The past couple of years I admit… I have struggled with fully embracing homeschooling. I tried to think of ways out of it and even came very close to giving up and looking for an alternative education for my children. Though I’ve tried, I really can’t picture our lives any other way. Though there are days that are really hard, I love the life we have because of homeschooling and I know God has called us to it.
Just because you are led to do something doesn’t mean that you won’t experience difficulties and setbacks. When I encounter things that are hard or out of my comfort zone I tend to kick and scream, fighting against what doesn’t always come easy.
Instead of fighting it any longer, I am learning to embrace it…stubborn pupils, messy toddlers, interruptions, piles of school work and all. I am slowly finding my nitch, figuring out a routine that works/or doesn’t work for us and diving into the world of lesson planning, unit studies and nature walks. I have set goals, organized our homeschool room, picked a theme verse, chosen our curriculum, accumulated all of our homeschool essentials and prayed for our year. I have done my homework this year and I am glad to say it is paying off.
I have found that if I don’t go whole hog on something, I end up doing it half heartedly. I have asked God to give me a heart for our homeschool and he really has. Though there are still many aspects I struggle with, I am so excited to have been given this great gift of teaching my children at home… because it really is such a blessing.
Have you struggled also with embracing your calling?
Does your mind well up with worry and fear when you try to think how you are going to homeschool multiple children, chase after a toddler and get food on the table?
Do you get pangs in your chest when you try to teach your obstinate students?
If you answered yes to any of these… know that you are not alone! There is hope! You can come to love and fully embrace the homeschool life…struggles and all.
1. Don’t Just Get By
I hear it everywhere. “Don’t just survive…thrive.”
We all have those seasons when we are doing all we can to just get by. Raising a family is hard enough without adding homeschooling into the mix. None of us wants to always just be getting by though. We want to enjoy what we are doing and give God glory in the mountain top moments and the valleys. I have come to realize that if I am going to do this, (this crazy thing of teaching my children at home) I am going to have to give it my all…or die trying.
By giving it my all, I mean really putting my heart and soul into it. Homeschooling does not completely define my family and I, but it is a very integral part of our lives. Instead of dreading going back to school this year I have actually been excited (my kids have too) and I know it’s because I have become more focused on being faithful to do the best that I can with the job that I have been given.
Are you just getting by in homeschooling?
What can you do to thrive in your homeschool?
2. Invest Yourself
Homeschooling isn’t about flying by the seat of your pants. A job where you aren’t required to put any time in. Your kids are not going to magically wake up and do their school and chores without being told (well at least mine aren’t). They are not going to always listen and be perfect students, understanding everything right away. It takes time, effort and a ton of patience (or lack there of on my part) and grace to homeschool. It takes all of you or rather takes it all out of you, but gives you so much back in return.
If you have come to the place where you know homeschooling is the path you are called to take, jump into it. Don’t live in fear any longer. Give it your all. You might not see the results right away but they will come with consistency, determination and perseverance.
Are you investing yourself in your homeschool?
Are you giving it your all?
3. Learn With Your Children
It’s not only about teaching your children, but also about studying and learning yourself. Not only are your children learning, but you are learning and exploring alongside them. What a great experience! Think of all the memories you are going to be making with your children as you not only delve into books but study and observe the world around you, work through character issues and tackle life lessons.
As I have immersed myself more into this beautiful world of learning with my children, I feel like I am seeing the world through their eyes. Waking up to the wonder of simple things and standing in awe of how wise my children are beyond their years…in the things that really matter. I want to make sure that I am doing my part to give them the best of myself… to bring out the best in them.
The Bible says, “Study to show yourself approved.” (AKJV 2 Timothy 2:15)
This verse is talking about teaching the word of God but I believe as we teach our children from home, we are not only teaching them the three R’s but are setting an example of how to read God’s word and live it out.
Are you studying and praying about how to teach your children?
Are you enjoying learning with them?
4. Reach Out
I can’t tell you what a difference it has made to connect with other homeschooling mamas and families. Well I can… it’s been tremendous. There is nothing like sharing with someone what you are going through and knowing they get you. Hearing from seasoned mamas and women who are in the trenches or have been where you are can be instrumental to you staying on your homeschool journey.
I am spoiled to live in the most populated county of homeschoolers in the state of Florida. Not to mention our church has the biggest co-op in the area and many of the families in our church are homeschoolers. It also helps to have a mom and mother-in-law that were homeschoolers. They are such a great support, and of course my husband as the principle of our homeschool always has my back and teaches our children so many important life lessons and skills.
This past year I have also really been blessed by the online community of homeschoolers (like My Joy-Filled Life). I love reading encouraging posts that make me say, ” Phew, I’m not the only one!” Gleaning from much more knowledgeable homeschoolers then I, and peeking into the lives of other moms who are trying the best they know how to embrace this call.
We are not meant to do this life alone. We need each other. We need support and we need to support others. We need accountability. We don’t have to join every or any support group or co-op but we can surround ourselves with those who can spur us on and who we can in turn do the same for.
Are you connected with other homeschoolers?
Do you feel like you are all alone?
Reach out to those in your community that homeschool, join an online support group, or make some homeschool friends.
5. Remember That It Is Worth It
Becoming a parent has blessed me and stretched me like nothing else, that is until I started homeschooling said children. It has blessed me to no end to be able to see my children grow, learn, create and explore. I have also been stretched to my limit, have had my patience and state of mind tested and been called upon to do things I didn’t think I could humanly do. Many days I fail miserably and wonder what I got myself into.
It’s not easy but it’s worth it.
Though I know it might sound cliche’; it’s true. I say it to everyone that asks me how I do it as they shake their head in wonder and I say it to myself.
It’s not easy but it’s worth it…so worth it.
If you think about it, anything in this life that is of worth, is never easy or free. I might not always like the responsibilities I have as a homeschooler. Some days it sounds so nice to send them off to someone else. Someone who is probably more “qualified” than I and who my kids would listen better to. There is nothing wrong with that if that is what God has called me or you to do, but he hasn’t called me to do that right now. He has called me to teach and train my children from home and I am embracing it one day at a time, finding that some days are surprisingly easy.
Has God called you to homeschool?
Are you fully embracing it?
Here are some books that I hope will encourage you on your journey to embrace the call of homeschooling.
Homeschooling Day by Day– Kristy Howard
Plan to be Flexible– Alicia Michelle
Secrets of a Homeschool Mom– Jamie C. Martin
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