In this podcast I share about what to do on those days when you just don’t feel like homeschooling.
Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.
2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
If you’ve been homeschooling any length of time, you know there’ll be days you just won’t feel like homeschooling. Let’s just be honest here. It might even every day that you feel this way. Well, you’re not alone.
There’s nothing extra special about any of us- not even the mom bloggers who seem to portray a perfect air-brushed picture of our homeschool classrooms online. The truth of the reality is that once the picture has been snapped, the kids run through the room and recreate the chaos that was there before we tidied up the room for the picture. Unless you’re living on pins and needles, sucking in your breath in dismay when a speck of dust hits the floor, then your house looks just as chaotic as mine. (And now ours looks especially messy since we’re in the middle of a move).
There’ll inevitably be messy homeschool days just like we have our messy house days.
There’ll be days when nothing seems to be going right, the kids aren’t behaving, or we can’t seem to get out of bed or muster the strength to teach yet another page of that grammar book.
We know it’s not a curriculum-choice issue. We know we’ve been called to homeschool- so that’s not a question of concern.
It’s just us. More or less, it’s just that we’re tired. Tired of the curriculum, tired of trying to teach and explain a concept, tired of school time. Just tired. And it’s during those moments on those hard days that we have to learn to just let it go.
Just let it go.
Ever since Frozen has been the big hit, my kids won’t stop singing “Let it go! Let it go!” and I keep thinking just how relevant that is to my life as a homeschool mom. Really! I should just let it go.
What do I mean by that?
I can let go of my control. I don’t have to teach a concept a certain way and I don’t have to have a certain response from my kid to know that I’ve done my part in covering a topic. Once I’ve explained and they seem to understand, I can move on. We don’t have to camp out there until I’ve killed the concept.
I can let go of my fears. Sometimes we women don’t believe in ourselves and we bring that into our motherhood and project it onto our kids. Yes, believe it or not, we really do. If you’re afraid that you’re not good at something (take math, for instance) then do your best to get your child the help she needs to learn it effectively. Maybe she will learn it much better than you were ever able to and will be really good at math even though you might have failed it three times in high school. Don’t project your own fears onto your kids. I’m learning that my fears don’t have to be my children’s fears.
Growing up, I never learned to swim. I find it quite scary that I don’t know how to swim, and I’m living so close to the ocean. Now it’s my turn to either pass on my fears of swimming to my kids or give them the tools they need to be great (or even somewhat adequate) swimmers. It’s hard for me because of my own fear of the water, but I’ve enrolled them for swim lessons so they can hopefully not receive the kind of fear I had with water.
I can let go of expectations. What is it that you expected to accomplish at the end of the school day? The week? The month? The semester? The year? Did you have goals and if you did- did you meet those goals?
It’s okay if you didn’t. Give yourself a break and let go of expectations that are robbing you of the joy of homeschooling your kids. Let them be who they are and learn at their own pace.
Give yourself the much-needed break.
If you’re burned out with homeschooling, then you need the break. Take it. There is no guilt, no pressure, no condemnation. You can only give what you have, and if you don’t have the strength it will be doubly hard for you to serve your family in any capacity. Fill up your heart and soul with God’s strength by filling up on His word. Let Him restore you and strengthen you.
Take a break and let Him speak to your heart. Only then will you be available to your kids in the way that best serves them. Only then can you pour into their hearts joyfully and willingly. You , mama, need to be rested.
Roll up your sleeves and make a plan.
Once you’ve had your break, it’s time to get to work. At some point you’ll need to pray over God’s will for each of your children and begin making a homeschooling plan for them. Figure out what they should be learning and plug in how you most like to see that happening. Pray for the Lord’s direction in guiding you through curriculum choices and helping you to teach the material daily. Pray for wisdom on how to best address the learning needs of each of your kids, then begin making a plan to see it come to action.
When we start to feel burned out with homeschooling and we just don’t feel like it, realize that with the Lord’s help, we can do anything. Our feelings can be changed. Our miracle-working God can take our hearts of stone and melt it and make us more palatable for Him. He will then use us to be a blessing to our children in a capacity we never thought possible. That’s because He’s in the business of working miracles. If you think it’s impossible for you to ever enjoy homeschooling again- think again.
God has a plan for you and He will help you.
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So, what do you do on the days that you just don’t feel like homeschooling?