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.
Fear is almost always at the root of feelings of anger.
Fear of judgement …
fear of failure …
fear of rejection …
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.)