Principles of Happy Moms Who Home Educate

Happy July!

I love July, and I have every intention of spending this one picking berries, taking the kids to the pool, and visiting with family and friends. We’re homeschoolers, so July is also a time to turn our thoughts to the upcoming school year. How are we doing with this, friends? Are we hangin’ in there? Making progress? Freaking out yet? :)

Last year one of my online buddies posted a list of helpful principles. She called them Principles of Happy Moms Who Home Educate, and I think she’s right on the money with these. I thought I’d post them here– hoping they’ll be of help to those who might need the encouragement and insight right about now. This list has been extremely helpful to me- I hope it offers you some inspiration as you consider plans and dreams for the upcoming academic year.

~ Principles of Happy Moms Who Home Educate ~
* God is in control of our family’s home education.

* Home education is a portion of my full vocation as wife and mother. Keep it proportionate.

* Home education, when done from love and humility, is a steady path to sanctity and heaven.

* Home education is primarily a way of life, not an alternative to school.

* My husband is objectively the spiritual head of our household, the spiritual director of our home education.

* All home education decisions are prudential between husband, wife, and God. Leave the neighbors out of it.

* Homeschooling is mostly joyful and right. It is also hard work worth doing and involves purposeful suffering.

* Anxiety and worry are not an inevitable part of home education or an outward sign of hard work. They are signs to re-group.

* Burn-out is preventable.

* There is no perfect curriculum (self-designed or prepackaged.) Perfect is the enemy of the good. Be content with good enough. (Good enough does not justify sloth which is not good enough. Know when to realize that any additional effort toward improvement would result in a negligible improvement, especially in comparison to the effort required to gain it.)

* Plan primarily based on the truth about Mom, playing to my strengths, secondarily on the needs of the family as a whole, thirdly on the individual needs of each child, playing to their strengths.

* Emphasize character formation for all, especially formation that increases family harmony and independent decision-making.

* Academic achievement is over-rated.

* Focus on today.

* Progress is not linear and best gauged over time.

* We’re never behind. We’re exactly where God wants us. We entrust the past to God’s Divine Mercy and the future to His Divine Providence.

* Saints do not compare themselves to their neighbors because they keep their eyes fixed upon God.

* Delegate out of humility.

* Know when to take a break to refresh and renew.

* Know what I need to feel comfortable in my home. Prioritize maintaining a basic level of order.

* Discussion counts as an invaluable learning and teaching tool.

* Mastery takes time, for student and educator.

* Laughter is good, even when it needs to be redirected.

* Academic standards are arbitrary.

* Time spent on curriculum planning is time not spent on other things.

* Money spent on curriculum is money not spent on other things.

* A sense of humor lightens our load.

* Enthusiasm is contagious.

* Enthusiasm enhances motivation and engagement.

* Engagement and practice increases retention.

(Find the original post here.)


  1. This is such a beautiful list…I feel like I need to write down some of these and place them on notecards around my home!

  2. Thanks for posting this, it is very encouraging. I think I am going to print it off and stick it in my homeschool binder. If you don’t mind I might link to it next week :)

  3. Interesting list. Some good stuff in there for sure. We are using Classical Education, which, in my understanding takes more structure. I need some structure and so does Athena at this point. I do, however, need to relax a little bit more about the pace of her education.

  4. “* Plan primarily based on the truth about Mom, playing to my strengths, secondarily on the needs of the family as a whole, thirdly on the individual needs of each child, playing to their strengths.”

    “* We’re never behind. We’re exactly where God wants us. We entrust the past to God’s Divine Mercy and the future to His Divine Providence.”

    These are life changing. Most of the yahoo groups I belong to focus so much on focusing on the child, but they don’t take into account the mother who’ll be teaching that child. Reading that was like being given permission!

  5. Jen, of course you can link to it!

    I’m glad this is helpful to some of you– I find myself reading these principles over and over. Aimee- I really like your idea of writing some of them on notecards and placing them in spots around the house. I think I’ll do that too.

  6. I’m in my second decade of home educating and this is one of the best pieces I’ve ever read. Linking today!

  7. These are wonderful. I tweeted your post.

  8. Yes, indeed. Angie has authored a wonderful list!

  9. Sarah, I just found your site through my sister and it is wonderful! I am so encouraged by your post. We also live in Eastern Washington and homeschool. We have four kids and are in our 5th year of teaching at home. This year, I truly experienced burn out. Let me tell you, it is not fun:). Thanks for such a great list. I am definitely going to keep it where I can re-read it!!


  10. Thanks for sharing these encouraging words!
    Pax Christi – lena

  11. I quite agree, everyone- Angie has shared some incredible insight– and it sounds like I’m not the only one who was hungry for it!

    Thanks for all the kind messages!

  12. ***Academic achievement is over-rated.***

    So true…

  13. Chiming in late here, as I just popped over from a link on Elizabeth Foss’s blog… I love this. If my printer wasn’t broken I would print it out and laminate it! I guess I’ll have to settle for a bookmark. :o)

    I love your blog – gorgeous photos or your precious ones!

  14. Sarah,

    Thanks for sharing this list. Homeschooling is something our family is feeling called to. We haven’t yet started but this list is so beautiful, encouraging, and definitely something I want to remember. I’m not sure of your journey but I know the grandparents are not on board, so encouragement is something I know I’ll be needing when push comes to shove.

    Prayers for the rest of your twin pregnancy journey :)

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