Do Not Be Discouraged


Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart.

It takes a lot of HARD WORK to just care for children, let alone be responsible for their entire education.   

We're living in a society that has led us to believe that someone else  is more qualified to teach children than the actual parents.  We readily admit that "my children won't listen to me... I could never homeschool."

Friends, this is SAD.   It is a sad commentary on our society and the value we place on our children;  our confidence in our own roles as parents has SUNK.   

We're living in a society that separates children from adults. We put them in their place often times from shortly after birth until they graduate from college.  

Why are we surprised when our children turn to their peers instead of their parents in times of difficulty?   Why do we wonder how our children drift away from their faith in their teenage years?    

It's hard for me to write this, because I have MANY dear friends who do NOT homeschool.  They love their children every bit as much as I do - they have their welfare and best interests at heart.    We all do what we feel is best for our own families.     

I know in my heart of hearts that homeschooling is what is best for my family.   I see the benefits it has for our entire family, not just my children.   I see two children that are very close to each other, kind and generous with others, and eager to learn.   

Why then do I get discouraged?  

Why do I feel (especially at this time of year, when other parents are sending their children back to school) like I'm swimming upstream.

I'll tell you why... 

  • Because sometimes homeschooling is lonely, especially during those months when we don't have our homeschool co-op


  • We are the only people in our church family that homeschool.   I LOVE my church.   It is a huge part of our life.   I just wish we had some other homeschooling families!


  • Because I listen too much to the "outside world".   We homeschool because we don't want to be entirely of the world.  We homeschool because it works for US.  I understand that it does not work for all.   Sometimes I believe that many parents WANT to homeschool but just haven't gotten the encouragement or really seen the success stories.   


  • Because I have known a different life than this... I know what it's like to have my children in school and gone all day, and I'll tell you -- my house was clean, the laundry was done, dinner was cooked, and I spent a lot of time at TJ Maxx and Marshalls!  I won't lie - I sometimes yearn for all of those things, but NOT more than I yearn time with my family.   I can shop and clean and cook when my children are grown.


I'm ashamed sharing the above points.   

I want to keep this blog, however, real.  This is my REAL LIFE as a homeschooling mom.   I have doubts and low days.  It's not all happy times and smiles.  

It took a bit of a breakdown earlier this week, a few great texting conversations with two good friends (who ironically do NOT homeschool but understand my heart and commitment and have always supported me), and a wonderful day with my children to knock some sense into me.


There are some steps I can take to combat the discouragement:

  • Rely on God's word.  I especially like the verse above from Joshua... Do Not Be Discouraged!  Take time each day to soak in God's promises for me.   I love the above picture - I took it while my husband and I were celebrating our anniversary - I was so peaceful then... it was easy to be positive and happy on such a beautiful weekend.


  •  Realize I don't have to be EVERYONE'S FRIEND!   I love to be friends with everyone... to encourage and support people.  It is a disappointment to me when my expectations of others (which are pretty high) aren't met.   There are a few people in my life that are very critical of homeschooling in general.   This is HUGE part of my life and I cannot invest time in those who openly criticize.  My time is too valuable.  


  • Be sure to stay involved with my homeschool friends - Co-op starts soon and I can't wait!


  • Only surround myself with positive people - I am pretty good at letting people's rudeness bounce off of me, but that does NOT mean I need to subject myself to it voluntarily! 


  • Be more intentional about taking time for myself... doing what I love and getting enough time alone is so important.  I homeschool, give private piano lessons, and am a freelance writer {oh, and I author a blog!}.   These three things alone keep me busy, not to mention the other duties of being a wife and mother.   I am involved in my church, teach at co-op, and other little things along the way.  It is hard to find time for myself, but it MUST BE DONE.



At this time of the year, when it's supposed to a "fresh start" and so full of promise, I still get discouraged.   I am thankful, however, for a God that leads me through the discouraging times, a husband that supports me 110% each and every day, supportive friends, and two precious children that make teaching and learning a joy.

What helps you combat discouragement?