When you consider your homeschooling efforts, have you ever wondered how it’s all going to turn out? Do you ever worry that you’re ruining your kids’ lives or if you’re doing the right thing?
Yeah, we did, too. I think we all do. We want our kids to turn out right. And yet every day seems to give us evidence of our weakness, uncertainty, and lack of skill at this grand project!
I’m going to be sharing some homeschool encouragement for you – 5 things I wish I had known sooner!
We started homeschooling when we only had two children, and now we have eight. Four of them have graduated and gone on to college, while we still have four at home.
We’re twenty-four years into our homeschooling adventure, and though we’re several years from being finished, we’ve learned some things along the way … things that we know now that we wish we’d known SOONER!
HERE’S SOME HOMESCHOOL ENCOURAGEMENT FOR YOU – 5 THINGS I WISH I HAD KNOWN SOONER!
1. They grow up fast.
The days are long, some days, oh so long, but the years are incredibly short. When they’re all little, everything is hard.
I remember when it was trouble to go anywhere because you had to find all the shoes, then the baby needed to nurse, then you had to change a diaper (or two). By the time we got in the van, children, and shoes and stroller and snacks and diaper bags and all, I didn’t even want to go anywhere anymore!
I wish I’d known that one day those same kids would be carrying out my bags and driving me around.
When all the children are small, growing up seems an eternity away; but when they’re big, you’ll ask yourself where the time went!
It’s especially a challenge homeschooling a houseful of all different ages, but it’s worth every bit of it. Here’s some free help balancing it all.
2. They are going to learn to read.
Even that kid.
Our first three were early readers and we started to think our kids were brilliant and we were pretty good at this homeschooling thing. Then our sweet, bright fourth child just couldn’t get it.
We tried program after program before we realized he was dyslexic. You know what? He’s in college now and he’s on the Dean’s List.
I wish I had known that back then. And I wish he’d known that, too.
If you’re in the midst of the struggle to read, listen to this free workshop for hope and help. Don’t panic or give up just because your child is learning on a different timetable than you expected.
3. Homeschooling is not a competition.
That pressure to do what’s best for our kids tends to make us look around us to see how we’re doing. We eyeball the other families in our group and anxiously compare milestones.
If our child’s “behind,” we feel like failures. If they’re ahead, we’re full of pride.
In truth, we probably had nothing to do with either outcome!
Social media doesn’t make it any better. We’re watching everyone else’s highlight film and comparing it to our own blooper reel. Ugh. But it doesn’t need to be this way!
One of the huge advantages of homeschooling is that we can do what’s best for each of our kids, so why do we worry about what the Joneses are doing?
Their “perfect” curriculum may be awful for your kids. Your schedule might drive them crazy. Who cares? No one will even know in twenty years. You do what’s best for your family.
4. God’s curriculum doesn’t always look like yours.
So many of life’s important lessons aren’t in our lesson plans, and you can’t buy them at the online bookstore.
As we look back on more than two decades of homeschooling, we can think of so many times that life just overtook us – times that one of us was ill, times a family member was hospitalized, times we had to relocate in the middle of a school year, or a high-risk pregnancy interrupted our plans.
We were stressed out as we dealt with the emergency and thought of our homeschooling falling further and further behind schedule.
What we didn’t realize when we were so worried about all the unfinished schoolwork is that our kids were learning character lessons that don’t come from a textbook.
- They were learning that family comes first and you need to take care of those you love.
- That God provides for us, even in trials.
- There was patience, responsibility, compassion, and so much more that they learned.
When God brought about the circumstances, though, we worried about worksheets. Seriously. Don’t be that parent. Here’s a free workshop that will give you practical help and encouragement.
Trust God and make the best of whatever the Lord brings into your life, even if it isn’t the calm, ordinary homeschool life you imagined. His lesson plan is perfect.
5. In the end, you’ll be glad you homeschooled.
Now that we have adult kids, we see benefits we didn’t even know to look for.
I wish I had known that homeschooling would allow us to build a relationship with our kids that few people enjoy these days.
Our adult kids are our best friends, our prayer partners, and one of the biggest sources of joy in our lives. We didn’t realize that all that extra time we had with them would pay off in such a big way.
God told the prophet, Isaiah, “I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning …” (Isaiah 46:10-11)
We don’t know the future—He does. Yet we have seen this ourselves—homeschooling is a really effective way to disciple our children, diligently teaching them God’s word “when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” (Deuteronomy 6:7)
Let that be your homeschool encouragement. Be faithful with the things you can control, trust God to stand in the gap, and don’t fret! When you look back when it’s all said and done, you’ll be amazed at what God has made out of all those days and weeks and years! He is good!
Melanie Young and her husband Hal are the award-winning authors of Raising Real Men; My Beloved and My Friend; Love, Honor, and Virtue; and the upcoming No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Hope and Grace. They are publishers, writers, bloggers, and popular conference speakers internationally, known for their Christ-centered focus and practical, real-life stories. They are the parents of six real boys (four grown!) and two real girls and live in noisy, messy happiness in North Carolina.
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