Life is not always simple. Some endeavors take great commitment and determination, even grit. Jesus instructed his followers when he said that no one builds a tower without first counting the cost. Homeschooling is never to be entered into lightly. Often times the bulk of instruction falls on the mom, and frustrations can become many and intense.
When dad is working extra hours, or seems disconnected from the duties at home, mom can often times feel very alone in her journey. This is a failure on the part of dad as he forgets that the children in the home are reflections of who he is, and that he has a duty to care for them. Just providing the funds for mom to get the “best” curriculum is not the answer. Sometimes it is sitting down with the children and working through a subject or two during the evenings to give mom some needed rest and relaxation.
Here are a few ideas to strengthen the task at hand:
Remember why you are doing it.
Too often a good vision gets lost in the midst of the fight. What started out as a passion and desire to give a solid education to your child and aid in character development turns into an academic nightmare. Stop and evaluate the “why” of your journey. The thing that prompted you is most likely still valid and is good to reference back to from time to time.
You are not alone.
There are many support groups both local and national that you could tap into for support. There are many moms who may have similar struggles, and many who have found great ways to overcome the problems they faced. Don’t be shy to seek them out. Several groups meet in various states on a regular basis such as CHEF or American Homeschool Association.
Seek support from your spouse.
Often times a godly husband simply needs what most men need and that is a reminder. The old adage honey catches more flies than vinegar is appropriate here. Nagging and fussing doesn’t generally produce results, but gracious, kind words will go far in recruiting help. Simply sit with him and explain your challenges and ask for suggestions. He may offer before you suggest!
Organize or agonize seems to be true. A few minutes spent each day preparing for the day by listing all that has to be done, (not what you want done) can go a long way in removing stress. Often times a list that gets checked off throughout the day is a great relief as you see the list getting shorter and shorter.
Plan breaks during the day that includes breaks for you. Susanna Wesley, the mother of the famous Wesley brothers, John and Charles, would cover her head with her apron and sit in a chair in the center of the kitchen at times during the day. This was a signal that no children were allowed to disturb her. What she was doing under that apron is a mystery, but one can guess prayer and possibly a nap would have been in order!
Homeschooling is a job. It is a full time job. This means it is not rude to explain to family and friends that you will be unavailable for phone calls, texting or emailing until the end of your set time of education. If there is no emergency, there is no need to have one of the most important tasks you do interrupted.
Break the formality.
Too often homeschooling becomes so formal and rigid that it would make the most intense schoolmaster look weak. Allow for development of talents in your children, interests to grow over certain topics. If the science project becomes particularly interesting, let them take if further. You are not limited to one hour a day for science, nor do you have to get every math question on the paper done before 3:30 each afternoon, particularly if they are growing in other areas at the moment.
A neglected avenue for many is that of prayer. If prayer is not something that is a regular practice in your home or life, begin today. God hears our prayers and we should be faithful to call upon Him for help.