When Homeschooling Is Too Hard
I am thankful to be in the last days of our homeschooling year!! I’m exhausted and ready to throw out the curriculum. Can anyone else relate?!?
I know a few friends that share my exhaustion. When talking to other homeschooling moms, I’ve heard the frustration, fatigue, and discouragement. A couple of friends have even questioned if they are going to continue homeschooling next year.
When my husband and I made the decision to homeschool, I didn’t fully know what I was getting into. We had spent a great deal of time researching and praying about our decision. We knew it was where God was leading us, so I told myself it was sure to be a blissful journey.
By the end of the first year, I wanted to be done! I felt like I had taught my son nothing, and it was only kindergarten. Yet by that summer’s end, I was refreshed and began another homeschooling year. Again, I ended the year feeling exhausted, unsuccessful, and done.
Through much prayer, the Lord began to show me I was only going through the motions of obedience. He had called me to home educate my children. Although I was teaching them, I also left other options open. Every hard day, every hard year, I wistfully watched the yellow buses drive through my neighborhood and considered other schooling choices.
When I made a firm decision to obey God’s calling, and make homeschooling the only option, my days did not get any easier. In fact, with each passing year, my kids are getting older and more challenging. Each day has moments of joy and fun, as well as challenges and growing pains. Often I feel I’m on an emotional roller coaster.
I’ve recently noticed my kids’ view of our journey is different. I can have a tough morning with my son and feel frustrated for the remainder of the day. He, on the other hand, seems to live in the moment. His morning challenge is forgotten and he moves through the rest of his day without a care.
I began to notice this phenomenon with all my kids. They can get frustrated to tears over a math concept, but once the assignment is complete the emotions seem to fade away as the work is set aside. They skip off to more exciting adventures and I remain exhausted and drained.
My kids’ Sunday school teacher recently shared with me the results of an exercise. On the Sunday of Mothers Day, she asked each of my kids what they thought God saw when He looked at moms heart. I braced myself for the answer. After all, we had left our house that morning with me scolding, “Come on! Hurry up! We’re going to be late!!” Once at church, I had slumped, exhausted, into a seat.
My kids did not share my emotions. They hurried to church with smiles and excitement to see new friends. When asked what they thought God saw when looking at my heart, they answered: gracious, loving, caring.
Her children arise and call her blessed…. Proverbs 31:28a
As I’m anxious to pack away the curriculum and declare summer break, I pause to look at our journey from the perspective of my children. Although they are excited about more carefree days, they are also looking forward. Just yesterday my son eagerly asked about where our studies would take us next year. Instead of dreading the task of planning new lessons, I took a moment to share his excitement for our next great academic adventures.
For my family, homeschooling is what we do. It’s tough at times, but we will persevere. We are all learning. We are all growing together.
I share in your mixed emotions. But in the end, even after all the challenging days, we’re thankful to be able to homeschool. We’re even thankful for the challenging days. . Lots of lessons learned for me every year, lessons not found in school books.
I agree with you Aileen! Praying with my son recently, he gave thanks we are able to homeschool. We also have many lessons not in our school books. I find the heart lessons are often the hardest, but most rewarding.