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Oct 1, 2012

Homeschooling On The Difficult Days

MaryAnn Gaver

Homeschooling would be easy if...

  If I didn't have all this laundry to do, if I didn't have to prepare dinner, if I didn't have to juggle the family calendar, if my kids were older, if we didn't have these pesky appointments, and so on!  

      Just when we get on a schedule and things start to run somewhat smoothly -- one (or several) of the children need to go to the doctor, another child needs some dental work or we get the announcement that, uh-oh.... two of the kids need braces! 

     When it comes to the homeschool day -- we know what these interruptions are going to do to our teaching. It makes things difficult! Life seems to get in the way. But one day, we'll look back and things won't seem as difficult as they do today.

           I used to imagine, "If all I had to do was teach, then homeschooling would be so easy!" True. But that wasn't reality. Reality means that sometimes we're behind on the laundry, there's little or no milk in the fridge, and the breakfast dishes still need to be tucked into the dishwasher  --- at noon! We have to make that call to the insurance guy, or get to the bank -- today! Then, in addition to teaching (and the myriad of other details we look after), we want to have dinner on the table at a decent time! 

      It took me a little while to learn that homeschooling is life, and life is homeschooling. No matter what seemed to get in the way, I slowly learned to accept the fact that life, homeschooling and mothering meant having to adapt, adjust and "go with" whatever was happening at that time. For someone who likes a schedule and structure --- this wasn't easy! I learned that "teachable moments" came on difficult days, too. For example, in times of sickness, we learned to help each other and compassionately love the one who was feeling bad. On the days when appointments seemed to interrupt our day, we conversed in the car and were able to talk about things going on in our lives.

     Here's the bottom line: Homeschooling is just like mothering and life. It's filled with interruptions, ups and downs, good and bad days, enlightened moments and discouraging days. It's hard --  but through it all, God will help us. 

     Many a day I felt overwhelmed by the daunting tasks of teaching, managing the household, and being a wife and mom. But the Lord always saw me through....and He will see you through as well!  

    In the boys' middle school years (before we used DVD's) I had a difficult time teaching the math lessons. The pre-algebra stuff just wasn't coming back to me, and I became very discouraged. My husband, Jay would always pray for me and offer to help. In the late afternoons before dinner, I would call the rep (at the publisher) and she would walk me through several problems until I understood it. I was so thankful!

   Whether it's doing laundry, driving to appointments, teaching lessons, or preparing dinner -- know that God is working out His purposes in your family through all the seemingly mundane and difficult things of life. And just like the tutor who helped me through the problems, God, to an infinitely greater and unlimited extent, is available and faithful to help us when we call on Him.  Consider this beautiful encouragement from the Scriptures:

"But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given him."  James 1:5

 

 May the Lord bless you & keep you today!  Enjoy your family!

 love,

 MaryAnn  

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