Saturday, June 30, 2012

Self Doubt

All homeschooling moms struggle with self doubt sometimes. Are we doing enough? Is my child learning? Is this good? Am I an adequate teacher? Is homeschooling working? Fear stops even the stoutest of hearts dead in its tracks at least once a year. How do we conquer this near-mythical beast of self doubt?

Work on your evaluation. Seriously. It's that simple. You may dread it, as you think you have not done nearly enough. But see, by actually searching around the house or in your files for those papers you have forgotten about, you will begin to see the light. Hey, we did more science than I thought. Or "Oh, what a nice picture Greta made, especially when seen next to the one from the grade before". That's right, Jimmy did improve in his mathematical calculations. Oh yes, there was that neat field trip to the electrical company, and there's that list of books - did we read that many books this year? You see, by beginning to work on your evaluation early and whenever that feeling of despair and doubt hits, you will be working on something. You will see how much you have accomplished.

Surround yourself with people who have positive attitudes towards homeschooling. Avoid the negative ones. If you can't, do not talk about homeschooling with them (I'm talking people you can't avoid, like your relatives).

Garner support from your husband/partner. This alone can make a homeschooling mom feel all better, when your partner reassures you that your child is doing much better than you think and that (ah) you are doing a good job.

We homeschooling moms don't have bosses to give us raises, steady pats on the back, a salary, or admiration/envy from colleagues. Homeschooling can be isolating work, even if you belong to a support group. Resist the temptation to compare to other moms, or compare your child to other homeschooled or public schooled children. Your children are unique. Your situation is unique. Your style is yours, nobody else's. And most importantly, your family is yours and by the mere fact that you are worrying, I know you are doing a wonderful job. Kudos to you, Mama!

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