A common struggle for homeschool moms is comparison. We have a vision of what our homeschool should look like. We see so many other people living that ideal life. But let me remind you that EVERY family has issues and challenges. Homeschooling is NOT easy. We can make it even harder by striving to have a perfect homeschool life. Or, we can choose an alternative - we can simply embrace our imperfection.
If you have a deep desire to homeschool, but things are getting hard, stay the course! Embrace the journey and all its bumps. Is your original reason for homeschooling still relevant? If yes, then keep going! If not, then by all means, start looking at other education options.
The point I want to make is this: God can take all the mess and chaos in our homeschool and turn it into something amazing.
I’ll share my journey as an example.
1. Homeschooling with babies and toddlers is craziness. When my oldest was in Gr 4, he had 4 younger siblings also vying for my attention. I often felt overwhelmed. My husband and I were confident, however, that God wanted us to homeschool. Despite the constant messy house and exhausted state I was in, we witnessed the close bonds our kids were forming. We saw how they were learning many things in the eclectic education they were receiving. So I took it one day at a time and stayed on the path.
2. Working part time. While I was pregnant with my 5th child, we decided to take on a temporary staff position at church, overseeing small groups. It was a heavy load - taking both time and immense emotional energy. I couldn’t spend as many hours teaching the kids, but they all learned and thrived. Sure, they watched quite a bit of TV that year, but we don’t have regrets. The kids witnessed my husband and I working as a team to serve God’s people and contribute to the building up of the church. This was an important part of our marriage, our family’s mission and perhaps it planted seeds in the hearts of our kids.
Mom’s mental health! For about 3 years, I found myself numb and depressed. Both emotionally, spiritually and physically. It was when my body began to break down that I finally took this seriously and began a recovery plan for my life. The kids watched me go through this and I feel like we fought this together. By this time, the kids were older and I feel like their involvement in my recovery has helped them build healthy habits for their own lives.
These are just the challenges that we’ve faced, but if you ask any homeschool family who has been at it for a few years, they will have their own stories. It’s not always the happy days you see in social media.
If you believe homeschooling is the path for your family, then remember that nothing is wasted. Not all learning needs to be ‘postable’. Learning can be through chaos, through meltdowns and through financial hardships. Yes, there are days when things go well and life feels perfect. But can you imagine how ill-equipped our children would be if they never experienced difficulty? Embrace the challenges and imperfections that are unique to your family. Enjoy the good times, be thankful for bad times, sprinkle it all with love and prayer, and voila - you’ve created the most amazing imperfect homeschool!
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