Fighting Homeschool Anxiety
Worry, worry, and more worry. While homeschooling, you do this quite often. It’s called homeschool anxiety. Am I qualified to teach my kids?? Will they learn from me?? Are they learning enough?? Doubt, fear, and anxiety fill up your mind. What if they don’t learn anything at all?? Are they missing out?? Who am I to teach my children?? I’m failing them!!!!
We all worry about these things at some point. If we are not careful we can make ourselves crazy over these things. I mean, having the weight of your child’s education and future on your shoulders is a heavy load to bear. It’s something we bear gladly as homeschool moms and dads, but it can start to weigh us down sometimes.
Honestly, it’s OK to worry about your children. It’s 100% normal!! We worry about our children because we love them and because we want only the very best for them. We worry about their future because we want them to have every opportunity in life. So, let’s address some of these worries…
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Am I qualified to teach my kids?
It has been ingrained in us that we must have certain qualifications to teach. Teachers go to college for 4+ years essentially training to do the job. They study and study and study….so, how then can I teach my children??? If you need to obtain all this knowledge prior to teaching, how can I do this??
Well, there are no special qualifications needed to homeschool your child. There are some states that require you to have a high school diploma/GED in order to homeschool, but we do not need to obtain a teacher’s degree to teach them.
Who knows your child best? You do! You know everything about your child. Yes, you are qualified to teach your children. In fact, I think that makes you the most qualified to teach them. You know what your child needs, how they learn, and who they are as a person. Which brings me to the next worry…
Will they learn from me?
Will my children actually sit down and listen to me? I have heard so many people talk about this. I’ve had many people who were interested in homeschooling come to me and ask for advice or just want to talk about all the homeschooling ins and outs.
The #1 thing I hear is: “I don’t think my child(ren) will learn from me… I don’t think they’d listen to me.” But. ..they will. Trust me. I have had the child that I would’ve sworn would never in a million years listen or learn from me, but you know what.. I was wrong. He did and does learn with me as his teacher.
All of my children respond well to me teaching them. I know what they like, their learning styles and habits, and I can take the time to focus on what they need to focus on. I can work with them one on one until they get it. You can’t get that anywhere else.
Are my children learning enough?
Oh man! This is me! I worry about this constantly, and you know what I do? I end up obsessing over curriculum and student goals… and what are the 4th graders in public school learning? Then I start measuring myself against them, researching, and quite frankly, wasting my time!! If you are teaching your child to the best of your ability, it’s all good. If you bought that $1000 curriculum this year, then chances are they are learning enough. Or it was $0 you spent… It’s enough. Stop your fretting. If you really can’t shake it, try these things:
Do evaluations. Do them every month, every quarter, 2x a year…whatever eases your mind. (You may be able to find some pre-made quizzes online or just make your own with information specific to your curriculum.)
Find a list of goals for your child’s grade.
Most states have a list on their board of education website with requirements for each grade for public schools. So, you could create your own goals list using that list as a guide.
Buy one of these books: (They have these from preschool 6th grade or so)
Or this one:
What if they don’t learn at all?
Your child will learn.
Most likely they will surprise you and learn way more than you expected. One of the beauties of homeschooling is that opportunity to learn at your own pace. Some may excel, some may lag behind, however, our end goal is the same, and we will all make it.
Take time to lay down the foundation. Don’t worry about how fast or slow you go. We don’t have to “Keep up with the Jones” or the Kardashians while homeschooling.
Are they missing out?
Missing out? Missing out on what? Being around other kids their age? Bullying? Crazy schedules? Homeschool children have many opportunities for being social. Even more opportunities than those who are in public school. Children in public school spend all day at school. Then they come home only to do a ton of homework, eat dinner, maybe watch some TV and go to bed.
Yes… they do often participate in sports and extracurriculars, but do they have a lot of time to be “social” outside of school? Homeschoolers are able to go out more and be in more social situations on a daily basis because of the non-restricting time schedule, and we have way less bullying involved. (Unless, of course, you count siblings picking on each other as bullying.)
Who am I to teach my children?
You are their parent (or guardian). As I mentioned before, you are the one who knows them best. There are days that I struggle with this. I am just a plain old stay-at-home-mom with no special degrees. What I have is my trusty old high school diploma and a few college classes under my belt. No formal degree in education. I am just me.
I often find myself having to look in the teacher’s manuals for answers to questions that my children ask me. But hey… you know what? That is why they have teacher’s manuals. To help you out! I also find myself having to google search a lot of questions asked by my children. (curious minds) I am learning right along with them, and it’s pretty fun to get to learn and discover new things right alongside my children!
I am failing!!!
Unless you are just straight up not teaching your children at all, you are not failing them. If you are doing what you can with what you have to make sure your children are getting a good education, you are not failing!! I think this comes into your mind quite often as a homeschooler, but when it does, shake it off! Kick that thought right out the door!
You are not failing as a homeschooler, and you’re not failing as a parent. Homeschooling is hard stuff sometimes. It’s not for the faint of heart. There will be really hard days but push through. There are more good days than bad ones, and it’s going to be worth it all in the end.
Remember: God doesn’t choose the qualified… He qualifies the chosen.
“Meeting grade-level requirements in the early years is not as important as steadfast effort. So-called “late bloomers” are only flowers that bloom at a different time, and we all know that the beautiful varieties of flowers in God’s world do not all bloom in the same season.”
Any time that I feel homeschool mom anxiety coming on, I pull out her book and look at this quote. It helps me put things into perspective and realize that each child is different. And… each mother is fully qualified to teach her children.
If you haven’t read A Charlotte Mason Companion, I highly suggest that you do. Every mother regardless of whether they are using the Charlotte Mason Method can benefit from it!