Figuring It Out

I need to whisper this …

I’m feeling insecure about highschool homeschooling …Exam stress

I’m trying to figure things out and I do not know quite how, or what or where or when …

I’m feeling unsure, uncertain and ill-equipped.

These moments are written in my homeschooling script, and it often feels awful.  You too, right?

Please ignore all my homeschool posts where you think that I have it all together.  I like to feel organized and in control.  I prefer to be one step ahead and prepared, but instead, I have found homeschooling my high schoolers to be a lot more complex and complicated.

They are complex and complicated at times, especially when they are transitioning through puberty.  Physical and emotional changes cause moods swings and their changed perspective (especially when they realise mom and dad are not perfect and definitely don’t know everything!) causes the simple and normal to shift off-kilter.  They are insecure and withdraw.  They think more and need time and space to mull and ponder.  They need peers and close friends. They need grace.

Homeschool is no longer about fun little unit studies, delight-directed learning or creative days, or reading poetry while lying under trees and or meandering on nature walks and journalling.  Now, academics has become an issue.   Correspondence courses, curriculums, subject choices, aptitude tests and narrowing choices. exams and qualifications all rear their ugly side –pass or fail!  And what about the question of what is the best option for their future?

Right now, our struggle is an online high school course that doesn’t “teach” the way my teen learns and she’s struggling every day and especially during her tests … and I can’t actually help her.  Yikes!  She’s frustrated, angry and afraid.  I’m frustrated, angry and afraid.  Not a good mix for serene homeschooling!  She hates failing some of her tests and she often feels unmotivated and depressed.  And while this is front-and-centre of our homeschooling, there are larger uncertainties that lurk behind the exams and passing or failing.  What next in her life?

I’m trying to figure it out!

And no one really and truly prepared me for this complexity of this phase.

There must be a formula, right?

Well, here’s a truth — I will have to figure out what each child needs at each age and stage.  Each child is different and we will have to navigate their academic and career choices and options.

There is no “right way” except to pray and ask the Lord for His wisdom and His purpose for each child.  I need to pray that I find grace to let my children become who they are meant to be and help guide them to fulfill their giftings and calling.  How can I best encourage their character growth before I stress about their qualifications and careers?  Matric (high school graduation) is just a stepping stone to their next stage.  What is my teen’s best options for further study or growth?

Each person is unique.  Everyone deserves to develop, to change, to start over.  I’m just figuring it out … and praying and trusting for God’s grace …

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10 thoughts on “Figuring It Out

  1. IN the UK there seems to be a lot of skepticism and not much moral support for home schoolers in home schooling.

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    • @Rosalie Laughton, it is hard to swim against the stream. We found one like-valed family (not homeschooling though) who stood with us when we were the only family homeschooling in the town. Within two and a half years there were 6 families homeschooling and the tide turned. Keep standing strong and holding fast!

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  2. Hi Nadene – I found your blog from a post you had on Doodlewash. I am a homeschooling mom from Indiana, USA. I have 2 daughters that I have homeschooled all the way through. One is in college now; one is in her last year of high school. We did lovely co-ops all the way through until one day, BAM, things stopped working for my youngest. There were tears and stress and…it was awful. For months I wondered if I was making a big mistake, doing her a disservice, panicking because I didn’t know how to fix it. And I did all the questioning you talked about. This daughter is also dyslexic. I had to keep reminding myself that we could deal with this homeschool high school thing the same way we dealt with the dyslexia. Stay calm. Stay positive. Think creatively. And we’ve made it through to the other side. She is making her own path as a multipotenialite. We encourage her to try all sorts of things and we try along with her. Some things last, some things don’t. She does not hate school anymore and is doing a lot of reading on her own. She has a great job at the library. She’s planning on college. [A miracle!] I trust that things will work out for her just fine. [And I remind myself that I have a PhD in linguistics, but left academics to raise my girls, then started a business dyeing yarn and weaving, and am now shifting to other things. The multipotentialite thing runs in the family.] It will all work out just fine.

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    • @Robin E. Thanks for sharing your journey with me. I am encouraged to read how you have processed and worked through your daughter’s struggles and challenges, remaining hopeful and positive despite natural “mother” fears.
      May you reap the rewards of your faithful encouragement towards your children, and see them flourish in their giftings and calling in life, and wishing you much joy in your own personal growth and creativity!

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