The "Am I Doing Enough?" Tea with Julie continues.
Tea with Julie

Welcome to "Tea with Julie," a weekly missive by me, Julie Bogart. My wish is to give you food for thought over a cup of tea to enhance your life as an educator, parent, and awesome adult. Glad you're here. Pinkies up!
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Cincinnati, April 8, 2023

Hi Friend,

My friend Stephanie Elms loves to share a favorite saying of one of her friends: “There are no educational emergencies.” The first time I heard it, the phrase went off like an alarm in my heart. What if that were true?

I reflected.

It can’t help but be true!

I thought about literacy programs for adults. I thought about voice-to-text software. I thought about the voracious way some adults read about history for pleasure! I remembered that I had grown-up friends who didn’t get medical support for their ADHD until their 40s. Others who skipped college or went in their 30s.

What if I could dial back my anxiety from 911 level panic to “there are countless ways to get my children what they need”?

Education at a predictable pace is an illusion, is what I’m saying. “Getting behind”—a sure fire way to wind up in panic, to stop seeing the real child in front of you.

I can only begin each day precisely where I am. No matter the age.

Remember: you are raising LIFE-LONG learners. Some learning takes longer than expected. There’s no expiration date on an education, either.

Education is an opportunity. It’s a slow unfolding of understanding balanced against sudden insight. We offer instruction and we address limits and struggle with creativity and patience, and we seek help when we need it.

It’s tempting to treat everything as an emergency. Whether it’s conserving toilet paper, wondering how you’ll pay your bills, or protecting yourself against a virus. There’s an underlying alarm to these behaviors.

Education— learning—is not an emergency.

It’s not even urgent.

If you feel yourself ramp up, or are worried that your child is behind, or wonder if your child is learning enough, ask yourself if that isn’t anxiety spilling into your home school. Because my hunch? It likely is.

And then, deliberately slow down. The best learning happens when we:

  • are patient,
  • adapt the lessons to a child’s capability,
  • and provide kind support.

If you’re finding it hard to get it all done, go back to baby steps. One ten minute session today—draw a subject from a hat. Then tomorrow, try ten minutes in the morning and ten in the afternoon. Do that for a few days. Rotate subjects, until you’ve covered them all.

But what if your child really is behind?

Deep breath. Face today with the resolve to get your child all they need to move the next tiny step in the direction of growth. Growth is tangible—and reassuring. Evaluation against the norms? Not so much.

  • Don’t give up or collapse in defeat.
  • Get more information.
  • Gather your resources.
  • Make judgment calls.
  • Find support.

Take it a day or week at a time. Triangle in help. Trust the process.

“Go slow to go fast.”

So when panic hits, remind yourself: There are no educational emergencies.





P.S. Catch up on all the “Tea with Julie” emails here!

Julie Bogart
© 2023 Brave Writer LLC™

Brave Writer




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