Banish perfectionism in homeschool with encouragement when homeschooling gets tough

3 Key Ways to Banish Perfectionism from Your Homeschool

Is your homeschool struggling? Do you feel like your homeschool is just not working? 

Are you a perfectionist?

I certainly struggle wanting things to be perfect … in my homeschool and in the rest of my life.

I have this vision of what I want things to be. And it can be pretty hard when things don’t go according to plan.

Problem is that when perfectionism shows up in your homeschool, it can completely derail your efforts and make you miserable.

You sit down on the couch with a new read-aloud that everyone raves about -- and your kids proclaim it’s boring within two pages.

You tell your kids to get their math done -- and they spend FIVE hours doing five problems (and whine the entire time).

You plan the perfect activity -- and your kids start to fight as soon as you start to explain how to do it.

You spent the entire morning getting ready to leave for a fieldtrip -- only to have one of your kids meltdown and tell you they absolutely don’t want to go.

Solidarity, Mama … I’ve been there too!

And over the years, I’ve figured out several techniques to help banish perfectionism so that it doesn’t impact my homeschool (most of the time!)

I’ve also created a free download to help you with one of my techniques. 

You can grab the Homeschool Declarations here. (It will make sense after you watch the video!)

Want to keep reading instead of watch? Scroll to read a transcript of the video.

Boost the energy around your homeschool!

Download these Homeschool Declarations -- positive statements that can dramatically shift how you feel about your homeschool everyday.


Hello, this is ToriAnn Perkey, and from my homeschool to your homeschool, I want to talk about 3 key ways to banish perfectionism from your homeschool. Because man, perfectionism is going to be the death knell of your homeschool.

Why do I know this? Because I am super guilty of wanting my homeschool to be perfect. I have always just ... I have this vision that, you know, my kids will be perfectly lined up on the couch, and we'll have all the books perfectly aligned, or we'll have the perfect day where everyone will sit and do their homework exactly when I asked them, or the perfect day where we'll do this activity and everybody will love it. I am so guilty of that.

And I've also been guilty of looking around at all the things we're not doing and feeling bad because we don't have that perfect looking homeschool. You know -- we're not taking big trips across the country where we visit historical sites and and stop and read all the plaques and we get to do this big thing -- you know, we're doing big RV road trip. Or you know, I've never mummified a chicken.

AndI look at some of the big projects or the big exciting things that kids are doing in their homeschool. You know, they're building a fort in the backyard. And I think, ah, I'm failing failing my kids because we aren't doing those kinds of things -- even though we're doing other things.

I have so much trouble sometimes looking and saying, okay, that is not us. So how do we banish this perfectionism? Well, I have 3 suggestions. 3 things you can do that will help you shift your mindset just a little bit so that you can feel good about what you're doing and feel better about what you're not doing.

First of all, before I even get into those three things, I just want to remind you, there's actually no perfect way to be a perfect homeschool mom. There is no way to be a perfect homeschool mom. There just isn't. And I know this, even though I fall into this trap, I know this. I can never be a perfect homeschool mom, but there is an infinite number of ways to be a great homeschool mom. And you can figure out one of those infinite ways as long as you're willing to do a few key things.

So the first thing I want to recommend, the first key way to banish perfectionism is to write down what you're doing well, focus on the good. Focus on what you are doing, not what you aren't doing. Don't worry about what you aren't able to accomplish. Spend more time worrying about what you are able to accomplish.

You know, I may not have taken big massive road trips across the country with my children, even though I always wanted to this, that was just never in the cards. But I was really good at creating a system so that my kids could learn how to work. Or I may never have mummified a chicken, but I did build a really cool treasure hunt fort once where they had to go digging to figure out where the treasure was because we were studying tombs in ancient Egypt and pyramids. So if I look at the things I'm doing well, then I can feel less guilty about the things I'm not doing. So that's my number -- My first thing that I recommend is look at what you're doing well and write it down. When you write it down, it becomes concrete and you can look at it and looking at it makes all the difference.

The second thing is remember that your strengths and talents are different than everyone else around you. I remember when I just said that I'm really good at creating a system so that my kids can learn how to work. That's one of my strengths. That may not be one of your strengths. One of your strengths may be letting the mess and the chaos happen while kids are super excited and exploring, and there's goop climbing up the ceiling and you don't care because you're so in the moment with your kids. That's a talent that I do not have, but I honor it in you.

You may be super flexible and so excited and wake up in the morning and spontaneous and say, let's go to this thing that we want to do today. Or you may be really good at sitting on the couch and reading with your kids and snuggling and, and just making everyone feel safe. You have strengths and talents in your homeschool and when you focus on those and you remember those, your homeschool begins to really be the very best version of it. And it's what your kids need.

The third thing I recommend, the third key ingredient, the way to banish this homeschool perfectionism is to focus on growth mindset instead of fixed mindset. And this is something you may have heard of. Fixed mindset is the idea that your mind can't change. That it's fixed. If you are one way, you will always be one way and that can be really, really, really disabling because you feel like no matter how things are, that's how they're always going to be. And growth mindset is this idea that things can change, that you can change, that your mind can change, that the people around you can change.

And when you have that mindset, you recognize that you can learn and grow and continue to do things better and better. I know for a fact that some of the things that I can do now, I could not do 15 years ago when we started homeschooling. It was impossible. And if I could look at myself now and the capacity I have and the things I've learned how to do, I would be amazed. Not because I'm amazing, but because -- or different or unique or special in some way. But because I have 15 years between the beginning me and the now me. And that's because the growth mindset allows me to see how I can grow and change. So if there's something really important, something that's currently missing from your homeschool that you want to start incorporating, then if you embrace this idea that you can, you can start to learn step by step.

You can change, you can grow. It is possible. Now to make this just a little bit easier for you, I have put together a one page set of declarations. I call them Homeschool Declarations. If you don't know what declarations are, they are positive statements that you say on a regular basis. They help rewrite how your brain thinks and they're specifically aligned for that growth mindset and they're totally free. You just need to click on the link up above or down below and you can -- they're part of my Homeschool Help Center. It's totally free and you go there, you find them in that Help Center, and you can print them out. Just something you say every single day to just keep you motivated and going and help you banish perfectionism.

Because remember that you cannot be a perfect homeschool mom, but you can be an excellent homeschool mom in a completely unique way that is only you. I'm ToriAnn Perkey, and I make these videos every week so that you can be a successful and confident homeschool mom.

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Banish perfectionism in homeschool with encouragement when homeschooling gets tough
Banish perfectionism in homeschool with encouragement when homeschooling gets tough
Banish perfectionism in homeschool with encouragement when homeschooling gets tough

About the Author ToriAnn Perkey

I'm ToriAnn Perkey. I've been homeschooling since 2004, when my oldest daughter was 3 1/2. I'm a mother, mentor, teacher, presenter, and musician. One of my favorite pastimes is learning about ... anything! Read more here.