Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Not Giving Way to Fear

One of my biggest home education struggles has been with fear. Fear from several sources: fear of the children turning out badly; fear of poor academic results and fear generated by gainsayers. This fear isn't productive as it makes me tired, anxious and irritable. 

The fear makes it a worry that the children don't start work as early as I would like. The anxiety that adds to the difficulty of a struggling reader. The worry around having to take an elderly relative to yet another appointment and whether the children are working at home while their father is busy with his work in the study.

OK, I'm a worrier but there are plenty of other worriers out there who doubtless have the same concerns.

Recently, I've come to see that this fear is counterproductive and wrong. We believe that it is right for us to be home educating these children. Home education wasn't a snap decision but a decision made over years and with much prayer and examining of how the Scriptures apply to us as a family. Whatever anyone else says or thinks, I shouldn't be afraid. 

Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 
Philippians 4 verse 6

Whose daughters ye are (Sarah's), as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
1 Peter 3 verse 6

Of course, I have to do my best for my children. Timothy was told to be a a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2 v15). In many ways, this applies to us as educators. We have to be skillful workers and treat God's Word properly so that it isn't brought into disrepute. 

So how can we avoid fear?
  • Prayer
  • Reading God's Word and hiding it in our hearts.
  • Talking to trusted friends. My husband is a great sounding board and has listened to any number of my concerns about not getting things right.
  • Meeting with others, of course, in church but also with other like minded educators. Often, just the chance to talk and laugh with others can bring worries into perspective.
  • Taking advice when the going is difficult. There are plenty of home education on-line groups where it is possible to ask questions.
  • Avoiding taking advice from nay sayers. Of course, unasked for advice can be reasonable and helpful but it is important to remember that it can come with an agenda.
  • Going outside. Often, minor difficulties and stresses can be ironed out with some outside time.
Please comment with any other thoughts about not giving way to fear in home education.

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