We’ve all had ‘those’ days – or weeks. I know you know what I am talking about. Unless you are one of those perfect homeschool moms who rises at 3 am to bake her own bread (after she grinds her own wheat) and has her kids up by 6 am, dressed, hair brushed, teeth cleaned, (ultimate healthy) breakfast eaten, and the dishes cleaned up. If that’s you, then I am confused as to why you are even reading this post. This isn’t for you. It’s for the rest of us. Those of us who are failing miserably at this homeschool/homemaker thing. This post is for us homeschool moms who aren’t sure what to do When Homeschooling Goes Wrong.
Let’s be honest. Homeschooling is NOT easy. It is crazy hard! After you step into the homeschool realm, you begin to wonder what on earth you were thinking! It’s too late to turn back now, right? You had no idea how hard this would be. Your dreams of quietly reading on the sofa together have been squashed right beside the soggy, store-bought, boxed cereal that you just stepped on.
They turn out to be our ‘friends’ – and you know how the saying goes – with friends like that, who needs enemies?
Well, my friend here is the truth. You DO have an enemy. One who absolutely HATES what you are doing. He HATES that you have dedicated your heart, soul, strength, and mind to serving God by teaching your precious children at home.
Do you know why?
It is because he has so many fewer chances to dig his hooks into them.
Let’s keep this in mind as we walk through the rigors of homeschooling.
We have an enemy.
And we have a target on our backs.
He would love to discourage us from our calling to educate our kids. Because if he can discourage us, he can stop us. He can make us give up. And if we stop teaching our kids, then that will have a huge impact on God’s call on their life. Do you see how this all ties together?
Our duty goes far beyond simply teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic.
We impact the future generations. Today.
We are in a spiritual battle with parenting…even in our homeschool.
Hold Up, Lady!
Ok, right now, you might be thinking, “Wait a minute, Aimee. You don’t know my kids. You haven’t seen our day. I have failed so many times I have lost count. There is no way I am impacting future generations.”
You are right – I don’t know your kids. But I know mine. And I know my own past. And I know God’s word – He has a future and a plan for us.
Yes, He has a plan for us.
And He has a plan for our kids.
And for their kids.
We might not know what that plan is, but we can rest assured that it is a good one. We can trust Him at His word – that He has a special calling on our kids. And we can either fight for our kids to heed that calling. Or we can give in to the lies of the enemy and wallow in his web of despair.
What will you choose today? Tomorrow? Next week?
I know – it’s all easy to say, right? Yeah, this is a good reminder. But how about something more practical for those ‘off’ days?
Well, I’ve got you covered, friend!
I have been working with homeschool families for 12 years now as well as educating my own kids. And I am going to give you the same tips I would give to one of my homeschool moms when they struggle with the same thing.
Here it is:
1. Just Worship
Sing worship songs together. There is just something about worshipping the Lord together that helps put life back into perspective. YouTube has pretty much every Christian song you can think of – and most of them have lyric videos so you can easily follow along. Several years ago I started a worship playlist with the songs we enjoy singing so they are ready to go at a moments notice!
2. Turn on the TV (gasp!)
Some days, we just need to put the books away and watch something together. Netflix has a lot of documentaries.
Better yet, PureFlix actually has a resource for homeschool families. You just sign up for their weekly resource email and you’ll get great ideas on how to use what is on PureFlix for your homeschool.
3. Take a Break
Be sure that you have scheduled in days off of school. For example, when the public schools have a Pro-D day, make sure you have one, too. Long weekends are great for the extended break.
We need breaks in between. So do our kids.
4. Get Out!
When the weather gets nice here in the spring, I will let my kids work outside. Sure, they might get distracted sometimes, but by the time spring rolls around, we’ve completed a significant amount of work already and those distractions turn out to be educational. What is the best way to get rid of an ant hill? When will that praying mantis egg case hatch? And fresh air is always a good thing.
5. Go Digital
I have fallen in love with digital products over the last few years. I use Teachers Pay Teachers on a regular basis – STEM projects are so easy to find there…and kids LOVE them! When I am just ready to have a less structured day, I find a digital product that is already on my computer and print it off.
Another resource for fantastic digital products is the Build Your Bundle sale that happens every year…it’s over for this year but if you’d like to make sure you don’t miss it for 2018, let me know by signing up below. I love getting resources here for super cheap – and I can use them later in the school year. They are conveniently stored on my computer and I can print what I need when I need it.
6. Just Say NO!
I don’t like ‘busywork’ – this is the worksheets and pages of school work your kids do even though they already understand the concept being worked on. This may also be spelling tests and grammar worksheets – I find I get a better idea of where my kids and my students are at by reading their actual written compositions. Just say ‘no’ to busy work.
7. Love the Undone
It’s ok to leave some pages blank or unfinished. You know what? It’s even ok to let a book go unfinished. When it is time to let go, just let it go…
Just. Let. It. Go.
8. Be With God
Spend time with God – whatever that looks like for you in this season. It might not be getting up before the sun rises and spending an hour in the Word. It might actually be reading a piece of scripture taped to the bathroom door as you do your business (or inhale a candy bar). I’ve even created a free printable to get you started! Simply download these 6 scripture cards to print and post around your home. I’ve also included 6 blank templates for you to write your own verses.
Remember, my friend, your enemy does not want you to succeed in fulfilling your calling to home educate your precious children. I know it is hard right now. But you will get through it. You will have better days. And when you do, tuck them away in your heart so when you come across another difficult season, you will have them to treasure…and to be confident that better days are on the horizon…again.