Just thinking some more about the address given at my daughter’s university graduation a fortnight ago, the wise man giving the address told the young graduates that if they find that what they are doing has become so stressful that they are unhappy in their work they should not be afraid to move on.
I thought this was interesting as it was being said by someone who was looking back on his career, and he thought this was important enough to comment upon to the young adults at the beginning of their career. He must have observed both those who did make the change when needed and those who didn’t make the change.
It Takes Courage
He acknowledged that it would take courage, and possibly the loss of what he called, ‘temporary security of the position you are in’. And he gave his reason for this belief; he said it was crucial to a good life to ‘be engaged in something you are passionate about, that makes you want to get up in the morning. It is not living a long life that is important but living each day well and fully.’
I wonder if you feel like that about homeschooling. Engaged, passionate and part of what makes you want to get up in the morning. And if you do, do you also see that if you live life in this way that will help your children to have the same passion and eagerness for life and learning? That, as a family, you will live ‘each day well and fully’?
Recognise the Gift
To live life in this way, it helps to first recognise that homeschooling is a gift and not a chore. You are honoured to be able to do this; you are not saddled with it, sacrificing for God and your children. You are privileged to be a mother in a home, providing an atmosphere of learning, peace and happiness.
Secondly, have an attitude to impart to your children that they are privileged to be able to learn in such an environment as a peaceful, opportunity-rich family.
Thirdly, be prepared to make the changes necessary. The parts of life which are stressful and unhappy can be changed.
How to Change
The change you need might be something very small that can change your whole day.
- It might be as simple as not reading a book/doing an activity with your child which is causing a problem of some sort.
- Or the change might mean a complete rethink of a timetable, or of a curriculum you are using, or of a group you are attending.
- It might mean releasing an old friendship or a pet hobby if it is adversely affecting your homeschooling decisions.
- It might be a rethink on your attitude or a new perspective on your problem, so that you start to see the benefits and blessings of something. For example, if you were unhappy about not having a car to take the children to events and do shopping and errands during the day, it could be pretty stressful. But focusing on the benefits might help you to remember that you don’t waste time driving around, you save money on fuel, your children are settled and peaceful at home, and you have more time to relax, do home things and enjoy family things.
- Or it could be letting go of an old way of doing something in your family when it is no longer working for you. Maybe the children are older, or a new baby has joined the family. Or maybe, the ‘something’ has served its time and is now irrelevant.
In cases like these, it’s time to have the courage to let it go. Move on, and make a wise and different choice for the future.
You’ll be glad you did.
Good Stress, Bad Stress, DeStress… by Stephanie Walmsley. A book written for homeschooling parents on the subject of stress, looking at causes, dangers and how to cope with stress, how to use stress to advantage, how to deal with technology stress and child stress.
Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein
Never Too Late by John C Holt – the autobiographical story of how John Holt successfully made a change of direction and learned to play the cello when he was in his forties.
The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook by Raymond & Dorothy Moore – has lots of tips and stories and examples of how to handle homeschooling and make suitable choices for your own family.
P.S. There is an extra 10% discount at The Book Depository on these books until the end of May 2011. Just click on the links and then add ‘May11’ (without the quotation marks) in the box on the checkout page.
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This article came from Homeschool Family Life. Find simple, practical ideas on enjoying a homeschool family lifestyle, training courses, books and study guides, simple recipes, book recommendations, book reviews, stories of family life in a homeschool family, at http://www.HomeschoolFamilyLife.com