6 Ways to Set Healthy Expectations for Homeschooling

I remember how excited I felt the very first day I decided to homeschool my kids. As a previous teacher in public education, the options seemed amazing and the possibilities endless.


But, as the execution began, I realized that my expectations and idealistic dreams were not realistic. I was juggling homeschooling my child, managing a household, and running my large counseling center part-time. 

6 Ways to Set Healthy Expectations for Homeschooling

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As summer vacation winds down, I know many of you dream about the expectations and progress the coming school year will bring. But even for current homeschool parents, COVID-19 has impacted the way homeschool looks. The little amount of co-op activity and socialization occurring changes everything, yet it does not stop homeschooling success.

Below are some practical tips for setting healthy expectations for homeschooling. You can  enjoy your children, educate them well, and successfully make it through the coming year:

1. Have revised, realistic expectations.

Realize that this year will look different and your children’s ability to perform and learn will also look different. Evaluate ahead of time and be realistic yet flexible in your expectations.

2. Consider the emotional and social stressors that they have faced for months now.

Understand that you will not always meet the child you desire in your homeschool classroom. All of the emotional and social stressors that they have been facing for months now, may very well show up in other ways. Homeschooling is a “convenient” place for pent up stressors to rear their heads. Pray, prepare the best you can, and be ready to take those extra steps to address the heart and be a safe place when they show up.

3. Be more flexible than you have ever been.

All of us face unknowns this year. Hopefully, we will choose to embrace a sense of peace
about this and learn to manage what we expect. The beauty of homeschooling is that adapting is always an option!

4. Manage your own emotions as you begin to help your child manage theirs.

As mamas, we, too, are under more stress than we have ever experienced before. Our rhythms and routines have been knocked off base, except for the few introverts who are just relishing every moment of this season. Work on managing your own changing emotions well.

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5. Reach out for support but do not compare yourself to others.

One mama’s “up day” is another mama’s “down”. There is such beauty in friendship and community that is there to encourage and lift one another up on those tough days. Comparison steals joy, community helps us reclaim joy when our expectations fail us.

6. The most important gift you can give your child this year in homeschool is to help them feel loved and cherished.

Feeling loved and cherished makes such a difference in how kids respond to you and how they perform. If you need help instilling this vital concept in your child’s life, pre-order my newest devotional, Loved, and Cherished, for 8 to 12-year-old girls coming out this September.

Remember, you are not alone—we are cheering you on as you start this school year!

I understand that envisioning this coming year is hard with each day changing drastically. But the comfort and peace that God never changes is the truth we must cling to each day. He is for you and your child!

My hope is that this year would begin knowing that you, Mama, are loved. May it end the year with your child knowing they, too, are loved. My hope is for you to enjoy your children in this homeschool process and give them a lifetime love for learning and that they succeed academically. But more than anything, I want you and your child to see that learning about God and clinging to truth is the most valuable lesson to happen this next year.

Which of these 6 Ways to Set Healthy Expectations for Homeschooling will you start with?


Michelle Nietert, M.A., Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor has been providing therapeutic interventions to children and their families in counseling offices for over 20 years. As a previous educator, public school crisis counselor, and youth and children’s minister, she interacts regularly with parents and students at public school assemblies, PTA meetings, local churches, and is the mental health consultant for a local private Christian school. Michelle also provides training for school counselors, teachers, and homeschool parents. 

A recognized expert in Solution Focused Therapy, she is the clinical director and owner of a large counseling center in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Michelle’s writing can be found on the MOPS blog, in Lifeway’s Parenting Magazine and she is the Mental Health columnist for Just Between Us Magazine. She also joins her audiences in the parenting trenches as a happily married mom of two school-aged children. To discover her Counselor Thoughts blog and podcast providing Solutions for Life, please visit MichelleNietert.com.

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