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It’s Never Easy To Be A Stepmom: Here’s Why

It’s Never Easy To Be A Stepmom: Here’s Why

It is one thing to be a parent. It is another thing entirely to be a stepparent. Taking on the role of becoming a stepmom to kids that may have not known you previously can come with its own set of rules and challenges. It is up to you to fully understand what you are up against as a stepmom:

1. They are under pressure to succeed

Being successful as a stepmom is difficult as you likely had little time to prepare for the task at hand. You likely just fell into the duty of helping to raise another person’s children when you entered into a romantic relationship, and you are more than aware of the importance of not failing.

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2. They sit between being a friend and parent to their stepchildren

Since they have to often navigate between the needs and roles already established by biological parents, stepparents often find it difficult to find their place. As a stepmom, you are stuck in between being a replacement parent and an adult friend who the children can trust.

3. They have to be authentic

It is hard to fake your way through the task of being a stepparent. You have to be real. You really can never offer your best to the children by being someone you are not. Besides, children are often able to see through fake behavior and detect true motives regardless of how you present yourself anyway.

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4. They sometimes take the blame

The children sometimes need an outlet for expressing the anger that they feel that it didn’t work out for their parents. And what better outlet than the stepparent? We often are the target of blame for their parents’ shortcomings, or the fact they their biological parents are no longer a couple.

5. They can struggle with not feeling loved in return

As much as you love the father of the children, and you treat the children with honesty, love, and respect, your relationship with them can still be challenging. It can be difficult to put your heart on the line and invest in loving the children if you fear they will never love you back, or that they don’t see you as a ‘true parent’ due the fact that you are not biologically related to them.

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6. They always have their personality put to the test

It can be very hard to act with righteousness and enforce roles when you are a stepmom. It can feel like your personality is always being put to the test. There are many people you have to confront and contend with: the children, the ex-spouse, extended family, and even strangers sometimes. To deal with this positively does take a strong sense of self-worth and an ability to sail over insecurities and doubts.

7. They are sometimes used as bait in tense situations

Whether you are playing it cool or being a hotheaded stepparent, the children may want to understand your weaknesses and potentially use these against you when tense situations occur. These situations can create ethical dilemmas and test your values. For example, what if you have become entrusted with their secrets and personal affairs? Can you betray their trust, or do you tolerate everything they bring your way because you want to be the pleasant stepmom?

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8. They have to go beyond relying on maternal instinct

You might feel that you have a maternal instinct and with that you can thrive against any challenge you face. But it does not work that way. While this maternal instinct can be very valuable, instinct alone isn’t enough to help you navigate the difficult terrain of being a stepmom.

9. They fear what will happen, but also understand that it could all be worth it

There is nothing guaranteed or assured when you take on the role of being a stepmom. It could work out great or not so great. You have to strive forward, believe in your role as a stepmother, and believe that no matter what, things will work out for the best.

10. They can still experience joy, despite all the struggles

It is one thing to assign yourself the role of being a stepparent. But having the children fully recognize you in that role and coming to you about their personal issues rather than their parents gives you a magnificent feeling of worthiness and accomplishment.

Featured photo credit: http://www.pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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Published on November 7, 2018

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

In 2016, it was estimated that 1.7 million children were being homeschooled in the U.S, roughly 3.3% of all school-aged children.[1] Although this may not sound like a big portion of the population, the growth rate of homeschooling has been 7 to15% per year for the last two decades.

The burgeoning numbers are not a coincidence. There are tremendous benefits to homeschooling, including one-on-one teaching, adaptability to individual needs and learning styles, a safe learning environment, encouraging learning for knowledge rather than grades, and tailoring a curriculum to the child’s interests.

Is homeschooling something that you have been considering for your family? With all of the tools and resources available for homeschoolers in the 21st century, it may be easier than you think.

How to Homeschool (Getting Started)

After thinking it through, you’ve decided that homeschooling is the right step for you and your family. Now what? Here are the first things you should do to get your homeschooling journey started on the right track.

Figure Out the Laws

Homeschooling is regulated by the state, not the federal government. The first step is to find the current and accurate legal requirements mandated by your state in order to educate your child legally.[2]

The regulations can vary widely, from strict guidelines to no guidelines at all. However, don’t be overwhelmed by the legal jargon. There are many resources and local communities for homeschooling families that can help you figure out the logistics.

Decide on an Approach

Every child’s needs are different. This is your chance to choose the homeschooling style or combination of styles that best fits your child’s learning style and interests. A brief description of seven different homeschooling methods are listed below.

Supplies/Resources

Often times, purchasing a homeschooling curriculum is done too early in the planning process, resulting in buyer’s remorse.

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A curriculum is not always needed for homeschooling, and other types of free or less structured resources are readily available.

Find a Community

Getting connected with a community of homeschoolers is one of the most important parts of building a successful and thriving homeschool environment for your kids.

Look for communities online for virtual support or a local group that you and your kids can interact with. Partnering with others fosters better socialization skills for the students and provides opportunities for field trips, classes, and outings that wouldn’t have otherwise been a part of the homeschooling experience.

7 Different Homeschooling Methods

1. School-At-Home

Also known as Traditional homeschool, School-At-Home uses essentially the same curriculum as the local private or public school but at home.

The lessons can be completed independently, but more commonly, they are administered by a parent or a teacher-facilitated online school.

  • Benefits: formal standards, wide selection of curricula, same pace as peers, short-term friendly
  • Drawbacks: expensive, inflexible, time consuming, parent can get easily burnt out
  • Resources: K12, Time4Learning, Abeka

2. Classical

One of the most popular homeschooling methods used, it borrows educational practices from Ancient Greece and Rome. Subject areas are studied chronologically so that students can understand the consequence of ideas over time.

Socratic dialogue fosters effective discussions and debate to achieve beyond mere comprehension. There is often a strong emphasis on Great Books[3] as well as Greek and Latin.

3. Unit Studies

Rather than breaking up education into subjects, unit studies approach each topic as a whole, studying it from the perspective of each subject area.

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For example, a unit study about animals could include reading books about animals, learning about the classification of animals, figuring out which animals live on which continents, etc. This method is often used as a technique in other more comprehensive educational methodologies.

  • Benefits: promotes thinking about concepts as a whole, not monotonous or redundant, student-directed, bolsters weaker subject areas, beneficial for teaching multi-age students
  • Drawbacks: incomplete, knowledge gaps, curriculum-dependent
  • Resources: Unit Study, Unit Studies, Unit Studies Made Easy, Konos

4. Charlotte Mason

This Christian homeschooling style utilizes shorts periods of study (15-20 minute max for elementary, 45 minute max for high school), along with nature walks and history portfolios.

Students are encouraged to practice observation, memorization, and narration often. With a focus on “living books” (stories with heroes, life lessons, socio-ethical implications), reading plays a big role in this student-paced teaching style.

5. Montessori

Maria Montessori developed this method through working with special needs children in the early 20th century.

With a primary focus on the student setting the pace and indirect instruction from the teacher, this approach includes free movement, large unstructured time blocks (up to 3 hours), multi-grade classes, and individualized learning plans based on interests.

6. Unschooling

Unschooling is a learning model largely based on the work of John Holt.[4] The teaching style focuses mainly on the students’ interests, putting priority on experiential, activity-based, and learn as you go approaches.

For basic skills such as reading, writing, and math, a systematic technique is employed, but testing and evaluations are typically not utilized. Teachers, in general, play more of a facilitator role.

7. Eclectic/Relaxed

As the most popular method of homeschool, eclectic homeschooling is child-directed, resourceful, and non-curriculum based.

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Parents can sample any combination of homeschooling methods and styles or resources. One growing sector of eclectic homeschooling combines part homeschooling with part traditional schooling.

How to Facilitate Homeschooling with Technology

One of the reasons homeschooling is more feasible than ever before is due to the accessibility of tools and resources to enhance the learning process.

Email

Email is a tool that has really stood the test of time. Invented in 1972, it is still used today as a primary means of communicating on the Internet.

It is a great way to share assignments, links, and videos between parent and student.

Google Drive/Calendar

Google Drive offers a multitude of essential programs that can come in handy for homeschoolers, such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more.

With its sharing capabilities, easy accessibility, and auto-save ability, it’s easier than ever to organize and complete assignments. It will improve students’ writing and typing skills, as well as eliminate the need for paper.

Google Calendar is an excellent tool for tracking assignment due dates, planning field trips and activities, and developing time management skills.

Ebooks

Rather than invest in physical copies of books, ebooks are a wonderful option for saving money and space. There are plenty of places that offer a free or paid subscription to a wide selection of ebooks:

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E-Courses

When a structured curriculum is necessary for teaching a certain topic, an e-course is the way to go.

From watercolors to calculus, there are e-courses available about almost everything. Including different teaching styles that vary from the parents will encourage students to learn in different ways.

The visual and auditory stimulation will also be beneficial in helping students understand and retain the concepts being taught.

Some recommendations:

Youtube

Youtube is not just a platform for music videos and cats doing funny things. There are a number of Youtube channels that produce quality educational videos, free of charge.

Creating a playlist of videos for various topics is a great way to supplement a homeschool education.

Some recommendations:

Final Thoughts

Homeschooling in the current age looks much different than it did ten years ago. There are more options and more flexibility when it comes to educating kids at home.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of homeschooling your children if it could make a positive impact on your family.

Featured photo credit: Hal Gatewood via unsplash.com

Reference

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