Thursday, September 4, 2014

Homeschooling on the hard days

We started school on Tuesday. It is now Thursday and I'm writing a post entitled "Homeschooling on the hard days"...does that tell you something about our first week?

Some days things just seem to go your way. Everyone gets up on time with happy hearts and good attitudes (including mom!), the coffee is perfect, breakfast and chores are done quickly and efficiently...I mean really done, not "shove it all under the bed so it looks clean" done. Once school starts things hum along smoothly with laughter, smiles and loads of learning taking place. Everyone can find their books and school supplies are exactly where they're suppose to be. It's not uncommon to hear, "Hey Mom, look at this! Did you know that...?" We're loving homeschooling.

But today was not that day. No, today I found myself wishing I could put them in school, give myself a coffee IV and take a long, hot shower.

So how do you homeschool on the hard days? Those days you won't to throw in the towel? If you've already put the local public school on speed dial, take heart my friend...there is hope!

1. REFLECT - Think back on why you started homeschooling in the first place. Chances are you're not doing it just for fun and certainly not because it pays well (at least not this side of eternity). No, you're doing it because it's your family's conviction or calling. Because the school system is failing. Because your child has special needs that only you can accommodate. You fill in the blank. We all homeschool for our own set of reasons, but keeping those reasons in the forefront of your mind on the hard days will help keep your resolve strong.

2. REFOCUS - Set aside the bad day and refocus on what your children need to learn. Maybe the "terrible, no-good, very bad" day shone a light on a character issue that needs addressing or a heart issue that's reared its head. Maybe you need to tweak your morning routine a bit to help it flow more smoothly. Ask the Lord to show you any areas that need attention and commit to making the necessary changes. 

3. RECHARGE - After wading through our less than stellar morning, I headed out for a walk along the canal near our house. It was a beautiful September morning. I chatted with the Lord, sketched out the next article for my column in our state homeschool magazine and came home feeling much better. A bad day might be a signal to do something different, something to fill you up. You cannot effectively homeschool your kids if you're running on empty. Did you hear what I said moms? There is a bit of a mindset in some homeschool circles that taking time for yourself is considered selfish. No, it's a necessity! You wouldn't try to run your car on empty, or continue to pour water from an empty pitcher. Both need filling and so do YOU busy mom! Neglecting yourself robs your family of the best you can be.

4. RELAX - A bad day is just that, a day. It doesn't mean the rest of your week or year will be that way. Rest in the Lord and trust that his mercies are new every morning. 

Or in the words of my favorite Southern belle, "After all, tomorrow is another day".

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