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Not patient? 11 ways to improve patience as a homeschool mom

You don’t need to be a master of patience to be successful at homeschooling. Here’s the basics to improve patience as a homeschool mom.

When people find out I homeschool my kids, they’ll often say: “I wish I could homeschool, but I don’t have the patience.”

I get it. I also don’t have the patience. I do not have the patience to hear: “Moo–ooom, I don’t understand this math problem” for the millionth time that day. Or, “What’s a pronoun?’ (it hurts my ever-loving-English-teacher heart that my kids don’t love grammar like I do!).

Yeah. Patience is definitely needed as a homeschool mom.

But, guess what? I did not decide to homeschool because I’m some magically patient person. Just like you didn’t decide to become a parent because you’re a superhero of patience, amiright?

So, I know for a fact you don’t need to be a master of patience to be successful at homeschooling. (Big sigh of relief!)

So what then?

How do you improve patience as a homeschool mom?

Here’s some basics:

Know Thyself: 

In 2023, we call this: self-awareness. Reflect on your tendencies and the moments when your patience tends to wear thin. Knowing these things helps you get ahead of situations that are taking a turn.

  • Do you get stressed over a particular subject? Tackle that one first while you’re fresh; or call in Dad to do that one in the evenings.
  • Are the kids always distracting each other driving you to distraction? Give them some “independent” time separate from each other.

Set Realistic Expectations:

Remember, homeschooling (like life) is a marathon, not a sprint. Pace yourself. As my favorite writing teacher, Andrew Pudewa, likes to say: “Do what is easy, plus one more thing.”

Stay Present to Stay Patient!: 

Do you know what is a killer for me trying to improve patience as a homeschooler? Whenever I try to do the laundry-make lunch-schedule appointments-and-also-homeschool… that is a recipe for disaster! (do I still attempt that on busy days? Ugh, yes!). Take a deep breath, sip that coffee (or tea — whatever floats your boat), and be with your child in their learning. You’ll find you are more receptive to your child’s needs and learning styles.

Flexibility is the Key to Improving Patience: 

Be a homeschool contortionist. At least when it comes to your teaching style. If your child learns better in a different way, switch things up to accommodate that. They’ll learn new concepts more readily and you’ll feel more at ease seeing the progress they make. Everyone wins!

  • We often do just odds or just evens in math, to scale back on some of the workload.
  • Sometimes I write the work on our whiteboard instead of having my kids write it in their workbooks. Putting the work up on the board gives them a fresh way of looking at it, and relieves them temporarily of some of the handwriting.

Celebrate Small Wins: 

Rejoice in the small wins along the way. Every effort and success, no matter how minor, is a milestone. By celebrating these moments, you’re fostering confidence and motivation. 

  • Here’s a few ways to celebrate small wins with younger kids. You might like it for days when it is hard to see through the fog!

Take Breaks:

When you feel the anger rising, or are just about to say “Because I said so!”… that’s a huge signal to press pause! Take a collective breather. Grant yourself a fresh perspective.

  • Get the kids out for a walk, have a snack, and regroup.
  • Listen to an audiobook while doing some chores – sometimes doing something non-academic is enough to break the mood

Gather your Support Group:

You’re not in this homeschooling journey alone. And you’re not the only impatient homeschool mom. We are all right there with you!

Reach out to fellow homeschooling parents. Join the local Facebook group (you can post anonymously now!). Connect with other parents or co-op groups to share stories, victories, and moments of “Why did I decide to do this again?”  This kind of fellowship with people who get it is a life-giving.

Monitor and Adjust:

Take some time daily, weekly, and monthly to reflect. Take a mental stroll through your homeschool journey. Recognize the areas where you’ve shown patience and identify areas where you can level up. It’s hard to see the growth while you’re moving forward. Only in looking back can you see just how far you’ve come in improving your patience with your kids.

  • Not sure where you’re going as a homeschool mom? Deciding what you really need from your homeschool can help improve patience. Sign up for my Beginner’s Guide to Homeschool if you want to get basic questions about homeschooling answered.

Improve Patience with Self-Care

You don’t have to get all bubble-bathy here, but you can’t be at your best if you’re running on empty. Self-care fills your tank with energy, ensuring you have the emotional reserves to be patient when it’s most needed. Pray, drink extra water, and schedule in a little downtime for yourself. I like to go for a 20 minute walk as soon as hubby gets home from work – it’s easy to squeeze in between the end of the day and dinner (if I plan ahead! eek!).

Two more big ones to improve patience as a homeschool mom:

1. Give yourself grace in this patience game:

You’re going to make mistakes. You will run out of patience (like the rest of us!). Don’t beat yourself up! Instead, take a moment to acknowledge your slip-up, explain your feelings, apologize sincerely, promise to do better. Then seal that promise with a hug or high-five. Show your kids that you’re only human, but that you’re willing to admit when you’ve messed up.

2. Lead on God’s All Sufficient Grace

Yes, I know God’s Grace is for salvation. But He also gives grace for each moment as we continually are sanctified. Homeschool and motherhood has been such a sanctifying process in me (not that I’m there yet!). So, remember this… God’s grace is sufficient for you.

2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Above all, for the Christian, your homeschool is to the glory of God, and He will give you the strength to get through each day!

Keep at it, mama! You’re doing a great work in your family!