Sometimes we need other people to remind us of our homeschool freedoms.
The title of this post isn’t my title. It’s Carol’s.
“Remembering our homeschool freedoms: don’t forget the gift in your child.” And it rings so true for me.
I haven’t personally met Carol. She was the keynote speaker at a homeschool conference I attended years ago. Nothing like a homeschool conference to kickstart a renewed joy for homeschooling.
Besides inducing ab-strengthening belly laughs for an hour, Carol encouraged us to see the gift that we have living life right alongside us, our kids.
Though most of us start this homeschool journey with happy intentions to benefit our children, when we get enough time around our kiddos we can quickly become disillusioned with the negative energies…
- the continuous barrage of…
- “mom, she hit me,”
- “mom, she took my toy,”
- “mom, she won’t give it back,”
- “mom”, “mom”, “mom”….
- until, as Carol says, we feel we’re watching The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock, listening to the frightening chanting of “mom, mom, mom, mom”.
And similarly, we are frightened, and sometimes feel like we’re losing our minds.
I can definitely relate to the sensation of losing my mind at times.
Carol likes to think we have flawed expectations.
What? My expectations are unrealistic and flawed?
- Do you mean my five-year-old shouldn’t have temper tantrums?
- What about that teenager that wants to be alone, because she doesn’t want to be around her siblings all day long. She should suck it up, right?
- The funny kid who doesn’t know that there’s a time and a place for funny, and it ain’t at the end of a frustrating day. She should know when to be quiet, right?
- The kiddo that hones your arguing skills until you realize that you are in fact arguing with your child. You know, that kid that you’re already saving for law school? Can’t she just be told to be quiet and leave it alone once and for all?
We homeschooling moms can grow more frustrated because we’re with our kiddos 24/7.
We can get stuck in maintenance as homeschool mamas.
- We are continuously facilitating their education, and at times teaching too.
- We are continuously connecting, correcting, and training.
- We can begin to feel like we’re constantly responding to negative energy.
When we look at our homeschool lives at it all from a slightly different perspective, we can see that most of our kids try to please us most of the time.
They really do want our approval and our acceptance.
But if we have honed (& high) expectations of our kiddos, our kids can quickly disappoint us or frustrate us when they don’t meet those expectations (and they know it, by the way).
And they will eventually feel disappointed that they can’t please us, and they might give up trying.
Sometimes we have lofty hopes for our kids, like writing that family play, in Latin, or winning that online geography or homeschool co-op spelling bee.
If our kids see that they aren’t meeting our expectations, then what?
Carol reminded me that we can’t let that pattern continue, because our view of our children is reflected in their eyes: our kids absorb the negative vibes they’re getting from us.
Carol told us to pitch our “Ozzie & Harriet” family.
I didn’t personally watch that show growing up, but I do recall The Cosby Show. I don’t recall Clare Huxtable losing her temper…though she did a little eye-rolling and commanding.
And in just a half-hour, the Huxtable family problems were solved.
Big Emotions Journal for the Homeschool Mom
Introducing the Homeschool Mama’s Toolbox, a set of resources designed to help homeschooling mothers deal with big emotions and specifically address their thoughts. Your brain and thoughts are important tools that need to be regularly sharpened, and the Toolbox is here to help you do just that.
Incorporating mindfulness practices into your homeschool is one of the most effective ways to separate yourself from your thoughts and be present. The Toolbox includes three questions from Dr. Amen, author of Change your Brain, Change your Life: What am I feeling? What is the thought behind my feeling? What is the story behind my thought? These are questions that you can practice regularly to get the most out of them.
The Toolbox also encourages a daily meditation practice to help you distance yourself from your thoughts and just be present. Guided meditations such as Guided Meditation on Controlling Negative Thoughts and Guided Meditation for Inner Peace & Calm can help you get started.
Additionally, the Toolbox offers a Thought Care Checklist to help you deal with challenging situations that may arise in your homeschool. By considering alternative perspectives, you can reframe your thoughts and deal with the situation in a more positive and constructive way.
With the Homeschool Mama’s Toolbox, you can learn to influence your thoughts and create a better reality for yourself and your family. Download the Toolbox today and start sharpening your tools!
Let go of expectations, because your expectations can become premeditated resentments.
Pitch Dick & Jane while you’re at it. And Little House on the Prairie too. (Not the books, just the perfect family notions).
Don’t keep repeating the same thing if it isn’t working. If you’re trying to correct something and your approach isn’t working, don’t keep doing it.
(Easier said than done, right? Repeated practice required).
Instead of seeing the frustration in your kiddo, see how that child might eventually turn that challenge into their charm. Maybe their penchant for shyness will become a tenderhearted listener. Maybe their penchant for arguing will enable them to have above-average logic skills and not just a healthy income after they pass the bar.
Look all the way to the end, to the completion of who they will become. See them in their completed state. And until they get to the place, treat them like they will.
You’re with your kids 24/7, true, but don’t miss the gift in your children.
PS Every morning, I reaffirm my intentions towards my homeschool and my homeschool kids by reading these daily affirmations.