She’d fallen into a trap common with many home schooling families. The trap that makes you believe that just because you chose to home educate, every day should be positive. And actually there’s two traps, the second one being that if it isn’t you start to feel guilty about it!
I did it! I bet many home educators reading this have done it too – are doing it now perhaps? But now I know that this is absolutely crazy thinking.
Crazy in the first place to assume that you can make every day positive when in fact, you’re just human and some human days are totally crap, home educating or not! And crazy to overlook the glaringly obvious fact that, whatever you are doing, it is never always positive.
Life isn’t like that! Why would we assume home educating is one hundred percent positive all the time?
Ironically, I’ve been reading lately about keeping happy. (I needed a booster after a recent bereavement). And there was quite an amazing idea in this book along with the usual notes about checking in with the small things, understanding your bad habits, getting exercise, etc.
The basic idea in conclusion was that generally we are born happy. We generally do not come into the world negative. But as we grow and experience difficulties and challenges which are inevitable if we want to do anything, we encounter things that makes us unhappy. What happens then is that we easily get into the habit of becoming tense about these things, then these habits become our default and before we know what’s happening we’re practising negativity all the time.
What we have to do to counteract this is to remember to put our default switch back to positive – remember the things that make us feel good and act on them. Remember that challenges sometimes get in the way of feeling positive but they can be overcome. And remember to return to our positive default when they have.
In relation to home educating the same thing can happen. After a while we can easily become too serious. We can become bogged down with comparing our pathways to school ones (which is what we wanted to abandon remember). We can sometimes get too heavy with our youngsters. We can get over burdened on occasion with the magnitude of what we’re doing in stepping away from mainstream.
What helps on these occasions when you feel a bit negative and worry whether home educating was a positive decision after all, is to remember;
- life is never one hundred percent positive and schooling would equally be throwing up a whole bunch of negatives
- to seek out others to talk to
- to keep a balanced perspective on it all by remembering why you did it in the first place
- to step back and see the bigger picture!
And stop feeling guilty if your days go askew for a while – totally understandable – parenting often goes askew whatever you’re up to. Don’t blame home education.
Life often goes askew. But guess what?
You can change it!