When I was in the sixth grade, I ran for student council president.
One of the requirements was getting up on stage, in front of the entire school, and giving a speech about why you should be elected.
I bombed. For reals. I couldn’t remember the lines I had prepared. I stuttered and started sweating. I ran off the stage as fast as I could and burst into tears. It was pretty awful.
But what I remember most about that day is what happened next. I went back to class.
I remember trying to take a math test and the page seemingly swimming before me. I remember not being able to focus on verbal directions and wondering what was wrong with me. I remember my anxiety increasing, not decreasing as the day went on.
I didn’t learn a thing that day at school.
How Anxiety Complicates My Son’s Learning
My youngest son struggles with anxiety more intense than I ever experienced at his age.
While my difficult afternoon in sixth grade ended, and school returned to normal by the next day, my son feels that same anxiety all the time. Moreover, he is struggling to learn with that same level of anxiety every day.
One of the reasons we homeschool is to accommodate his learning needs. But the truth is, I often struggle with my own worries when I consider how best to approach his education.
He can’t just do nothing.
He’s already behind. If I don’t make him do the reading lesson, he will never learn.
I know he has anxiety, but at some point, we have to just do school – right?
Because of my own fears, I often find myself recreating that same afternoon I experienced at eleven years old, for my son.
I know you feel anxious, but we need to get this done.
Try to focus.
This is just how school works.
I find the outcome is always the same. He struggles, gets frustrated, makes little to no progress and feels defeated. I struggle, get frustrated, see little to no progress and feel defeated.
And he retains nothing.
I have learned to just accept it, and begin to accommodate it.
Anxiety complicates my son’s learning everyday.
Resources For Parenting An Anxious Child
Separation Anxiety And The Older Child
Separation anxiety is something we talk about all the time for younger children. But what about when your child is older, even a young teen?
This is an honest look at separation anxiety and the older child.
Parenting A Regressive Child
Regression is another element of young childhood that’s expected. But what about the older child? What does regression look like and how does it affect social and emotional development?
For The Anxious Homeschool Mom
When our children are anxious, it’s easy for us to be anxious as well. Maybe we always have been and there’s a genetic component to the anxiety that runs in our families. Maybe we develop anxiety as we interact with and attempt to help our anxious children.
Either way, this is an honest look at what it’s like to be an anxious homeschool mom.
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.