Dear Virtual/Homeschool Parents,
I think there are a few things you should hear right now. Okay, here it is. This is temporary. You are going to be alright. You won’t mess up your child (unless you neglect to teach them altogether). If you can read and do basic math, you’re fine. You can Google just about anything these days.
Today, I want to address a few fears you may have about teaching your child and share some of my own experiences I think will encourage you.
First of all, I’ve felt all the things you are feeling right now. Scared, nervous, excited, anxious, hopeful, dreadful. I have been there. Doubting my ability. Unable to maintain discipline. Worrying if I’ll cover everything. Even wondering if I made the right decision by pulling them out of school. We are human. We will worry. And that’s okay. Just don’t allow that worry to paralyze you.
NO NEED TO PERFORM
No one is going to deliver a perfect performance this year with their efforts to teach their child. And that’s okay. It’s not the Olympics. Homeschooling has shamelessly shone a light on my inadequacies, and yet it has also unearthed obscure talents.
Despite having a graduate degree in education and English, I will admit I still lack certain personality traits needed to lead a disciplined atmosphere of learning. Yet, homeschooling has also shown me that I have other talents that can be utilized in teaching my children.
For some reason, I had it in my mind that becoming a mother would make me more organized or disciplined. Please don’t laugh, moms. Like you, I learned how utterly wrong that assumption was. I had no idea what “mommyness” would do to my brain.
Homeschooling and an attempt to return to the classroom years after having children would definitively scrap that notion. Nope. No more disciplined than I was before. But I still loved learning.
I would like to say I am more of a free Spirit. That is code for erratic and impulsive when it comes to learning. I have always seen myself more as a student than a teacher. I feel the need to relentlessly explore the world and learn about things as they present themselves. In the traditional homeschool world, this is called unschooling.
There is an upside here. I came to realize I am no ta failure. My teaching style is just more relaxed, and I do better one-on-one than with more than one child. When my children and I learn naturally, they do well but soon become lazy. They need the structure I cannot provide. After a few wholehearted attempts to teach them at home, I have come to the conclusion that the old adage, You can do whatever you put your mind to is not entirely correct.
Sure, anyone can homeschool. Yet, it may not be their forte. And that’s okay, people. We can’t be the best at everything. I know we live in a country where hard work and grit seem to help achieve just about anything. But folks, we can’t dwell on our limitations. We just do the best with that we have.
NO ONE IS PERFECT
Listen, some of us are just not gifted in certain areas. Perhaps you’re like me. You enjoy learning alongside your child but do not like the discipline part of teaching.
Or maybe you fear teaching math or lack an interest in literature. No one is perfect. Perhaps teaching your child will spark an interest in learning. There’s always something we can learn, even adults. Especially adults. When we cease to learn, we cease to live.
So, hang in there. Know that teaching your child will not be easy. It is okay to fail but learn from it. Regroup and start again fresh the next day.
Don’t be afraid to ask your child what you could do to help them learn better. Realize your strengths and use them to teach your child the best you can.
You are enough.