By Amy Milcic of Rock Your Homeschool
Geez, you thought it was bad when you were in school. All those massive butterflies in your stomach that made you waver between bouncing off the walls from all the adrenaline to rushing to the bathroom because you thought you were going to hurl.
Who would have thought that back to school time could continue to stir up all that stuff as a parent? And as a homeschool parent at that!
Homeschool fears can happen at any time of year. Certain situations or times, like back to school, can make those fears creep out and make you question your homeschool and yourself.
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Homeschool Fears Are Real!
Homeschoolers are not immune to the struggles and fears associated with education. Although homeschooling is a huge blessing for many families, sometimes it feels like you’re trading one set of problems with another. The worries and concerns you carry as a homeschooler can make those butterflies feel more like elephants who got into a vat of energy drinks and are having a dance party in your tummy.
Back to homeschool time can stir up a lot of emotions. Yucky stuff, like anger and anxiety, might pop up from your past experiences. And if your kids ever attended public school, you may be dealing with guilt and FOMO (fear of missing out).
You want to enjoy your homeschool life, not be weighed down by fears. So, your natural tendency is to cover up all those fears in smiles and bright eyes.
Well, that big swirl of denial isn’t good for your kids nor you. All those negative thoughts and feelings are still there, just simmering under the surface, waiting for the worst possible moment to boil over and wreak havoc on your homeschool day.
If you deny or hide your homeschool fears, you’re robbing the joy right out of your homeschool.
You want to feel better about your homeschool. And, quite frankly, you’re exhausted from trying to put on a happy face when what you want to do is dive under your comforter and hide from it all.
The good news is that you CAN face your homeschool fears and conquer them. Let’s do some homeschool fear crushin’!
The True Benefits of Facing Your Homeschool Fears
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. ~Franklin Delano Roosevelt
I’m sure you’ve read or heard this well-known quote from FDR. There’s a reason for that! This powerful reminder of facing your fears holds so much truth.
Many people are afraid that if they even think about their fears that it will cause their worries and concerns to mushroom out of control. Saying these fears out loud is terrifying. Others feel that revealing a fear is a sign of weakness or lack of control.
Acknowledging your fears does not give them power. On the contrary. By identifying and specifying your fears, you empower yourself.
Facing your homeschool fears give you superhero qualities. You transform all that negative yuckiness that saps and undermines into positive energy that strengthens and boosts.
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How to Face & Conquer Your Homeschool Fears
Your fears are present for a reason. They aren’t necessarily “bad”. In fact, those fears can provide you with invaluable information that you can use to actually improve your homeschool.
Fear is a natural self-protective response. Fear becomes a problem when it starts to negatively affect your functioning. But, fear can be channeled into positive solutions that help you take action about a situation or issue.
To fully benefit from facing your homeschool fears, let’s first help you let go of some of that stress so you can relax and do this good work.
Hit the pause button. Take a deep, cleansing breath (in through your nose, gently out through your mouth). Repeat. As you breathe out, release muscle tension.
When you feel ready, take out a piece of paper and a pencil. Grab a yummy beverage and find a comfortable spot.
You’re going to do a super fun and easy exercise called a brain dump. Now is the perfect chance to get all those homeschool fears out of your head! Don’t worry about spelling or grammar. Just let it all out. And get as specific as you can!
A brain dump is such a therapeutic way to acknowledge and identify your thoughts and feelings. Highlight or circle fears that are causing you the most struggle.
A few common homeschool fears that might be on your paper include:
- Not being enough
- Not doing enough
- FOMO (fear of missing out)
- Being behind
- Doing too much
- Not being fun
Your next step is a positive thinking skill called reframing. When you reframe, you take your fears and you transform them into positive action steps and thoughts. Reframing empowers you to shift from worry and guilt to confidence and joy.
For example, maybe you’re worried that your relaxed approach to homeschooling means you’re not doing enough? You’ve started a new co-op and you find yourself comparing your kids to others. And you’re also hearing stories from public school friends about how much homework their kids have every day.
Before you feel yourself getting sucked into panic mode, take a cleansing breath. Identify and specify your homeschool fear. Get down to the nitty-gritty of that fear.
Start to reframe:
You chose a relaxed homeschool approach because you know your kids and yourself. You believe that learning doesn’t have to look traditional. You know your kids are thriving because you’re meeting them where they are and encouraging them to enjoy learning. And, you’re actually glad you don’t have to suffer through homework every day!
See, that’s not too hard! With practice, you’ll get better and better at it, too 🙂
One final tip: talk about your homeschool fears. Find other homeschoolers that you trust and who get it. Our Rock Your Homeschool! Facebook Group is an awesome place to come and get encouragement, support, and have fun. Sometimes, just knowing that you’re not alone can help you conquer your homeschool fears.
What is your #1 homeschool fear & how does it steal your homeschool joy?