My Homeschooling Secret Weapon
I’m not a worrier. I never have been.
I’ve never worried about earthquakes or quicksand or sharks.
Sure, I hate snakes — I’m terrified of them. But I encounter a snake occasionally on our farm and I just get the heck out of dodge (usually screaming) and then go about my business once my heart rate has settled back down to normal.
As much as I hate snakes, I don’t worry about them.
I frequently quote Corrie Ten Boom to my children; “Worry does not empty tomorrow of sorrow, it empties today of strength”. I have plenty of weaknesses, but worrying is not my cross to bear.
I also tend not to care much what people think of me. That goes hand in hand with worrying. I guess you could call it confidence. I’m quiet, and I’m rarely (uh, never!) the life of the party, but I know my value and I know that I can educate my children better than anyone else.
That’s why, when I began homeschooling, much to the consternation of a few family members and neighbors and friends, I continued anyway. It’s also the reason that I didn’t really worry when my sixth child wasn’t interested in reading at age five, or six, or even seven, really. I knew he’d come around.
Fear and worry can prevent people from moving forward. It can prevent them from planning, from executing plans and from taking action. When you worry, you are focused on your fears instead of on your life. You’re distracted and giving the people you care about only a fraction of your attention.
My husband is a huge worrier, and one of my daughters tends to worry about things. So I completely understand that mindset, too. Understanding both sides has shown me, over and over, what a priceless gift the ability to not worry about things is.
I’ve received innumerable emails from moms just like me, but who feel inadequate or insecure or worried over different aspects of homeschooling. Most of these moms are focused on what their children can’t do.
Will my son ever really learn to read fluently?
Why are his times tables not clicking?
Maybe I’m the problem. Should I find a tutor? Should I send him back to school?
Am I failing this child?
What if I totally mess this homeschooling thing up and my children never get into college or function in the real world?
All of these thoughts are based on fear and worry. We can spend our lives running away from things or running toward them. Fear feeds our negativity and makes us want to avoid things, instead of encouraging us toward better things. Fear causes procrastination and an inability to make decisions.
It’s pretty obvious that fear and worry are not desirable traits, and I feel blessed not to struggle with them.
Let’s talk about my struggles.
I always bite off more than I can chew. My mantra is “How hard can it be?” It is always, inevitably harder, and then I get irritable, and we all know that when momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.
I’m not naturally good with people. I’m terribly introverted and somewhat socially awkward. I’ve even had to train myself to be more physically affectionate toward my own children! I never know the appropriate thing to say, or how to comfort a grieving person.
Patience is not my middle name and sometimes I have a short fuse. I’m great at organizing and scheduling and accomplishing, but I tend to hold myself and others (even tiny people) to extremely high standards. That can actually be both bad and good, depending on the situation.
See what I mean, though? It’s not all pretty.
But it’s me.
My confidence combined with my lack of worry and my ambition is most certainly a huge factor in my children’s numerous accomplishments. At the same time, a couple of my children have also inherited my social skills, or lack thereof.
It’s about more than attributes, though.
My kids love of math was instilled in them by me. I love math!
Guess why my kids are musicians?
Guess why they all come running for science?
Those are me, too!
I realize that it might sound terribly conceited, but I’m willing to take that chance, because I feel so strongly about this.
I am the secret weapon my homeschool needs.
I’ll be honest, it actually feels pretty empowering to think of myself that way! Sometimes you have to toot your own horn.
But it’s not about me.
This is About You.
Homeschooling is one of my greatest joys, but it can also be incredibly challenging and exhausting. We homeschool moms give up careers and friends and acclaim to spend our evenings planning and our days correcting the same math assignment 17 times.
We moms tend to be hard on ourselves and focus more on our shortcomings than on our successes. And this is a really demanding, difficult, busy phase of life. It is a test of your endurance, courage, creativity and faith.
So remember this truth, friend.
You have created a loving, nurturing home. Your hugs are building strong neural pathways. Your sacred calling to homeschooling fills an unparalleled role in helping your children to realize their potential and make joyful transitions to adulthood.
You are imparting daily wisdom and joy as you influence your children for good.
Those little hearts and minds and hands that reach out for yours – they don’t want anything more. They just want you. You are everything to those little people.
I don’t know your strengths and weaknesses, but God does. He sent you your children because He knows. Those little people need YOU in order to grow into the marvelous humans God intends them to be.
You are important.
You are worthy.
You are everything.
YOU are the secret weapon YOUR homeschool needs!
From Webster’s dictionary: a weapon is a means of gaining an advantage or defending oneself in a conflict or contest. Whether you homeschool because you know you can give your children a better education, or an advantage, or whether you homeschool them to keep them from harm, spiritually or physically, you are the exact definition of a weapon.
You remember that when the going gets tough. You are equal to this challenge. The power of your influence will reach through the eternities.
How do your strengths and weaknesses bless your homeschool?