The ugly threat gushed quickly from my mouth in a moment of complete frustration. The words, my words, had cut so deep that the wound was unbearable. I saw the salty water brimming in my son’s eyes as he turned to hide the spillage. I had said the words before but vowed never to say them again. Honestly, I was tired of homeschooling and wanted out. The harsh words and threat of public school had rolled off my tongue and pierced the air between us.
Why did I want to give up when I had loved the adventure at the first of the year? Why was I struggling to finish? When seeing the hurt that I had caused, I settled in my heart that we would finish and finish well. I was going to be all in for I never wanted to see that look on my son’s face again. I had to refocus and renew my will if I was to continue.
Three points have carried me since that day. From one homeschool momma who was tired and worn out, may I whisper some found encouragement into your ear? These three truths helped me resolve my will to finish the race set before me (Acts 20:23-24). I hope they will encourage you as well. These truths became my ABCs of homeschooling.
Anchor Yourself with the Reason of the Routine
Remember why you started homeschooling in the first place. Write it down. Was it a calling? Was it because you wanted to instill godly principles inyour children? Was it because you felt your child needed one-on-one attention because of a learning disability? Be reminded of your why. Sometimes when we are in the middle of a storm, we forget the reasons behind the original decision. Refocus on your reason and let that be your anchor. Remember the why of your homeschool routine.
Believe in your God-Given Ability to Teach
It is tempting to see what another mom is doing and walk away feeling less-than and lacking. Once, I heard of a mom teaching Greek, so I thought my kids deserved Greek. Another mom bragged about her gifted son learning to play the guitar, so I signed up all four of my children in guitar lessons. Then there was the challenge of soccer, football, and piano lessons. The truth is, we need not compare our days to anyone else’s. Just because that family is doing a certain activity or curriculum does not mean it is best for mine.
Theodore Roosevelt stated, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Instead of copying my homeschool neighbor, I learned to ask the only One who really matters, my Lord, to direct our steps. He knows my child better than anyone else. He promises to direct our steps. Peace is found in stepping into your own calling. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
I also learned to trust my gut. Instead of being a slave to the curriculum, I began to modify the lessons to meet our needs. There is not a perfect curriculum, so be brave enough to make yours fit the needs of your child. Trust yourself enough to tailor the lessons for your good. “You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think,” states Christopher Robin.
Create a Positive Atmosphere for Learning
I had to start by changing my attitude. If momma is complaining about the difficult math problems, it will steal the love of learning from the soul of my child. When I focused on getting the problems done, instead of the pleasure of learning, so did my children. Create a positive atmosphere for learning by focusing on a love for reading. If you can help your child love to read, they can learn anything. “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think,” stated Albert Einstein.
I suggest you learn to love to read. Model this passion in front of your kids. You can instill a love by often reading to your young children. Try stopping at the cliff-hanging parts of the book. Make your child wait until the next day to finish the story. Anticipation creates participation.
It has been a few years now since the hurtful threat I made, though it seems like only last week. With twenty-five years of this journey behind us, I can testify that homeschooling was the best choice for our family. I am so glad we did not quit. Now with three grown men in college and one daughter (with her master’s degree) happily married with two beautiful children, I believe in homeschooling more than ever. By God’s grace, we finished the race laid before us. All four of our children graduated from our little school and have stepped into other adventures. It has been a joy, a privilege. A privilege that others have fought for, some privilege other countries do not have. Be thankful sweet momma. One day you may make a well-thought-out decision that public school is best for your family. In the meantime, don’t give angry threats. Instead, may I suggest you remember your ABCs? Hang in there little momma! I will greet you at the finish line.
Believe in your ability.
Create a positive atmosphere for learning.