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Don't Take It So Personally

by Cheryl Demas

I had one of those light bulb moments last week. Our educational specialist, (the teacher we meet with each month) made a comment about how homeschooling moms often take their children's successes and failures personally. Homeschooling moms often feel that a less than stellar performance from their child reflects negatively on the moms themselves. I realized that because of this, we homeschooling moms often put a lot of extra pressure on our children. Of course this isn't always the case, but it made me think about my attitude towards education and how much it's changed since we've started homeschooling.

BH (before homeschooling) there was always something or someone else to blame: the teacher isn't doing a good job of motivating, the school environment doesn't promote good learning habits, the school board doesn't support the teachers, the school's technology is outdated, etc. Now, all of those outside influences are gone, and that leaves only ... Me. ... Or does it?

My daughter can learn as much from her failures, even more sometimes, than from her successes.

But have I been subconsciously avoiding things that are difficult or challenging for my daughter, situations in which she might experience failure, just to protect my own ego?

There certainly have been some very gratifying homeschool moments for us, and I've heard from many other homeschooling moms who are justifiably proud of their children's accomplishments.

However, if my daughter doesn't understand a concept or needs to move a little more slowly in certain subjects, it's not an indication of any failure on anyone's part, it's just the way she learns. And if she bombs a test, she has to realize that she needs to be more well prepared next time.

What I can learn from all of this, is not to take each of her successes and failures as my own personal successes and failures, but to look at the big picture. Of the person she is becoming, all on her own. I'm here to guide her and help her along the way, but in the end, she is her own person, and she deserves all the credit. And on those occasions when she doesn't quite do her best, she can handle at least some of the blame herself too.

Cheryl is the founder and publisher of She lives and works at her home in California with her husband and two daughters. She is also the author of It's a Jungle Out There and a Zoo in Here and The Work-at-Home Mom's Guide to Home Business.

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