As a homeschooling parent I have many days where homeschooling is a joyous experience, but then there are those days, that I look at myself in the mirror and just have to ask: “What are you thinking woman?” I am sure you all have been there.
On the good days I feel like I am top of the world. The kids sit quietly doing their work and I just sit back in awe of how great our lives are and how blessed we are to be able to homeschool. Then there are those days where I feel like the worst mom and teacher on the planet. No one wants to work, everyone is out of sorts, they are frustrated, and I am completely worn out. Those are the days, I need to stop in my tracks and pray! I need to give our schedule to our Father and Creator and allow Him to lead me.
One day I actually sat down and made a list of the positives and negatives of homeschooling just to remind myself that the list of pros definitely outweigh the lists of cons. When I feel like throwing in the towel, I get it out and read it.
I want to share some of the positives of homeschooling first.
- I get to spend time with my children (this is on my list of cons too, I will explain more later)
- Being able to teach my children about God each and every day of their lives.
- Watching my children grow physically, emotionally and spiritually.
- Seeing that light bulb moment. You know that moment when they finally understand what you have been teaching them.... it's incredible to see their faces light up with joy and excitement.
- Being able to teach them our religious views as they are learning other subjects.
- Being able to pick what books we use. Curriculum can make education a joy or a misery depending on your child's learning style. You have to find what fits them best.
- Being able to have a relaxed schedule yet a routine that works for our family.
- Being able to take days off for special activities and vacations.
- Having siblings together daily so they can bond and know one another better.
- Being able to talk to each other and grow as a family.
Now on to my short list of cons.
- Remember when I said my first positive was spending time with my children but it was also a negative? I meant that sometimes we forget that we need time to ourselves and when we fail to get that, we become easily agitated with our kiddos. We need time to recuperate and rejuvenate ourselves.
- Too many false expectations. Sometimes we expect too much and that can cause issues
- Not getting out into the world and spreading the Word of God like we should.
There are many times that we forget that our number one priority is to teach the gospel to those who do not know our Lord as their personal Savior. If we can balance homeschooling and this, we have accomplished our goal. I feel we need to be sure that we are out in the world and allowing the world see the Light of Jesus shining through our lives. We can do this by being involved in our communities and churches. Look for local groups that your children can be a part of and let them share their hearts for the Lord.
If the negative list becomes a source of discouragement, we need to pray, take a step back and remind ourselves of the positives. We must ask the Lord to restore us when we feel we have nothing left to give. We need to be sure to have friends and family who support us and help us when we want to give up. If you take time for yourself, you children will benefit. You will be more relaxed and on top of things. Your children will also see the example you are setting for them to follow when they become parents and possible homeschool teachers one day.
Just take one day at a time. Don't fret over trials, and rejoice in the little things. God has it all in control. Surrender your life, your children and your homeschool to Him!