No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, and no matter your achievements in life, everyone hits a point where they start doubting themselves.
In their job
In their homes
In their life choices
In their relationships
In their parenting
Everyone at one point or another question themselves. Wonder
if what they chose was the right thing. If the direction they are going in is the right direction. If they are going to mess absolutely everything up without even trying. Well, that last one is one of my own personal thoughts, but it applies here.
As homeschoolers, we are especially prone to these thoughts.
Did I pick the right curriculum?
Did I put my kid in the right grade level?
Am I pushing them too hard or not hard enough?
What if I completely mess up their whole lives??
These are all common doubts and worries that we struggle with. We homeschool to give our kids what we feel is best for them and we spend countless hours “working” outside of school hours trying to make sure we give that to them. We research curriculum and we sometimes even take extra time to test it out before we commit to it. We read ahead to make sure we know what it is our kids are learning. When we find something we do not understand we spend even more hours researching, trying to figure out what it is we do not understand so that when our kids get stumped, we can help them.
We put so much time and heart into this, but the doubts still creep in.
In our typical days, in a typical school year, in a typical society, we question ourselves but right now, there is nothing typical. We are all worried about a sickness. Our neighbors are home all the time now. The adults are all tense and the children feel the need to argue all the time.
Doubts creep in during times of stress and can settle in our minds for the long haul.
While I am of the personal opinion that doubts can be helpful sometimes (this is, after all, what makes you take a second look at something and then you suddenly realize it needs to change) constant doubting is detrimental. When we get stuck in a rut, overthinking our doubts, we lose sight of the now. We forget to watch our kids’ excitement when they finish building a robot. Forget to listen when a kiddo tells us an amazing story they created themselves. Forget to see the joy around us and all the “right” in our lives.
So, what do we do when doubts creep in?
Look at your achievements
Take a minute to look at how far you have come in life. Not only have you grown personally but I guarantee you there have been many successes along the way. Your kid learned to read or maybe has made great progress with their reading with your guidance. Let’s say you paid off a vehicle a few years back. You graduated college. You tried something that scared you and survived to tell the tale. Take the time to really think about these successes and to really recognize how far you have come.
Listen to the Laughter
If you have kiddos, there is a lot of laughter around you. Your kids will laugh. Their friends will laugh. They will all try to share this laughter with you. Let them. I can honestly say that whatever you are doing, it can wait a little bit while your kids share their joy. You need to listen to the laughter and let it fill your heart. Let it push the doubts away so you can laugh too.
Ask your kids
No matter if your kids are 5 or 15, they are more than willing to tell you if they are happy or not. If they like the challenges in the curriculum you bought them. If they feel that something is not working. I remember when my kids were 5 and I would ask them for their thoughts on things because their outlook was either hilarious or very refreshing.
Doubts have their place in life but when we are consumed by them, this is when we need to shift gears and focus on the positive. We need to stop and smell the flowers, listen to the laughter and join in. There are so many positives around us and so many things that are going right. All we need to do is just to look.
Greetings! My name is Joy and I am currently a stay at home mom who is homeschooling her three kids in South Carolina. I love learning and I love sharing the love of learning with others so getting to home school my kids and watch the “ah-ha” moments when they understand something is unbelievably rewarding. I have been homeschooling since my twins were preschool age so we are going on 8 years now. I am also a military spouse, so we have the added joy of being a military family with some of the complications that come with it. As a family, we stay busy with our scouting groups, American Heritage Girls and TrailLife, and we do many camping and hiking trips with them. When I have downtime, I am typically reading books I have sitting around the house, on YouTube/websites getting more information on different home school programs, or working on plans for homeschool. I look forward to being able to share our experiences with everyone and help encourage all homeschooling families