Does homeschooling ever stress you out?
What a silly question, right? Who am I kidding? If you’re a homeschooler, then at least some of the time homeschooling stresses you out.
I’ve pointed out many times on this blog that I consider myself a “relaxed homeschooler.” And I am, in the sense that I don’t obsess over teaching a half a dozen subjects every day, or even every subject every year. Simply put, when it comes to homeschooling, I do my own thing!
Yet I find that even though I’ve been homeschooling for over 20 years (since 1990 to be exact) homeschooling still stresses me out.
I was thinking about this a couple of months ago and puzzling over why homeschooling still stresses me out after all these years. What I came to realize is that it ultimately boils down to two things: guilt and fear.
I’ve already homeschooled three children through high school. Two are college graduates and one is in college majoring in Computer Engineering, and doing very well. So you would think that I would feel totally confident in my ability to adequately homeschool my youngest son, who is now 11 years old.
But I don’t! Amazing, isn’t it?
After all these years I still have a fear of failure in regards to my ability to adequately prepare my son academically. By and large I’m using the same, exact curriculum I used with his sister and brothers. If anything, I’ve improved on it somewhat.
Yet still, that fear. And the guilt. Surely I must be failing him in some respect. Oh the shame.
I have to say, I marvel at myself sometimes. How can I still get sucked into this web of guilt? Of feeling that I’m a failure?
As a Christian, I believe that I have an enemy. His name is Satan a.k.a. the devil. Actually he goes by a number of names. But he is the enemy of all believers and the accuser of the faithful and he does NOT like it when Christians decide to take their child’s spiritual, emotional, mental and academic well-being into their own hands.
He knows the power of a committed, Christian homeschooling parent. I may be wrong, but I think moms are especially vulnerable to his attacks because, as the nurturers that we are, we take the weight of this responsibility incredibly seriously. Maybe too seriously sometimes. Maybe we forget that homeschooling is a marathon, not a sprint. Maybe we forget how faithful God has been to us in the past.
I know that this is something I need to move beyond so I can more fully enjoy the few years of homeschooling I have left to me. I need to recognize the guilt and fear for the attacks that they are. I need to relax, pray, trust God, and treasure these years I have with my son.
I won’t say the last 23 years of homeschooling have flown by, but when I consider that in seven years I will no longer be homeschooling, it boggles my mind. I can’t imagine a day when I will put the books away for the last time. In fact, it makes me want to cry!
It’s been a challenging journey, but a wonderful one as well. And I wouldn’t do it one bit differently.
I hope you will, with me, realize that one day this journey will end for all of us and that these moments are ours to treasure. Not to waste with feelings of inadequacy. You are not a failure. I am not a failure. We are doing an amazing work, investing our lives into our children.
Enjoy the moment. Embrace the moment. And tell the guilt, the fear, the inadequacy, and every other negative form of self-talk to take a hike!