When You Doubt Yourself
The next time you ask yourself: “Are my kids learning anything? Am I failing them?” read these words of wisdom by Homeschool Alliance coach, Stephanie Elms:
Learning and growing is a process that happens over the long term. And by design, it looks messy and uncertain when you are in the middle of it. Because we can’t see the future to understand where the present fits into the bigger arc of our child’s life.
The truth is that you are going to get worried and frustrated because you can’t know for sure that things are working. You will become convinced that you have truly screwed things up.
But this is all a natural part of the process and is actually where the magic happens. Because this is when you start noticing what you and your kids need. As long as you resist the urge for the “quick fix” and instead sit with those feelings, they can provide the valuable insight you need going forward.
The problem is that most of us see that worry and frustration as a sign that we are “doing it wrong.” This leads us to putting too much pressure on ourselves and then, of course, our kids.
So yes, be conscious of those niggling worries. But don’t act on them right away. Examine where they are coming from:
- A place of fear that you are screwing up?
- Or a sense that it is something that your kids would benefit from?
Observe your kids. Doing so might provide reassurance that they are, in fact, doing just fine. Or it might validate your feeling that something additional is needed.
“There are no educational emergencies.”
And here is a secret. You will miss things. Things will be dropped. There will be gaps. You will have regrets. And you will wish you had done “more” or done things differently. And that is okay. Honest.
The beauty is that the process, as messy and uncertain as it is, does work out the way that it needs to and in ways that we can’t predict. Our main challenge is to trust the process and hang on for the ride. And what a wonderful ride it is!
Stephanie Elms has homeschooled her two boys for ten+ years and is a coach for Brave Writer’s The Homeschool Alliance. She blogs at Throwing Marshmallows.