Things homeschooling Moms don’t say (but wish they could!)


One of the comments I hear a lot from non-homeschoolers is “I couldn’t homeschool. I don’t have the patience.”

This is one comment that actually makes me really cross. I took a look at the definition of patience.

The bearing of provocation,annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like..

I suppose it is good that the  implication is that I am some kind of homeschool supermom that can tolerate or accept things more than the average Mom. It is possibly a compliment (although the way they say it usually makes me think they believe I am on tranquilizers!).

I think what makes me cross is the assumption that spending all day with my children must involve ‘provocation,annoyance, misfortune, or pain’. If that was true then I probably wouldn’t want to do it either. Is that what people really think spending time with their children is like?

Ok, ok! I know sometimes it isn’t always easy to spend time with kids. That sometimes patience IS involved. For the whole family. But I have learnt that patience is a choice. It is something that you choose to do – or not do. Something that gets better with practice.

I was pretty impatient when I started homeschooling. Things bugged me! But part of homeschooling is that the whole family has to learn to get along together.  I realized that I was going to have to give my kids some slack. Trying to control everything just made me stressy and unhappy.

So I consciously  made an effort to be more patient – and an amazing thing happened. As I changed and relaxed, the things that were causing me to be impatient disappeared. The children co-operated more. There were less arguments and stand-offs. My attitude  had a wonderful impact on my children that meant my patience was tested less and less. And really, what better example could I set my children than to see me trying to improve my character and be a nicer person.

If you are finding patience (or the lack of it!!) a problem in your homeschooling, then here are a few tips I picked up from my fabulously calm and relaxed friend –

  • Give 10 minute warnings. Don’t just surprise your child with a ‘come on, let’s go’. It usually leads to temper tantrums! Give them a warning that in 10 minutes you are going to have to go shopping/clear up/put them to bed. It gives them time to withdraw from whatever is holding their attention so you can smoothly move to the next thing.
  • Ask yourself if it really matters. Does it really matter if you don’t get to the park for another 5 minutes? Does it really matter if your child won’t wear her coat. Then – try to let go of at least one situation a day where the answer is no. If it really doesn’t matter that much then allow yourself to be a bit more flexible.
  • Be more playful. One thing I found useful when my daughter asked for something impossible was to say “Hey, I wish you could have another ice cream too. If I had a magic wand I would wish one for you right now instead of us having to wait until we go to the store to buy some. What would you wish for?”
When you choose to be patient – your children will give you less cause to need it.  Don’t you agree?





Homeschooling Patience — 4 Comments

  1. I LOVE that you address this. I am really not the most patient person in the world, I have to work at it usually. It helps when you can put yourself in the child’s shoes … My 7 year old has a lot of problems with math and I always have as well, it just takes me longer than I think it should, with that in mind when she gets frustrated instead of getting frustrated with her I tell her that we both just have to work on it and we’re in it together. My 10yo son has ADHD and that can be really trying but after asking him what his definition of ADHD was we came up with a way to help everyone relax a little (definition was “something something high definition” lol) now we just tell him to turn down his high definition and everyone giggles a bit and relaxes!

  2. Pingback: Learning patience through homeschooling…Me! Not them. | Colorado Home Educator's Eclectic Resource