4 Ways to Lighten Your Homeschool Mindset
Today, I want to talk about mindset because how we think and what we believe about the world affects what we think, how we feel, act and react.
Mindset is a huge part of our daily lives. Translated, this simply means we all want to feel better about our homeschooling and what we’re doing with our children. Exploring mindset can help with that.
Experts agree that success is 10% knowledge, 10% community, and 80% mindset and habits.
Wow, mindset really matters!
Mindset affects the way we think about everything. This is the key to feeling better about the work we’ve chosen to do in the world.
That’s why today, I want to share with you 4 ways to lighten your homeschooling mindset – lessons I’ve learned in my parenting and homeschooling journey of over thirty years.
4 Ways to Lighten Your Homeschooling Mindset
#1: Let Go of Harmony Addiction
This is me for sure! Oh my goodness. I grew up in a family with a lot of unspoken anger. And I took on the role of trying to keep it it all from falling apart.
Fast forward to parenting and homeschooling, I felt overly responsible for everyone’s behavior AND everyone’s feelings. And it wore me out.
Add Waldorf to the mix, with its beautiful colors and natural playthings, paintings and drawings in handmade main lesson books…So many of us who are drawn to this approach find that we want life to be all lovely colorful paintings and beautiful beeswax creations at every moment.
But the truth is, conflict will happen. Or as my friend Sheila says, “there will be yelling.”
So the sooner we can let go of our addiction to harmony, the sooner our homeschooling mindset will lighten up.
We are not responsible for trying to keep everyone happy all of the time.
#2: Welcome the Unwelcomed
James Joyce from Ulysses, “mistakes can be portals of discovery.”
When I first heard this concept, I was surprised at how hard it was for me to embrace.
So I wrote this down on a post-it note:
Mistakes are opportunities for learning.
I had to read that post-it note many, many times to begin to be able to take that in.
As a parent, I wanted to be the one who made no mistakes. I wanted to be the mom whose homeschool was so well planned that the children smiled all the time… (remember the concept of harmony addiction?) …and when they didn’t, I felt I had failed.
And that sometimes kept me stuck. Kept me from even being willing to try new things for fear of the unwelcomed response.
Until I was able to realize that experimenting was good – and experimenting means we don’t know the outcome!
We try something to see how it goes. And then we learn from that experience so we can try the next thing. What a concept!
Homeschooling is a long game, you have years. So I want to give you permission right here and now to try some things and see how they go.
I give you permission to not know the outcome, permission to make mistakes.
#3: Accept All Emotions
It all starts with acceptance.
When you feel like a failure, try thinking instead:
This is really painful but that doesn’t mean I’ve done anything wrong.
When homeschooling isn’t working, that doesn’t always mean we’re doing it wrong.
But here’s the catch 22 – if we decide that’s what it means, we’ll stop abruptly in our tracks and never move forward.
When we try to avoid feeling frustrated, sad, less than, or even lonely, we’ll never get past those feelings. We’ll stay stuck there.
Here’s an example: When my kids would whine and complain about our lessons (you know, the “mom do I have to do this?” or “I’m so tired.” and “this is so boring.”)…my first response was to try to make things more fun, to talk them out of their malaise, to encourage and cheer them on.
That kept me from realizing that some days are like that and it’s ok for me to say, “yeah I get it. And it’s time to finish the lesson now.”
And just keep going. With a neutral attitude. Without their negativity draining all of my energy.
This one takes retraining our brains. But first, we to be willing to declare that we can accept all emotions.
#4: Love Yourself
This might be the hardest one!
But remember: you matter. The work you’re doing in this world matters.
And, you are enough. You have all you need to homeschool your children.
If that’s hard for you to believe, take a look at that more closely.
For many of us, our not enoughness comes from the way we were raised, our family’s of origin. Plus messages from the dominant culture. Plus our personality.
But whatever it is, if you’re having trouble loving yourself, find a community or coach who can help you uncover why and begin to turn that around. It will make all the difference in your life for yourself and for your children.
For me, this took years. But the start was to give myself permission to become myself – who I’m really meant to be, not what or who someone else wished I would be.
Practice a little bit every day and you’ll get there, I know it. 😊
Mindset & My Work with Homeschoolers Like You
Mindset is actually one of my favorite things to talk about and to help homeschoolers with.
So often, when people ask me what I do, I say “I coach homeschooling moms who want to bring their lessons to life with hands-on, creative activities. But what I really do is help homeschooling moms feel like they’re enough.”
Because when we feel like we’re enough…when we can let go of harmony addiction, welcome the unwelcomed, accept all emotions, and love ourselves…we can be better parents and be more present for homeschooling our children.
We CAN feel better about ourselves and our homeschooling. I promise you it’s possible.
Are you interested in exploring these ideas further?
I want to invite you to join me and a wonderful group of homeschoolers inside Inner Work Journey. Once a year, I lead a group of homeschooling moms on a 12-week online journey toward acceptance and possibility. If you struggle with feeling behind, like you never do enough… and you’re ready to step into the light and guide your family the way you know you can…then check out all the details of the Inner Work Journey here. We begin the first week in March.
Please remember this…
When we feel like we’re enough, we can let go of harmony addiction, welcome the unwelcomed, accept all emotions, and love ourselves…we can be better parents and be more present in the moment for ourselves and our children.
About the Art of Homeschooling Podcast
The Art of Homeschooling Podcast is for parents who are ready to thrive in homeschooling. In each episode, we share stories and strategies so you can drop the overwhelm and get in touch with inspiration. You CAN create a homeschool life you love.
I’m your host, Jean Miller, homeschooling mother of three now-grown children. And here at the Art of Homeschooling, we keep it sweet and simple so you can focus on cultivating creativity and connection at home.
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