When I stepped into the homeschool world I felt utterly confused. Who knew that leaving a traditional school setting would land me in an upside down world of countless curricula, opinions, and homeschooling styles. Where do I start? Which road do I take? Who do I listen to? Without the help of a few kind friends I would have been totally lost!
If you’re feeling this way, below are five keys that may help you gain confidence in the topsy-turvy world of homeschooling and help you homeschool better . . . even when you’re terrified of homeschooling!
Overcoming the Fear of Homeschooling
1. Know your homeschool style.
To know your homeschool style, you have to find it! It can be a hard road, but with experience it does smooth out into a beautiful journey.
Learning a style (or method) can be overwhelming because there are many styles, and under those styles, many, many sub-styles. I have a sister that leans heavily towards unschooling and a friend that schedules nearly every half hour of her day. I have found a happiness somewhere in the middle.
And, no we don’t do our school work in our PJs. I love how cozy that sounds, but the recovering perfectionist in me does not function well in flannel and disheveled tresses. On the flip side, I’ve learned that rousing my children to fit into my morning routine doesn’t work well either. We are all happier if they wake on their own, have time for breakfast, chores, and a bit of leisure before we delve into our studies.
Learn to blend your personality strengths and weaknesses with what works for this stage of your family. Our past experiences and goals for the future also play a huge part in our style.
Your style can be unique and beautifully yours.
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2. Know your homeschoolers.
One of the most beautiful things about homeschooling is the opportunity to do what is individually best for our children according to their learning styles, interests, and abilities. Often that means bending our own style, changing our goals, and losing our ego!
Understanding and knowing the hearts of your children not only leads to better places academically, but to beautiful and rewarding relationships.
3. Let go of homeschool guilt.
We all need to improve, but know that guilt is never a step towards success. The two biggest enemies of my confidence as a young homeschooler are people I call “homeschooling downers” and others I call “homeschooling pros.” Remember, most people who are downers are judging ignorantly, and most homeschooling “pros” began right where you are. Do not let these kinds of people derail your homeschooling.
If you see an area in which you need to improve, move, without guilt, towards improvement. Navigate with prayer, knowledge, and advice from other homeschoolers you trust.
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4. Educate yourself and stay informed about homeschooling.
This was one of the hardest areas for me. Educating myself revealed my lack of knowledge. Slowly, as I found my own style, I allowed myself to read homeschooling blogs, research other curricula, and attend homeschool conferences. As I gained knowledge, I realized how hungry I was, and learning became a joy.
Don’t be intimidated by the sea of homeschool information available, rather use it as a tool for your benefit.
5. Pray for your homeschooling.
Nothing builds confidence like taking each step with God! He truly is the Giver and Foundation of all knowledge and education. Many times, at my wits end with myself, my children, or the whole process of homeschooling, I came back to the One that I could trust. He led us into this journey and will continue to direct each step. Nothing is too small to pray about–books, curriculum, social life for you and your children, and more. There is never a need to give up when you are relying on the answer to all problems.
Move forward in your homeschooling with confidence! Trust your parent heart, your growing knowledge, and your Heavenly Father.
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