Brave Writer Podcast: Break the Cycle of Homeschool Despair: Don’t Let “What If” Get You Off Track
Imagine this scene: your child is reading a book, and they’ve been reading for a few months now. Yet suddenly you think, “What if I had taught them to read this other way? What if I had used this other philosophy from the beginning? What if my child were in school?”
When the “what if’s” show up, they can trigger worry, envy, and despair – and they can show up everywhere – but that isn’t serving you or your children!
Let’s take a couple deep breaths and focus on what you are doing well already while we tame the “what if” monster.
What if… there’s a magic puzzle piece missing from my homeschool?
One of the biggest catalysts for ‘what ifs’ is what we like to call It Must Be Me Despair Syndrome.
When a lot of us run into a challenge in our homeschool, maybe we just started a new program or picked up a new schooling style, we end up thinking the problem must be us. It seemed perfect online, but now it’s not perfect in our homes.
So, of course, there must be another piece out there, another style of teaching, and we’re just missing it… which then kick starts this cycle all over again.
Here are Julie’s tips to help you break the Despair Cycle:
- Expect new things to come with unforeseen challenges, and that’s okay. Instead of treating yourself like the problem and falling into despair, treat the problem like the problem!
- Expect that you do have limits in your capacity to carry out anything you ever try. You’re never going to get the house clean enough, you’re never going to use the math book thoroughly enough, you’re never going to understand grammar well enough, and you’re never going to do science to a high enough degree of accuracy. Just admit it, it’s liberating!
- Stick with it! Something we believe in here at Brave Writer is The One Thing Principle. It’s pretty simple: don’t try to start spinning three new plates at once! Just start one thing, get it spinning, and then bring in the next one. Give yourself a time frame, be it six weeks or six months, and keep checking in on how you and your children like it. Consider ways you can tweak it and make it better, and don’t abandon ship at the first sign of a storm.