Am I Doing Enough or Too Much?
June 20, 2018
Mercy Every Minute  
Some days, I have so much to balance that everything flies out of orbit and hits the ground with a big thud. 

When I add in activities outside the home, then I often feel even that much more out of control and that much more behind schedule of where I am supposed to be. Oh, and where exactly is that again? 

On the other hand, I also feel that my children would be missing out if we bypass all those great activities that are calling our names so loudly. I believe it takes prayer and wisdom every month of every year on how involved your family can or should be in anything. There are many really good activities calling us out of our homes.

As I considered how Jesus handled everything on his daily “plate,” I wondered if Jesus was rushed and off and running all the time. There were definitely times of a lot happening all at once. He had twelve disciples to love and train and feed, crowds of people to teach and heal, and critics to rebuff and enemies to avoid, as well as places to travel—and sometimes all in one day. 

He often had to handle criticism and oppression, requiring Him to leave or hide. The amount of things pressing on Him at one time was incredible. He most certainly had more to do than I could ever deal with on any given day. However, as I looked into His life further, I saw many things we would do well to consider: 

• He had incredible peace—knowing He did only what His Father told Him to do. 
• His love and patience flowed out to His disciples. 
• He took every opportunity to speak into the disciples’ lives. 
• He went away daily to spend time with His Father. 
• He displayed the character of God in His dealings with people. 

I was immediately convicted. I want to be a mother and teacher of peace, doing only what my Father tells me to do, to be able to minister to crowds of people or one person in need whenever that need arises—and to not feel condemned because of the pull away from my own schedule. On a daily basis, I want to feel the revival that is so necessary as I carve out a time and place to get alone with my Father. (To read the article in full,  click here.) 
Katie Furlong
Am I doing enough to provide a high-quality education for my children? Am I doing too much? Too little? Could I be doing more? Am I taking on too much? I think these are questions that every homeschool parent asks from time to time, maybe even on a weekly or daily basis.

My philosophy has always been that I only get 18 years to do this right. That's only 18 summers of having fun in the sun with my kids, and if you think of it that way, it's not that much time. When you compare 18 years towards a lifetime, if most people live to be 80 or 90, it's not that much time either to make sure you have taught your children as much as you can before they leave the nest.

Yes, once in a while everything goes wrong. You have a day where no matter what the plan was it all falls through, but you know what? Everyone has a bad day from time to time. I just read my children and ask are they happy? Are they enjoying what we are learning? Do they seem burnt out? Do they seem tired? Then I make adjustments and accommodations to meet their needs.

I know that homeschooling is the right choice of education for my children. I know that they thrive from the one-on-one learning plus having the freedom to explore and learn at their own pace. The kids get the opportunity to learn about the things that they are interested in. I also think as homeschool families much like non-homeschooling families, sometimes it feels like there is just not enough hours in the day to get everything done. The major advantage is that I have full days with my children to teach them not just traditional academics but manners, social skills, and life skills. I wouldn’t have time to teach them these subjects if they didn’t arrive home from school until 4pm each day.

To date, I have never, ever regretted my decision to homeschool my kids. Every single day there are moments where I see how smart, polite, outgoing, and independent my kids are, and I know I have done the right thing and deep down I know I am doing enough.

Katie Furlong is a busy homeschooling mother of 4 children. She is currently parenting at every stage: toddler, preschooler, tween, and teen. She has an Early Childhood Education diploma, is also a trained Montessori Teacher, and a certified Neurofeedback Practitioner. Katie and her 4 children live on a hobby farm where they keep bees, ducks, chickens, 2 lazy cats, and a big yellow dog. When she is not chasing children, she likes to fix up her 159-year-old farmhouse,  write , and cook to create new allergy friendly recipes. Katie may also have an  essential oil  addiction and need an intervention.
Sarah Wall
It’s the year end for most public schools, and many homeschooling families are also winding up their studies for a year. As part of the year-end wrap up, we usually evaluate the previous year. What worked? What didn’t? And what did our students learn? 

One of the biggest fears plaguing most homeschool parents is striking that balance between doing enough to keep their kids learning, and pushing their children to thrive and grow. We don’t want to pressure them, but at the same time, we worry about “keeping up.” 

All of this stress comes from one place: comparison. 
When we stress about keeping up, doing enough, or staying on track, what standard are we trying to match? Who are we “keeping up” to? Often, the answer is public school. 

But if public school is the standard, why are you homeschooling? 

Worrying about pushing our children into overachieving, or being too hard on them is also an exercise in comparison. Who determines that “too hard”? Often, the answer is our culture. 

Again, if our current culture is the standard, why are you homeschooling? Why be counter-cultural? 

Instead of stressing about too much or not enough, the year-end review is a great time to remind yourself about why you’re homeschooling. Think of all the benefits of homeschooling for your family. 

Rather than “doing enough,” think about the flexibility of homeschooling. Your homeschool can fit around your family’s lifestyle. Homeschooling becomes a way of life, rather than just an educational alternative. While not everything you do may look like academic learning, your children are always learning. So it’s not about keeping up with anything or anyone. It’s about staying on track, and correcting character when bad habits creep in.

And if too much is the concern, consider the customization of homeschooling. As their parent, you know your child intimately, and you know exactly what they are capable of. You also get to pick and choose how fast or slow you need to approach each topic, tailoring your studies to their strengths and weaknesses. You know when you need to push a child through a difficult concept, or pull back and wait until they are ready. It’s not about pressure, but keeping just enough challenge in front of them to foster that lifelong love of learning! 

Sarah is a single parent of 6, from infancy to teenager, including two special needs children. She and her princesses live in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, where they enjoy homeschooling, playing, and growing together as a family. She runs ,  a virtual business support agency from home and helps other women start businesses. Sarah blogs at   and you can find her on Facebook or Twitter  @RaisingRoyals , or on Instagram or Pinterest  @xerarose. 
Bonnie Way
When I started homeschooling my oldest daughter in Grade 1, I was so excited. As a homeschool graduate, I had always planned to homeschool my own children. Various circumstances had led me to put my daughter in a private school for Kindergarten. Now, finally, I was sitting down to do school with her at home, like I’d always dreamed of doing!

I looked over the lesson plans that had come with our curriculum. In a few short minutes, it seemed, we had finished her schoolwork for the day. I checked the lesson plans again, just to make sure I’d read them correctly. Yes, one math lesson. Yes, one page of science. Yes, one small phonics book to read. That was it!

In that first month as a new homeschool mom, I was grateful to have the lesson plans laid out for me. Without that clear guide about how to spread our new curriculum out throughout the year, I would have done too much in a day and surely burned out both myself and my little student.

As homeschool moms, it can be hard to know if we are doing enough—or doing too much. We may start homeschooling with the expectation that schoolwork should take all day because school kids spend all day at school. 

The reality is that even though kids in school spend all day there, they don’t spend all day doing school. They also eat lunch, move between classes, line up, go to the washroom, have recess, and cavort around the classroom until the teacher gets them organized to work for a few minutes.

I’ve always answered the question of how much school to do by falling back on my curriculum and lesson plans. In my daughter’s Grade 1 year, I used the same curriculum for all of our subjects except for math. The curriculum laid out the lessons for me for each day and also recommended a 4-day week. That gave me one day each week for field trips, playdates, errands, or extracurricular activities. The rhythms we established in that year have served us well ever since.

This year, my oldest daughters will be starting Grades 5 and 4, and my third daughter is going into Grade 1. I’ll be pulling out those Grade 1 lesson plans again for her. I’m now using three different curricula with the older girls, so I put together my own weekly lesson plans from the different curricula. I have a homeschool planner (basically a weekly calendar) into which I write all our activities and schoolwork.

Writing down what we’ve done (or what we will do each week) helps keep me on track and accountable. I can show my homeschool teacher (or my husband) what we’re doing. I can also see if we’re getting too busy in a week, or if we haven’t done enough and need to catch up a bit.

Using textbooks and curriculum is another way that I know we are doing enough, not too much and not too little. Each curriculum is meant to be completed within a school year; so as long as we are on track for the year, then we’re doing well. I try to plan how much we need to complete at the beginning of the year (for example, I look at our history curriculum and plan to do one unit each month). I can reassess around January and then again towards April to ensure we’ll finish in June.

Finally, I use the atmosphere of our home as a gauge for whether we’re doing enough or too much. If I’m stressed out because schoolwork isn’t getting done and we’re running out to activities all the time, then we’re doing too much. If even my girls are complaining they don’t have time for crafts or reading a book, then we’re doing too much. (That may have happened this February!) Then it’s time to assess the lesson plans and activities, and maybe cut out something or postpone it for a time.

If you’re unsure about how much schoolwork to do with your child, I do recommend using a structured curriculum and a planner. It’s also great to chat with a fellow homeschool mom about what she’s doing, or to chat with your homeschool support teacher (if you have one). Happy homeschool planning!

Bonnie Way is a homeschool graduate and a homeschool mom with five children. She blogs about motherhood, homeschooling, and travel as the Koala Mom. When she’s not homeschooling or blogging, she enjoys drinking lattes with friends or hiking and biking with her kids.
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine and curious homeschoolers everywhere want your feedback about your favorite homeschool curricula and products!
Cast your votes for the 2018 The Old Schoolhouse® Excellence in Education Awards!
The Old Schoolhouse® Excellence in Education Awards are awarded to the companies or curricula that you and your fellow home educators feel are the best of the best in homeschool educational materials, curriculum providers, and supplemental products!

Click here to take a short survey* and let us know which homeschool materials are your top picks ( The Old Schoolhouse® will give everyone who completes our survey a $100 gift certificate to our Schoolhouse Store for any digital purchase!**) By participating in this survey, you are giving us permission to obtain your email address for the sole purpose of awarding your gift certificate. 

Hurry! Survey runs through August 31, 2018.

Voice your opinions today!

*TOS independent contractors and their family members are not eligible to win the Kindle Fire. View Contest Rules  here . If you'd like graphics to share on Facebook or other social media, contact Kirsten West at
**Gift certificate is not applicable to  memberships. 
Contest Winners

Emily, age 9, Saskatchewan

Many people do not know why we celebrate Victoria Day or who Queen Victoria was. I’ll tell you all about Victoria Day and about Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria was born on May 24 th. (My birthday is on May 24 th too). She was born and lived in England. Her real name was Alexandriana Victoria. She became the queen in June of 1837. Queen Victoria was 18 years old when she became the queen. Her hobbies were singing, painting and drawing. She also liked to go to the opera. When she was 13 she started a journal. 

Queen Victoria was married and had 9 children. Queen Victoria’s husband died at a young age (age 42) and for the rest of her reign she wore black. Queen Victoria died in 1901. She died she was 81 years old. Her reign was the longest in British history. She was queen for 63 years and 216 days. Remember the journal Queen Victoria started when she was 13? It was 43,000 pages long when she died!

In 1845, the Legislature of the Province of Canada made Victoria Day a holiday. It’s a holiday because it was the queen’s birthday. When the holiday first began they celebrated with picnics, parades, sporting, tournaments, fireworks and cannon salutes. After Queen Victoria died, the Parliament of Canada made Victoria Day a legal holiday. It is on May 24 th of every year. They changed the law in 1952 so that Victoria Day was on the Monday before May 25 th. This law means that people can have a long weekend. Today we celebrate with parades, outdoor events, camping and fireworks. Victoria Day is only celebrated in Canada and Scotland.

We are looking forward to Victoria Day this year. Since we live in a small town we don’t have any fireworks or parades. If the weather is nice we are planning to take a family fishing trip. We are also going to celebrate by making our own firework crafts.

Queen Victoria sounds like a very interesting person. If I would have been in England when she was alive, I would have liked to be her friend. Since our birthdays are on the same day, we could have had a grand party together every year!

Happy Victoria Day!

Jaimen, age 9, British Columbia

Share this newsletter with a friend, and be sure to let those 
CONSIDERING  homeschooling know about the enormous  FREE  info-pack which awaits them here: .
Did you know? Every class is INCLUDED for ultimate members! 
No limits.
Could you use a break? Sometimes, when questions plague our hearts and minds, what we need most is rest. If you can carve out a time to pull back and dig into God’s Word and get your heart focused on His perspective, it can truly change everything. If you’re looking for some resources to help you dig into God’s Word and what He has to say about marriage and families, spend some time with our Just for Parents resources on You’ll find courses including: 

  • In Due Season: What if the middle of your homeschooling years could be as exciting as that first one? This series of articles by homeschool graduate and homeschooling mother of ten, Amber Smith, is designed to equip you to finish strong by helping you live well in the middle.
  • It Starts at Home: Learn to confidently teach your kids about God with this incredible course featuring Gary Thomas, Matt Chandler, and Kurt and Olivia Bruner. In these busy, hectic days we take our kids to sports practices, games, music lessons, school tutoring, and other activities to give our children the best opportunities for success. But what if we’re missing the chance to teach them what matters most? Who is shaping what your kids believe?
  • Marriage Built to Last: This isn’t your typical marriage study. Throughout the series, you’ll watch twenty-four real-life couples from across the country share candidly about their struggles in communication, finances, sexual intimacy, expectations, and more. Whether you’re newly married, remarried, or wanting to improve your relationship, Chip Ingram provides Biblical and practical teaching to give you tools to live intentionally and love Biblically.
  • How to Stay the Course: What in the world are we homeschooling for anyway? Are you at your wits’ end with frustration over a particularly rebellious child? Have you ever had days when your eight-year-old doesn’t “get” the math problem you’ve just explained three times? Do you sometimes forget that with prayer we can be at peace during these times and that we can walk through it all in victory? This collection of fifteen eBooks shares the hearts of homeschool moms much like you and offers prayers, encouragement, wisdom, and the precious reminder that you are not alone.

All our nearly 400 courses on, along with all our parent resources, are available to your family with your membership. If you haven’t yet joined, come give us a try during our June special and lock in a low monthly or yearly rate! If you or someone you know would be interested in teaching or writing for us, let us know. You can email me at We look forward to serving you and your family! 

in the latest issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
The SPRING issue of  The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
is now available for FREE online!
Click the graphic to read it cover to cover! 
Read the Spring 2018 issue free
or download the free mobile apps

Current subscribers go  here   to access all back issues.

Read the free 2018 Homeschool Supplement at to learn about Charlotte Mason, Classical Education, nature studies, and literature-based homeschooling from industry experts and parents like you.
We Want Your Feedback!
If you liked today's  Canadian Homeschool Minute , please email the editors and tell us what part you liked most. It's a huge blessing to receive feedback!