When I look back at photos of the beginning of homeschooling, I realize that the first stage of homeschooling is imposter syndrome. It happened to me day after day. For so many days.

Some days I’d have no idea what to do with the kids, so I’d let them do whatever they wanted, and they would go back and forth between playing and fighting all day long. I thought, “There is no way this counts as homeschooling.”

Other days I’d be gung-ho abut teaching tools. I remember one trip to a teacher supply store that ended with my kids learning US geography and I remember thinking, “This is so random. Why am I picking this, of all the things they can spend their time on today? I’m wasting their time.”

I took farm pictures as if we lived this charmed life with the forest and the animals and the vegetable garden and boys running free all day long.

Then I’d catch myself worrying, “We are not learning math. Someone is going to find out, shame the kids, and I’ll feel terrible.”

I’m not sure if imposter syndrome ever ends, not when it comes to homeschooling. Because who knows how this will turn out? As I write this I realize that the surprise about the beginning of homeschooling is the feeling that you might be doing something wrong. You never get that feeling—at least about school—because with school, you give up your kid’s education to someone else to manage.

So that imposter feeling never ends when you take that responsibility. Some days I feel so confident about homeschooling, and sometimes I hope my kids have good insurance for all the therapy they’re going to need to deal with their delusional mother-as-teacher.

I am relieved to read that  imposter syndrome is good for you. It’s a sign of growth. So I am high-fiving myself.

So many times, as homeschooling parents, we wonder if our emphasis on taking care of kids means our own life is stagnating. But imposter syndrome is actually evidence that we’re doing something right: just like our kids, we are trying new things, looking for our passions, and taking risks that feel, at times, absurd.