You are facing extraordinary challenges, regardless of how easily your kids are learning. Parenting itself is more demanding, more fraught with difficulties, than ever before, and homeschooling adds layers of complexity, stress and labor beyond that. Don’t believe for a moment that this is easy for others and difficult for only you!
So, having acknowledged that it’s hard, what do we do? I suppose the answer depends on your goal, your desired end result, your vision.
For me, I wanted relationship. At the end of the day, the end of schooling and the end of life, I wanted an authentic, deeply loving relationship with my children, and I wanted them to have an authentic relationship with God. To reach that goal, we decided to take the unusual path of living our lives fully engaged with our kids—learning together, laughing together, working together, praying together, singing together, traveling together.
But, oh, there were times I wanted to quit! When the money fizzled, the clutter exploded, the kids argued, the energy evaporated, and the sun disappeared, I was ready to throw in the towel, until I remembered why I was doing this. The term for continuing, even when you’re overwhelmed, is perseverance.
Like a honeybee to flowers, I have been drawn to books that describe those who have had to persevere to accomplish their dreams. One particular book emphasized that the only reason the people profiled were extraordinarily successful was simply that they refused to give up!
Which, of course, leads me to Winston Churchill. You remember him, don’t you? With a bulldog face, big cigar and a Homburg hat, this Prime Minister was elected just as Britain faced the first onslaught of the Nazi war machine. Listen to what he said in June, 1940, less than a month from becoming Prime Minister—at a time when many on both sides of the Atlantic doubted Great Britain could survive the month:
“We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…”
They made a plan that looked like this: “We will persevere. We know we will be attacked, and it will be difficult, but we will not give up.”
Even if you don’t revel in history as I do, you know that Great Britain did survive. In fact, along with its allies, it won the war.
This puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?
Think about your goal, dear friend. What is it you want for your children? If homeschooling will get you there, then I encourage you to prayerfully persevere.
Remember, stay relational!