Maybe it’s just me, but when the kids are asleep at night or I’m away from them for one reason or another, I begin to think about homeschooling in a very romanticized way. I start planning these wonderful times we will have together, or exciting activities that I just know we will all do so joyfully and peacefully. It will be wonderfully picturesque just like an instagram feed or a pinterest board! And then I go home or they wake up: I try said activity or plans and it turns out to be more like pulling teeth. A baby starts crying, a toddler gets into the art supplies and writes on the walls, an older child is asserting that she would much rather listen to an audio book or play outside. And I am once again reminded of our current reality, what a huge gap there is between the way things often are and the way I wish they would be. I must once again humbly submit my heart to the Lord to embrace this current season and cultivate what He is giving me right now.
Take morning time for example; I have heard other homeschool moms share about their lovely and lengthy morning times with their children. I try it, and well, it’s not so lovely. I do sometimes dream of the days when our morning time is peaceful, conversational, and even worshipful as we sing hymns together and read through Scripture and chapter books and discuss deep things together. And those days will (hopefully) come when these children are older and the fruit of my efforts in these early years will (Lord willing, by His grace) come to bear…. But the reality is in this season we have three children 3 and under, a baby on the way (which equals a pretty tired mama), and a 7 and 8 year old who both still have lots of childhood energy. In all honesty morning time is one of our most difficult times of the day. We sing our hymn of the month, I ask each person a few catechism questions from the Truth and Grace children’s catechism, we recite our current Scripture memory, we recite some older Scripture memory. I sometimes read from a devotional type picture book that all ages can enjoy. I ask some CC memory work review questions. We sing through memory work songs for the current week. The littlest ones are dismissed to go play; by this time they are super antsy! I read through our First Language Lessons and sometimes a picture book or two that correlates with our CC work. We may read through an acts and facts card if we have time. I usually have to stop and discipline a child or two, sometimes a few times throughout the course of all I’ve planned to do. I have given up half way through many times and just sent everyone out to play. Some days, morning time absolutely isn’t what they want to be doing, and honestly it isn’t always what I want to be doing either. But we do it anyway, and I believe it has much value for all of us! The fact that it’s hard doesn’t mean that I’m failing, it means we have to keep working on it.
Homeschooling can be hard.
I share all of this to say, homeschooling isn’t always the romantic thing we dream it up to be. There are certainly beautiful moments of life questions, aha moments when the light bulb turns on and it just clicks, exploring, excitement, and curiosity, but this is never constant. I believe this is true in traditional classroom settings as well as home settings, and I think this happens no matter what educational philosophy or curriculum you follow or how many children you have. We are training children how to work, how to think, it’s a discipline and it doesn’t always come easy…. in fact most of the time it’s something we have fight for. We can’t let ourselves believe we are failing or that the problem is homeschool or curriculum, too many children, or our current teaching style. We must understand that this takes day in and day out perseverance, and it is so good for all of us. It is certainly teaching and growing me as I seek to diligently teach my little ones. Don’t lose heart mamas, just keep on keeping on!
Progress is often being made even when we can’t see it. Just think back two or three years ago, how did your children act? What were their struggles? What were the daily battles then? I bet many of those problems and struggles from then are no longer even an issue, and some of them may be struggles still but there is obvious growth. From day to day in the homeschool mama world it feels like nothing is changing, but when you look back and realize everything is so different then you realize how important it is to keep pushing through the difficulties. Progress for beautiful and magnificent things take time. Beautiful paintings are made one stroke at a time. Buildings and homes are made brick by brick, day by day. Great musicians are made from days and day of diligent practice. We can expect that the careful cultivating and nourishing of a human mind and heart for God’s glory is a lengthy process, and that helps us to be patient with the early stages when that gap of where we wish they were and where they actually are is quite wide.
Whether your homeschool battle is morning time (like me), or read-aloud time, or math lessons, or handwriting, or chore time…. or all of it! Keep putting one foot in front of the other and prayerfully doing the next thing. Trust in the Lord and do not lean on your own understanding. Hold your children to a reasonable but right standard and do your best to see it through with love, patience, diligence, and authority. Let’s teach and demonstrate the beauty of doing things with diligence and perseverance even when we as mamas don’t particularly feel like doing them, even when those things are hard, even when some or many days feel like failure. Let’s be an example to our children by not giving up on homeschool because it’s hard. Little by little progress, growth, and learning are happening. Don’t give up mamas!
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. -Galatians 6:9
And now it’s time for a Giveaway
Homemakers and Homeschoolers I have something special to share, I’m joining with all the other fantastic admins at Domestically Challenged Divinely Equipped to bring you a giveaway. Domestically Challenged Divinely Equipped is a facebook group where women can find encouragement in their roles as wife, mother, homemaker, homeschool teacher, and more. It’s truly one of the best places to hang out on facebook, so if you aren’t a member there, you should be!
Enter the Homemaker’s Holiday Giveaway!
The Domestically Challenged, Divinely Equipped Facebook group has joined with some fantastic sponsors including InstantPot, Rocky Mountain Oils, and Blooming with Joy Tea and Gifts to bring you this amazing giveaway just for homemakers, valued at $337.78!
Instant Pot IP-DUO80 7-in-1 Programmable Electric Pressure Cooker ($159.95) – We LOVE the InstantPot! This model includes a large 8-quart capacity with functions including making yogurt, rice, soup, meat, beans, sauté, and more! It’s easy to clean and use, includes extensive safety mechanisms, and with so many people who love and use the InstantPot you’ll be sure to find great tips and recipes that suit your needs!
Instant Pot Silicone Mitts (Set of 2), Mini, Red ($9.95) – A handy little accessory for your new InstantPot! These handy silicone mitts help you safely lift the insert out even while sautéing. They’re non-stick and easy to use, and made of FDA standard food-grade silicone.
Holiday Kit from Rocky Mountain Oils ($34.95) – Lighten your holiday spirit with the 2016 holiday blends kit. Kit includes Candy Cane essential oil blend, Holiday Moments essential oil blend, Pumpkin Spice essential oil blend and RMO’s new and improved Christmas Tree essential blend.
Spring Essential Oils Diffuser from Rocky Mountain Oils ($49.95) – Soothing tree branches are illuminated by soft background lighting to help you calm your spirit and your space. The Spring can hold up to 180 ml and has a runtime of up to six hours, making it an excellent mid-size diffuser. This diffuser’s calming design is perfect to display in the living room or bedroom, and is an excellent gift for anyone who enjoys essential oils.
$50 Amazon Gift Card ($50) – What will YOU use your Amazon gift card for? Christmas gifts? New serving ware for the holidays? Some important needs? A little self-care and pampering? We want to bless you with a mini shopping spree!
NEW Proverbial Homemaker Peach Green Tea ($9.99) – This hasn’t even been released publicly yet! This tea blend is custom created by Tauna of ProverbialHomemaker.com and provided by her favorite online tea shop, Blooming with Joy Tea & Gifts! “The soup pot is boiling over, the doorbell rings, and the kids are running around like a small herd of monkeys. Take a deep breath, mama! Then take a sip of Proverbial Homemaker’s sweet peach and floral green tea blend. The balance of vitamin C and antioxidants keeps you strong all day long and the moderate caffeine kick gives you the boost you need to get back in the mothering game. Peace is restored. You’re welcome.”
Domestically Challenged Divinely Equipped Travel Mug ($22.99)– God will equip us for all we need for life and godliness! Even for our homemaking. 🙂 Enjoy these fun products that include Psalm 105:4.