As I reflect on my 23+ years of homeschooling, I wrote my younger self several letters which I share here, hoping that my insights and advice will also be an encouragement to you in your homeschooling journey. Here’s the next letter in my “Letter To My Younger Self” series – Letter 23 ~ Fear
Dear younger Nadene,
How often you were afraid in those first years! I can remember feeling that fluttering of butterflies in your stomach as you ordered your first full curriculums, and how anxiously you looked at the jam-packed schedule and wondered how on earth you would do 3 children on 3 different cores. And you were right. This strategy was incredibly stressful and you finally learnt to group your children on one core and work with more cohesive planning and greater compassion.
You were afraid that if there wasn’t work in notebooks as evidence, that maybe your children weren’t really learning. You did not trust the natural learning process that children have when they are curious will work as academic study. But you soon realized that narrations really work, that living books teach, that simple natural exposure to art and classical music will deeply impact their minds and hearts.
You were afraid that your children were missing out on having peers and school friends. But you soon discovered that having just one like-valued family with children the same ages as yours was more than enough. These relationships grew and their bond was so strong that it remains today, even years after graduation. And your children amazing friends! They are kind, compassionate and extremely loyal. And they are definitely not “weird or unsocialized”! On the contrary, they are adaptable, able to chat with people of all ages, they relate well to authority and they are able to navigate relational conflict and difficulties with a maturity and poise that makes your heart swell with joy.
How fearful and anxious you were in times of trouble or transition. You felt afraid when your Christian values and the perfection you saw on other homeschool blogs did not match what was real in your own home. You felt out of your depth when your teenage children challenged you and, in your fear, you tried even harder, often making things worse. But, the Lord is faithful and He has kept you and provided for and protected your children. You will rejoice when you see that they each have the most wonderful, deep, personal spiritual walk with the Lord as they grow up. All your prayers and intercession were never in vain!
You were quite terrified when your children became teenagers that resisted, refused and changed direction. But you finally relented and released them, and allowed them to follow their choices with all the consequences that would follow, and it worked out fine.
When your high school children refused most of the Charlotte Mason subjects, you felt disqualified and disappointed. Instead of easily conceding, you cried, prayed and agonized over your failures. But they wanted another approach and they were willing to find it even if they knew you did not approve. How true they were to themselves! And they made their choices work. Well done kids, for showing mom another way. It took more than 15 years to realize that you are their facilitator and not their teacher, forcing a method or a system on them.
When things were not working out as you hoped, fear gripped your stomach and made you quite anxious and nervous. Fear was always the deeper root to much of your behaviour and response to issues. So much of your parenting was done out of fear even though you said that parenting is done on your knees in prayer.
- If you could start homeschool over again without fear, what would that look like?
- If fear did not rule your choices, how could you navigate those teen years better?
- Knowing what you know now, would you be as afraid?
Nadene, you do not have to fear! Your attentive, consistent parenting style, your conscientious homeschooling and diligence pay off. Your children will grow up and graduate as well-rounded, intelligent and amazing young adults. Relax and trust the Lord in and through it all.
With compassionate love and grace from your older self,
I’d love to hear your views and thoughts on this topic! Please, would you share yours in the comments?
In case you missed any of my previous “Letters To Me” in this series:
- 1 Learning Not School
- 2 Ideals and Compromise
- 3 Unique Individuals
- 4 Toddlers
- 5 Let Be
- 6 Husband
- 7 Action
- 8 Friends
- 9 Wait
- 10 Come to Pass
- 11 Teens
- 12 Casual Classical Music
- 13 Dare to be Different
- 14 Send Homeschooler To School?
- 15 On Track
- 16 Don’t kill it!
- 17 Perfectionism
- 18 Memories
- 19 Have Fun!
- 20 Trust God
- 21 Time
- 22 Striving