Getting Real ~ Disappointments

Much of what I share here on Practical Pages showcases “what works”, but I acknowledge that I am definitely not a supermom and our homeschooling was often less than perfect!

Here’s another “Getting Real” topic ~ Disappointments

Young Girl Sitting & ReadingUnmet expectations often lead to disappointments.  Repeated disappointments can in turn lead to depression, despair and hopelessness.

So let’s talk about unmet homeschool expectations.

Most new homeschool parents trust that the curriculum they purchased will be a “good fit”.  Many homeschool parents have an ideal of their children sitting and learning happily every day.  Many parents hope that they will have well-grounded, well-rounded and well-mannered children who will reflect the all benefits of homeschooling, but this is often not the case.

There are many failures, flops, and fears.   Expensive curriculums don’t suit a child’s learning style.  Some subjects are unpleasant. Some lessons are too difficult.

You can read my post on “Unmet Expectations”  where I shared how I found myself “floundering under the weight of my lofty ideals and unrealistic homeschooling expectations” in my first years of homeschooling.

I remember my deep disappointment when my young teenage daughters refused to do most of the Charlotte Mason subjects such as Hymn study, Composer study and Nature Study when they started high school.  Here’s an excerpt describing my  disappointment ~

“You see, I wanted that cozy picture of my girls all singing hymns, sketching birds and butterflies and sweetly reciting poems.  I hoped they would all know at least 31 scriptures and could recite quotes from living books.  Charlotte Mason is so much deeper and wider than subjects and principles, so why is it such a struggle in my home?”

I had encouraged my children regarding their choices and attitudes.  I had tried to inspire them and pushed and persuaded them, but many times I watched as they refused, or failed.  Despite my best efforts, when I tried to force a child to do something they do not want to do, it did not lead to success.  In my worst moments, I judged myself and felt judged by others for these disappointment.  I have experienced seasons of depression and even despair at these times.

Children may delay, procrastinate or refuse to do their work.  Children who struggle a lot become disillusioned  because they feel that they have not achieved what their parents expect from them.  This disillusionment creates a block to learning.  Before they even try, they feel “I can’t”.

This homeschool journey often includes failures and disappointments.  We are given moment-by-moment choices, and many times we make choices out of fear and not because we have faith.

May I encourage you to turn to the Lord in times of disappointment.  Ask Him to show you the situation through His eyes.  Trust Him to help you find another way.  Pray for grace to accept situations you cannot change.  Pray for the grace to surrender and the wisdom to learn.

Sending you huge hugs as you face your disappointments.  Please feel free to share your experiences or advice in the comments.

Blessings and grace in these real moments,


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7 thoughts on “Getting Real ~ Disappointments

  1. Oh, this is so true! My son is now in his last year of homeschooling, and I have so many resources that I thought were wonderful but he wasn’t interested in. When he was younger, it was easy because he just listened to whatever I read to him when I scheduled reading time. But as he got to be a teen, he had his own ideas about scheduling and also about what he wanted to read and listen to. It can be discouraging, but I have always tried to remind myself that I am teaching him to think for himself and to be excited about learning as he learns what he is interested in, not what I am interested in. Sometimes our interests are the same, but sometimes they aren’t, and that is ok. Thank you for being honest about your own struggles. Your blog has been a constant source of comfort and inspiration over my years of homeschooling both my daughter (21) and my son (18).


  2. As always your thoughts on disappointments are so timely. I am facing disappointments in schooling and with my adult children. It is so hard to be God focused when my mind is swirling with disappointments and feeling of failure. Your encouragement to ask the Lord to show me the situation through His eyes is more helpful than you know. Be blessed for all you do.


    • Oh, @Helen, sending you huge hugs! Those dreadful feelings of disappointment and failure are not of the Lord. He doesn’t judge us by how others lead their lives. I have learnt to say this to myself regarding my adult children, “This is their journey and their choices.” Then I trust the Lord for grace. Continue to be faithful in prayer and intercession for them and trust the Lord to remain in a position of influence and encouragement in their lives.

      Regarding schooling, when facing continual disappointments, I have been encouraged to start afresh with a new approach or to leave out things that were not working, or change the style or method, or create a new schedule or timetable or whatever. When you are disappointed, stop and spend some time finding another way of approaching the work and try again. Dead ends are sure signs that things are just not working. Then it is better to approach it another way. Trust that you will find a way through these feelings and sending you much love and encouragement!


  3. Hi Nadine

    Thank you again for your encouraging posts.
    I recently hit an area of disappointment when I discovered my children are behind in math and reading for their age.
    I really thought we were doing well as I see them growing in these areas.
    My natural reaction is to push but I know this can backfire. Do I continue to trust our journey? My concern is if they need to get to the correct level how does one do it?


    • @Tracey Botha, the joy of homeschooling is that you can tailor-make your approach, following the pace and the content to suit each child. You can trust this unique learning process because you can see your children are making progress and growing.
      Don’t let the external standard measure pressurize you into stressing, striving or pushing your children. You are right – it always backfires. Simply follow the pace your children need and make these two subjects a daily priority in your schedule and you will be wonderfully encouraged to see your children thrive and grow and catch up somewhat. It really doesn’t matter if your children take a little longer to meet the expected standards. You will save them much doubt and negative self-esteem if you simply focus on where they are now and gently lead them onward and upwards.
      Blessings as you trust your journey!


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