Anxious and Unsure Mama

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  • Jennifer

    Hello all,  I just needed some encouragement/wisdom from other HS moms.  We will be starting our 2nd year of homeschooling next month and I have decided to switch it all up from last year and go Charlotte Mason!  I am so excited! However, I am also disappointed and unsure that I am equipped to teach my children.  While cleaning, I found some old notebooks from my daughter’s last year in public school (4th grade).  The amount of work she did and the information she learned was WAY more than we had done during our HS year.  I asked her if she had learned anything in HS and she said the entire year was basically review for her…she already knew most of what we worked on.  I feel like such a failure!  And all three of my kids are behind in math.  We used Life of Fred, and it just wasn’t a good fit I guess.  My 8 year old could not learn his multiplication facts (tried Times Tales and he still doesn’t know them) and my 6 year old can’t add 4+3.  I know it is a common fear of those starting homeschool, but I genuinely feel like I am doing more harm than good with them.  Has anyone else felt this way and what advice can you give for more confidence and assurance that I can teach my kids what they need to know and teach them well?  Thank you!


    I’m sorry you’re feeling so defeated. First, take some time and reflect and pray over why God brought you to homeschooling in the first place. If He has led you to this, then there’s an answer and way for your family to move forward in victory and grace and peace in this endeavor.

    If you genuinely feel like a failure, let me encourage you to ask the Lord to change those thoughts because that isn’t from Him. Phil 4:13–I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. That’s the truth He has been teaching me because I struggle with feelings and thoughts of failure very often. Slowly, He is teaching me to look to Him and know that in and through Him, I can accomplish the tasks He has given me as a wife, a mother, and a homeschool parent to 5.

    Secondly, if LOF didn’t work, don’t sweat it. Find another path and go that way. Personally, we love MathUSee and its diversity for children who learn different ways. Adding and multiplication take time and are fundamental. It’s ok to just keep reviewing and processing and working until they get it. I have a 9 yo ds who has struggled very much in math. It’s just harder for him, so we take it slow and do what he can do, and just be consistent. Consistency is the best thing in learning math.

    As far as what your daughter already learned, again, it’s ok. Review isn’t a bad thing. 🙂 And it gave her an easier transition from public school to homeschooling. And I’m sure she learned other things by being home with you, essential things like character training or helping you more in your home. Those things are education too. Focus on what was accomplished. You may find that more was learned than you think.

    As you move forward to this year, just let go of last year and let go of the public school years. You have a clean slate and new opportunities to grow and change and learn what works for your family and your children. Be open to the possibilities and wonders that can be a part of home education and especially CM methods.

    Have you read Teaching From Rest, by Sarah Mackenzie? I highly recommend it. I think you’ll find that it will ease some of your fears and give you encouragement to forge ahead into the new year. And it’s simple to read, so it won’t be time-consuming.

    I also enjoy everything from Sally Clarkson on home education and just being a mom. She is encouraging and insightful and quite a blessing to me. She has a podcast that is worth listening to as well.

    A newer resource that has helped me is Check out her posts on education and true learning. I think they will encourage and lift you up.

    I will pray for you!


    Oh Jennifer! I feel for you. All of us moms have felt the same way at some time or other. Rest assured that God will equip you to teach your dear children.

    I’m sure your daughter learned much this year-more than you (or she) can measure. Maybe she needed that review? Only the Lord knows and He always gives us just what we need.

    Your children have plenty of time to learn all of the skills they will need in life. Public schools assign a lot of busy work. Many of the assignments are not age appropriate and are a waste of time for a young child. As homeschoolers we get to focus on meaningful education. I strongly encourage you to read a good book on Charlotte Mason methods. You will see that the methods and goals of a CM education are quite different from that of the public schools.

    Charlotte Mason’s own books are wonderful and are available to read online for free at Ambleside Online.

    If they seem like too much to you, two wonderful CM starter books are A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola and For The Children’s Sake by Susan Schaefer MaCauley. These books are big on inspiration.

    For a resource that will truly give you a can do attitude, you can’t beat the SCM Learning and Living DVD’s.

    I also highly recommend Catherine Levison’s books, A Charlotte Mason Education and More Charlotte Mason Education for resources to help you hit the ground running.

    I will say a prayer for you today. Take a deep breath and know that you can do this!

    By the way, it’s perfectly normal for your 8 year old to be struggling with his times tables and your six year old with addition. We just keep practicing and eventually, when they are ready, they will get it. We have to give them room to progress at their own speed. Each child is a unique creation and has his own strengths and weaknesses. They are not ahead or behind, they are just exactly where God wants them to be.



    Karen Smith

    In addition to the excellent resources that have already been mentioned, you may find our blog series on transitioning to a Charlotte Mason education and tips for a smooth year helpful.


    Thank you, ladies. I will definitely check out the resources you mentioned!  I have looked several times at Teaching From Rest and even have it on my amazon wish list!  I think it is time to actually order it.  I have read For the Children’s Sake and parts of Charlotte Mason Companion.  Both are wonderful.  I have our next year all planned out (for the most part) and feel that it is quality stuff I am offering them.  Its the lack of confidence in making my vision match up to reality.  Those What ifs…what if they hate it.  What if I do it wrong.  What if I am missing something important.  But I will give it to God and rest on the fact that he has brought us to this place for a purpose!  Thanks again for you support and encouragement!

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