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.