When the Journey is Difficult

Sometimes the idea of homeschooling can be overwhelming. The day to day tasks are going well, but then doubt slaps me in the face while screaming "Hallo, what are you doing?" (And yes, doubt has a fake British accent.) When this happens I get scared, I hit the panic button in my head, and I start second guessing EVERYTHING I am doing when it comes to homeschooling. Questions like these bombard my thoughts:

"What do all these small tasks amount to?"

"Am I on the right path?"

"How can I fit Latin or nature walks into an already packed day?"

"Should I be focusing my time and attention on this or that subject?"

Sometimes the winter months bring questions about future curriculum.

"Which curriculum am I going to use next school year?"

And if I were to be really honest with you...

"Is all of my time and effort worth this?"

"Why in the world am I homeschooling my children?"

"Shouldn't I get a "real" job that pays real money?"

So what do I do with all of these doubts and anxiety? What ought I do is a better question. Here are 4 simple steps that I take when I feel overwhelmed.

  • I cast my anxieties upon the Lord
    •  If the Lord has led me to home educate my children, then He will help me every step of the journey.
  • Rest
    • I take a few days off from teaching. Sometimes this means I only read aloud to my kids for several hours a day. Other times this means we do no schooling, but instead we play outside, take a road trip, or simply clean house.
  • Assess
    • Taking time off gives me room to process what we are doing as a family. I look back at the goals that I set at the beginning of the school year for each child and I assess where each child is in reaching their goals.
  • Seek wise counsel
    • Often, I will talk to my spouse to get his perspective. After all, we are a team. At times, I may seek out a fellow homeschool mom who has walked a few steps ahead of me to get advice. I listen to other seasoned educators about homeschooling to help me get a refreshed and renewed vision. There are a lot of amazing books, podcasts, and blogs devoted to encouraging parents along their journey.

I find that taking these 4 steps helps me to start school with fresh grace and inspiration.

Remember, having one or two days that are utterly disastrous doesn't make you a failure. Home educating can be a difficult, but a rewarding journey.