Home Education Advice You Didn’t Know You Needed
Day 19: Staying Positive When You’re in the Trenches
Every home school mom has had that moment when she asked…
“What was I thinking? This is madness! There’s a big yellow bus, and it will literally stop at my driveway and shuttle my kids away for the next seven hours and do it five days a week.”
But, no. You’re in deep. You’ve got four kids that are depending upon you for an education. Yet… the oldest has been in the bathroom for 20 minutes reading magazines and # 2 continues to look out the window rather than finish his last three math problems and # 3 is crying hysterically in a corner.
Omg! What is a home school mom to do?
Stay positive! As the British say: Keep Calm and Carry On!
When chaos or bad days happen, it is easy to get discouraged. As home school parents, we falsely derive much of our self- worth on the outcome of a single day. What’s important to remember is that educating your child is like roasting a big piece of meat in the oven. A good roast takes hours to cook down into tender goodness. Similarly, children take many hours, days, months and years to educate. When we are in the trenches, doing the difficult work, we have to keep this long view in mind.
Keeping a positive attitude through this lengthy process can be challenging. One practice I have recently started is keeping a thankfulness journal. Although I sometimes write it down, usually, I just force myself to stop and think about what I am thankful for in the moment. Pondering even a few simple things for which I am grateful helps realign my heart and mind toward my mission as a home schooling parent.
Recently we had a difficult day at the house. At some point I realized, “Hey! my child is having a puberty induced meltdown.” That epiphany enabled me to detach, have compassion on my son and see the bigger picture. After a short break I noted three things:
- I’m really thankful to have this time with my child even though he’s going through a rough time
- I’m grateful my child has a good relationship with his older sister
- I’m glad to be able to help my child wrestle with these difficult feelings
Jotting these things into a journal, or affirming them softly in prayer keeps my perspective on point. I know these difficulties will smooth out and keeping a positive attitude through the bumps and struggles helps me stay the course. It reminds me that the roast simmering in the oven is worth waiting on.
Update: After I wrote this today, I had the opportunity to meet a German woman who told me that she and her husband moved here because they wanted to home school their kids and it is against the law in Germany. I met her at our hybrid school teacher training. Naturally, she was the German teacher. Before the meeting wrapped up, all the instructors prayed over our students and families for the new year. This precious German woman a simple prayer: God, thank you for the freedom to home school my kids. What we take for granted in this country is such a hardship for others! I couldn’t resist sharing this story as we all seek ways to be thankful in the midst of our home schooling journeys. May each of us have a blessed and fruitful school year!