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A few years ago, homeschool bloggers were posting their reasons for being excited about the new school year. It was a great link-up, but I bowed out because the reality is, I wasn't excited.
I'd like you to know that there are going to be years when you just won't feel like homeschooling. Honestly, there will be hours, days, and sometimes weeks. It's our finite nature to grow tired, weary, frustrated, and bored.
But God is bigger, isn't He? The answer to all of our frustration and fatigue lies in one place alone - the cross. Everything we do is centered on the gospel, and just reminding ourselves of Whose we are and what He's done for us can back us down off the wall we're clawing and scraping to scale.
So, weary homeschooling mom, where are you finding your value, significance, purpose, and worth this year? Is it in Jesus, lover of your soul, or have you shifted all your hope to homeschooling? Is your value and significance weighed by how well you pull off a curriculum or how well-behaved your kids are at the doctor's office? If so, that's a trap, and you are in bondage. Be free! Jesus hasn't bound you that way.
Running the race with 7, fall 2007. I was soon to be expecting our surprise #8, and when I look back on those years, I really don't know how I did it. Grace.
The year I originally wrote this, I was not very excited because the task of educating six students plus a brain-injured preschooler seemed totally overwhelming.
Remedy- God has called me to this life, and He will provide a way to do it without killing me in the process. The key is to remind myself of the gospel all day, every day. I am loved, accepted, and safe in His care even if we fail.
I am not very excited because the other work God has given me to do this year is way more exciting. It's a lot more fun to go to Starbucks and write than to fold laundry for the 10,000th time.
Remedy- God has called me to this life this year, and He will provide a way to do it without killing me in the process. The key is to remind myself of the gospel all day, every day. There is beauty in the mundane, and there is not more value in writing a book than in caring for the people I love.
I am not very excited because the hardest part of my days is dealing with sinful hearts. Like mine.
Remedy- Jesus is the only hope any of us has. The Holy Spirt is the only one who can change our sinful hearts, no matter how hard I try. The key is to remind us all of the gospel all day, every day.
I am not very excited because having to feed everyone 3 meals a day is getting old. There is joy in creating something lovely and yummy, but I don't feel I'm doing that. I feel like I'm either just trying to fill tummies or figuring out who will be home and who will not. Do I cook for 12 or 3?
Remedy- Let it go. Food is sometimes just for our nutrition. The gospel tells me that God will supply all our needs, and our needs are met by food that is unexciting just as it is with the glorious gourmet meals I might pull off once a month.
I am not very excited because, quite frankly, we've been using some of the same curriculum for 19 years. The new student likes it, the old mom, not so much.
Remedy- Pray for a renewed love of this stuff. If God doesn't grant it, just keep going. He still has my back, still loves me, and still calls me His child even if I am snoring over phonics.
I am not very excited because most of my kids aren't very excited. Excuse the analogy, Fletch, but doing school can feel like pulling teeth.
Remedy- Bask in the delight of the gospel. Point us all back to Jesus. Let the Scriptures pour out over us and press in to Jesus.
I am not very excited because I have so many plates spinning. I like summertime when I can just focus on homemaking and writing. The school year is frenetic. Crazy. Too, too much.
Remedy- Listen to the Holy Spirit. He isn't calling me to run around like a wild dog. He has said, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light". The culture tells me my house must be beautifully decorated, my kids and my self stylish, our meals well-planned, our yard in excellent shape. Religion tells me I must be in the Word every morning, I must be at church serving, and I must have it all together on Sunday morning. That's a yoke and a burden, and it isn't the gospel.
When I originally wrote this, I wasn't very excited because my best friend was living in Africa and she usually planned the year with me. We fed off of each other's anticipation and bounced ideas off each other, too. But what if I never have that kind of support? Many of you don't.
Remedy- Lean on Jesus. He can make the prep work seem to go faster and hold my hand all the way.
I am not very excited because my flesh just wants to do something else. 19 years is a long time, and it's at about this point that a lot of people grow weary of a job. Or maybe that's the 7-year itch? I've lasted 12 years longer than the 7-year itch, so kudos to God for carrying me all this way.
Remedy- Again, my hope and security isn't in this job. It's in Jesus. If He were to provide a better educational opportunity, I'd be all over it. But He hasn't. Clearly, homeschooling is what God wants us to do this year and thinking that a different path would be better is lying to myself and shifting my hope on to some other opportunity that doesn't even exist.
I am not very excited because every day I forget how much He loves me.
Remedy- Every day I have to remind myself of the gospel. When I remember that I am loved by the God of the universe, I can rest knowing that He will renew my strength and give me a desire to do what He is asking of me. Because He Loves Me.