We hear this advice a lot. “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” It sounds easy, but it’s not, and part of this is because when we’re worried about something, it doesn’t feel small. It feels big and important. In that moment, it may be.
You could try what I do. I ask myself: “In twenty years, will this matter?” That does help sometimes, but when it comes to homeschooling my children, the answer to that question isn’t as straightforward.
- If my son doesn’t learn to read, will that matter in twenty years? You bet!
- If I can’t find or create the perfect lesson plans, will that affect my child’s chances of getting into college? Gulp.
- If my son starts to talk back to me at the age of seven, are we going to be at odds when he’s an adult? (Holding back tears.)
When it comes to our children, how can we not worry? No one tells you before you have your first baby that having a child is like pulling your heart out of your chest and watching it walk around in this dangerous, complex world. And you never get it back.
I know logically that most of my worries are inconsequential. I remind myself that we will take it one step at a time. I know my child will learn how to read even though he struggles at the moment. It’s all about perseverance. And trial and error. We’ll get through all the bumps somehow.
I like to turn my worries into what Patricia Zaballos so eloquently called wondering in her first column. Not all wondering is bad, and it comes with the territory of homeschooling. Unfortunately, it sounds like it never goes away either:
“It doesn’t seem to matter that I have one kid who has just graduated from college and another starting in the fall…. It’s just the twelve-year-old and me homeschooling these days; you’d think after all this time I’d have things figured out. Nope. Still wondering constantly.”
~ Patricia Zaballos, The Wonder Files, home/school/life, Summer 2014.
I can let go of the inconsequential: The perfectionist in me. I can stop listening to bad advice on how to get my child to read. Instead, I can give it time and my patience. I can let go of wanting to do it my way and try other ways instead. We have the time after all. That’s why we’re homeschoolers.
What have you learned to let go of in your homeschooling journey?
SHELLI BOND PABIS is home | school | life magazine’s senior editor. She writes about her family’s homeschooling journey at www.mamaofletters.com.