Discouragement, failure, comparison; these are all ideas that swirl around in our heads from time-to-time.
There have been days when I was certain I was ruining my own children forever, or that they never would be able to make it, or that “other people” were doing so much better than we were.
But here we are, and there they all are. My grown children are not perfect by any means, but they are doing quite well, mostly due to their own proclivities and God’s blessing, but there is definitely a positive difference in their lives because they were homeschooled.
I’m so glad I decided to persevere, even when I had questions like these:
- Do I have enough money? Not just for things like food, clothing, and mortgage payments, but for curriculum, supplies, classes, field trips and the like.
- Do I have enough time? Besides doing “life,” I have to find time for learning, but where?
- Do I have enough energy? Keeping up with children is exhausting. At least if they were in school I wouldn’t have to chase them around and entertain them all-day-long!
- Can I stand the chaos? Homeschooling family life is not typical; we spend most waking hours at home and create loads of mess that would otherwise be made elsewhere. We also eat three meals a day together, which means three meals must be prepped, served, and cleaned up. The potentials for chaos and disaster are enormous!
Thankfully, I learned to counter all of my doubtful mindsets by inserting these very positive, faith-filled thoughts:
- Public schooling costs, too.
I am always amazed at how parents afford all of the items on those “back to school” lists I see posted at Walmart each year. But that is not all; there are fees for field trips and activities, extra clothing items, gym uniforms, lunches, parties, peer-induced necessities, and on and on it goes!
- Homeschool curriculum can be low cost and still be high-quality.
Our children can get away with wearing hand-me-downs and thrifted clothes because we don’t have anyone to impress! We can take advantage of free days at museums, etc. since we have more unstructured hours. The library is a marvelous free resource that we can take more advantage of during “school hours” throughout the week. We can even save on groceries and other items because we are more home-based.
- When we are homeschooling, we have more control over how we spend our days.
This means we don’t have to worry about much of the time-wasting outside schooling causes, such as hurrying up to wait…for the bus…for the school bell to ring…for the teacher to take attendance…for bathroom breaks…for standing in line for lunch…We can be more efficient with the hours we do have because we have fewer hurdles to jump through before we open the books.
We can also enlist the children in daily chores, such as switching the laundry, setting and cleaning the table, minding the baby, and even cooking the meals!
- Homeschoolers have more opportunities to increase energy.
We can do this because we:
- Have more control over our diet so we can eat better. One of the questions posed to my son at a recent doctor’s office visit was, “How many sodas and sugary snacks to you consume daily?” to which he had no answer; we don’t even have pop once a month, and I actually purposely bought a box of Twinkies a couple of weeks ago because my children had no idea what they were! We do pass out things like fresh carrots and apples slices (my daughter just finished
- We have more control over our schedules so we can work in a “quiet time” every day (mine has always been in the early afternoon. Read about the power of naps here.
- We can increase our energy through exercise. We can take a break from academics, put on some jazzy music, and get an intense, 10-minute workout any time we like!
- If done correctly, homeschooling can decrease chaos.
Of course there are circumstances in life that cannot be changed, such as a family illness, moving, a new baby and the like, but even in the midst of these homeschooling gives us much more say in how we order our time and train our children.
Having our children at home gives us the opportunity, if we will take it, to craft them and their environment into more peaceful shapes!
But wait, there’s more!
Besides all of these advantages, we have a Great, Wonderful, Marvelous, God Who is “an ever- present help in time of trouble.”
I believe homeschooling pleases Him because:
- It is a way we care for His precious treasures.
And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me
but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
- We can keep our children God-conscious.
Public school curriculum teaches children that God is irrelevant to life by default:
His name is never mentioned in conjunction with science, when He is the Creator of the universe!
His name is never mentioned in the study of math, even though He created all mathematical order.
He is never considered when studying history even though it is truly HIS-story!
He is never referenced when discussing moral “values,” even though He holds the keys to Heaven and hell.
When we are in charge of what our children learn, we can weave His Biblical truth into every subject.
- Homeschooling lends itself to a revival in our homes.
When parents realize the awesome responsibilities they have towards their children, they feel overwhelmed, so they turn to God for help and guidance, which means they pray more, they pray with their children more, and they read the Bible more to find answers.
Parents also begin to be re-educated themselves, especially as their eyes are opened to just how very different the world looks through a Biblical lens.
So, since homeschooling is a venue for Christ to be glorified (albeit through imperfect vessels) in the earth, His pleasure is in it, and so is His help.
This is why I feel very comfortable asking for His help, His wisdom, whenever I feel as thought the waves of life are about to rush over me. I am also confident that He will answer me because of what He has promised me through His word:
He shall call on me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him,
and honor him.
Besides, Jesus said this:
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
And so, whenever I am overwhelmed, I sit early in the morning and meditate on some scriptures I have written on index cards.
You can download and print out for meditation here.
I know the road seems long and you are tired, but I hope I have encouraged you to keep up the good fight!