Imperfect Homeschooling


Homeschooling Imperfection at my house?  Yes.  Oh, yes.

I love homeschooling.  Love it.  But let me tell you, some moments aren’t warm and fuzzy.  Homeschooling is life.  Real life.  And real life can be tough.

Imperfect Homeschool

A messy house, piles of laundry and dishes, not knowing what we’ll eat for supper…at suppertime, a lawn begging to be mowed.  And these only describe the household imperfections!

Children who whine about school work, lessons I forgot to prepare, appointments that break up our week, pieces of projects laying all over the house.  I could go on and on.  I’ll spare you the rest of the gory details because I have a feeling you might already know them.  Am I right?

Focusing on all the imperfection seems to come naturally, doesn’t it?  Why do we beat ourselves up so often over our failures?

I think I know.  The thief.  Yes, the thief.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. ~John 10:10

The thief wants nothing more than to keep us frustrated, overwhelmed, grouchy and feeling like failures.  Look at the second half of that verse again, though.  Jesus came to give us Abundant Life.  A life that is plentiful, even overly-sufficient.  When we focus on the abundance He has provided, the importance of all those imperfections fades.

Joys of Imperfect Homeschooling

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  ~Philippians 4:8

When the thief tries to pull my focus toward the imperfect, I choose to turn the other way and see the Abundant Life He provides daily.  I CHOOSE.

How do I choose?  When it’s hard to find the successes in the midst of perfection, I might:

  • take a Bible and/or prayer break.
  • look through old pictures (because the have captured the “good” times.)
  • take a walk and praise God for His wonderful creation.  My continual praises refresh my mind to “think about such things” when I get back home.
  • pick one imperfect thing and make a plan to improve it.
  • take a day to myself (because I sometimes feel like a frozen computer screen that needs to be rebooted!)
  • do something fun with the kids to refresh all our attitudes.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:7

Peace.  Doing these things brings fullness and peace to my heart – and the imperfections take their proper place.

Have you ever read Beyond Survival: A Guide to Abundant-Life Homeschooling or Reaping the Harvest: The Bounty of Abundant-Life Homeschooling (affiliate links) by Diana Waring?  If you’re overwhelmed with the frustrations of homeschooling, these help put the good, bad and ugly in perspective.

I’m glad my homeschool is imperfect.  Yes, I said “I’m glad.”  It means Jesus is still working on me.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.  ~Philippians 1:6



  1. Thank you for such a refreshing word. So very true, the thief does come to kill, steal and destroy. He does so many times by blindsiding me in homeschooling. I needed this word to focus on the positive not the blindsiding negatives. God bless you.

  2. Thank YOU for your kind comment. :o)

  3. kim mcginnis says:

    Fabulous! It’s only 9:20 am and already I have had many of these feelings. Thank you for your honesty and sharing the tools we can use to overcome.

  4. Me, too, Kim! It’s time for a long walk with the Lord. 🙂

  5. I loved hearing about your imperfect days – and your solutions for combatting them! I too need those “reboots” and they are such a blessing – as is looking through old photos. I’m a scrapbooker and that is a BIG way I recapture the joy in our lives!

  6. Encouraging post! I like your tip of picking one imperfect thing and making a plan to improve it.!

  7. My sink looks like yours most days, too :). Plus I forget to write lesson plans, so nice to know I’m not alone on that! But I really love that you didn’t leave it there, life really is about how we choose to view/handle our current circumstances.

  8. Great way to put a positive spin on what can be a tough job!

  9. Cindy,
    Your post has been such an encouragement today!!! Thank you for being inspiring & REAL all at the same time. Your workshops are my all time favorites because you give such creative & practical advice! Your advice about “Enrichment Study Fridays” has helped to produce our best (NOT PERFECT) homeschool year ever! Thank you!

  10. Reading this series of other mom’s imperfect homeschools has been a blessing to me. So often, it’s easy to assume that other people have it more “together” than I do or that other houses are clean and organized and their kids are well behaved all the time and then beat myself up for my shortcomings.

    Thank you for also sharing what you do to refocus and find successes in the midst of it!

  11. I needed this. Thank you. 🙂

  12. Good stuff and I can sooooo relate!! I agree. Having an imperfect, messy homeschool requires that we lean on someone other then ourselves. The One who can do all things through us. Good word.

  13. Very encouraging article – thanks so much for sharing.

  14. Thank you for the picture of your sink – and the scripture. I have been 1 very restless stay-at-home-mom today. This helps- like balm to my soul!

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