I remember it well. It was almost seven years ago now, and I was terrified. My husband and I had just made a huge family decision. We had prayed about it for months, and had decided to to homeschool. For our situation, that decision was going to place my child’s education almost entirely in my hands. I can’t say that I felt great about it. On the contrary, I was scared! There were multiple moments in those first few months where anxiety would raise its ugly head and try to strangle me with doubt, but I clung to one phrase—Do it scared.
I’ve spoken to so many moms who are in the same place I was seven years ago. They want to homeschool, they feel called to homeschool, some are just starting to homeschool, but they are scared to death.
Is this you?
If so, can I give you some encouragement in the form of a phrase to linger in the back of your mind as you begin your journey?
Do it scared.
You probably already know this step. But I can’t give encouragement without mentioning the importance of prayer. We spent months in prayer before making the decision to homeschool. The time we spent praying countered those early moments of doubt that every homeschool parent faces. I believed (and still do) that it was God’s will for my family to homeschool, so that provided a lifeline for me to grasp as often as I needed.
2. Give Yourself Grace
For me, scary life changes equal big emotions that I don’t always even understand. My husband has learned that sometimes, particularly during major life changes, I will bawl my eyes out over seemingly strange things. Many times, I can’t even verbalize why I’m crying. In these situations, it’s best to give myself grace:
- allow myself to ugly cry
- allow myself to ask for help
- remember that it’s okay to be scared
3. Do It Scared
Once you get past the ugly crying, or whatever you do, slap some determination on your face, and walk tall, because you’ve got this! If God called you to homeschool, He will help you through it! You’re going to be just fine! There are only a few things that you’ll need to remember on your way:
- Remember that some days will stink. Don’t let those days determine how good/bad homeschooling is.
- Some days will be glorious. You’ll feel like Maria in The Sound of Music. Your children will be in cute matching outfits that you made from some old draperies. They will be perfect angels, and you’ll teach them to harmonize fun family songs. Don’t let those days determine how good/bad homeschooling is either.
Finally, you may have the bulk of the homeschooling responsibilities, but you are never alone. You are surrounded by a small army of families who are doing the same thing. And do you know something? They are doing it scared, too. Just. Like. You.
4. Link Arms with Others
Two years ago, after much prayer, I decided to start a homeschool co-op. To say that I was scared was an understatement. My family and friends came out of the woodwork to help me completely remodel an older house on our property where we would meet. I can vividly remember standing in the yard, looking at this old house and all the sweat going into making it new again, and it happened...I started ugly crying right there in front of my mother, my mother-in-law, and everyone traveling on the major highway that ran in front of the little house. I was scared, and my fear was threatening to shut down a dream that God had planted in my heart years before.
I think back on that moment often now. I was so close to calling it quits that day. I was way too close to saying, “No” to a calling that God had placed on my heart. My sweet mother and mother-in-law gave me words of encouragement that day that were just what I needed to get me to the next step.
Their words boiled down to one simple principle: Do it scared.
There would never be a time in my life where I would be less scared or even better equipped for the job. Looking back, if I had listened to my worries, I would have missed out on the greatest blessings of my life. The best things I’ve done in my life, I’ve done at least a little bit scared. That uneasiness keeps me leaning on God for wisdom and guidance, and I think it probably keeps me humble, too. So take it from me, if you’ve prayed, and you’ve ugly cried, and all that’s standing in your way is fear, then there’s just one thing left to say....do it scared, Mama.