Be Encouraged Homeschool Mom

How to Stay Encouraged While Homeschooling

Homeschooling is tough.

It is an absolute battle.

Homeschool Beginnings

For many of us, we entered into this homeschool thing with visions of children sitting quietly at their desk working on their schoolwork. We just knew they would sit and play lovingly and kindly with their siblings all day. And because we are at home all day, we can keep the house clean and wonderful meals ready at 12:00 and 5:00 everyday.

And then reality sets in. Kids rebel, siblings fight, the house looks like a tornado came through, and we struggle just to get the kids a sandwich at 1:30. It doesn’t take long for the honeymoon to end and we realize just how hard it is to be a homeschooling mother.

Our Homeschool Journey

I remember when I first started homeschooling 12 years ago. My oldest daughter had gone to public school for kindergarten and 1st grade. We began homeschooling her for 2nd grade and her brother was preschool age. I spent hours, days, weeks setting up our schedule and planning how things were going to be. I planned that we would say a prayer, then the pledge of allegiance in the morning. Then we would sing songs and sit at the table while each child worked on their projects and schoolwork.

Then we started school.

No one was ready on time. Everyone was grouchy (especially me). Attention spans were short. 2nd graders did not like preschoolers to mess with their things and preschoolers screamed because they couldn’t mess with 2nd graders things. By lunch time, Mama was exhausted and hadn’t even thought about what to eat for lunch.

Read-alouds were scheduled for after lunch and most days Mama fell asleep reading and missed doing all the afternoon lessons she had scheduled.

In short, I felt like a failure.

For many years.

Being Discouraged

I had the fierce desire to homeschool. I knew that it was exactly what the Lord wanted us to do. I just didn’t realize how hard is was really going to be. I didn’t understand that it encompassed your whole being. Physically, emotionally, spiritually–they are all impacted by homeschooling.

And to make matters worse, I had to keep all my frustrations, my fears, my failures locked up inside. I couldn’t let my husband know how hard it really was because then he wouldn’t believe in me. He had only reluctantly agreed to homeschool after my begging and pleading. It wouldn’t have taken much for him to change his mind and send them back to public school.

So I plodded on, day by day, hoping to make some progress. And the Lord filled in all the gaps I had missed. He gently taught me and I in turn taught them. My husband came around and realized the benefits of homeschooling. And we graduated our first student last May.

I wish I could say “and I never have hard times anymore”. As we enter our 13th year of homeschooling, the battle has become even more fierce. There are now more children of all different ages. The “newness” of homeschooling has worn off and the reality of a life of teaching your children has set in. There are new challenges and obstacles to be faced each and every day.

Encouragement from the Lord

I am in continual need of encouragement.

Definition of Encourage @ponderthepath

The first definition Webster’s 1828 dictionary gives for encourage is “to give courage to”. It takes courage to keep your children home and attempt to teach them. It takes courage to step out against the grain and say “we are going to dare to be different”. It takes courage to put aside your own desires and dreams and embrace the dream the Lord has for you.

Many times when I think of the word “encourage”, I envision a pat on the back and some nice words letting the person know that it will be alright. And yes, this can be encouraging. But I really think encouragement is so much bolder. When we give encouragement to someone, we should be giving them the COURAGE to get the job done!

Definition of Courage @ponderthepath

I love 3rd definition of courage here, where the Webster’s 1828 dictionary says that courage is “that quality of mind which enables men {and women} to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness, or without fear or depression of spirits! WOW! That is what I need. The ability to face the difficulties of homeschooling with firmness, without fear, and without depression of spirits!

How many times have I let fear overtake me and become depressed because homeschooling was so overwhelming? Too many! As a homeschooling mom, I need to be encouraged {given courage} to get the job done.

Did you know that in the book of Joshua, the Lord tells Joshua at least 9 times to “be strong and of a good courage”? Joshua was headed into battle. God didn’t tell him that there wouldn’t be difficulties. He didn’t downplay what Joshua was going through. He didn’t give him an easier route to take. Instead, he imparted courage to Joshua.

Joshua 1:9
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

This same commandment is given to us, homeschooling moms!

Be encouraged!

Don’t be afraid or disheartened!

The Lord is with you wherever you are!

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This post and many more are part of the Teach Them Diligently Summer of Encouragement Link Up series! You can read More about How to Stay Encouraged While Homeschooling HERE

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Comments

  1. Ah – you have my heart with that verse and Websters 1828 Dictionary – two of my must-haves on any given day!!!

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