Homeschooling our children has been one of my greatest blessings. I am so grateful that I get to share life and learning with our children each and every day. I am so grateful for the sweet memories, the joyful smiles, and the connections we’ve been able to share over the years.
But I want you to know something.
Homeschooling is not always easy. And it seriously can be downright HARD.
The Hard Days
There are days when nothing goes as planned. There are days when the children bicker too much; I get frustrated too much; and no one can seem to get it together.
There have been so many days when I have wondered if I'm doing enough, if I need to rethink everything. There have been days when it's just been too hard.
I’m sure many of you have felt this way as well somewhere along the way. It's easy to think that when something is hard, it must be because we are doing something wrong. Somewhere in the busyness of our culture, we have adopted this idea that happy, “quality time” is what is of utmost importance. We have convinced ourselves that picture-perfect celebrations, athletic competitions, and family vacations are what life is all about.
And those things are great, but because of that thinking, we have also learned to fear or run from the hard, the messy, the chaos. The real stuff.
As a society, we have learned to go our own ways, for hours on end, both physically and via electronic devices. We’ve learned to numb up and avoid the hard stuff. To unfriend. To escape.
But the truth is, it’s the hard stuff that helps us to grow.
Growing through the Hard
It’s the hard stuff that brings us to the foot of the cross in repentance and humility and love. It’s the hard stuff that allows our children to see what it means to trust God and walk in faith--even when we don't always understand what is happening.
Working through the hard stuff is what binds us as a family. It’s what strengthens and sanctifies us. It’s what equips our children with the skills and understandings they will need one day to handle their own “hard stuff.”
And so, I want to encourage you. If you’re at home teaching your children, don’t fear the hard stuff. And don’t think that because it’s hard, you must be doing something wrong. The things that truly matter in this life are often the hardest to build and hold onto.
Homeschooling is hard. It's much harder to train and disciple your children than to send them off for someone else to do it. It's much harder to take on the education of your children in the midst of homemaking, cooking, cleaning, appointments, and more than it would be to send them to school.
There is a certain level of challenge for us all.
But those challenges can grow us and our children if we rise up and focus on what is truly most important.
Focusing on the Valuable
When the days are hard, it's easy to get caught up in the web of comparison. It's easy to scroll through social media and feel inadequate after seeing picture after picture of perfect homeschool rooms and smiling children. It's easy to feel like you need to be doing more, like you're not doing the "right" curriculum, like you're the only one struggling.
But you need to remember something. The pictures only show the highlights.
You won't see the tears, the struggles, or the messy rooms. You won't see the hours upon hours of growth and conversation, apologies and forgiveness, perseverance and prayer. You won't see the hours of quality time that it took to reach that peak. Don't compare your climb to someone else's peak.
Pictures rarely capture growth.
And so, we must keep our eyes on Jesus. We must stay focused on being faithful with what we are given. We must see the challenges as opportunities to grow and to nurture and to equip our children. We need to walk in gratitude for this precious gift of time.
Redeeming the Time
Each and every day, we have a choice to make. When the obstacles come, we can give up or rise up. We can cower or redeem. We can train up our children in the way they should go, or we can miss it all in favor of the easy.
When the days are hard, these are a few things you can do to turn things around:
Pray for The Lord to give you strength, and pray with your children. Read God's word together, and discuss how you can all grow through this challenge.
Go for a walk. God's creation can be so calming, and getting out in nature can really be uplifting.
Read a book. Snuggle up on the couch with tea, and enjoy a story together.
Watch a learning video.
Visit someone in need.
Build a fort.
Turn on some music and dance.
Take silly pictures and laugh.
Draw, paint, or create something.
Lay on the grass and look up at the clouds.
Have a picnic in your backyard.
Fill a jar with the ideas that resonate with you most and add your own. Draw from it as needed. Allow yourself to enjoy this time with your children. Be okay with putting away the school books for the day, and just bumping it all over to the next if need-be. Or pick up later in the day when everyone is refreshed and feeling better.
See the value in the opportunities and walk in the freedom that homeschooling allows.
Enjoying the Journey
If you’re in the midst of the hard, I want you to know that it does get easier. If you’re in the midst of the hard, I want you to know that working through it all together is SO worth it. If you’re in the midst of the storm, I pray that you will seek God to lead you and comfort you and grow you together as a family in unity and love.
Keep striving, Dear Friend. Keep climbing, and keep your eyes on what is most important.
May this time of challenge be redeemed for His glory and the good of your family.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. -Romans 8:28
****If you are in the midst of the hard and in need of prayer, please comment below so that we may pray for one another.
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