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I interact on a daily basis with homeschooling parents; moms, mostly.
These are good people who love their children. Some of them have impressive backgrounds in business or commerce or education; all of them wear an amazing amount of hats and often struggle with way-too-many things on their plate (pardon the mixed metaphor). Though not perfect perhaps, their kids are well-rounded, and involved in a myriad of activities and frequently work in leadership positions.
Yet I think I can safely say that all of those moms experience, from time to time, a crises of confidence.
Sometimes the hardest hurdle we face in effectively homeschooling our kids is developing trust in our own abilities. We are often our own worst enemy - comparing our shortcomings to others' strengths. We focus on what others are doing, how other people's kids are excelling, and very, very often, what we're doing "wrong." But this does nothing to improve either the quality of our relationship with our kids or the quality of education they receive. And, in fact, it just creates added stress that can disable us and prevent us from doing our very best! If you find yourself in that camp friend, today I offer you hope...
Yes, you can make your homeschool stress free!
OK, maybe not on a day-to-day, nuts-and-bolts basis, but at least where your own heart and mind is concerned...
Assuming you are a loving parent who is working hard in your efforts with parent-directed education, and you're STILL feeling stressed out and/or worried from time to time, here are 5 concerns you may have in common with other homeschooling parents and the reality checks that will help you overcome them
Restore, or begin to develop, a liberating self-confidence, and
1) Concern: We fear our kids will have learning gaps
Sometimes we forget that in this age of information when the bank of knowledge is growing at such an astronomical rate, every child will have gaps of some sort. What children need to know - what we ALL need to know - is how to find information. Encourage them to nurture a desire to learn, and they will never be thwarted by gaps.
2) Concern: We think they might not be prepared for the future
Children are resilient, and we have no way to foresee how or what will be coming down the pike. Focus on developing small skills at a steady rate, and their abilities will grow strong.
3 ) Concern: We question that we might be focusing on the wrong things
Academics can only get any of us so far. If this is even on your radar, you probably are focusing on the right things: ethics, values, and morals. Keep the lines of communication open and every activity, every event, every situation you find yourselves in will become a learning opportunity.
4) Concern: We suspect they may be missing out on learning opportunities
Suffering from the "grass is always greener" syndrome? Stop and think for a moment about all the things they have been able to participate in because of your flexible schedule. Think especially about volunteering or cross-generational experiences or travel or family activities or leadership roles they've been able to enjoy.
5 ) Concern: We struggle with balancing parent vs teacher roles
In terms of time management, receive the same grace for yourself as you'd be willing to offer others. Consider your struggle a learning opportunity for both parent/teacher and child. Rather than fret, watch how this shared growth deepens your relationship with your kids as you overcome these challenges together! In terms of the roles of parent and teacher, at the end of the day, let the parent win, because that is with whom your child's heart lies.
Strengthen your child's heart, which is the spring of true learning. And if you do this today, they will come to you tomorrow when they truly need your wisdom.
So relax, mom and dad, and remember this last bonus reality check:
Your children's future is not dependent upon your lesson plans.
(Note: This article originally appeared on Huffington Post under the title: "A Parent's GPS Guide to Confident Homeschooling"
Is your teen stressed, too?
Not only are our teens able to sense the stress we may have...but in the stage of life they're in, they have their own stress! If you were encouraged by this post, how 'bout easing your teen's anxieties, too? Shoot me your email and get an immediate download to 20 downloadable pdfs - and even more quotes to be creative with - that will inspire and encourage your teen.