Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Homeschool Crisis

Once a year (at least), I experience what I have come to to call a homeschool crisis. It is a moment of feeling like a complete and utter failure and want to give up. It more in my head than anything else but it happens and we just pulled out of one so I thought I'd share my thoughts.

When we made the decision to homeschool, I really had a 'rose colored glasses' view on it. Thinking it would be sunshine and roses everyday, with perfectly intelligent, perfectly obedient children and a perfectly organized, perfectly run household.  In fact things were going along pretty smooth (of course we had out moments), but I  never had that feeling of crisis until number four came along and messed up our whole routine (joking slightly). God bless little number four, without him I wouldn't be nearly as dependent on God to help me. I'm not going to blame it all on the little guy though because as the children grow and more is expected academically, personality conflicts, pre-teen attitudes, pre-ten attitudes, pre-eight attitudes... all also play a part in this challenging yet fulfilling occupation.

December rolled in with sickness and lots of it, my son was nailed first with pneumonia for two weeks, then I was down for three weeks with a kidney infection and bronchitis, my girls got some nasty coughing thing too. So the whole month which is usually spent on crafts and baking and a lot of reading was spent on the couch, in the sickbed completely not in the Christmas Spirit. I was glad my lack of Christmas excitement didn't stop the kids from secretly making things for each other.
We were able to accomplish a little school after Christmas, but my heart was not in it. Surprise visits from family far away and the death of my Grandmother with an emergency trip to NY in mid January. I was getting depressed. The kids weren't getting along, school was half-hearted on all our parts. I was wondering as I do in times of discouragement, 'what is the point? I should just call the public school'.

This thought has crossed my mind more than once. In the words of Dori from the movie Nemo, we "just keep swimming...just keep swimming" in other words we keep going. Maybe the Lord speaks to my heart with a word of encouragement, maybe one of my children blesses me in some way. Something always happens in that moment of crisis to encourage me that what we are doing is right --even if its hard, its right.

If your not called to homeschool then your not called, but if you are called please don't give up. Whether feelings or circumstances seem to be standing in your way, you can know the Lord is going to help you and bring you through. No, it will not be perfect. You will some days (probably more days than I'd like to admit) feel like your failing miserably and you're the only one in the whole world doing so. Other days are victorious, you will be rejoicing at how great things are going and how wonderfully the kids are learning.
Stand in confidence knowing God is with you. And don't get distracted looking too much at what Super-mom is doing over there with her children (its a trap, because chances are Super-mom is looking at you).  Tend to your own little flock in the ability you have been given. We do however need a standard, set it high, yes, goals are a beautiful thing.

I have to constantly remind myself why we are homeschooling. Its not so we can have ridiculously smart kids (although, I have to admit it is a hope), its not so we can mimic what the public school is doing at home.
I want to give them an excellent education, while teaching them principles and morals that will last a lifetime, I want them to have room to grow to be the people God made them to be, not feel they have to mold themselves into someone they're not in order to please people, to grow up respecting authority, to know kindness and grace, treating people the way they should be treated, and to learn how to learn.... It is truly a gift to be able to do this.

I've heard it said that homeschooling is a marathon. Galatians 6:9 says this:

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Its true.

I can't put my finger on what specific 'thing' brought me out of my little crisis this time. I think mostly it was just an understanding that these feelings are going to come and they are going to pass.
The Lord Jesus was faithful in helping me just keep plugging away and not giving up like I wanted to. This past week our school days were the longest they've ever been, yet the children had good attitudes and did their work without complaining. They are growing. We are growing together. I wouldn't trade it for anything.


Little Sister reading to Little brother 



Big Sister reading to Big Brother


Everyone getting along, doing the same thing-- I had to take a picture of this it doesn't happen so often :)


If you'd like, I'd love to hear your thoughts on how you have been helped. Or you can send me  private message at sonsdotdaughters dotfarm at gmail dot com.

4 comments:

  1. Love this. It is so true and I think every homeschool mom has felt all of these things. Like you, my first "crisis" didn't come right away, but last year, after moving. The Lord was my only constant. Everything seemed to be going down the tubes. I have to constantly be on top of myself and my tendency to fall into the comparison trap. I have to teach myself to count the blessings of homeschool, the things I am proud of, and not the things that aren't going "right". It is so very tough, but I think it is part of my own "Christian education"- to do the thing the Lord has called me to do no matter what anyone else is doing. Thank you for being so candid and real!

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  2. I am the mom wishing and dreaming and hoping to be able to home school my children. I envy you Aura and your children are amazing. I have four, two girls and two boys (just like you) and I feel like I fail them each day when I drop them at public school. I can totally relate to the fourth little coming along too! She is a miracle and I know we were blessed in being chosen by God to be her parents, as with the others. But oh boy did parenting them collectively seem to get harder. But I know HE does not give us more than we can take. I might bend, but know I won't break. I am thankful for your encouragement and will continue to pray about being able to home school my children.

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    1. I'm thankful for that truth as well, that he wont give us anything we can't handle and if he does he is with us with the power to accomplish it. I've been praying for you that The Lord would open the doors needed to homeschool if its his will. He is with your kids, no matter where they go to school, he has wonderful plans for your family!

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  3. I think we are all constantly learning (no matter what stage in life we are at) that doing the RIGHT thing is more often than not, the more difficult thing. When I read the first part of this, I started to cry, cause as your Mom, I want to be there to help - to rescue you. But then I realized as I kept reading that God is meeting you during these "crisis" times, just as he is meeting me in the place he has called me to be, and He is the ONE who will rescue us and whom we can depend on to see us through. I am so grateful for that - this really blessed me today. I love you and am so happy you are making these awesome choices for your family. They are so creative and fun and are learning every day - even on the short days. :)

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