Don't Be Afraid to be Wrong
By Beverley Paine
"Don't be afraid to be wrong. You'll learn a lot if you are."
I ask myself, why am I afraid of being 'wrong' and the answer is usually I am worried about what other people may think of me. I forget that 'may' means I'm making assumptions. So I ask them, regularly, not only for reassurance but because I am interested in their thoughts and opinions, and more importantly, their feedback. And because most of my assumptions turn out to be fictions, run away figments of my imagination.
Understanding what motivates me to hesitate in situations like this is liberating. It's like opening a door to endless possibilities. Mistakes are learning opportunities.
It wasn't easy to learn how to do this, that's for sure, and it's a way of thinking I need to continue to be mindful about, especially when I'm tired or stressed. First of all I have to let go of the instant shame I was trained to feel, overcome the deluge of negative talk that threatens to swamp me, another legacy of my childhood education and training. And then I have to embrace what that negative self-talk calls 'error' or 'mess' or 'disaster' as a platform on which great things, new discoveries, awesome possibilities might develop...
Challenging the meaning of words and how we use them has helped me make this shift. Long ago I started to ditch the word 'wrong'. I tend to choose 'inaccurate', or 'inappropriate' or simply say, 'it doesn't work', or carefully select words which say I what I mean. But what works best is if I look past the 'wrong' into the opportunity... I then focus on solutions and what will work, what I want or need.
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Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
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