Do Not Grow Weary in Homeschooling

4 Tools to Encourage Weary Homeschool Moms

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

This message is something I need and since I'm sure I'm not alone, I'm sharing it here with you in hopes that it will encourage you and motivate you to press on.

Yesterday was our first day back in the full swing of school (well, sorta). We've been working through the summer on writing and math, but we picked it up with deeper Bible study, history, and literature. Oh, and of course, nature study.

On Tough Homeschool Days

I was awakened around 5am with a nasty headache. I expected there were going to be challenges, but this wasn't exactly on my list. For those of you who have ever suffered a headache, you know that all noises and lights are magnified at this point, thus making your head left feeling awful.

Once we got our lessons underway, things went smooth for a little while. We had a nice discussion about how to handle when a sibling makes a mean face or sticks their tongue out. We read about the Nomads and read about the First Dog.

The hardest part was trying to keep my toddler and preschooler occupied so one wasn't screaming in protest of the other stealing a toy or hitting.

Having activities for them isn't the problem (for a little bit they were happily coloring at the table together).

It's keeping them engaged that's the challenge. Having a toddler screaming in protest (over and over and over again) while you're in the middle of a read aloud is enough to make you want to throw the book across the room in defeat.

It was then I was reminded of the gentle leading and encouraging words of Clay and Sally Clarkson.

Sally encourages mothers in the most unique and beautiful way I have ever come across. I have read more than my share of biblical parenting books, but hers surpass them all.

Educating the WholeHearted Child is my constant go-to manual, not just for homeschooling, but everything that surrounds it; including my walk with Christ, my role as a wife, a mother, a keeper of the home as well as sole educator and spiritual teacher for my children.

I have never read anything more encouraging and beautifully convicting.

In order to keep my focus clear during those tough homeschool days, I remember what I read in Chapter 16 of Educating the WholeHearted Child.

Clay and Sally talk about how important it is to remember our purpose, keep our priorities straight, and have a plan.

Purpose

What is the purpose of a Christian homeschooling mother? Everyone will have a different angle on this, but many of us will have similar goals.

My overall goal is simply to be purposeful in what I'm doing: in my home, my children, my spiritual growth, and my marriage. When a day is hard or everything doesn't get completed as planned, going back to my purpose will help me remember what my goal really is here. It's not to get through a check list of "to do's" seamlessly. It's to spend my days teaching, nurturing, serving, and loving through each and every moment.

When I remember that, my perspective shifts back and the frustrations can dissipate.

Priorities

I love how Clay and Sally put an emphasis on keeping things limited in this section. We cannot do it all and we cannot be everything to everyone. It's very important we understand this. With that in mind, having limits actually frees us for the most important things. One of the biggest eye-openers for me was limiting my expectations. Expectations can really be a killer. I know it's important to aim high, but when we keep our expectations reasonable (with ourselves and with our children), much more can be accomplished.

Plans

This is the one thing I can say with confidence I excel in. I am a planner by nature. Sometimes I do more planning then actual executing.

Sometimes, though, I'm not always good about planning the bigger picture.  I can plan on a day-to-day, week-to-week, even a month-to-month scale. But thinking too far ahead to the future can seem overwhelming and overreaching. I like to take things as they come. I've noticed that if I plan too far ahead, and life takes an unexpected turn, all that far-ahead planning was in vain. So, I stick to short-term planning.

Having a plan gives me direction for my days and it is absolutely necessary. When I tried to ease up (read: let go) of a schedule and any planning of our days, everything was chaos. It was awful.

So, I have embraced the planner side of me and decided, that's how our home best functions and that's what we'll stick to.

Principles

The last thing I'm going to touch on this week is knowing what our principles are. Why did I choose to homeschool in the first place? Am I confident this is what God wants for our family?

For those of you who do homeschool, have you ever threatened to put your child(ren) in to public schools on one of those really hard days? Be honest now.

I have.

But I knew I never would because I know that's not what God wants for our family.

{By the way, I know it's wrong to threaten that. It's been a rare day of doing that and I regretted both times}.

The point is, knowing what your principles are will help you stand on them during those rough days. I don't typically have friends or family giving me a hard time about homeschooling. I think the most I've ever had to deal with is being drilled with some questions or a careless remark here or there. I'm not challenged with my decision on a regular basis.

But I know some families who are and I can only imagine it's a hard road to keep going down (and a frustrating one, I'm sure!)

What do you do to remember to push through the hard days? (Even if it is the first day!)

Linked with:

Titus 2 Tuesdays at Cornerstone Confessions

Titus 2sday at Time-Warp Wife