Anxiety Anguish and Anger

If your homeschooling thoughts predominantly feature feelings of anxiety, anguish and anger, then something in your framework requires a realignment.

These emotions are normal, especially when starting something new, or while going through a transition or when things don’t work out as planned.  But if your daily thoughts about a child’s homeschooling sicken you, or tighten your stomach into knots, or make you wish there was another way … a way out, then I want to encourage you this morning.

There is another way.

Fear is almost always at the root of feelings of anger.

Fear of judgement …

fear of failure …

fear of rejection …

Deep stuff.

Identifying my worst fears is a way of starting to rewrite my story with another ending.  My hope comes from the Lord and He knows my every weakness and still loves me utterly.  He is never afraid.  On the contrary, He is victorious, rejoicing and hopeful.  He sees me and my child/ children through eyes of radiant expectation.  I need to see myself and my life through His eyes and gain a new perspective. 

Be still and pray and listen to His still, small voice.  His words of life and love will drown out the screams of fear and fill you with hope.  Write down these promises.  Whisper them aloud, post them on your noticeboard, write them on your walls.

Ask for help.  Mother-to-mother support is very helpful.  Write to others on homeschool forums and follow similar threads of advice.  In my first years of homeschooling, I found such wonderful relief and practical advice on Sonlight’s parent forum. There is always another way to approach the problem, and often others struggle through similar issues and have found a way that works for them.

If the moms in your church or co-op make you feel insecure and afraid, then they are not the support you need.  If your family’s comments and seeming judgemental views cause you to feel like a failure, then they are not your support.  May I suggest that you avoid them.  Withdraw graciously from the co-op for a season and attend only meetings that encourage and build you up.  Visit the one mom in the group who has grace and wisdom to share with you.

In the meantime ~

  • Simplify your approach – If things are really bad, stop homeschooling for a day or 2, even a week, or leave out subjects that cause all the tension.  Avoid unnecessary out-of-the-house trips/ sports/ meetings/or functions and focus on simplifying your family’s routine and security.  Establish good mealtimes, bedtimes and daily chores.  Daily habits provide the rhythm for your family lifestyle and provide the necessary security.
  • Do what works – Read aloud, nature walks, listen to classical music, outdoor play and indoor adventures, do fun science experiments, put on puppet shows, dress up, cook, bake, craft, sketch, build with Lego, ride bicycles, jump rope, build a fort, live in a tent in the backyard … be creative and think out of the box, do anything that your family loves to do together.  Bring back the fun and creativity.
  • Keep hoping and praying – Fear is the enemy’s strategy.  Ignore his insidious whispers of accusation.  Hold fast onto the Lord’s words of encouragement and hope.  Find an intercessor who will pray regularly for you and your family.  Praise stills the avenger.  Sing, worship, play hymns, rejoice in Him.

His perfect love casts out all fear.

Walking with you in grace and much love, Nadene

(Images of some of my Bible notes written during difficult months last year.)

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10 thoughts on “Anxiety Anguish and Anger

  1. This is perfect timing. My middle son is finishing(homeschool/community college) high school this year and I am at home with my almost 6 year old. I taught in a classroom for more than 20 years so even though my instincts with her have been to take it slow from the beginning, there has been an internal pressure and anxiety to conform to societal norms although she has some special needs. After realizing for the umpteenth time that me putting pressure on her was making us both miserable I decided to follow the still small voice telling me to work with the child in front of me. How different our days are now! The energy is different and I feel much less pressure and she is allowed to be herself. I can let her be the age that she is and not try to cram information that she is neither interested in or ready for. Phewww. I had just had this conversation with my husband when I got your post. God is very very good.

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    • @Emmmie, Thank you for sharing your heart and hard-won new freedom! Your testimony is such an encouragement for us all! Wishing you every blessing, continous grace and God’s peace to you as you follow the Lord’s still small voice.

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  2. Thank you, all the way from Austin, TX. Your posts minister to me and spur me on. Always timely, they reflect humility, grace, hope and encouragement. Your gifting is making a difference to so many.

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  3. Thank you for sharing this……I have my moments where I am anxious about how much we need to do and whether or not my children are at the right level, especially if I look at school going children their age. ….I have moments of guilt if for a day all they want to do is watch tv or play minecraft ( any pointers welcome)….and I worry what kind of learning is happening with that……..all too many moments I want to take control instead trusting in the One who is in control……His ways are so much higher and gentler than ours.

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    • @Tracey, Trusting the Lord for His wisdom and guidance as we homeschool is a day-by-day affair. Some weeks or days things may seem calm and clear while other days things may seem wild and out of control. The homeschool journey is not about teaching information, but developing our children’s characters and life skills. Character formation takes a lifetime! Facts can always be found or looked up. Skills are learnt, practiced and mastered through frequent use. Use the school age/grade levels as a guide for your homeschooling, not as a measure.

      When your children seem to float watching TV or gaming most their day, you should aim to find some focused time with your children every day. Whether you read aloud, listen to an audio book together, watch an educational YouTube and talk about it afterwards, this will allow for some direction and growth. What is important to you for them? How can you guide and facilitate this in their days? Try find some balance between their actual learning and their free TV or gaming time. Wishing you every blessing as you lead and learn with your children.

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  4. Hi Nadene
    I have been reading your posts for about a year or so in Cape Town and have been wonderfully encouraged in my first few years of homeschooling my son (8) and daughter (6). This post, on casting out the fear that so easily creeps into this journey, in particular has come so timeously for me. Thank you for your wise and thoughtful words from the Lord to us fellow moms ..which, I am sure I will refer to often to re-focus on Him,, re-centre and breathe deeply as I teach and love my children.
    Thank you so much for being a great and profound blessing to so many moms, Nadene.
    In Christ
    Lynn

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    • @Lynn Robinson, thank you for your wonderful comment! I am so humbled and grateful to be a source of encouragement to you on your homeschooling journey! Wishing you every blessing as you keep trusting the Lord!

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