That program/curriculum sounds really rigorous and challenging. I bet those kids are ready for college. (Sigh) I don't push my kids hard enough.
I knew it! Studies show kids are more creative and are better leaders when they have lots of free time to learn and explore on their own terms. What is wrong with me? (Sigh) I push my kids too hard.
I can't believe it's 10:00am and we haven't even started school. No one even knows where their math books are. I am so disorganized. (Sigh) I really need to crack down and expect more.
My kids hate reading. They hate school. They hate each other and I'm sure they hate me. Where did I go wrong? (Sigh) I need to stop pushing so hard.
And back and forth I rock, rising and falling with each wave of guilt. Sound familiar?
So why do we do this to ourselves? And, more importantly, how do we break free from the patterns of harsh self-criticism?
Imagine yourself back in grade school. Remember the playground, full of wondrous delights? Sooner or later some bossy kid - usually a girl - would start a game of "follow the leader". She would lead the way, zigzagging, weaving and dodging around and through all the obstacles. Inevitably the parade of followers would have to cross the balance beam without falling off. How did you manage a safe passage? Probably with both arms stretched out to the side to maintain balance. (And possibly a slightly opened mouth with your tongue sticking out, just for good measure.)
Now picture the balance beam as your homeschool and yes, you need to cross it safely, without falling off. And the same tactic still works: two outstretched arms for balance. One arm we'll label "planning", and the other, "trusting". But take care; trying to cross with only one outstretched arm will throw off your balance. I trust you see the parallels and where I'm going with this.
So stop frantically waving around the "planning" arm, expecting it to give the balance you desperately desire. However, you also must avoid the exclusive use of the "trusting" arm. We are responsible to do our job (planning) and let the Lord do His (trusting). When we do so, the result is beautiful balance. A balance which provides steady, sure footing and quiets the fears that threaten our confidence.