This is the time of year that a lot of homeschool moms feel like giving up. Whether it’s the cold dreary days, or the endless sickness, or maybe it’s the children (or the mom!) just ready to be done with the year, come February homeschooling can become a drudgery for many of us.
I think part of this can be that moms forget why they’re homeschooling in the first place. Or maybe they are not appreciating the flexibility homeschooling offers that allows us to adapt it to meet our needs. Maybe you’re losing your vision and need to be told that your choices matter in your children’s lives. Your faithfulness in teaching them day by day, your dedication to making the home the central place of influence to your children, these matter more than you realize.
Here are some areas we can choose joy when discouragement hits.
Choosing Joy in Recognizing our Mission
We are so programmed by the public school system what school education should look like. It’s hard to think outside the box of regular classes, quizzes, tests, and grades, and so this is how we gauge our success.
- Did we stick to our schedules?
- Are our kids getting good grades?
- Can my five year old name all his letters?
- Is my fifth grader mastering long division?
Education is so much more than a classroom
How would it change our priorities if we put more weight on God’s Word than on the man-made standards around us?
Deuteronomy 6:4-7 says, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one LORD: and thou shalt love the LORD they God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”
- Are we loving God well?
- Are we storing His word in our heart and living it out in our life?
- Are we loving your children well by sharing that word with them throughout the day?
Yes, I believe in education, but let’s not get so caught up in man-made standards that we forget to hold ourselves to the highest standard of all. Moms, if you’re living out this verse, it is worth more than anything else you can do.
Choosing Joy in Recognizing our Blessings
Being able to homeschool your kids is an incredible blessing.
- We are blessed to be home with our kids.
- We are blessed to have the privilege of teaching them.
- We are blessed to be the primary influence in their lives, rather than worldly peers, a public school system or worse.
It might not always feel that way. Sometimes bad attitudes — ours or the kids– can take our eyes of this fact. Sometimes circumstances make it hard to see the blessings that we have. And yet, as believers, we are commanded to be thankful in everything and rejoice always. We are commanded to take every thought captive, but sometimes it’s easier to let our thoughts take us captive. Discontent, discouragement, worry, and impatience can all crowd our minds and soon we are living in defeat.
It can be hard work to take our focus off our circumstances, broken as they may be, and focus on Christ. We need to allow Scripture to mold our thoughts.
- God loves us. (1 John 4:18-19)
- He is at work in our lives to make us the women he wants us to be (and he often uses our children in that process). (Philippians 1:6)
- He knows what is going on in our lives. (Job 23:10)
- He is able to make all things work together for good to those who love Him. (Romans 8:28)
- He will not allow more in our lives than we can handle. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Looking up the corresponding verses to the above thoughts and memorizing them would be a good strategy as we fight for joy in our daily life.
Choosing Joy in Recognizing God’s Provision
This is closely related to the previous point, but I wanted to focus on it more closely. God has called you this this sacred work of raising your children. He will give you the strength to carry it out.
“And is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)
Did you hear that? Maybe we don’t understand the significance of this statement. God has promised us all the grace we need that we would have everything we need to do every good work he has called us to do.
When God puts a good desire in our hearts, He is going to give us the power to be able to live out our lives in a way that will lead us to the end of that goal. Sometimes (often) it isn’t easy. We need to press on through setbacks and discouragements and even failures. It’s going to take endurance, but anything worth having is worth fighting for. Often we want to see the end—we want to see the fruitfulness—without walking the path of patient endurance, but let’s press on believing that God is with us and that the end is worth the struggles and commitment now.
What are some of the ways you’ve been blessed as a homeschool mom?
How do you choose to bring joy into your day?
This article is part one in a two-part series on encouragement for the homeschool Mom. The next article covers some practical steps that you can use to put joy back into your homeschool day.