Homeschooling Is Not a Hobby

Why do many homeschoolers stay in the same place?

Week after week, month after month, year after year – I see people sharing about the same frustrations over and over and over again.

Usually, these frustrations have to do with not having good systems in place.  The foundations that would really make them feel joy in the journey are missing.  They have replaced principles with objects.

Most of them are circling their wagons around curriculum.  And blaming the frustrations on the resources – the “things” if you will – as being the source of all their problems.  They are begging for someone to reveal to them that ONE textbook or that ONE boxed curriculum that is going to fix it all and send them off riding over rainbows on homeschool unicorns.

I’ve been doing this for a long time.  The same dance in the same ballroom.  Watching the same missteps which cause people to stay focused on the same fake solution to their very real problems.  Walking into this with a boxed curriculum thinking everything is going to be perfect is like dancing with two left feet.

Now I’m not saying – don’t buy curriculum.  What I’m saying is, stop dancing with two left feet.  The real solutions to homeschooling are not found in a box.  You CAN make the box fit your child if you have the right tools (curriculum is not a tool, it’s more like the nail or the rubber washer), but you can never make the child fit the box.  At least not entirely.  I’ve never seen it accomplished and I work with thousands of homeschoolers every year.  Show me a child who has excelled academically and I will show you how the curriculum was not responsible for that success.  Success goes deeper than curriculum. Much deeper.

So when people remain in this place, in the same dark and dusty ballroom with no windows and no natural light, they remain small in their efforts. Small.  When you choose to stay small in something, you are treating it as a hobby.  But, when you are ready to succeed, you will see homeschooling as a real opportunity.  It’s an opportunity for your kids to succeed.  For you to succeed.  It’s an opportunity to create a love of learning and leadership in the people who are the very future of the world – our children.  Don’t miss the opportunity by staying small – homeschooling is NOT meant to be a hobby!

The best way to take hold of the opportunity for success is to get help from mentors.  People who have stepped outside the box and have danced in the sunlight and have moved around and leaped from hill to hill and landed safely.  People who can walk you step by step through processes, and help you to customize your own personal processes for your family.  To teach you how to leverage all your resources and curriculum to each individual child’s learning style and to YOUR learning style.  Because you are learning too.  Most homeschoolers were conditioned in the public school model.  You’ve been taught that this is the way learning is done.  You likely entered this process as a preschooler.  So it’s been a lot of years that you’ve been told that learning must be done a specific way.  You are learning how to do things differently, so you need someone to teach you.

We all know very well that the public school model is a failed model.  And from working with thousands of homeschoolers every year, I will be very candid with you – when you emulate a failed model, you are setting yourself up to fail.  There is nothing wrong with using textbooks and workbooks if that is how you and your child prefer to consume knowledge.  But don’t let the textbooks consume YOU or your child.

Now, breaking out of routine – that familiar model – that “safe” place – is HARD to do.  You will find yourself going back to that place of familiarity over and over again.  The key is recognizing it as an obstacle, a distraction, a hobby mindset – and then choosing to do things the way you want to do them instead of “the way they have always been done”.  Consume knowledge, don’t be consumed.

Look – anyone who told you homeschooling would be easy, was flat out misleading you.  If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.  Although there are millions of homeschoolers, we are far from “everyone” doing it.   And many homeschoolers are still replicating public school at home and feeling like they are failing and they are not seeing the connection between the act and the feeling.  They are battling with checkboxes every day and when they can’t check off their box, their self doubt increases and they feel like they can’t do it.

I once heard someone say – don’t ask for your challenges to be small, ask for help to overcome them.

At Home Education Council of America (HECOA), THIS is what we focus on.  Helping you to reach inside and overcome your fears.  We don’t do paid reviews or paid recommendations.  We are about real, genuine people.  Families.  We are about giving you training that you need at your comfort level so that you can give your kids the highest academic opportunities possible, without stress.  It shouldn’t be stressful.  Again, stress happens when you try to force humans to do things that humans were not inherently made to do.  This is not about unschooling.  It’s not about ditching curriculum or structure and living without consequence.  On the contrary, our mentors and our programs teach you how to soar higher than the status quo.  How to get a grip on your life and truly succeed at homeschooling.
We have an amazing membership program.  What I love about it is that our mentors teach you how to craft an individualized homeschool plan that works for any homeschool, anywhere in the world.  You can adapt the tools found in the membership to any curriculum, any programs or resources that you like.  But what is most important, is that it’s about a fully customized experience for your family.  So instead of buying an all-in-one curriculum and forcing your child to fit the box, you are learning how to configure the box to your child for amazing results.  And again, we are not saying – don’t buy curriculum.  You can use our training with a curriculum or without one.  Our mentors teach you how to reverse engineer anything that you DO buy, step by step, so that you can effectively lead your child instead of constantly circling your wagons around curriculum.  They teach you how to do this by applying real and lasting principles and individualizing them to your family.  It’s truly revolutionary and will change the way you educate.

And it’s completely accessible online from any device, anywhere in the world.  Just log in and go!  It’s like having mentors and friends in your home holding your hand all year long, right where you are, right when you need it!  We offer live sessions every month where our mentors walk you through the processes and answer your questions.  So you get both accountability and implementation.  We also offer THREE online conferences every year for complete immersion, covering everything about home education.

The HECOA membership is all about you and your family. 

Why does this membership matter?

  • It’s the foundation for everything related to the reality of homeschooling
  • It’s what will help you the most
  • It will give you all the clarity and confidence you need to educate your child anywhere, anytime, any way you want
  • It truly reveals the value in your time and your efforts.

What if you are just looking in to homeschooling? Will this membership work for you?

Veteran homeschoolers say if they could go back and start over – mentors would be the way they would do it.  That’s why we have this membership.  Because our mentors know and have gone down the road wandering and feeling hopeless, and went through all the trial and error.  So if you are brand new to homeschooling, this is absolutely perfect for you.  If you are brand new to homeschooling you are not in course-correction mode, you instead have the opportunity to start off on the right foot.  But for those of you who are in course-correction mode, this is something that will turn you around 180 degrees and get you back on track.

If you just want the simple summary of how to do things, and you can attend our live monthly sessions, join under our Basic membership – which is our free membership.  But if you want to really dig your heels in and have access to all the recordings of our live sessions – over 450 video trainings and growing – then join as a PLUS member.  You can choose from two levels, for unlimited 24/7/365 access to every tool you will ever need.

Real tools, real resources, real support, for real homeschoolers.  Join today at

Our next ONLINE conference (free, but registration is required):  Check out our EVENT LIST

Leave a Comment:

Sharon Gaston says

I would love to join! This past year I had to homeschool using what I already had and also with free online sites. I had no money to buy anything to homeschool. So while I'm sure that I would benefit from full membership its not an option for me.

    Michele Sifuentes says

    Sharon, your budget sounds a lot like mine! There are several online sites that are free or have free sections that I use. If I find that there’s a particular piece of curriculum that I REALLY would like to have (boxed sets are pretty unrealistic price tags, plus we don’t really fit in a box anyway!), I go through some sites that offer free curriculum and you pay the shipping or groups that have curriculum for sale. I also look through yard sales, Craigslist, etc. I also put the word out in my mommy and homeschooling groups that I’m looking for X. This is my second year homeschooling, and while I still drool while browsing curriculum catalogs and websites, I can’t help but feel like we’re getting a more personalized education this way! I’m able to cover what’s needed but in a way that includes their interests! Oh, and Ivdon’t know if you saw the comment below, but I wasn’t aware that we can pay the membership out monthly! Not sure if that helps you, but I’m going to look our budget and see if it fits! Let me know if I can help you in any way!

Lili K says

I could not agree more.  When we started out we used the Calvert curriculum but quickly found that it was not flexible enough to accomodate the regular interruptions caused by medical needs and hospital stays, nor was the amount of time needed to "Canadian-ize" the curriculum worth my time.  So we took the best and went "free-style".  For example, we kept the math and science programs, but added in Layola Press' Voyages in English.  Now that we are out of the primary years, we are tailoring the currriculum even more to suit interests and local history and geography. When we started out though the boxed curriculum gave us a framework and that was worthwhile.

jeanette jones says

Am a widower since 2007,my limit income prevents me from paying the full amount at on time. If you would allow me to pay in part each month the until the $79 is paid, I would appreciate. Thank you, Jeanette

    HECOA says

    Hi Jeanette!

    You will find the monthly payment option on the page when you click to join or upgrade.  It’s very convenient!

tiffany wilkinson says

Although this email was a blast email to homeschoolers, it was personally everything that I needed to hear. I really appreciated hearing,

"Usually, these frustrations have to do with not having good systems in place.  The foundations that would really make them feel joy in the journey are missing.  They have replaced principles with objects."

This can't be more true. It really was an answer to my prayers and inquiries on how to better homeschool. I have been spinning my wheels to make it work and i just keep on spinning. I was about running out of energy. After having read this email today, my hope in homeschooling is rekindled. I look forward to joining as a member and getting a better system in place for my family and me. I felt inspired to homeschool and I look forward to experiencing greater joy in the journey through utilizing the resources and mentors available. 

Thank you!


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