When your head hits the pillow at night, do you feel like you’ve nailed it? Like you’ve rocked your homeschooling day? That you’ve been completely and utterly successful?

Ah. I knew you’d say that.

You know why?

Because no one feels like they’re nailing it in their homeschool. But it’s not because we’re all failing. It’s because we’re using the wrong definition of “success”.

See, a successful homeschool isn’t one where you finish the lesson plans, cover all the subjects, or end up with kids who have turned out just the way you hoped they would.

None of that is actually our job.

Watch the 7-min Video

(If you’d rather read this as an article, scroll down)

I know a lot of homeschoolers, and yet I don’t know a single one who feels like everything is well in hand.

The truth is, we all feel like we’re in over our heads.

We all wonder if we’re doing enough.

Whose Well Done Are You Working For, Anyway?

You know the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000, I presume?

There’s a throng of people on a hillside, listening to Jesus preach. It’s hot. The disciples see this and tell Jesus they’ve gotta send everyone away. After all, they don’t have enough to feed all these hungry people!

This is pretty much how I feel most mornings.

All these children.

All these needs.

Only one of me (and a tired, overwhelmed, in-over-her-head version of me, to boot).

Jesus could have fed everyone instantly. He could have taken away their hunger. He could have, out of nowhere, presented them with a feast fit for kings .

But He didn’t.

Instead, He told the disciples, “Bring me what you have.”

So they brought Him a basket with a few loaves of bread and a bit of fish.

And yet…

He makes it enough

Jesus feeds the 5,000 from that measly basket of fish and bread. And that’s what he’s asking of us too: to bring him what we have.

You don’t feel like you’re enough, and the truth is: you’re right. You’re not enough.

That’s what grace is for.

The secret experienced homeschoolers know

Here’s something you won’t hear often: even experienced homeschoolers—those of us who have graduated children (I’ve graduated two!)—who have been at this homeschooling thing for several decades…

…we’re all wading through murky waters. We never really feel like we’ve got it figured out.

Every experienced homeschooler I know forgot to teach stuff. Messed up. Feels like she let her kids down in some significant way.

That feeling just never goes away.

But here is the good news:

You haven’t been called to be successful.

He isn’t asking you to feed the 5,000. He’s asking you to bring your basket.

To bring Him what you have, and let him do the rest.

So then…. success actually looks a lot like faithfulness.

It looks a lot like bringing our basket and waiting on grace, expecting Him to work the miracle we so desperately need.

Teeny tiny steps

In my homeschool, I often feel like I need to make a big shift to improve things. So I overhaul a plan, color code a new schedule, or buy a completely new curriculum.

(There’s something about that “buy” button that makes me feel like I’ve solved all of my problems. It’s not true, though.)

The smallest steps, however, are always the steps that seem to make make the biggest difference.

It’s the little things—the little tiny things that are almost so small and simple that we wonder if they’re making a difference at all. Those are what make the biggest impact on a homeschool.


I made a bingo card for RAR Premium members to help them recognize all those tiny things they do, day in and day out, and I wanted to share it with you, too.

The small things count. They make a huge difference. A bigger difference than you can imagine when you’re in the thick of things.

These are 25 ways to help you fall more in love with your homeschool and to be really and truly successful.

25 ways to bring your basket, if you will.

Want to grab it?

Pick any five things on this bingo card and you win, because we’re not called to be successful. We’re called to be faithful. To bring our basket.

This Bingo card can help you do that.

So how can your head hit the pillow at night with assurance that you nailed it?

Well, you can show up. And so can I.

We can bring our basket.

We can wait on the Lord to do the rest, because that is, after all, what we’re called to do.

And it’s worth it, every minute.

P.S. You might enjoy this podcast episode I recorded with my 20-year-old daughter about what was most/least helpful in her own homeschooling experience.

More free resources and booklists

Get the best episodes and reources
from the Read-Aloud Revival

Powered by ConvertKit