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Making a choice to homeschool means you are volunteering for an often arduous journey. Long days, many decisions, and numerous frustrations will litter the path. There will be tears. Maybe for the children, maybe for you… likely for all.
The best way to resist the temptation to call it quits and resell all your supplies, is by staying encouraged.
Here are some of the ways I stay encouraged:
Pray. Have you lost direction? Did you start grounded in prayer. Sometimes in our desire to plan and be prepared, we forget to communicate with the One who holds our days in His hands. Pray that He would place in your heart the mission for your family’s homeschool. When our goals are inline with His, they have a way of feeling far less burdensome.
Find time to study God’s word. Maybe this isn’t a struggle for you, but it sometimes is for me. I find that the less frequently I dedicate time for personal study of His word, the easier I get frustrated and overwhelmed. It doesn’t have to be hours at a time. Lately I have been blessed by purposing to set aside 5 minutes to study with the help of a great study guide. Have you heard the saying, “When Mama is happy, everyone is happy”? Well, when I am fulfilled and satisfied in Him, I am certainly be more eager and willing to serve those in my care.
Join a local homeschool support group. We’ve been members of Christian Home School Fellowship since our first year at home. Being members of the group gives us the opportunity for great group field trips and discounts, the chance to enroll in a great gym class, and for me to attend monthly encouragement meetings with other homeschooling moms.
Avoid venting to unsupportive friends. During your most frustrating times you will need to vent to someone. However, if you don’t want someone to suggest that you place your children (back) into the school system, be careful of who you are venting to. Remember that we’re each called to something different for our own families, don’t unload to someone who doesn’t really understand where you’re coming from.
Take a break when you need to. Often you’ll start a new school year full of inspiration and motivation only to hit a brick wall of staleness in October. You and the children will be dragging through your schedule. Take a break from routine and have a little fun. It doesn’t have to mean abandoning schoolwork all together, just shake it up a bit. Try a unit study on a topic you all would like to delve a little deeper into. Have a week of local field trips or a week dedicated to intensive art or music study. Renew the joy of learning and head back into your studies refreshed.
Find a local convention. Some of the greatest encouragement I’ve received has been in attending homeschool conventions. At a convention you have the opportunity to shop through many vendors, having a chance to really look at curriculum before purchasing. There are also opportunities to hear great speakers, most of whom are veteran homeschoolers. There is also the irreplaceable aspect of fellowship with other women on a similar path, facing many of the same struggles and frustrations.
Have a friend you can call for an emergency coffee/tea/milkshake/cupcake break. If you are having a day that is spiraling out of control and you’re two steps from bringing your children to the front door of the nearest school, STOP! Call a close girlfriend and take the day off, have a play date for the children, grab your favorite cuppa, share your tears and frustrations and ask her to pray for you. Just knowing you aren’t on this road alone can do wonders!
Remember that you are not powerless. If God has called you to homeschool your children in this season, then He will equip you to complete the task. Ask to be filled with His Spirit and strengthened for the journey.