“Am I really qualified to teach my children?”
This is the first thought that popped into my head when my husband and I made the decision to homeschool. We had just finished an inspiring day of seminars at a regional homeschool conference. My head was spinning with the myriad of curriculum options, learning styles, education styles, etc.
I began making lists of books I needed to read, searching the internet for inspirational homeschool blogs and freaking out in general. How in the world will I differentiate learning for all of my children? (Even with five years experience as a public school teacher, the thought of teaching my own children struck fear in me.)
How will I know that what I’m teaching is appropriate for their age/grade? I had many questions spinning in my head and fear stirring in my heart. Then I heard God whisper to me, “You are enough. I created you for this purpose and I will not let you walk alone.”
The life of a homeschool mom can be lonely and there are times when we begin to question our worth. Here are three reminders for when you feel that you are not enough.
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You Are Enough: 3 Encouraging Reminders For New Homeschoolers
1. Stop comparing yourself to other homeschool moms.
I think what causes me to doubt myself most often is comparison. Social media hype can steal your joy in a heartbeat. You take a break during the day and hop online to see another homeschool mom’s perfect science experiment. One of your best friends has immaculate organization in her kitchen and you are still staring at the dirty dishes from Monday morning.
The thing I fail to remember during these moments is that I’m looking at a staged moment in time. I have no idea what someone’s life looks like behind the computer screen. We all put our best life on display, but others struggle with self worth in their homeschool, too. It takes moving past those comparison relationships and getting to know someone for who they really are to see the most tender parts of their heart.
2. Have confidence in your parenting abilities.
Your children were not given to you by accident; you were created to be their parent. Think about that for a second. The God of the universe looked upon your life and gave you the privilege and responsibility of training up your child for their adult life. That’s pretty amazing if you ask me.
There are many days that I doubt my ability to parent three small children and keep my sanity. It’s during those times that I remember that I’m not supposed to do it alone. God has given me the tools that I need to educate my children, and I need to lean on Him to help me through. You don’t have to be perfect at everything to be the perfect parent for your child. Trust in your abilities, love unconditionally, and believe that you are created for the job!
3. Realize that things are not going to go as planned.
Boy! Have I ever learned this lesson since having children of my own! I’m not the type of person who likes sudden changes in a plan. Before children, even the slightest change, like where I went for lunch with a friend, would throw my entire day off course. I did not handle change well at all. Having children and now homeschooling them has stretched me farther than I ever imagined.
When it comes to a typical homeschool day, it varies from family to family. With three children ages five and under, my day is going to look remarkably different than someone who has children in junior high or high school. Flexibility isn’t my strongest character quality, but I am learning to leave room in our daily schedule. Every moment doesn’t have to be filled with a Pinterest-worthy project or structured learning activity.
Having the time to enjoy the day with your child and watch them learn is the beauty of being a homeschool parent. Learning can take place anywhere and anytime. Being open to non-traditional learning environments is key to making the most of your homeschool day.
Time is fleeting and the moments with our children are precious. I hear the phrase often, “The days are long, but the years are short”. I believe that now more than ever as I watch my precious children grow. When those days are filled with tantrums, missed lessons, sick days, and bad attitudes just take a deep breath and move forward.
Be encouraging, be confident, be flexible, and most importantly be you….because you are enough!