by Diana De Cabrera
The last couple of years has seen a continual growth of families choosing home education. If you’re new to homeschooling (or considering it) and perhaps are feeling the stress of holding your children’s education squarely on your shoulders, you’re not alone!
You can engage these mindset shifts to help you lead home education in your home confidently:
Mindset Shift #1: Embrace Experience vs. Expertise
As new home educators it can be easy to engage in comparison against “the experts”. In her new book ‘Atlas of the Heart’, researcher Brené Brown introduces comparison as a “creativity killer” and explains the effects of upward comparison.
“When we engage in upward social comparison, we compare ourselves to someone who is (perceived to be or performing) better than we are.” Brené Brown
After all, we may have outsourced our children’s education for years—and if we were part of the mainstream education system ourselves—we’re likely conditioned to believe in the authority and expertise of top-down instruction i.e. that the teacher, guidance counsellor, or principal know best.
Instead, new home educators can tap into their personal experience and that of the people supporting them. We don’t expect to be perfect, but to honour our unique qualities, both soft and hard skills we have built up over our life experience.
I studied graphic & interior design growing up in Costa Rica, then worked as a Yoga and English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor with children after leaving my corporate role as a Quality Specialist, where I often mentored and facilitated training.
With “just” that skillset, my daughter has direct access to a personal Art, Design, Photography, English, Spanish, Yoga & Mindfulness mentor! Plus, she’s always learning from watching me embody my skillset, like getting in front of the camera to speak to new home educators or writing this blog article.
She just asked what I was doing and exclaimed: “I didn’t know people could write their own articles!”
“Yes!” I said, “you can become a writer if you want!”
The key takeaway? Your skillset is valuable, and it greatly helps that you so happen to be the top expert of your children too: you know how they best learn, what inspires them, and their preferred activities.
Home educating without comparison allows us to step forth into leadership, and get creative to support our children’s engagement with learning.
Mindset Shift #2: Embrace Variety vs. Uncertainty
We have been through a deeply uncertain couple of years. For many, the cozy rug of routine was pulled from underneath us. And if you’re risk averse, like me, transitioning into home education is a choice that sometimes feels like a gamble.
So, I understand when soon-to-be and new home educators bring up comments like “I feel totally ill-equipped” and ask around for the best curriculum or programs that will provide them with a sense of certainty.
I’ll never argue for removing these anchors, whatever they may be for you. Instead, I’d like to invite you to embrace how variety is not only the spice of life but of home education.
You can take your learning at home, on your electronic device, outdoors and mix and match as you please.
The key takeaway? Home education with autonomy allows us to embrace a certain level of variety of learning that schooling or schooling-at-home cannot.
Mindset Shift #3: Embrace the Individual vs. the System
Back in the early 1900’s Frederick Winslow Taylor, promoted the idea that “scientific management” could boost labour productivity and then, successfully applied his ideas to the workplace and mainstream education.
To this day, Taylorism theory prevails. Have you ever experienced top-down training, manager instruction, quality performance evaluations or key performance indicator meetings in the workplace?
Taylor proclaimed: “In the past, man was first; in the future the system must be first.”
New home educators can begin to place the focus back on the individual: themselves, their children, and their family. No longer tied to the schooling system and its “rules set out to raise standards, increase accountability, lengthen school time, enhance the rigor” or meet “national standards” (Rose 2011, Trujillo 2014).
And yet, many of us unconsciously worry about our children’s educational progress, performance, and milestones.
To help release the system’s expectations, many new home educators opt to “deschool”, the period of time some families take to transition out of the mainstream system. It affords them a mental break to release internalised Tayloristic fears.
You can also reach out for support. The fastest way to reach your home educator potential is to see-to-believe; other home educators confidently educating their children.
If you come along to the upcoming “Get Started Connection Session”, you can join experienced home educators at HEA to share your questions or brainstorm your next steps.
Join us to get started home educating confidently!
You can register here:
Diana helps free-thinking home educators release century-old schooling beliefs, engage a modern education & leadership mindset, and confidently live the life of their dreams free with their children. She hosts the weekly Too Cool for Schooling podcast and volunteers with HEA‘s Communication Team. You can find her living and learning alongside her daughter on Instagram or inside HEA‘s Community Group encouraging home educators on their unique journey.