If someone had ever said to me, “homeschooling will eventually weave its way through the daily lives of your family,” I’d have laughed in their face – & hard! But that’s exactly what’s begun to take place in our home.
My aversion to homeschooling was never because I thought it was wrong in any way. On the contrary. I always thought, “you homeschoolers are some mighty brave souls.” It seemed completely overwhelming & thus, like something I would never even attempt taking on.
But When. . .
But when your daughter hasn’t been herself lately, you worry. When as the school year draws nearer she begins to randomly tear up, you worry. After repeated gentle nudges, eventually you MAKE her talk to you. And when she acutely expresses a social anxiety that is so oppressive in nature that it crushes your heart? You tell her not to worry & promise her that you’ll figure it out – And then you follow through.
Amongst a whole bunch of other awesomeness, Sky is one of the bravest & strongest people I know – period, & she’s only thirteen. Because of that, she gave me permission to share all of this with you.
Like myself, Sky has often been labeled “shy.” But social anxiety, or social phobia, goes beyond simply being shy. It involves an intense fear of certain social situations, especially those unfamiliar. Just thinking about them can produce anxiety, as we saw leading up to the beginning of the school year.
In Skyla’s Own Words
On the school bus I feel like I can’t breathe. I feel like everyone’s looking at me. I know they’re not. I try to tell myself that they’re not, but it doesn’t help. I feel like that in class too. . .
Social phobia is the fear of being judged or embarrassed in public. It’s the worry that others will think badly of you. And though you most likely know these fears are irrational, you can’t help but to feel anxious.
You could see the relief wash over her when the decision to home school was made. Heck, you could feel the tension being released. If we pushed her into public school, I honestly believe that the intensity of her anxiety would hinder her learning & ability to perform even close to her abilities. Additionally, I believe it would keep her from any productive socializing.
Middle school is hard enough. Why force her to battle through this debilitating anxiety & expect her to perform well on top of it when there are options available? Plus, this opens her up to do solid work in therapy.
While this is an indefinite venture, ideally she’d go back to public school next year; freshman year. But you never know!
I’ll definitely ask her therapist for guidance. When do I push her & when do I make the appropriate allowances? What are the appropriate allowances?! No one ever said parenting was easy!
However, our first day of home school was fantastic!
We’re all excited about this new journey we’re going on. I’m looking forward to the time I get to spend with her. I’m so grateful that these options are available to us. And OH, there are SO MANY OPTIONS. We’re going to learn a lot as we go, which typically is not my thing. I like to have things all mapped out. But I really just want to enjoy this & take full advantage of this time with her.
How did you get started on your homeschooling journey? How was your first day?