"Any man can work when every stroke of his hands brings down the fruit rattling from the tree... but to labor in season and out of season, under every discouragement ... that requires a heroism which is transcendent." -Henry Ward Beecher
If you and I sat next to each other to enjoy a cup of coffee together, and you were to ask me what it takes to homeschool, I'd say, "Perseverance." In What Does It Take, Pt. 1, we talked about the commitment that it takes on the part of the parents. Yes, homeschooling is a huge commitment.
To teach day in, day out, week in, week out takes tenacity and an attitude that says, "I'm going to stick to this!" And that's hard—especially when we don't always see immediate results or fruit. We talked about that in Fact #3 and the Apricot Tree. And it's especially hard when your kids get into the middle and high school years.
I became so discouraged in the high school years, so overwhelmed and doubtful that I bailed. (See Don't Jump Ship) I actually enrolled the boys in school for eleventh grade, but thankfully, after only three days, all of us knew that we were out of sync with God's will, and He miraculously "turned the ship around" and brought us back home where we had a new resolve to finish the last years of high school as homeschoolers. So, we ended up making it through graduation!
The middle school years are definitely challenging. Our kids change so much, and have a lot going on in their lives—academically, socially and emotionally. This makes it harder to persevere. The classes and course schedules are more difficult from an academic perspective, and you wonder if you can keep up with the record keeping, credits, and outside activities—however great these things might be...
This is the time to keep on—to persevere and to keep teaching at home. If you need to look into co-op classes, do it—but keep homeschooling through graduation. You won't regret it!
May God bless you as you keep on!
"The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong." -Eccl. 9:11