August 12, 2016

5 Encouraging Words to Remember In Your Homeschool Journey {5 Days of Homeschool 101}

Homeschooling is the hardest job I ever took on. Being responsible for the education of my two boys is scary sometimes and frankly overwhelming at others. I have days I feel like I'm a failure. I have days when I get panic attacks at doing this for the rest of the school years. Even though I've been doing this for going on 6 years, it never changes. I gain confidence in some areas, only to falter in others. The homeschooling trenches are raw, and gritty and dirty and some days, I just want to wave the white flag. But I have come to realize that an encouraging word can be the balm I need on my weary soul. Encouragement from my friends and family gets me through the rough patches. So here are five encouraging words that I want to give YOU on YOUR homeschool journey.

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It was a challenge to limit this to just five words, but I picked the words that get me through the rough patches and help me to move forward.

1. Breathe

Every year I have to remember to BREATHE. No matter what is going on, taking a deep breath is the way I have to get everything in focus. When you are staring at your year of planning and wondering how it's all going to happen, BREATHE. When you have a child crying because they still can't figure out their math problem that you've laid out in 50 different ways, and you don't know how you can explain it any more clearly, BREATHE. When your parents question you for the 5th time about whether or not you really are qualified to teach your child how to read, BREATHE. When a stranger asks you at the grocery store why your children aren't in school, and then gives you the stink eye
and proceeds to question you on how you socialize them, after you just told them you are on your way to soccer practice, BREATHE. When you are asked how on earth your children are going to learn important things like standing in line or tying their shoes not being in public school, while you are in line at the check out of the grocery store, BREATHE.

2. Pray

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
~Philippians 4:13
Friends, if I didn't have God to go to every day of my homeschooling journey, I think I would have tossed in the towel. Like on day 3. Of Kindergarten. Back in 2010. When my days are going rough, not only do I breathe, but I hit my knees and PRAY. My days go SO much better when I begin with my time with God in His word and on my knees. It sets me in the right place mentally and allows me to move forward. Trust me. When I DON'T spend time with God, my attitude totally shows that I didn't.

This goes throughout the day too. If I find that I am quickly losing control of a situation, I will excuse myself and PRAY. When my child is losing control of himself, I tell him to take a moment and PRAY for God to help him with self-control. If the whole school day seems to be falling part, we ALL get on our knees and ask another family prayer for God to help EVERYONE'S attitude. Prayer is a part of every single day in our home--ESPECIALLY during the school hours.

3. Smile

It is so easy to get so caught up in what we are doing with the responsibilities of educating our children, that we forget to SMILE. We focus on what we need for them to learn, and all the ins and outs of making that happen, that little things that we SMILE about throughout the day, sometimes slip through the cracks. Don't get so focused on how imperfect your 1st graders writing is, that you miss the silly phonetic spellings she used. Go ahead and SMILE about it. SMILE about the narrations your children give you back on a story you read. I'm sure that their narration might include storylines that you didn't remember reading. When your child gets caught up telling you about the story he just read (one of the first TOTALLY independent ones), SMILE to show him how much you enjoy hearing his passion about the story, instead of cutting him off to move on to a new subject. 

I've heard that this time goes by too fast, even when it seems like we will be stuck in the homeschool trenches forever. So SMILE at the little things. And the big things too.

4. Create

CREATE a school rhythm that works for you. CREATE a space to do school in that brings you happiness. CREATE a lesson plan that is manageable and doable in whatever situation you are in now. CREATE a school atmosphere of peace so you and your children will thrive. CREATE a love of learning in your children in whatever method reaches them the best. CREATE moments of "me time" so you can find your sanity (and maybe a cup of coffee) to get you through the rest of the day. 

5. Love

Homeschooling is a labor of LOVE. You are sacrificing so much and taking the hard road because you LOVE your family and want to give them the best. NEVER forget that. You are doing this because you LOVE them and want to give them the best you can. To provide them with the best tools you can, for success in this psychotic world we live in. Show them extra LOVE on the days when you really want to flag the big yellow bus down to throw them on. Tell them you LOVE them every day. All day long. LOVE their unique characteristics that makes homeschooling a challenge sometimes. It's what makes them...well, them. LOVE that you are able to customize their education to fit those unique needs, instead of trying to shove their "square" learning style into a "round" hole. 

LOVE that you get to be a part of every moment of their education--from the first breakthrough in reading, to the day they rejoice over their 100% they received on a pre-calculus math quiz they worked hard on, to the moment you realize it's time to put their high school transcript together. Because one day, although it's hard to believe now, it will be over and they will move on, taking all you have taught them over the years and apply it to the real world you told them (warned them) about. LOVE the time you have with them now. It's a blessing that we take for granted way too much.

There are so many other words I could give you: focus, laugh, reach, achieve, coffee (LOL), forgive, believe...But I picked the five words that get ME through on those hard days, weeks, months, years in the homeschooing trenches and I hope that they will bring YOU encouragement too!

Do you have an encouraging word you would add to the list?

5 Days of Homeschool 101
Today was the fifth day in our 5 Days of Homeschool 101 Blog Hop for the Schoolhouse Review Crew! Monday was all about curriculum, Tuesday was focused on planning, and Wednesday was all about home management, Thursday was all about homeschool traditions, and the last day (today) was all about Encouragement-- Make sure you go and visit the posts of other contributors to our fabulous hop today! I hope you enjoyed our week of Homeschool 101 posts--I always enjoy writing these posts, even if some are a challenge. LOL

Here are the posts I've already shared this week in case you missed them!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is certainly a lot to learn about this topic. I like all of the points you have made.