Over the years, I have asked veteran homeschoolers what advice they would give to parents starting out on the journey. The word choice and reasoning varies, but the sentiment remains the same. Overwhelmingly, their advice often boils down to one word–Relax.
Sherry: Relax, have fun.
Adrienne: So just relax and enjoy your time with your child.
Betsy: Don’t put so much daily pressure on yourself.
Angie: You don’t have to do it all; take it easy.
It seems we homeschoolers are stressed out. Truthfully, we expect a lot of ourselves. We feel the weight and responsibility of educating our children, and we want to be sure we do a good job. Their futures depend on us. If we fail, it could affect their careers and the rest of their lives. On top of this internal pressure, we have family (and total strangers) heaping more on the pile by questioning our educational decision. No wonder veteran home educators advise newbies to relax.
My pregnancy with Tot was high risk. I remember the doctor giving me the same advice I am now giving to you. I thought, “Have you met me??? I am the opposite of laid back. How am I supposed to relax?” Perhaps you are thinking the same thing while you’re reading this. Tell a bunch of conscientious, type As to relax, and they’ll ask if there’s a manual and a three-point action plan explaining just how to accomplish chilling out.
I’m not going to tell you to loosen up and then leave you hanging. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to try and address some of the specific areas that fuel a homeschooler’s anxiety such as curriculum, bad days, and comparing ourselves with other home educators. Hopefully, I’ll be able to ease your minds and give you some tactics for breathing easier.