Friday, February 10, 2017

Hope for the Homeschool Mom

More days than not, I look back on the day and only see my failures, I see the layer of dust, the clothes that should have been washed, the promised tea party or science experiment unfulfilled and the burden lays heavy.

Facebook can add to the guilt; Instagram inspires, but often makes me long for more, more of what?  Both distract me more than I want to admit.  Fil Anderson says we are surrounded by "weapons of mass distraction."  So true!

So often, I can throw myself into a pit of despair because I can't measure up to the imaginary moms who "homeschool and workout and bake and run triathlons and have clean houses and have business' and read their kids 18 books a week and crochet all the things... the list could go on." (Rachel Reeves)

"Comparison is the thief of joy."  It's the pep talk I give to my girls, yet why do I fall prey to it on a daily basis, if not hourly.  Let's encourage each other, remembering that each of our families are different with various interests, an assortment of talents, and a quirky uniqueness to each family unit.  Fellow homeschool mom, Toni Weber says, "You know and love your children better than anyone else.  Tailor their schoolwork to reflect their interests and learning styles as well as your teaching style.  You and your children will be much happier marching to the beat of your own drum than copying someone else."

So I say all this to not discourage, but to hopefully, encourage you homeschool moms (and anyone else who is reading this).  Hang in there!  Focus on the calling that God has given to you and your family.  Find joy in every single little success, whether it's a completed spelling lesson or a math test without tears.  Put aside the textbooks at times and rekindle the joy found in learning.  

It's February.  The time of year when we get tired of plugging through multiplication facts, repeating the definitions of nouns and pronouns, and the weather can't decide if it's still winter or spring. Grab on to this hope and hold on determining to finish the year well.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

Get outside whenever possible.  Sidewalk chalk can be the perfect notetaking opportunity.  Spelling, nature journaling, simple playtime.  I've always heard that boredom breeds trouble, which is often true.  But when given freedom outside, I believe that boredom breeds creativity.  Put away the technology and let their imaginations run loose!

Homeschool away from home every once in a while.  As much as I love our new homeschool room, we all need a change of scenery sometimes.  We have some great coffee shops, bakeries, and libraries that are perfect for making our day a little sweeter.

Lastly, as we see brokenness all around us, the world seems heavy and it causes me to cling tighter to my girls.  "There is an evil whisper suggesting that I should feel hopeless, helpless, powerless and defeated.  But I am not without hope, help, power or victory.  I know where to lift my eyes.  As I look about my home today I am thankful for the ones placed in my care and for the labor before me. What the world may look upon as an insignificant day, is in fact, one drop in a tidal wave of powerful love.  I am not just preparing meals, washing laundry, reading books, wiping noses, cleaning toilets, sweeping dust - I am effecting world change within the walls of my home." - Elsie @farmhouseschoolhouse  Amen!

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