You're a Homeschool Mom?
Maybe you're even a NEW homeschool mom? (God bless you.)
Did you know you are building something AMAZING?
As we prepare for another school year (yes, ours begins next week!) I feel like we all need encouragement. We need to know that what we are doing MATTERS.
It matters so very, very much.
God has given me several BIG moments this summer where I could sit back and marvel at what HE is building through a tiny seed He planted in my heart nearly seven years ago.
That seed has given me the strength to help children learn to read, master times tables, navigate friendship issues, and tackle formal logic! It has given me the strength to keep going when it seemed like the easiest thing to do would be to enroll my children in public school.
So let me tell you now -- as you anticipate a new school year -- you are building something amazing, and homeschooling your precious children IS WORTH IT!
You Can't Always MEASURE What You Are Building
Society tells us that we need to MEASURE our children.
Measure them against each other, against a test score, against Common Core requirements.
As a homeschool mom, however, you can't always measure accomplishments or progress.
When my kids were little I measured their progress from my heart:
- Were they happy and ENJOYING learning?
- Were they kind to each other?
- Did they have a thirst for knowledge?
- Could they sit and read a book without being asked just for enjoyment?
We took many field trips and earned a lot of Junior Ranger badges.
I followed my kids' interests wherever they would lead. This set the stage for them to know I was their partner in learning and would support them in their endeavors.
Did I have TANGIBLE evidence of what was being built? No, but I knew in my heart I was laying a foundation for something wonderful.
Sometimes It Feels Like You Are Just HAMMERING Away
Believe me, I understand that many days homeschooling is just HAMMERING AWAY at things.
If you have a child that is strong-willed or a child with special needs, that hammering can be almost constant.
There have been MANY evenings when I would just sit down in tears, and tell my husband that the WEIGHT of being responsible for my children's ENTIRE education was just TOO MUCH.
I would waste valuable time thinking how much BETTER my life would be if I could just get some peace and quiet like moms who send their kids to school.
I've learned - in times like that - to do a few things to bring myself out of the pit:
- confide in a mentor/friend - be totally honest and seek encouragement
- take a few days (or weeks) off - your kids will be JUST FINE
- outsource a subject (or two)
- seek COMMUNITY - a co-op or homeschool group is so helpful
- refer to encouragement in one of the 10 Best Books for Homeschool Moms
All of that hammering WILL produce something beautiful.
It will produce a family that is closer, siblings that have a deeper bond, and children that are more apt to discover their God given gifts on their own terms and time table.
Believe me - when your kids get into middle and high school, you will start to see the fruits of your labor.
Those BIG Moments I'm Having
I told you there have been BIG moments this summer where I just realize God is building something amazing through my homeschooling efforts.
Can I share just ONE with you? Maybe it will encourage you in your journey?
My Anna is starting to talk about what she wants to do after high school. She is asking questions about music therapy and working with the special needs population.
This summer she had several opportunities to volunteer with a special needs ministry through our church. She came home from the special needs VBS and said, "I can't wait until this is what I can do for a living!".
As a homeschool parent I have the opportunity to foster this interest, design a for-credit high school course for her, and seek out more volunteer opportunities for her.
THIS IS BIG.
THIS IS WHY I HOMESCHOOL.
In the same short time span, I've found a lot of resources for homeschooling high school. I have been to many college websites and know I CAN DO THIS.
God is giving me the signs and encouragement I need to stay the course through homeschooling high school.
Let me hear from you! Are you new to homeschooling? A veteran homeschooler? Do you know you are building something amazing? Do you have a story to share? Use the comments below and let me know!
If you haven't gotten my free eBook, You CAN Homeschool: Encouragement for the Journey, please feel free to download it. It's a collection of stories and encouragement from our first few years of homeschooling.