Encouragement for the Homeschool Family
Homeschooling is awesome. It is also one of the most challenging things I’ve ever taken on. And if I think about the scope of what we are trying to accomplish, I am on the verge of hyperventilating. It is a lot to take on.
My kids are pretty awesome, if I do say so myself; however they are far from perfect. Which is astounding when you consider how close I am…hahahaha, sorry couldn’t even keep a straight face for that one. There are no perfect people in our house. I struggle with my imperfections daily. My children seem to have inherited my procrastinating ways and an organizational style that relies heavily on piles of stuff. I can’t tell you how super this is.
We deal with this “stuff” (also known as: child training, parenting, and getting over oneself) on top of attempting to educate our children as the Lord leads. It can be a mess. Yet we are entering our sixth “official” year of homeschooling (if you start counting with Kindergarten).
How? That is the question that Teach Them Diligently posed to us bloggers. How do you stay encouraged while homeschooling?
Why, why, why, why, why?!
I have said it before. Knowing WHY we are homeschooling is sometimes the only thing that pulls me along. Sometimes kicking and screaming…I kid. Sort of. There is a saying that nothing worth having in life comes easy. I view homeschooling very much in this light.
Our purpose for homeschooling can be summed up like this: God gave us these precious blessings along with the responsibility to disciple them and prepare them for life. We see childhood as such a short window in which to build strong relationships with our children, train their character (and, frankly, our own), and teach them the way of the Lord. We must take advantage of every precious minute. Homeschooling gives us that opportunity. And that freedom.
Community: Get One!
You need community. You need other like-minded people to help support you. Online friends are awesome for this in that they seem to be there at the press of a button. As awesome as this is, it is not enough.
You need someone in your “real” life that is there for you. Personally, I think a supportive spouse is entirely necessary. You do not want strife in your marriage over homeschooling. Marriage and homeschooling are hard enough as it is on their own. Don’t pit the two of them against each other. It is not worth it.
Beyond your spouse, finding other homeschooling families to fellowship with provides you with that “I’m not alone!” encouragement when you have hard times AND makes the celebration times more fun! Just don’t compare your children to their’s. Seriously. Don’t do it.
Encouragement: Find It!
- Read books on homeschooling. A few suggestions (affiliate link alert): A Biblical Home Education by Ruth Beechick, The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling by Debra Bell, and When You Rise Up: A Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling by R. C. Sproul Jr.
- Attend conventions to hear speakers and find curriculum that works for your students. Find out if your state homeschooling association has a convention (Indiana does, by the way). Consider attending Teach Them Diligently, which has several marketplaces available still this summer and next year has three regional full conferences plus a National convention in Washington, D.C. Seriously excited about that one.
- Read magazines. There are homeschool magazines! A few I know of: Home Educating Family, Indiana Association of Home Educator’s The Informer, and Practical Homeschooling.
- Blogs, blogs, and more blogs. There are so many homeschool blogs out there. If you need support in a specific area, try using a Google Blog Search to find exactly what you need. If you find a blog you particularly love (you know, like this one…), subscribe to it via email.
No one is going to knock down your door to give you the encouragement you need. You will need to be intentional about finding it and keeping it.
Above All, Remember This
Seek the will of God in your homeschool. Read your Bible to see what God has to say to you. Pray, pray, pray. He will lead you to the encouragement you need, even if you don’t know what it is. He will also protect you from the headaches that arise from our wandering hearts. True story.
Now, head on over to the Teach Them Diligently blog to see what the other bloggers have to say about staying encouraged while homeschooling.
Don’t forget to sign up for my Homeschool Newsletter launching in July! Encouragement, freebies, exclusives, deals…yep, I’ve got you covered.