Do you ever look at curriculum and get overwhelmed?
Do you ever feel like you’re drowning as you look at the huge scope of the task of homeschooling?
Oh, my Friend! I so hear you! I have been in that place.
That place of overwhelm…
That place of discouragement…
That place of inadequacy…
That place of feeling like you cannot be all that you should be as a mom, a teacher, an encourager, a human being!
But hold on a minute here, who set the definition for what you ‘should’ be? Are you setting that definition? Are you allowing someone else to set that definition? Are you allowing society to set that definition?
Where is your definition coming from?
Defining a Myth
Did you know that myths can be external and they can also be internal? Now, I realize that may sound a bit odd, but hang with me for a minute while I explain this.
External myths are myths or lies that other people tell you. They are myths or lies that society tells you. Sometimes they are referred to as stereotypes. Sometimes they come in the form of a thoughtless comment. Sometimes they come in the form of a cutting remark. No matter what you call them, they can be devastating! Particularly when you begin to hear these myths, these lies so often that you begin to accept them as normal and internalize them.
Internal myths can be just as devastating, if not more devastating than external myths. Internal myths are the lies that you tell yourself. The things that you tell yourself you “should be” or the “I’m not good enough” or “I couldn’t do that, so why even try?” Many times internal myths can be more subtle and harder to put your finger on than external myths. And that is part of the reason why they are so incredibly debilitating! If you cannot define the myth, it’s hard to do anything to correct the myth, right?
So before we go any further, I want you to do something brave. I want you to lean in with me just a little bit and try to define a myth that you have been believing. Now, realize that more than one myth may come up as you start to push into this. Oftentimes, there are many different myths that you believe without being aware of it. But for right now, work on identifying just one. What is one myth that you have been believing? Many times the myths will start with “I should be…” or “I’m not…” or “Who am I to…” Do you have it? Can you pinpoint one of those myths? Now, this is really important! Don’t stop here! Keep working through this process, deal?
Next, think through where that myth came from, where it first began. Did someone say something a long time ago and you internalized what they said, over time coming to believe it as truth? Did it come from society trying to define what you should or should not do, trying to put you into a particular box? Did it come from a feeling of insecurity that was easier to give into than to fight?
This is tough, I know! But, trust me, when you lean into the myths, the lies that you believe and start identifying them and then reshaping them with the truth, that is where victory lies. That is where you gain confidence. That is where you start believing the truth over the lies.
And don’t get discouraged! It may take time to identify and reshape your myths. Remember, you have been collecting and believing these myths for a long time – maybe even years! – without realizing it. It will take time and effort to identify and reshape the myths that you are believing.
Now, have you identified one myth? Good! Let’s begin to reshape that lie with truth. Here’s where it gets tricky: Each myth usually has a bit of truth mixed in with it. You don’t want to just completely go against the lie because your mind will actually reject the truth! You want to take the bits of truth that are already in the myth and use those as a launching point to reshape the myth into the truth, getting rid of the lies but keeping the truth. Here are some examples to help you understand this a bit better:
- ‘I should be a better mom – one that always cooks dinner every night for her family.’ becomes ‘I am a good mom! I may not cook a meal from scratch every night, but no one is going hungry on my watch!’
- ‘I’m not the right person to parent my child.’ becomes ‘I am a unique person. My child is a unique person. Sometimes things may get tough, but this child is my child and I will be the best momma I know how to be – and I’ll keep learning along the way!’
- ‘Who am I to be a parent?’ becomes ‘I am a parent and this is my child. I’m not perfect, but I’m going to do my best and keep learning as I go.’
Do you see how powerful it can be to reframe the myth into truth? Do you see how you can take the bits of truth that are hidden in the myth and use those to start reframing the myth into truth. Don’t forget to acknowledge reality, after all, no one is perfect! But each one of us is capable of learning and growing and choosing to believe the truth.
My Friend, this can be life changing! And this doesn’t just apply to the myths that you tell yourself about parenting or about your appearance or anything else. This applies to the myths you tell yourself about homeschooling. Let’s take a look at three paralyzing myths and the truth that you can overcome them with.
Myth #1 :: I am not qualified to teach my child.
Truth :: You are uniquely qualified to teach your child because you are their parent. At this point in their life, you are one of the people who knows them the best.
Can I share some truth with you? You can do this! Did you hear that? You can do this! You are your child’s parent. You are your child’s momma. You matter in a BIG way. You are uniquely gifted to be the best momma to your child. It wasn’t an accident that this kid became your kid. There is a purpose.
Let me say it again: You can do this!
Do you want the best for your child? Of course you do! Do you want them to learn and learn well? Absolutely! Are you willing to work with them to discover how they learn best? I certainly hope so! Do you have a vested interest in making sure they learn new information, that their mind is challenged but not overwhelmed? That they continue making progress, always moving forward in their learning? To be sure! Are you willing to learn with them when you don’t know the answer right away? I truly hope so.
Then, you know what? You have the best qualifications for teaching your child! You have a vested interest in seeing them learn and succeed. You have a desire for them to continue learning and making progress. You want them to learn in a way that helps them best retain information. You are willing to search out the answers for those things you do not know so that your child can continue to learn. Those are some pretty incredible qualifications in my book!
Myth #2 :: I must know exactly how to teach my child from the start.
Truth :: Just like learning is a process for your child, learning how best to teach your child is a learning process for you!
You’ve heard me say this before and I’m sure you will hear me say it again: Take things one step at a time. Or in other words: It’s all about progress, not about perfection.
You don’t need to know everything about teaching to begin to teach your child. You do need to have a desire to teach them, a desire to work with them and to learn with them. When you view homeschooling as a journey that you embark on and travel together, your mindset shifts. You no longer have to know everything up front, but you learn as you continue on the journey together.
Now, it is extremely helpful to have goals so that you know where you are going, but you don’t have to have your child’s entire school career mapped out when they are 5! Focus on this year. Set goals and put together a plan so that you can start journeying towards that goal.
Always keep this in mind: paths can shift. If a particular learning or teaching style is not working for you, try something different. Find what works for you, for your child, and for your family. When you work together to find those ways to teach, you will learn how best to teach your child. Remember, your homeschooling journey is not going to look exactly like mine. It might not look exactly like anyone else’s. The key is to find the best way for you and you family to teach your child and to teach them well.
Myth #3 :: I must teach my child everything they will know.
Truth :: You cannot possibly teach your child everything they know or will know in the future.
Now, I know that sounded harsh, but before I lose you here, promise me that you will keep reading, okay? You still with me? Good!
While you cannot teach your child everything they will ever know, you can focus on some key areas that will give your child the tools to discover any information they want to uncover.
Did you hear that? You can give them a key to unlock anything they want to learn about. YOU can give them this one simple, yet incredibly powerful key. Do you want to know what it is?
How to READ.
It sounds so crazy simple, doesn’t it? It sounds like not enough, right? Doesn’t it sound like you need to do more than that?
Before we dive into this topic of reading, let me first clarify something: I am not saying you should throw all of your curriculum out the window and never teach math or science or history or grammar or anything like that. All of these subjects are very important in creating a well-rounded homeschool curriculum. What I am saying is that learning to read and learning to read well provides an incredibly solid foundation on which all of these other topics can build.
Reading is a key that will unlock any door and subject of learning that your child could possibly desire to know – even the ones you know nothing about. If you can teach your child to read and to read well, then you have given them the biggest key they could ever wield. This key can literally unlock any subject under the sun and allow them to learn more.
Here’s an example for you: My daughter loves dogs. She has a huge desire to learn more about dogs. Now, I’ve grown up with dogs all my life and I could give her little bits of information that I’ve learned through the years as well as some first-hand experiences, but she wanted to learn more than that. So, she went to the library and got some books about dogs, dog breeds, how to train dogs, and more. This girl came home and read all of these books, devouring the information and trying to figure out ways she can use it. (Sadly for her, it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks as our old hound dog is just not interested in her training him to do anything else!)
She has flown past me on the information that she knows about dogs and different dog breeds and more – and I love that! I wan’t the one who directly taught her the information, but I was able to give her the key to unlock that information: the key of how to read and how to read well.
On days when you feel discouraged that you’re not making progress, on days when you feel like you’re not able to teach your child enough, remind yourself of this truth and make it your goal: The biggest key you could ever give your child is to teach them how to read and how to read well. If you do that, you have set them up for success in a big way. The choice is up to them to use this incredible key you have given them.
The Truth of the Matter
You are bombarded by information each and every day. Information from society. Information from other people. Information from your family. Information that you tell yourself. You cannot control all the information that comes at you, whether it be a myth or truth.
However, you can control what you allow yourself to believe about that information. You can choose to believe the myth, the lie or you can choose to combat the myth with truth and choose to believe the truth.
I won’t lie to you: This is not easy! It takes some time to train yourself in how to do this, but you can do this! You can train yourself to spot the myths. You can train yourself to seek out the truth. You can overcome the myths, the lies with the truth.
And you can homeschool your child!
- Why Is Reading With Your Kids So Important?
- How to Make Reading Fun and Interesting
- Learning: The Ultimate Goal
- The Importance of Knowing Your Homeschooling Inspiration
- What Style of Homeschooling Curriculum is Right for You?
Elizabeth Tatham, founder of Inspiration in the Everyday, is a homeschooling momma of 5 who loves helping other homeschooling mommas create a unique homeschooling adventure your kids will love…without the overwhelm! Join in on the journey with 7 simple steps to make your homeschooling day go faster, easier, and with less tears here.