Avoid feeling overwhelmed – set yourself to do it.
Avoiding feeling overwhelmed is something to set yourself to do. That sense of the weight of the responsibility of your child’s education can lead to insomnia, fear and high blood pressure. That is plainly completely unprofitable. Yet it may be where you find yourself today, right now, as you are reading this. It also may be a place you visit periodically when you find things that were great solutions don’t work anymore. So, how do you deal with them?
Rome was not built in a day. This simple saying is something you may want to write on paper in permanent marker and attach to a wall somewhere you can see it daily when you’re feeling overwhelmed. If you’re anything at all like me in this, the sense of not knowing what to do today can freeze you completely into inaction. Recognizing this response will help you get past it when it comes up again, as it is likely to do. You really want to avoid feeling overwhelmed!
Rome is to be compared in this sense to your child’s education. Rome was built of rock and stone, starting with foundation stones before adding further layers on top of which to create the city over time. Your child is not leaving home today having graduated high school. (If they are, Congratulations! and why are you reading this post?) It will take many days. So, apply yourself today to building the foundations on which later days will be built. The foundations are things like learning to read, handwriting and simple math. (Not being from the US, the 3 Rs were not known to me as a saying. See my post on the 4 Rs.) Everything after that are the layers, made stable and sturdy by the solid foundations you lay up front.
The best way to start the climb out of this bottomless pit of an immobile funk is to pray and ask the Lord to move through you for your child this particular day. (Remember to pray that daily without it becoming rote, because we need His direction every step of every day.)
The next two best things I have found are these…
Start Somewhere. When I was frozen as to how to move forward on teaching phonics, standing looking questioningly at the abundance of material of how-tos I had been kindly given, I told my husband of my dilemma. His response became the background on my laptop. For years! (I must be a slow learner, or at least in need of reminding on a regular basis.) “Pick something and start somewhere,” he said. I picked a book off the shelf, found all kinds of nuggets in it, and never took a second glance at the remaining items which collected dust until I donated them when we moved. I used it for all 3 of my oldest to teach them spelling, and will pick it up again this year for my youngest to work her way through it.
Next Year. In my planner is a page at the back of it so entitled. It has a special place. Let’s say you’ve gotten together with someone else who homeschools, or teaches, or you’re on a field trip and something comes up that you think would be absolutely great to study with your children. However, your plan for the current year is rather full already. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, pen it on that page so that you remember it when either you have a gap in your year and need something to change it up a bit, or the year is ending and you’re looking ahead to content for next year. I have found it to be very useful in that.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Lay a stone today and be patient with yourself as you build your child’s education.