Stop the perpetual searching. Limits are our friends. So often, we just keep searching and searching for the perfect _______ (fill in the blank: book, story, song, verse, handwork project, etc.) for our homeschooling. But once we stop, we can remember that it’s more important to be present in homeschooling than to be perfect.
While finding things that resonate and are well-suited to our block and topic is important, we only need a few good resources.
Once we find those few good resources, we can stop searching! Stop the searching frenzy. 😉
See my post : Use the Curriculum You Already Have.
So, why do we keep searching anyway?
I believe it’s driven by fear.
Fear that we aren’t doing it right. Fear that we made the wrong decision by choosing homeschooling. Fear that our children will be somehow damaged, or different, or not prepared and it will be all our fault.
Fear that we aren’t up to the task. Fear that others will judge us poorly. Fear that our children won’t be prepared for the next step. Fear of messing things up permanently.
The real question becomes, “how do we get past the fear?“
How Do We Get Past the Fear?
I think first we have to acknowledge it!
Many of these fears come with parenthood, so putting our kids in school won’t necessarily make the fear go away either. I admit that homeschooling can sometimes compound those fears, but the truth is that parenting is a personal journey for us as well as a journey for our children. And the only way to move forward is by taking the next step. Crazy, but true.
Here are my two favorite quotes about fear:
Feel the fear and do it anyway.
The only way around is through.
We simply have to dive in and face the situation, fear and all.
Click here to read my post, Fear Is the Cheapest Room in the House.
The best way I know to get past the fear is to focus your inner work on this goal. You might try guided meditations.
I use a free app on my phone called Insight Timer for a morning meditation. They have an entire section on Overcoming Fear. Listen to a meditation every morning for a month and I know you’ll feel some shifts.
Come On In, the Water’s Fine
In the spirit of diving right in (the water’s really fine!), here are three tips for gathering ideas and not perpetually searching. Once we simplify, we can spend more time learning with our children!
- For songs and verses, it really helps to create a file or box or index cards in a file box or basket with verses written on them. So that when we come across verses that seem like they’d be nice to include, we can write them down and pop them into our receptacle. I like writing them out, the verses and songs, and this helps me begin to memorize them. You could even divide up your file box with tabs for different topics, like the seasons, or blocks you have coming up, maybe a section for mealtime verses, night time verses, birthday verses, holidays and festivals.
- The same can be done for stories and main lesson block material. Create an idea file – either literally a file folder or a list program on your computer like Evernote – to drop ideas into for future lessons. No need to worry about how many resources you’ve collected or how many you have at this point, just collect as you come across ideas for future blocks either later this year, or next year, or even the year after.
- For the blocks you’re currently working on or about to start, set a limit for yourself. Do you need to find 3 good books of stories for local geography? Or perhaps just one? Go to the library and do a little searching online. You can even put a limit on your time spent, such as saying that you’ll spend 90 minutes searching and then go with the best of whatever you’ve found!
Start small and I promise you will begin to see some little wins and start to gain in confidence. Then the fears will begin to fade away.
I’m thinking of the words of Kim John Payne, author of Simplicity Parenting, “What is rare is precious.”
I think we need to start the “Simplicity Homeschooling” movement!
What are some of these simplicity concepts?
- What is rare is precious.
- It’s more important to be present than to have the perfect book or story.
- We want to create spaciousness in our days; that’s one of the reasons we chose to homeschool in the first place.
- We want to appreciate the beauty in artistic activity and nature rather than just get through an activity to check it of the list.
- It’s really all about connection. Our job is to create moments of connection. Learning can’t happen in the midst of stress or conflict. Children deserve a childhood rather than the anxiety that tests bring on.
How do we get there?
Slow down. Remember what’s important. Stop searching. Stop comparing. Let go of the fears.
First and foremost, do whatever we need to do as adults to be fully present in the moment.
Because it’s more important to be present than to be perfect.