Guest post by Rebekah of Faithful with the Little.
I have been homeschooling for 5 years now but still feel at times that I have no idea what I am doing. I easily get overwhelmed by all the demands required of me and often ask myself:
What did I get myself into?
Am I really cut out for this?
Are there any other options out there?
Will I ever figure this out?
If you have been homeschooling for any period of time I am sure you have asked yourself some of these same questions. Here are some things to remember when all those thoughts of inadequacy start whirling around in your head.
1. Why you started homeschooling
When my husband and I had our first child we knew we wanted to homeschool. We had both been homeschooled and loved the idea of being able to teach our children the Godly principles and Biblical perspective that we were taught. The unique lifestyle and freedom that homeschooling offered really appealed to us also. Ultimately we wanted God’s will for our family and this is the direction we felt he was leading us in.
When the days get hard there are many times I have asked God if there is any other way we can educate our children. So far he keeps showing my husband and I that this is the choice that is best for our family right now. When I start to panic and try to find a way out he clearly shows me why he has called us to homeschool our children. My burdens lift, my mind becomes clear and the fear and worry fades as I remember these truths. If you feel like retreating at times, remember why you started homeschooling and hold onto the convictions and priorities for your family that brought you to this place.
2.There are pros and cons to everything
So often I find myself ready to give up when things get hard, when it looks like the cons outweigh the pros. I start thinking about finding a different schooling solution for my children. But then I think about the life we have because of homeschooling and know that for today, this is the best choice for our family and the cons are small compared to the pros.
3.Take one day at a time
When I start to think about how I am going to juggle the everyday needs of my family and home on top of homeschooling, I quickly get overwhelmed. With 5 children ranging from 10 to 16 months life can get crazy. And don’t get me started thinking about tomorrow. If I barely made it through today, how am I going to tackle tomorrow? But if I stay focused on being faithful with what God has given me to do today, I find he gives me strength to get through the hard spots and trust him with my tomorrow’s.
Focus on what God calls you to do today and don’t let the pressures of tomorrow overwhelm you.
4.Only you know what is best for your children
As a mom and homeschooler I often find myself looking around at all the other moms, thinking that they are doing this homeschool thing way better than I am because they are doing things differently than I do or are doing more than I do. What I don’t often factor in is that even though other homeschool moms might do things differently doesn’t mean that they are doing things better. They are just doing what is best for their family.
It’s important to remember that God made you to be the mother of your children and only you know what is best for them. You are the one God has called to make the difficult choices for your children’s education. As you teach and train them you will find what works best for each individual child.
Don’t be intimidated by all the seasoned homeschool moms but be inspired by them. Ask them how they got through the hard times, how they lesson plan, what curriculum they like. Be willing to humble yourself and learn from your mistakes, learn from your children and learn from other homeschoolers. But remember that these are your children and your homeschool, you are the teacher. Don’t be afraid to do things differently and don’t be afraid to follow the example of those who have spent years in the trenches gaining experience and knowledge.
Yes, there are going to be days when you have no idea what you are doing, when you feel inadequate, unqualified, weak and inexperienced but as you persevere and figure things out you will find out what works best for you and your family.
“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.” 1 Corinthians 1:27 ( ESV)
5.It’s all in your head
Do you ever wake up feeling great, ready and excited to conquer the day only to be deflated when things don’t go as you had planned? Hand raised! I can have the best schedule, the best curriculum and the best methods but if things don’t play out as I’ve pictured in my mind I get easily discouraged.
One thing we often forget to calculate into our days is our sin nature. Yes, we might have our days perfectly organized down to the last minute but that doesn’t mean our children will always cooperate or we will respond in the right way. You could say I am a bit of a control freak. I get frustrated with my kids when they dare to have their own free will and then I get frustrated at myself for lashing out in anger and impatience.
It’s oh so easy to get down in the dumps and start second guessing myself. I usually start complaining and whining that this homeschooling thing is just too hard and I am not cut out for it. But really it’s a battle of mind over matter. There are always going to be difficult challenges in life to face. Some harder than others yes, but if we stand firm and steadfast in what God has called us to do he will give us the strength and grace to overcome.
Homeschooling is not for everyone but for those of us who have felt called to homeschool for a season or for the rest of our children’s education we need to remain steadfast and faithful to what he has called us to do; in our hearts and minds. God is not only working in our children; developing their characters and minds but he is doing a work in us also, far greater than we could ever imagine.
Whatever your struggle in homeschooling is, know that God has chosen you, qualified you and equipped you to not only survive but remain steadfast and thrive!
Rebekah is a sinner saved by grace living out her dreams as wife to the love of her life and mother to 5 beautiful, crazy, messy little ones.(age 10-16mo.) She is learning day by day to trust God to give her grace and strength to be all he has called her to be and to be faithful with all he has given her to do. Most days you will find Rebekah fighting dirt, dishes and loads of laundry, snuggling sweet chubby babies, delighting in seeing her children play, create and learn and enjoying anything chocolate at the end of a long school day. You can follow her on her journey on her blog faithful with the little where she shares he heart, struggles, DIY, recipes and more.