Monday, August 10, 2015

Dear Homeschooling Mama

Well, here it is - Saturday before we are planning to start school on Monday. Most years I feel rested and refreshed and ready to get back to the routine of school and learning. This year, I feel tired and weary and uninspired to start with enthusiasm.

Dear fellow-homeschooling-mama, I'm betting some of you feel the same way. Summer is nice for relaxing the schedule and trying new recipes and being "fun" and going back to school adds the dimension of being teacher on top of our every day home duties and responsibilities.

I've been praying about this and quietly I hear a whisper in my heart not to worry if things are not new or fun or different. I just need to keep doing what I'm already doing and merely continue. Keep going. Don't give up.

We will wake up on Monday, Lord willing, with hearts ready to learn. We will begin school just as we finished it - by opening His Word, by celebrating each day and exploring together. I am not switching one single thing and I hardly bought anything, just new workbooks for the used up ones that needed replacing for the next child and some new dry erase markers for the dried up ones.

It is fun to start the year with inspiration and energy and I confess I don't feel ready to start this year. But only by my definition of ready. I have not opened my books to plan or look through them. We've done the same books, just different levels, before. I don't know if this happens to all moms who have homeschooled for multiple years in a row? But when we are entering year eight, I'm praying for courage and strength to stay the course.

What I have done is pray. I have opened God's Word. I have taken the entire week before school starts to just slow and reduce my expectations and productivity to almost zero. And the thought has been trickling into my mind that slow and school should be able to exist together in my home because I am the one who sets the pace and I am the one who allows crazy or calm, panic or peaceful, getting it all done or getting enough done and yes, that can apply to school work too.

The ultimate goal is not that my children will be academic brains or amazing spellers, but that they would, "grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man." That they would be able to boldly speak up and share the Gospel with grace and with courage to a hurting and very needy world.

Dear homeschooling-mama {including me}, let us keep eternity in the forefront of our minds as we guide our dear students. When Math threatens to overtake us and we are exasperated over childishness and lack-of-caring attitude or attentiveness to school work, may we remember that even though Math does matter and developing a good work ethic matters too - they are not eternal.

And, this applies not only to your dear students souls, but to your own dear soul as well. Make space for your soul to breathe - not shallow, heavy, heart racing breathing either. Deep, slow soul breathing. May we commit our year to God knowing that even if we are little prepared and uninspired, He can take it all and make something beautiful for in our weakness He is strong.

We are weak. He is strong.

Teach even me, Jesus - as we enter these days of learning and growing together. May You be glorified in our home and in the lives present here. May we shine brilliantly to all we come into contact with that they might know Your presence from being in ours.

For Your glory, Jesus.

And, a song to encourage you - to know Him and make Him known...



Michele Chronister said...

What a beautiful reminder! Thank you for this!

Unknown said...

Prayers for you as you homeschool. Blessings and strength for your days.

Leanne said...

needed this encouragement on our first homeschool morning.
I switched to ABEKA DVD because I was TOTALLY B.U.R.N.E.D.O.U.T....
and I agree... when I keep the eternal focus... the anxiousness about "getting it ALL done" starts to melt away!
Thank you!!
have a great-- God Honoring-- School Year!!!

Maggie said...

No matter what, Monica, the education your children are getting is FAR superior to what they would be getting in public school because you know them better than any teacher possibly could and God is the center of each day. There were so many days when I felt like you but I continued to give more and more responsibility to my kids and they gladly accepted it so that now they are responsible adults but not because of anything I did; it's the work God did in them. Take less personal responsibility and let God have all the responsibility. I once heard in a sermon that we are only responsible for telling our children who God is and the rest is up to Him. I'll be praying for you. Maggie

Blissful & Domestic said...

This too has been on my heart as we enter a new school year. I've just been reminding myself to let God lead. He knows my children's hearts better than I. I know he won't led us astray. Thanks for the encouragement this morning Monica :)

Terri S said...

Dear Monica, Thank you so much for this post and the reminder that the ultimate goal is not that my children will be academic brains or amazing spellers, but that they would, "grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man." That they would be able to boldly speak up and share the Gospel with grace and with courage to a hurting and very needy world.

I am so thankful for you and your blog. Because of you sharing your life and Classical Conversations, we are going into our 5th year. It has not always been easy - in fact it has been a struggle very often, but God has been good through it all. We are at Practicum this week and don't begin CC until the 30th. We are not ready,l but God will use what we have where we are. May you be blessed. Terri S. Madison WI

Sheri said...

Amen and Amen! Thank you for the reminder to focus on Christ, to breath deeply, and to know our children's education is in His hands!

Melissa said...

Thank you so much for your encouraging words! I've felt the same way this year! I could really use another month before we start homeschooling again, but I'm trusting in God and His perfect timing!

Mom said...

Well said! Praying for you all as you begin another school year - love, Mom

Mommyto6 said...

Our Father is faithful to provide exactly what we need, exactly when we need it! Thank you for sharing this encouragement needed by so many.
Having adopted our grandkids = raising kids for 36 years, and homeschooling for 25 of those years with maybe a one or two year break. Yes - challenging! So many days of feeling as if I blew it, so many moments of trying to figure out what God was up to! Though many things were learned with the first generation, with this second generation of blessings comes three different personalities and a truckload of new joys for mama - it also comes with an entirely new set of challenges, difficulties, and pain. However, hindsight is 20-20, and in our case we can look back and see every evidence of God at work. We aren't done yet - the eldest of our precious "second litter", (as my husband has lovingly dubbed them), will turn 18 and graduate this year; the youngest just turned 13. Menopause visits are becoming more frequent and retirement has been delayed - AND our Father has lovingly led, chastised, rescued, blessed, and taught us SO MUCH MORE THAN WE EVER COULD HAVE EXPECTED! It is all good because God is good! Thank you for your encouragement & may God bless you all in your new school year as well. :-)