So far, my family’s homeschooling journey has been exciting, eventful, and memorable. Kindergarten was so much fun, and I’m still amazed that I was actively involved in helping Sydney learn so much this past year. As I prepare for our first grade year with Sydney, and reflect on kindergarten, I want to share 3 things that homeschooling taught me about defining success for myself:
Fear is Fuel
When I made the decision to begin homeschooling, I was extremely fearful. I think I shared the sentiment of so many parents who think homeschooling is great, but are afraid they’ll “mess up” their children by teaching them the wrong thing, or teaching the right thing the wrong way. I wondered if I was really equipped to teach my daughter – forget about all of my education and experience – could I do this and commit to it?
However, instead of allowing those fears to turn me away from what I knew I was supposed to do, I took all of my insecurities, questions, concerns, and worries, crumpled them into a figurative ball and ATE THEM! That’s right! I chewed them up and swallowed them and turned those hindrances into the drive I needed to be the best teacher, mentor, and role model for my child.
In the process of defining success for yourself, you can’t allow your fears (or the fears imposed upon you by others) to stifle you. Many times we relegate ourselves to a lesser version of what we could be because we’re afraid of what we know we’re capable of achieving. Allow yourself to dream big without the weight of what others think or what you can conceive, and then make actionable steps toward your goal you set.
Side note: I still feel fear creep up on my every so often, and when I do, I have a nice helping of “hindrance stew”. I crumple those feelings into a ball, consume them, and turn my “fear into my fuel”.
The Ball is In Your Court
Homeschooling allows you to be in the driver’s seat regarding how you teach your child. Yes, there are guidelines you must follow based on the state you live in; however, within your designated guidelines you have the freedom to shape an educational program that caters to your child’s needs and interests.
In like manner, your view of success offers you the same opportunity to carve out your own space and shape your experience. You may have to abide by some guidelines, as dictated by the industry, audience, or arena you choose, but you hold the ball, and you set the plays. Give yourself the room to create and enjoy the way your success unfolds, knowing modification is natural and flexibility is necessary.
Defining success takes time, but it is time well spent. Knowing what direction you’re traveling in is half the battle. Now enjoy the process of getting there.
Action Turns Naysayers into Fans
Now, I can’t say I had anyone respond negatively to my decision to homeschool my daughter. I did; however, have some individuals who expressed their concern with the best of intentions. I received reassurance like, “Well, if it doesn’t work out, you can always put her back into “regular” school” and “I wouldn’t be able to do that, but I wish you the best of luck.”
I was pleasantly surprised and slightly amused when later, those same individuals let me know how impressed they were with my success in teaching Sydney. Their approval was quickly followed by questions that I happily answered. You see, I’d never resented the fact that they didn’t believe in me. I simply let my actions speak for me.
Don’t waste time trying to convince people that you’re on the right track – remember it’s your track, not theirs. Just act accordingly and you’ll turn those naysayers to fans in due time.
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