The First Week of Homeschool
"I now see that cultivating a Wholehearted life is not like trying to reach a destination. It's like walking toward a star in the sky. We never really arrive, but we certainly know we're heading in the right direction."
--The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown
I thought this post would be about our first week of homeschool, but I think it's going to be about anxiety and perfectionism. I've learned a lot about those two things in the past five years, ever since I realized they're going to be my tendencies, my continual companions, perhaps for my whole life. They are there. They are my hard things.
My anxiety and perfectionism were on overdrive this past week as we started homeschool. If you ask my girls how homeschool is going, they would probably say that it's been so fun and they're learning about American Indians and they get to play outside a lot. But for me, I ended each day thinking only of the things I hadn't done or the ways I could have done things differently. To be quite honest, I was in a continual state of inner turmoil. It's so difficult to admit that, because I've dreamed of homeschooling since I became a mother. I want this! I'm choosing this! But wow, it was a lot.
Anxiety for me is a tight chest, a swirling mental spiral with a million ideas and options and possibilities that never seem to land. Perfectionism for me is what keeps adding to the list of ideas and options and possibilities instead of starting at square one, putting in the time, and getting the job done. With homeschooling, that has meant that even though I purchased a year-long curriculum that I love and am passionate about, I spent the last week rebelling against the schedule and trying to rewrite it with my own ideas. Wanting to write my own curriculum is fine--I actually really enjoy the process--but can we just pause for a minute and ask me how much experience I have with homeschool?
I have one week of experience.
And I'm expecting myself to a seasoned wonder woman who creates her own organic, incredible plans that ignite her children's passions and causes them to remember everything they learn forever and ever. Oh yeah, while maintaining her sanity (nope), a functioning household (barely), and loving relationships (reaching). Somehow I started believing the lie that I needed to do this entirely on my own, with no outside help, for it to count or something. Enough!
Why am I fighting? What am I trying to prove?
If I trust God's voice in my life, I need to stand firm in the path He has shown me. Instead of constantly editing and adjusting and wondering if there's something better I could be doing, stand still and hear His voice.
Turmoil and confusion and fear are not from God.
Love and light and assurance are from God.
My job is to love my children, to lay a feast of beautiful and good things before them and then let God work on their hearts. Let them discover what speaks to them and what they're passionate about. Let them discover their own paths.
I caught a vision this afternoon of what our homeschool year could look like if I trust the plans I already have and just sink in and enjoy them with my children. Let go of all the things I could be doing and choose this with my whole heart and mind. What freedom! I'm going to chase that vision.
I am going to "wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough." I'm going to end my day each night thinking, "Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn't change the truth that I am also brave and worth of love and belonging" (The Gifts of Imperfection, Brene Brown).
Here's to a new week!