Episode 166

Do you ever feel like you might be missing out on something as a homeschooler? Homeschooling FOMO is challenging!

Many homeschooling parents I talk to experience FOMO ~ the “fear of missing out.”

FOMO can happen regarding activities, curriculum choices, or the sense of community you experience.

It’s natural to wonder if your child is getting the best experiences, opportunities, and education.

But let’s explore how FOMO can be reframed into an empowering perspective in three different areas of homeschooling life so that you can relax and find more ease in your days.

Understanding FOMO in Homeschooling

1. Homeschooling Activities

The FOMO around activities might arise when you see other homeschoolers engaged in various extracurricular pursuits. Perhaps it’s the art classes, sports teams, co-ops, or science clubs that seem enticing. Maybe your children don’t have those interests, or you can’t afford those classes, or maybe you’re not even invited to exclusive co-ops and clubs. Sometimes the stars just aren’t aligned for your family to get to do those things other families are doing. And sometimes, it’s the technology that other parents are giving to their children that you’re not wanting to be a part of.

But here’s the reality check!

Remember, the beauty of homeschooling lies in flexibility and creativity. It’s not WHAT you do, but how you feel, and creating a life that works for you.

While it’s fantastic to explore different activities, it’s equally important to recognize that your unique choices of how you spend your days hold value. We make conscious choices about how we spend our time because there are only a finite number of hours in a day. And we want to prioritize the human connection and relationships we have with our children.

There is also something to be said about limiting the go-go-go approach. Being home with our children and family is a gift. Maybe think about alternating activity and calm days. Or letting your children choose one outside activity a week. Because the honest truth is that children benefit from unstructured time to explore their own interests and process all that they’re learning.

And if you’re worried about socialization, check out Busting Homeschool Myths, for reassurance that your children will be fine!

2. Curriculum

With an abundance of curriculum options available, the fear of choosing the wrong one can be paralyzing. Every program seems promising, and the fear looms that your selection might fall short. And that maybe that curriculum you don’t have will be just the thing to make homeschooling go more smoothly.

The reality check: No one-size-fits-all curriculum exists.

Your child’s educational journey is an evolving process. Don’t fear the journey of experimenting or mixing various resources to create a custom-fit curriculum. What works for one family might not work for another, and that’s okay. Trust your intuition and trust the process.

And remember, buying more and more curricula thinking the next one will be just the thing is more confusing than less. No matter what curriculum you use ~ and most homeschoolers actually use a combination of curriculum and resources…but no matter what curriculum you use, you still need to do some planning, make it your own, and tailor it to meet your child or children right where they are. 

3. Community

The idea of missing out on the community of a traditional school setting can evoke FOMO, too. The camaraderie with other school families, shared experiences, and group learning environments might seem irreplaceable. And that’s what I feared I’d miss the most when my family embarked on our homeschooling journey.

The reality check: Homeschooling communities are vibrant and diverse places too!

Seek out local homeschool groups and try out online communities. Encourage your child to participate in community events, volunteer activities, or even organize meetups yourself. These avenues offer unique opportunities for socialization and friendships that are just as meaningful as a school community ~ maybe even more so because homeschooled kids get to socialize with all ages. We always loved meeting homeschooling friends for hikes and field trips and organized so many great classes and experiences for small groups of homeschoolers.

It can take some patience to find an online community to support you as an educator, parent, and human being. There are so many out there and of course, there’s FOMO!

Look for communities that offer a warm, nurturing group atmosphere as well as mentor-led coaching like Inspired at Home.

Above all, I encourage you to think of your family as your community. This is your little sphere of influence. As homeschoolers, we can keep our relationships with our kiddos at the forefront. What a blessing!

Recovering from FOMO

Kim John Payne rightly said, One of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves is the ability to say no. By setting boundaries and prioritizing our own needs, we can create a more balanced and fulfilling life.” 

Here’s how you can overcome FOMO:

1. Define Your Priorities & Values

Take a step back and reflect on your family’s values and goals. What matters most to you and your child’s educational journey? Prioritize these aspects and align your choices about activities and curriculum with your personal values and goals.

2. Embrace Your Unique Path

Recognize that your homeschooling journey is distinctive. Celebrate the freedom to tailor the education to your child’s needs and interests. Experimentation and flexibility are your allies.

3. Practice Gratitude

Focus on what you have rather than on what you might be missing. We can have it all, just not all at once. Keep a gratitude journal to remind yourself of the positives and successes on your homeschooling adventure.

4. Connect and Share

Engage with other homeschoolers to share experiences and gather inspiration. Collaborate with fellow homeschooling families to create meaningful learning experiences even if it’s just a meet-up at the park where a of couple parents sit and chat while the kids play.

In Conclusion

Homeschooling opens the door to a world of possibilities, granting the freedom to curate a personalized educational experience for your children. It’s crucial to acknowledge and celebrate this unique journey without letting the fear of missing out overshadow its beauty. By embracing what manifests, setting boundaries, and being creative with your homeschooling life, you can find your way out of FOMO. I know because I did!

Rate & Review the Podcast

If the Art of Homeschooling Podcast has inspired you, I’d LOVE it if you could rate and review the podcast on your favorite podcast player! Reviews can be left on Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Podcast Addict, or Stitcher.

Or simply pop on over to lovethepodcast.com/artofhomeschooling and choose where you want to leave your review.

And if you want to show your appreciation for the Art of Homeschooling Podcast, you can buy me a cup of tea!

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