This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Have a Homeschool Mindset…Not a Platypus! This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
How to Have a Homeschool Mindset…Not a Platypus!
What on earth are Vicki and Sabrina talking about?? We just want to have some fun with our friends about having a fun homeschool mindset!
Some of our most bonding moments in our homeschool years have been times of group stress or weirdness. The stress and weirdness of 2020-21 have been a worldwide pandemic. We homeschoolers have had to embrace the weirdness of a pandemic and make the most of our weird worldwide weirdness.
Sabrina has “thesis for life”. It’s written with Sharpie on a sticky note on her computer and is there for times like this. It says:
It’s complicated but that’s okay…so embrace the weirdness and keep trusting Jesus!
There are none of us that live a Pinterest lifestyle! None of us have Pinterest souls. None of us have a Pinterest homeschool. Then when you throw a pandemic on top of this reality, it gets weirder. So how do we embrace the weirdness… in a healthy way?
Sabrina reminds us that embracing implies drawing something close to us. (Not exactly like the virtual hugs we have had to give via Zoom during our get togethers.) For our purposes in this discussion, if we are going to actually embrace something, there actually has to be something there for us to embrace.
When weirdness comes along, whether it is something like a financial disaster or a worldwide pandemic, or a period of depression or anxiety that is affecting you- we don’t really want to embrace that weirdness because, as Sabrina, “It’s bad…it’s icky. I don’t want to embrace it!”
But if you take a look at it with a desire to find something you CAN embrace, you will find something. You will find something because Jesus is in there somewhere. You will find that little piece of Him in that hard time.
Take, for instance, a financial disaster that causes a family to give up their home and move in with family. That is full of awkwardness! You might say, “I don’t want to embrace that!”
But can you look for something TO embrace? Perhaps the letting go of unnecessary stuff? So stuff does not have such control of your energy and time. Then you can embrace contentment and simplicity.
When you find that thing you can embrace, that place where Jesus is working, write it down. (If you have a Sharpie and sticky note like Sabrina, do that…but anything will do.) Keep it before your eyes.
That’s a mindset, not a platitude! (Looking for something to embrace in each situation.)
This is where the entire serious conversation devolves into Sabrina thinking about platypuses every time she hears the word “platitude”! We have such a hard time being serious for very long!
Okay, back to serious…
What we were trying to say is that mindset is not a platitude. It’s a not a mindset that’s in denial or all “Pollyanna”. Rather, it’s a mindset that says, we can look for a good in each situation, that God can teach us, that we can learn in all things wherewith to be content. There is some area where we can grow towards good, and allowing God to show us that area and grow it in us…we are modeling resilience for our kids. This will help them grow up with more bounce-back.
Take for instance the pandemic quarantines. Yes, we were SO isolated. BUT a good that came is that for many of us, the quarantines broke the stranglehold of busyness on our lives. That is a good that we could enjoy contentment with.
So, whatever is coming towards you that is weird, don’t pretend that it’s not weird. Let it hurt. If it hurts, it hurts. Don’t try to pretend that it doesn’t. There’s no room for Pollyanna. Then also, look for the thing that you can embrace. It might be simply that you find you are stronger than you thought or could do harder things than you thought you could. This can be an amazing thing for us to model for our kids.
As Sabrina has said to her kids when they are struggling, “But look at you, you’re doing it! Can you even believe it? You’re doing it. It feels horrible, but OH MY…look in the mirror at this person who is doing this really hard thing!” That’s huge for their formation.
Vicki points out (counselor that she is), that embracing what you can works a different part of your brain than the “oh this is awful” part of the brain. Both parts of the brain are real but the “that’s awful” part of the brain creates stress hormones. It can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed.
The “I’m looking for what I can embrace here” part of the brain is the prefrontal cortex- the smart of the brain where good decisions are made.
Sabrina shares that more and more parents these days have found that their teens live with lots of anxiety. We can help them a bit when we help them grow in resilience as they embrace something good in the weirdness. This resilience skill is for our teens as important a skills as drivers ed! (So Sabrina gives another useful illustration without a single platypus!)
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