The Pressure of a New Skill

I have been homeschooling for a long time. I know what to expect from my children and from myself. I know how to set up our schedule to succeed.

New homeschoolers, especially those who are beginning to homeschool after public schooling for some time, often say, “What if I mess everything up?”

Truthfully, I haven’t had much sympathy for this fear. This is probably because I eased myself into homeschooling, starting with one child and adding the others as they aged in. I didn’t immediately jump to homeschooling six children at once.

This fall, I unexpectedly gained sympathy for new homeschoolers when I began pressure canning. Having only done water bath canning before, I was hesitant to try this new device. The pressure has to be carefully monitored for a precise period of time. Bacteria growth has to be prevented. All ingredients need to be temperature sensitive: jars and food must be hot and must be placed in almost boiling water. The pressure gauge has to be tested annually to keep it accurate.

Thinking about the risks and realizing all that could possibly go wrong was daunting. The dial literally has “caution” written on the face!! I read and reread the instruction manual. I read articles online from people who had done it.

I took the risk and got started. In my first few batches, I made some mistakes. But, I quickly started to master it.

This is how homeschooling is. You can hear about the experience of other families. You may pause in anxiety, wondering if you can actually manage it. But, here’s the secret: homeschooling is a lot less dangerous than pressure canning.

Your child will benefit from additional time with you as you homeschool. Your child will benefit from your willingness to prioritize their needs. Your child will recognize your love in your attempt to homeschool.

Everything might not go well at first. Actually, everything won’t go well at first. But, homeschooling is a set of skills that can be mastered. As scary as it seems, it’s worth a try.

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