Do other homeschooling parents feel a constant sense of worry that they’re not doing the right thing, that they aren’t doing enough? I worry every day that I should be doing some book learning with the kids, especially Edward. I worry that we should be getting out the Maths books at least, this despite the fact that I consciously decided to focus on the kids spending time outside to make the most of the very limited nice weather which left little time for book learning when you factor in supermarket shopping, playdates and all the other necessities of life.
I have been feeling so tired recently. I kept thinking I must go have some blood tests or something. But then we had some visitors and I dropped all thought of book learning to spend some time with them and the aforementioned necessities. I woke up this morning and felt so much better and I realized that it’s because I haven’t been worrying about what to do each day. I haven’t been feeling afraid that I’m doing the wrong thing, on a daily basis. I have just been enjoying our time. Obviously we can’t go through life just hanging out with friends or playing in the park but I have to at least be at peace with whatever decision I make! It is very, very tiring to keep doubting oneself, to keep worrying and re-evaluating the decisions I make.
I realized that the other things that have been getting me down are the parenting/homeschooling books I’ve been reading. Although I must continue to read them, I must somehow grow a thicker skin to not feel so inadequate whilst I do! These books make me feel bad! It’s not their fault. It’s mine.
For instance, I stopped reading ‘Peaceful Parenting, Happy Kids’ by Dr. Laura Markham at p66. I found it exhausting; everything was MY fault and how to change felt like a mountain to climb. I found it exhausting just thinking about the fact that I have to start parenting in such a different way, let alone actually doing it. I felt so bad that saying to my kids, ‘If you do that, then this will happen’ is setting them up for some sort of total failure as adults. She says that avoiding punishment, “…is the most important thing you can do to raise children who are responsible and considerate.” I certainly don’t believe in corporal punishment and I would LOVE to avoid punishment altogether but ‘Go up to your room, now!’ is the only way to avoid it sometimes, when I am SO angry! I have read that you should go to your own room instead, to simmer down, but that doesn’t feel right somehow! Markham also says, “All misbehavior comes from basic needs that aren’t met.” Oh no, when they’re misbehaving, that’s my fault too then! And it’s my fault when I do a less than admirable job because I don’t have the most important parenting skill of all which is, according to Markham, managing myself. She says, “Keep your cup full…Remember that your child will do every single thing you do, whether that’s yelling or…” Looking after myself is a real challenge given that hubbie works 90 hour weeks and nobody else other than either of us looks after the children.
So tonight I’m going to research some angles on learning that isn’t book related. I’ll keep you posted!
IF YOU’RE NEW TO HOMESCHOOLING MIDDLE EAST, welcome! If you are interested in reading about our homeschooling adventure, I recommend that you start reading from ‘Day 1’. Why I recommend starting at Day 1 is because this adventure into homeschooling has been a rollercoaster; philosophically and emotionally, which you might learn, seek solace from or even be thoroughly entertained by. It started in Bahrain on 22 February 2012 and continues in Dubai. My kids are Edward aged 8 and Petra aged 4. For you to get the full intellectual and dramatic impact, it’s best to start at the beginning. You might be contemplating home educating and wonder what those early nail-biting days feel like or you might enjoy reading somebody else’s take on an experience we share, or you might be more generally interested in my thoughts and feelings on education and parenting. Whatever the reason you’re reading, I’m really humbled that you’re taking your valuable time to do so and I really hope I can be some kind of hope or inspiration for you. Thank you!
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