How do you overcome the fear of trying something new?
Bella has been begging for gymnastic classes for about 6 months. She says she wants to be an Olympic gymnast. She spends hours flipping onto our couch, learning handstands and walking on any beam she can find. Afraid she’s going to hurt herself flipping on our couch and wanting to encourage her to pursue an interest, we signed her up for classes. Fast Forward to this morning: Crisis city. We are afraid. We are scared. We don’t want to do gymnastics. Does this sound familiar? How have we responded? We know that once she gets there it will all be OK. (We’ve danced this routine for the last 8 years!). Well, we are leaving the house in 10 minutes. We are going to help her face her fear!
Panic at the thought of doing a thing is a challenge to do it. ~Henry S. Haskins
It made me realize the fears that crept into our family’s desire to homeschool:
- Will they be able to get into college?
- What will our family say?
- What about friends?
- Can we spend all day with our own children? (Typing this, it looks NUTS!!!)
- How will we teach Chemistry? (It’s not as hard as you think )
- What if they end up hating us? (Funny thing, I had to save this and finish later. When I sat down to finish my son had wrote this: we wont-the boy. Nothing like having your child help you gain some perspective!)
- What if the state makes us put them back in Public School. (Note: According to our state, since they initiated the rules regarding homeschooling, this has rarely happened.).
- What if we screw up my children? (Ok, I admit, this question has haunted me from the moment I saw the + sign on the pregnancy test.)
All these questions haunted us when we knew God was asking us to take a different direction with our children. So how did we overcome them?
- Faith: We prayed and believed that God would make up the difference. We held strong to the words written by Paul in the New Testament.
2 Corinthians 12:9: He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest on me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then am I strong. WEB
- Research: We researched homeschool by reading books, visiting websites, talking to homeschoolers and visiting a local homeschool co-op.
If we would have new knowledge, we must get a whole world of new questions. ~Susanne K. Langer
- Mentor: We found experienced homeschoolers to stalk give us support and guidance. Just having someone who has experienced homeschooling and survived is a boost!
“A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could.” – Unknown
- Practice: We simply just began homeschooling. There came a point where we just had to quit talking about homeschooling and actually start homeschooling
It’s been just shy of one year since we last put our children on a bus headed for the local school. We’ve learned a lot in the past year; about ourselves and our children. We are in no ways confident that we know it all. However, we can stand here and say WE SURVIVED the first year! We can now see the future and it involves homeschooling all through high school. (YIKES!!) Our children are happy, they are learning and they are bonded to us. If a harmonious family is all we’ve accomplished then it will be worth it!
Thinking of homeschooling?
Here are some of our favorite resources:
- Oklahoma Homeschool ~ Great information about how to homeschool not just related to Oklahoma. Free Unit Studies. Good for “school-at-home” styles.
- abcteach – Printable membership site; some freebies available.
- Simply Charlotte Mason – Great website for Charlotte Mason homeschoolers. We use their scheduling ideas.
- Donna Young.org – Free Homeschool Forms
- Homeschool Share – Free Lapbook ideas
- The Homeschool Lounge – Community of Homeschool Moms – #1 recommendation for getting started!
Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion has no hold on the mind. Therefore do not use compulsion, but let early education be a sort of amusement; you will then be better able to discover the child’s natural bent.
Finally, how was Bella’s class? She had fun. She discovered she loves the uneven bars. We were able to talk about not letting our fears stop us from trying something new. She will now be attending a class on Saturdays. She’s made a plan for practicing hand stands and flips; she decided daddy is making her a “beam” to practice. Just a little push is all she needed. So, if you need me on Saturday mornings I’ll be at the gym cheering on my future Olympian! Cheers!