to get myself and my four kids anywhere before three in the afternoon, because I had sixty-two things still to do that I needed to accomplish that day.

I could hardly believe that just a few years prior, I had been able to get two kids out the door to their private school before eight in the morning. How did I do that?

This inability to manage my time, and the unrealistic expectations I had each day, made my experience of homeschooling unhappy making. I felt stressed every time I left the house (and it wasn’t because I was worried if the kids were in clean pajamas as we left or whether they were bringing the right instrument to their music practice.)

Straight up, I just felt overwhelmed by the expectations (even if they were my expectations).

Setting realistic expectations

I learned that when we clarify how much time we have in a day, when we get clear on how much time activities take, and when we create margins to address unexpected events (because there were always unexpected events), I could feel more at ease with the time I had and use it on purpose.

You can use the Time Audit to address your unrealistic expectations like I did: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/t0r8c

Setting realistic expectations creates ease!- Teresa Wiedrick

2) I learned that I needed to take time away

One homeschool day, after our morning read aloud, I rolled my chair back and forth between three little girls doing their cursive, then their math workbooks, and then their spelling.

My toddler was mostly satisfied strapped into his highchair with a bowl of cheerios, tossing them off the side until he needed more, and he made sure I knew when he did.

I needed a break, a little quiet, to sequester myself in the corner chair of my bedroom, pull out the box of Italian cookies hidden under my cushion, and scroll Pinterest for a few mindless minutes.

I needed a breather. Of course, I wanted to be with my children. But I needed to be quietly alone at times too.

When I could take those rare moments away, even when I was just at the grocery store by myself, I could come back after an hour and feel a whole lot more present with my kids.

Sometimes a trip alone to the grocery store is a necessary mom-break.

3) I learned I had to build boundaries for my homeschool and my life

I have been a mother for over twenty-one years but not until my oldest daughter was three years old did I begin to build boundaries. Building boundaries enabled me to spend more time assessing myself outside others and encouraged me to become more me.

I spent too much time thinking about…

    • what other people think about me (or my homeschool),
    • knowing that I needed time alone but not getting it,
    • sitting on Facebook when I should have been eyeball-to-eyeball with my kids,
    • recognizing that I needed time spent developing my interests but not sure if I would have to wait a couple decades,
    • spending more time doing extracurriculars than I wanted because I assumed this was the right way to do homeschool,
    • giving my time away to meaningful things, but not the most important things,
    • creating 3-point essays (in my head) in response to unsupportive questions about my homeschool choice,
    • feeling exhausted by conflict & dissonance with my partner,
    • knowing I was not showing up as I wanted with my kids but not sure why,
    • feeling ashamed in how reactive I was with my kids,
    • feeling my kids were mistreating me, but I could not determine if that was just them being kids.

The process was messy, as you can imagine, because every relationship I engaged in, every activity I chose, and every mindset I assumed, was dissected.

Am I really me in these relationships, these activities, and these mindsets?

I would learn that I was not me. I did not even know who I was. (Except for someone who was always thinking defensively.)

And though it was terribly uncomfortable, it was even scary, it began a domino drop of false identity and false self.

Let me explain. I had to own who I was and why I was on the planet.

I had to own how I was speaking to myself, how I spoke to others, and how I expected others to speak to me. And with a lot of work on the interior, I have come home to me.

From that time on, I have been drawn to authenticity, freedom, and purpose.

In learning to set boundaries, I have come home to me. -Teresa Wiedrick

Boundaries and self-compassion have required me to assess my relationship with others, but most importantly, my relationship with myself.

  • I have learned that building and firming boundaries:
    •  have clarified my identity.
    • decreases my reactivity.
    • gets me clearer on my purpose (and that I simply can NOT be everyone for everybody, not even to my kids all the time), but I am (most of the time) fully me.

I discovered that building and firming boundaries was a long-term process with many zigs and zags along the way, but every step brought me closer to me. And now I know I have come home to me.

From more from Teresa Wiedrick:

Check out this discussion with Vicki and Teresa about having a harmonious homeschool.

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Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at 7SistersHomeschool.com, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

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