How to Homeschool When that First homeschool Year is a Flop Sifting through my emails over coffee reading through questions form homeschool moms. How do you get kids to read? How do I teach kids respect for others and themselves? How do teach a child to write? And then my heart sunk. This one wasn’t a question, but an exhale of defeat from a mom who just began my free Homeschooling with confidence class. “My homeschool year was a flop”. In the quiet of the day when my entire house is still sound asleep and my coffee is still hot, I want to look this young mom in the eyes and smile. “Breathe… You’ve got plenty of time.” Related: Our first year of homeschooling isn’t what we expect We all have BIG expectations for our homeschooling journey. While expectations are where we begin to help us set our master homeschooling goals, they can easily become stumbling blocks perfectly designed by our own hearts to make us trip and fall flat on our faces. You smile and nod, when an older homeschool mom says, “focus on the heart of your kids, spend extra time building their character, and enjoy their company. Mama, relax about academics.” …but then like awake at night discouraged, as I did. I worried because all five of my sons were delayed readers my youngest son didn’t learn to read until he was ten years old my 15-year old couldn’t hold a pencil correctly until he was about 13 because his fingers are freakishly long one of my sons spent more time in the hospital than doing “school” between kindergarten and 2nd grade (at least it felt that way) my oldest son hated history until eighth grade one of my kids would sound out words like this: C-A-T… then he’d say “dog!” But my husband and I kept our eyes on our Master Homeschool Goals, taught them how to be a part of our family-team, concentrated on their heart and character, and pressed forward. I searched for grey haired successful homeschool moms who had kids that made my parenting heart drool and I pressed forward. Character and attitude first, ABCs and 123s second. Every day for over 20 years. Do you know where all five of my boys are now? All five are ahead of their peers My youngest, most delayed reader devours books by the dozen and is writing an epic novel two of the boys are in college and close to their bachelor degrees one is a gifted musician who is writing the score for his brother’s screenplay (Yes, a different brother) All of them are the first to arrive, last to leave kind of helpers They’re all kind, compassionate, stubborn, hard-working, diligent, men who will make amazing husbands one day (The oldest is married) We are nothing special. The kids are all “normal” sinners like you and me who sometimes fight and complain, but we see the fruit from years of focusing on their foundation. It works mama. Focus on heart, attitude, and character as a priority over academics and the ABCs and 123s take care of themselves along the way. I’ve had “flop” years in homeschooling, just like my student, have you? This is me taking a minute to smile and to let you know, it’s gonna be ok. You have time. Focus on the BIG things first and relax and enjoy your kids.