Homeschooling. It’s not for the faint of heart.
Homeschooling is an undertaking that can give you the feeling of euphoric mountain top flag planting and then Clydesdale trampled defeat, all in the same day.
You can wake in the morning with the best-laid plans, all to find them dashed before breakfast. It’s a smart woman who reminds others that there are “seasons” in our lives for everything. And sometimes those seasons go on much longer than we anticipated.
For those days when the horseshoe prints feel more pronounced than the mountain climbing gear. When you feel like a homeschooling failure, remember these 3 things:
Your kids don’t think you are failing as bad as you think you are failing.
Seriously. They may complain about the curriculum, they may argue about the amount of work, they may even think they are being shortchanged in the social department, but they don’t think you are failing.
I know this because I personally have felt like a failure. And more than once. But when I asked, my children didn’t think so. I recently took my 11 year old out for a date and asked him what he wanted to change about next school year. (In my mind this year was an absolute disaster. I was way too distracted with the needs of our newest child and other things that school felt like it hit the backburner more than I care to admit). Do you know what his sage advice was? It wasn’t that I should be more involved, be more creative, offer more extra supplements, or even pay more attention. It was, “Mom, I want to dissect stuff next year.”
I asked my13-year-old the same question, her answer also surprised me, “I can’t think of much I would change.”
You were called to this purpose from someone much bigger than you.
From the moment you became a mother, you were equipped with and called to train up your children.
God created you to do this.
He may not have gifted you with the ability to perform higher level math, balance Chemistry equations or even flourish in the creative writing department, but He gave these children to you for a reason.
Homeschooling truly is a calling; I know I wouldn’t be doing it had I not felt led to walk this alternative path by something higher than myself. On hard days, I remind myself that I am their mom and God entrusted them to me for a reason. I fail more often than I win, but as long as I seek to right my wrongs and take advantage of God’s grace, this is still exactly where I’m meant to be.
Who am I to argue with that?
You are too hard on yourself
This is my biggest nemesis. I had an all out tear shedding, mascara running moment when I went to my husband and told him that I was a failure. I told him that my children would be better off at a Christian school than home with me.
He reminded me of a few things, namely that I was too hard on myself.
In the last year we, as a family, weathered the birth of our 6th child who was born with Down Syndrome. Subsequent hospital admissions, our oldest being in a car wreck, and a pending graduation of one of our children compounded a rough year.
I had to think about the statement that I was too hard on myself. What did I realize? In the times I think I’m failing, I’m measuring myself against something I left behind–the school system.
My children may have taken a break from traditional books many days this year, but did they learn? Now they know more about extra chromosomes and special needs than they could ever learn in a science book. They know how to pull together as a family when times are tough. Home Economics? That happens when mom is at the hospital with a sibling and someone has to cook dinner.
So, whether you are in the season of schooling with littles underfoot or you have an unexpected detour leaving you feeling harried, don’t be so hard on yourself and remember, you are not a failure.
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