When You Are Fearful In Homeschooling

Doubt and fear can be such a poison in the homeschooling experience.  If you go into your homeschooling planning (this is the time of year to start gathering your resources, are you doing this yet?) with negativity and anxiety, it can undermine the core stability of your homeschool experience.

Every mother has decisions to make regarding what type of homeschooling works for their family, what curriculum and resources to obtain, and how to actually implement these things for the long haul of day after day, year after year in homeschooling.  However, what can unfortunately happen is that mothers can really second guess themselves and become paralyzed with fear.  Are my choices the right ones?  What if they are not?  What do I do about Little Girl or Little Boy who is not (insert here:  spelling well enough, writing enough, understanding math well)?

And I will ask you:  How convicted do you feel that homeschooling is right for your family?  Have you really meditated on these decisions and challenges?  Do the same things keep coming into your mind over and over in regards to what kind of homeschooling experiences or resouces your child needs and if so, why are you second guessing this?  If you and your partner have talked about these challenges and come to a decision and formulated a plan, why are you still carrying this around and agonizing over this?

Show your children clarity of thought:  make a decision and stick with it.  See it to the end of a school year and then change what needs to be changed.  Give it time.  We can be such an impatient society, and Waldorf homeschooling takes a much more long-term view than traditional cramming of facts into a child for a standardized test.

Do you all remember from test-taking in school that the first answer you are drawn to on a multiple choice test is usually the right answer?

So don’t change your answer; yes, sometimes strategy has to be adjusted but not vision.  Shut that negative voice out of your head.  Take some index cards and write down some inspirational phrases that will help you focus on seeing the glass as half-full; seeing the challenges as the opportunities that they really are. Put these quotes where you need to see them; repeat them to you as you wash dishes or do laundry or comb your hair.  And then get started with what you know is right to the best of your ability.   Homeschooling, education and development can take years to really see and reap the benefits of what you are doing, but you must start now.

Start with your own inner work in the morning, and at quiet time and before bed.  If you don’t know where to start with inner work, I suggest the reading of sacred texts or the use of a Daily Office.  Some Waldorf homeschooling families use the verses from the Calendar of the Soul or Steiner’s basic meditative exercises as an inspirational starting point as well.

Before we start school in the morning, I always say this prayer to myself.  It is from The Book of Common Prayer, an Anglican resource, and I  modified it slightly here so you can put your name and your children’s name into this prayer:

“Almighty God, heavenly Father, you have blessed (me or us) with the
joy and care of (your children’s names): Give (me or us) calm strength and patient
wisdom as (I or we)  bring them up, that (I or we)  may teach them to love
whatever is just and true and good, following the example of
our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen”

The children and I also pray through a special prayer just for them and the Morning Daily Office.

You will find what works for you and your family; but my point is that if you have a starting point that is inspirational to you, and faith-filled for you, then your mind is going to be more protected from negative thoughts.  If you can keep taking those doubt-filled thoughts and turning them to prayer or meditation, this will carry you through some of the more challenging spots of homeschooling.

Have courage!  Take the reigns!  Here are few back posts about courage and being an Authentic Leader:

http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/07/05/parenting-with-courage/

http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/10/02/trust-your-intuition/

http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/08/05/do-you-ever-worry-your-homeschool-teaching-is-not-enough/

http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/08/06/start-now/

Authentic Leadership:  http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/12/01/power-authority-and-respect-in-parenting/

Many blessings,

Carrie

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6 thoughts on “When You Are Fearful In Homeschooling

  1. Excellent post Carrie! So helpful. Thanks for sharing such helpful thoughts with us moms. And I think I’m going to get a copy of The Book of Common prayer for myself. :)

    Warmly,

    Sarah

  2. The month before my reviews I get anxious and start to think we/I don’t do enough. I accept that this is just because the review is coming. This month is my fourth review which means that from next year on, I only have to do it in the spring. I am really excited about this.

  3. Great post! It is natural to be a bit fearful, just like anything new, but once we have made the decision, we must act. I love the saying “when the time for decision has come, the time for preparation has passed.” I remind myself this all the time. Once we get to the “doing” place, we have to trust. God gave us this task… we can do it!!

    Blessings Carrie!!

  4. Thank you so much! This is the perfect post for me today. I’ve started my planning for first grade and really started to doubt myself and my ability to do this. Thanks for the positive thoughts and I will adapt that prayer to suit our family…it is wonderful.

  5. Thank you for all of your wise words about planning. We are looking ahead to next year this spring and your posts are giving me a lot of food for thought and a great deal of confidence and clarity moving forward.

  6. I really love your idea of finding inspirational messages to post for yourself, and for a meaningful prayer or meditation. Great suggestions… so important for keeping a clear focus. As a Quaker I believe that God has a plan and it is knowable. Quakers use the brilliant phrase “the way opens” to describe walking in the path that makes the most sense for God’s plan. I think that is another very useful image for teachers of all stripes… work as the way opens :)

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