Sometimes we have rough days. Sometimes we have rough weeks. Well, to be honest sometimes we have rough YEARS! I have to admit that at times I find homeschooling hard. Much harder than I ever imagined.
I think that the saying “anything worth having is worth working for” can be appropriately applied to homeschooling. But the truth is that the fruits of our labor can be hard to spot at times. It may be that the fruits are just small changes, small steps toward growth or that some fruit has an especially long growing season.
Our homeschool journey is coming to the end of its nineteenth year and some days I feel really tired. I have taught the same math lessons seven times. I have taught five children to read. I have had countless conversations with teen sons about the importance of finishing the journey strong. I have tried to teach consistency while I have struggled with it myself.
But for all the struggles, all the weariness and frustration, I still know that this is the right thing for our family. Truthfully…I have asked God on more than one occasion if He could possibly have been wrong about this call to homeschool. I know, God doesn’t make mistakes. When I am thinking more clearly, I can see so many blessings that have come our way because we have remained faithful to this call. But sometimes I’m just plain tired.
A couple of things help me when I get in that place where I need to refocus. First, of course, I go to God. He never fails to reassure me that I am still on the right path. Then, after I get my heart in the right place, I work on getting my mind to come into agreement. An excellent way to quickly remember the benefits of homeschooling is to be reminded of what our kids are missing by not being in school. That’s right, I said what the are MISSING. I know we are constantly faced with people telling us what our kids are missing by being home but the truth is they are missing a lot of things I am glad they are missing.
I have gathered a list of a few resources I have found helpful in this exercise of refocusing.
John Taylor Gatto was a public school teacher who has written several books exposing the true foundations of our public education system. His book entitled The Underground History of American Education is an excellent read.
Peter Gray is a research psychologist who has some very interesting ideas about traditional education practices that help me remember why I am doing what I am doing. You can read his blog here.
Another thing I find helpful is to read other homeschooler’s blogs. I have found several that I find helpful including Why Homeschool.
Hopefully, if you find yourself needing a little boost to help you over a challenging season, some of these resources will help.
We’re hanging in there!