One morning, while I was praying in the living room, tears suddenly welled up in my eyes. It wasn’t because I had a personal struggle; it was because I felt God had given me a little insight into what homeschool mommies (and aspiring homeschoolers) could be feeling—an overly sense of fear, the fear of homeschooling because they didn’t feel good enough, or adequate enough, or that they wouldn’t get it right, etc.
It gripped me because I knew it was a lie. It was a lie that the evil one was trying to subtly weave into the minds of these mommies—the very ones who carried these children in their wombs, the ones who nurture them like no other!
In the Bible, Jesus said, “When you continue to embrace all that I teach, you prove that you are my true followers. For if you embrace the truth, it will release more freedom into your lives” (John 8:31-32, TPT)
At that moment, during that time of prayer, I strongly felt compelled to share the truth. The truth that you, dear mommy, have what it takes to homeschool. That since God has chosen you to be the parent of your child, then He has equipped you (and will continue to equip you) with what you need to teach and educate the ones entrusted to your care.
With this in mind, I was inspired to come out with a free online training series entitled “Break through Fear & Self-doubt so you can finally Start Homeschooling with Confidence.” And even if you’re already homeschooling but still have to hurdle these feelings, then I invite you to sign up here.
Here’s a short video to give you an overview of what the training is about.
Let’s not believe the lies. The fear may be real, but more real and powerful is the truth from God’s love, the truth that sets us free.
Last Friday, we ate dinner in a Filipino restaurant with two Japanese guests. They were heading a group of high school students who were in the country for a two-week English camp. They tied up with the university my husband works in. As with usual conversations when kids are around, Mr Koda asked my son, “What grade are you in?” And my son cautiously yet matter-of-factly said, “Grade 5-ish…mostly.” So my husband explained: “Different levels…in English, advanced; in Math, same level; in Filipino…Grade 2.” And we laughed, because of the irony of how a Filipino kid wasn’t adept at Filipino just yet (though I know many of us homeschoolers are in the same boat when it comes to Filipino, am I right?)
Prior to the “What grade are you in?” question was the usual precedent: “Where does he go to school?” And of course I answered that we homeschool. Then Mr Koda said, “Ah…when you home educate, you also learn.” “Yes!” I beamed.
There were exchanges of stories about Filipino and Japanese culture throughout our meal. Then I also mentioned how my son learned to write some Japanese characters sometime ago. So Mr Koda started writing Japanese characters on the paper placemat, and asked us to guess what they meant. It was a fun discussion, and my son gamely chimed in. 🙂
Thinking about it now, here are some takeaways:
It’s OK if your kid is in “Grade __-ish.” Many homeschoolers can relate to this. Ways of learning differ, interests in certain subjects differ, some lessons and concepts are understood faster than others. That’s OK. Because the key is learning. So if something isn’t quite understood yet, it’s OK to take longer. And if something is already understood, then no need to linger.
In homeschooling, it’s not only the kid who learns, but the parents as well. Oh yes…and I’ll add that many times, we learn together. Because obviously I don’t know all the answers. So when a question is posed, and I have no idea, I’ll say something like, “Hmm…I don’t know…let’s research….”
Learning happens all the time. It’s always an enriching experience when you meet someone from a different place. And that knowledge widens your view of the world.
I encourage you to notice the many “homeschool moments” you have in your family; you may just be surprised!
Have you had a homeschool moment that was a fun experience? Share in the comments. Would love to hear your story!
I’ve encountered moms who say they want to homeschool but are worried about several things, such as whether they can actually homeschool or not, or whether they have what it takes. If you feel the same way, then I’d like to encourage you. Here’s an answer I shared with someone who wanted to homeschool but was worried that she might not be the best teacher for her son:
I think most, if not all, of us go through the self-doubt and the feelings of inadequacy. But if it’s really in your heart to homeschool, then God will equip you for it. Plus the fact that you are your child’s mother—the only one who can love him that way—is more than enough for you to start.
Of course, if there will be certain subjects along the way that you feel someone else should be teaching, then you can hire a tutor, or send him to a homeschool support center for that certain subject.
One of the nice things about homeschooling is you can always tweak/change/improve along the way. If you feel something isn’t working, you can adjust. You also mentioned that you want to impart values. That desire tells me already that you have what it takes…because homeschooling is so much more than academics or head knowledge; it’s helping develop your child as a whole person.
Also, I understand your worries and fears. But maybe they are unfounded. Sometimes, we tend to overthink and worry—oh no, what if this and that happens—but the truth is, most likely it won’t. So much mental stress before we actually do it. But once we start, we realize that it’s doable, especially by God’s grace.
Hope that provides some valuable insight for you, dear mommy. Blessings!
Two brothers began rehearsing their acrobatic act. They jumped, and one landed on the head of another. They jumped again, and the one below now landed on the other’s head. They jumped another time, did a high-five in the air, and landed on the ground with a pose. Then they practiced their tightrope routine, balancing and even jumping, then landing on the rope flawlessly. What an amazing feat!
Prior to that, the main performer practiced his magic tricks. He had lots of tricks to wow the crowd, one of which was turning a yellow blanket into a Golden Labrador dog. The magician’s name was Thelé. He was an elephant.
These scenes were part of our playtime a few days ago. My son and I play a whole lot, especially with stuffed toys, and the theme that day turned out to be “circus.” The playtime included rehearsals, the actual circus show, and a meeting of the circus producers with a couple of business partners who wanted to bring the circus show to five places — Hong Kong, China, Japan, India and Russia. They struck an agreement with a handshake and a photo, and talked about logistics and how to make it happen. (The “circus producers” were two Grover stuffed toys, and the “business partners” were a dog and a bear.)
That was the end of that playtime, and it looked like this was “To Be Continued.” True enough, yesterday’s playtime was the continuation. We went from contacting the travel agency to acquire passports and to secure visas at the Japanese embassy (including singing and rapping while stuck in traffic in an “Uber” bus), packing and preparing stuff for the trip, checking in at the airport, and boarding the first flight. Whew! It was a whole lot of fun!
I was reflecting on this yesterday, and what came to me was FOCUS.
I admit, I can easily get distracted by so many things. But I decided years ago, that when I’d have playtime with my kid, I’d be ALL IN. I’d be fully PRESENT — whether it was just 15 minutes or one-and-a-half hours (like yesterday). There were no leaks in terms of attention, no distractions (read: no gadgets!), just pure enjoyment!
Merriam-Webster has these definitions for “focus”:
a center of activity, attraction, or attention
a point of concentration
Focus is like having this box or block of condensed energy with one purpose — it’s full, complete. It’s got clarity because one’s vision is sharpened. In my playtime example, my son and I had fun because we were both into it. Our purpose was to play. I didn’t have anything else at the back of my mind, shifting my attention and saying, “You gotta do this or that.” It was 100% in.
This goes for other things, too. I realized that when I eliminate unnecessary distractions, I get a whole lot more done with more joy and less stress. There’s a certain flow. Others call it being “in the zone.” The Bible calls it being “wholehearted.” I’m beginning to realize that it also has to do with excellence and giving our best for God. Check out these different versions of the same Bible verses:
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23-24, NIV)
Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men. (Colossians 3:23, AMP)
Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work. (Colossians 3:22-25, MSG)
When I learned more about how to focus, I realized it was possible to accomplish those things I had been procrastinating about. Of course, reaching the finish line was such sweet victory, but even gaining momentum and the process itself boosted my happiness!
So I encourage, dear friend, to FOCUS. It’s still the first month of the year, and you can decide. What are the main things you will focus on and improve? Your health? Your relationships? Your walk with God? Then take the necessary, intentional steps. You’ll be surprised at your progress!
If you want personalized support to help you focus and follow through on your resolutions, then I invite you to sign up for “Get Your Happy into Action!” — a 4-week one-on-one coaching program that will help you gain momentum towards your goals. Check out the video and poster below:
Hi, I’m Mich! I’m a wife and homeschooling mom. In this online space, I hope to encourage and inspire you with the lessons of faith, hope and trust that I’ve learned on my journey thus far. Blessings! :)