As we glance at the calendar with the sky dark at 4:30 p.m. and realized the first few months of school have flown by and Christmas is just around the corner, it’s pretty common for homeschool moms (and dads) to feel tired and weary this time of year. The “new” of the school year is gone and the realities of home education have started to hit your family. This wasn’t quite what you expected it would be.
This week, we are sharing an article from CHEA’s General Manager, Rebecca Kocsis that she wrote when she was in the midst of homeschooling her five children. She has since graduated all five, but the encouragement, experience, and knowledge she has to share is just as valuable for homeschool moms today.
An open letter to every homeschool mother who thought she would have more time to bake cookies now that she homeschools, who thought her kids would delight in doing their schoolwork now that Mommy is the teacher, and who didn’t realize how fast a fairly clean and organized house could become a disaster area when children are home all day:
To every homeschool mom whose next door neighbor still stops by at ten o’clock every other morning “to chat” even though she’s been lovingly told about school hours more than once, who thought she would have more patience with her child, who thought she knew phonics and understand fractions, but it really only learning (or relearning) alongside her children:
To every home educator who has realized life goes on, i.e. dishwashers break down, water heaters burst, and toilets overflow when you homeschool, too. And whose kids jettison out the back door when mom gives a quick glance to her phone at her recent text messages:
I want to let you know that after twelve years of home education, I still don’t bake many cookies, but my kids do. For most of my children, Mommy has always been their teacher, and they delight in doing some of their schoolwork–especially science experiments that set off the smoke alarm. My house is officially declared a national disaster area only one day a week now!
The next door neighbor who used to stop by like clockwork, doesn’t. She moved away. I can still count on my mom to call at 9:30 a.m., though. I think I do have more patience with my children, but I’ve earned it. I’ve memorized every major spelling rule along with examples, plus all the Sing, Spell, Read, and Write phonics songs. I have successfully completed high school algebra three times; no more fretting over fractions for me!
And life is still going on. To date, we’ve replaced the dishwasher, water heater, refrigerator, bathroom plumbing, vacuum cleaner, computer, lawn mower, two cars, two engines in the same truck, one roof (thinking about another), and the dog. Let’s see, I know there’s more…Oh, the kitchen sink! Really! Finally, I am happy to say my kids no longer jettison out the back door when I glance at my phone – but there’s a 75-pound retriever puppy in the yard who doesn’t know what “down!” means yet.
So, what’s my point? Home education isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. Many of us start with unrealistic expectations. At some point during the year, our illusions are replaced by reality. Then we wonder, “What have I done? What on earth made me think I could do this?”
May I remind you that nothing on earth made you think you could do this. It was your God in heaven. Only His strength and wisdom can enable you. Only the knowledge that He’s called you to teach your children at home will give you the perseverance you need to keep going. I’m sure you know all this. You probably just forgot.
Although your earthly home is showing signs of wear, you are storing up quite a few treasures in heaven. Nothing and no one on earth can take that away from you. The One in heaven sees all that you are doing and He is well pleased.
As a homeschooling mom- I’ve graduated 3 and are back in the ring now with a late in life child….he’s 14 with learning challenges. I understand to some degree this blog. I have not had the “empty school room” and will not for another 5 years, however, I know with all my heart that my Father in Heaven wants this and so to be obedient to Him, I follow. Being “older”, sometime things escape me so I have lots of notes & books available. And, God Bless the Internet. With my others, it was not as available. To all those who become discouraged, turn to Jesus…He wants to help & He does…Trust Him and His Holy Spirit and above all, relax, because these years fly by so quickly and then you will wish for the time…take it now & build memories.
Brava, Rebecca!! This should be required reading for new homeschool parents. Learning happens through all the “interruptions” and twists and turns of life. Sometimes the “distractions” are actually more educational than the books. Thanks for a great article!
I have graduated two and one (fifteen and a half years old) more to go and it is still a great reminder of these truths, even in my season of life.
Thank you for the encouragement!