Monday, April 22, 2013

Home schooling highs...home schooling lows

 "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."  Matthew 6:33-34

Sometimes I feel like I have a handle on things.  Life seems to whirl by so quickly that it seems difficult to keep up, but it is easier with a carefully followed schedule.  But then there are those times when it feels like I just come un-raveled.  I just went through one of those pits and I think it was one of the most difficult I've been through as far as my home school goes.
I think it all began with my schedule slipping out of control a bit.  I enrolled a new child in my home child care, lost another child due to his parent's job loss, then got another child back whose mom had been off due to an injury, and my son & his wife both started working so I have my precious granddaughter more.  With new children came new parent's drop-off and pick-up times.  This should be minor - and truly it is - but sometimes tiny adjustments to my routine seem to throw me off my rhythm till I start slipping out of my regular schedule.
The next thing I knew we were getting a little later eating breakfast, a little later beginning school work, and obviously we were a little later finishing.  Funny thing about starting a few minutes later is that it seems to cause your finish time to be even later.  For instance, if I start 15-30 minutes later, it seems like we don't actually get finished till almost an hour later than usual!
Once the schedule slipped a little - there went my nerves!  I was so irritable.  I felt harried and rushed and my children could tell.  I was feeling frustrated with everything.  I started wondering if they were grasping English lessons well enough, and were they really learning their spelling words, and was the math curriculum really up to par?  It feels like once you let your mind run away with anxiety it can really start sabotaging your thoughts until doubt sets in.  Once I started doubting I truly began to worry that I could not teach my children all they needed and I felt like crying at the thought of failing them.  My thoughts would flit between my reasons for home schooling and my reasons I prefer not to put them back in school.
At that point - I just pulled back completely.  I really put it to God in prayer and then I let it go.  We took a week off of some of the extras and just took the time to really dig into some lessons that I felt they needed a tutorial week on, and just focused on core subjects for a few days.  By Grace alone - it worked.  God is SO good.
In the extra time I had allowed myself, I studied my bible more.  I re-read some stories about women in the bible I had not taken much time to read about lately.  I am so glad that He made sure those stories are there for us.  I glean so much from amazing stories like Joseph, Moses, Noah, David, and so many more.  But I am also so thankful to learn about Abigail, Lydia, Deborah, Mary, Martha, and Priscilla.  
I also took the time to re-read my teacher's manuals on areas my children may have struggled to grasp concepts so that I could make sure to pick up on something that may help me explain it to them better.  I re-read parts of the introductory section of my core manual to get tips from the author of my curriculum on teaching the subjects I was most concerned about for each child.  (They each have one area that seems to be more difficult, and of course they are not at all alike!)  By the end of the week I began to feel better.  I also gave the house a thorough cleaning - which always lifts my spirits!
I just thought I'd post this because sometimes - I feel like I get into a place that feels like it will not end.  This feeling of doubt has been working it's way into me for quite a while.  But today - our home school was back on track and I felt so much peace as we closed our day - on schedule!!  I am so thankful that God is so good and when I get into a low place, he brings me through it so faithfully.
"The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it." I Thessalonians 5:24
"Start children off on the way they should go and even when they are old, they will not turn from it."  Proverbs 22:6


  1. Thank you for this honest post about homeschooling lows and highs ;-) This is exactly what it is like for me...little things throw me off schedule. I am finally learning to relax more and go with the flow of the home, rather than get all stressed, but it has taken years. I have found the less I stress, the more the children seem to do. Like when I am harried, everything just goes crazy, when I am calm, despite interupptions and chaos, we seem to achieve goals and keep progressing. You have a lovely, down-to-earth blog ;-)

  2. Thanks so much Homeschool SA Mom! As you can see, I get so busy that I don't have time to post like I wish I did! Posting here is a great way to preserve memories and share with other moms that have similar experiences. I have gotten so many ideas from other moms! Thanks for reading and keep up the great work - you are so right - minimizing chaoes helps us be more productive!!