Thursday, August 27, 2015

The "I could never do that" Challenge

One of the phrases I hear most often when I tell people my kids homeschool is, "Oh, I could never do that!" Why? Because it's hard? What isn't hard about raising children? I never thought I would get them past potty training. I didn't think I would ever be able to arrive anywhere on time without allowing an extra hour per child. I thought I would spend my life trying to figure out why one of my kids was upset. Wait. I still have days like that.

I grew up with chronic asthma. I spent most of my childhood hearing others--and sometimes my own body---tell me what I could not do. It was frustrating for me to think of all the things I was told I could never do. It became my mission to prove what I could do. I could have pets. I could walk long distances. I could be strong. I could have a baby using natural childbirth. I could have a second in a birth center. I could have another at home.

My defense mechanism is to not think too hard about anything. I find it's much easier to rise up to a challenge if I don't over-analyze it. I don't think about long term issues. If your child is going to be a first grader, you should concern yourself with first grade, and not worry about how you will handle high school or whether your child will be accepted into college. It's true that you will look back some day and wonder at how fast it went by, but when you are in the midst of it, homeschooling works better if you think about it year to year, term to term, week to week, or even day to day. It's a cumulative effect. 

I don't know how much time I have with my kids. I do know that their childhood is not forever. And things happen in life. I have known wonderful homeschoolers who passed away too soon. Our own life situation changed dramatically last year when my husband lost his job of 19 years and I had to take on a part time job at the library. Luckily, I love what I do and consider it an extension of my homeschooling experience. And still I homeschool my youngest. Mostly because I am stubborn and don't give up easily, but also because I want my kids to see that I am willing to rise up to the challenge. If I can do it, so can they. 

Think of when you use the words "I can never do that," and challenge yourself to try.


Mama Laws said...

I totally agree! I'm the only homeschooler in my close group of friends and they all say the same thing. Several of them tell me they think they'd consider homeschooling when their youngest child has learned to read...from the public schools. I just nod my head and smile. Thanks for the great post!

jugglingpaynes said...

You're welcome! Thank you for stopping by my blog!

Inner Elder said...

You have become wise because of your determination to overcome challenges. What a wonderful post! It is inspiration for homeschooling and beyond. It is inspiring to me. Have a great day, Sweetie! Love, Mom

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