How do you know if you are doing a good enough job as a parent? What if you are also homeschooling, are you doing a good enough job as a teacher too? The only person who can really answer these questions is you. Cultural expectations aren’t always a healthy match for individual families. And other people are generally not around enough and motivated to really understand and assess your family situation.
Yet there clearly are better and worse ways that a parent can be, and sometimes it feels like a zero-sum game: how much of my energy is ok to spend on myself v. my children? For my children’s sake and also for my own self-esteem, I’d like to be able to confidently say that I am doing a good job. Even if my kids play Minecraft whenever relatives are around and no one ever seems to do as I ask, I’d like to feel confident on the inside that I am doing a good job.
I’ve written the list below to help me do my own self-assessment, so that I can confidently feel I’m doing a good job. (Or if I don’t meet the criteria, I’ll have a clear direction for how to do better!) If you struggle to know (or to convince others) that you are doing a good job, perhaps you might brainstorm your own list – what does being a good parent/SAHM/homeschooler mean to you?
For me, I am succeeding in homeschooling when:
- My children have books, toys, and apps that they are currently interested in
- I give 1hr/weekday to my children to help them practice skills that we agree are important
- I provide accessible learning resources, such as materials, books, and apps that cover topics beyond their current interests
- I always encourage questions
- I model handwriting and drawing every day in my own work
- I maintain the home environment, so my children can easily access drawing/writing materials, books, and toys
- I model doing work that I am genuinely interested in every day
- My children have several hours of completely unstructured time every day
- Most days, there are opportunities to be around friends or extended family members
- Most days, I provide opportunities to go out (but if we don’t go, it’s ok)
- Everyday I show interest in the interests of my children, and I demonstrate complete acceptance of them as they are
- I am available nearly all the time to provide emotional support
Pretty good list! Even though most my time is actually spent cleaning, cooking, and texting! I’d love to see your lists – and to help you see that you too are doing a good job!