We’ve begun our second year of homeschooling, and it’s quite surprised me how well and how fast it’s skipping by. I absolutely love teaching my children, however this wasn’t something I considered for our family when I became a mom in 2013. As time as passed, as I’ve come to know my children and grow in my faith, my ability to trust fully in the Lord (Proverbs 3:5) and the good plans He has for us (Psalm 145:9), my heart has been drawn to homeschooling.
Before my first full year of teaching in 2018, we worked through about four months of homeschool before my fourth baby, Landon, was born. After his birth we rested and soaked up the summer season together, and then last fall we began our first year.
It was everything I thought it would be: exciting, challenging, fruitful. Of course, it was incredibly challenging at times, but take heart ~ what that is valuable and worthwhile is always challenging at times. When we experience challenges we have the opportunity to grow deep, life changing roots.
Might I add: it was much easier to see the fruit once the school year was nearly finished. And I’m OK with that! Daily deposits of positivity and love into our children’s lives lead to visible beauty over time.
Once the school year came to a close we enjoyed another season of rest and summertime play.
We are now roughly six weeks into our school year for 2019-2020, and I credit two wonderful books, Teaching from Rest and The Call of the Wild and Free, with helping us enjoy our second year so beautifully. These are inspiring resources that I’ve referenced many times over. Have you read them?
Reading is something I naturally enjoy, it’s been a favorite past time for as long as I can remember. However, I firmly believe reading is something you can learn to love, as with any “thing” that is good for you or useful at helping you grow into your self. I have frequent memories of my mom saying, “if you know how to read you can learn to do anything.” Oh, what truth that is! Have you experienced that? We all have challenges and natural preferences, but being able to learn a new rhythm is deeply rewarding. So even if you don’t prefer to read, I want to squeeze your hand and say, give it another try. What if you come to love it? Imagine the possibilities.
There are many things I’ve learned as I increase my experiences as a teacher to my children, although I’ve been teaching my children from the day they were conceived in my womb. Teaching them the sound of my voice, the way my footsteps sound (and feel as I carry them around), how to nurse and begin to spoon feed. I’ve taught them how to play quietly, how to play creatively, how to take ownership of their toys, how to ask the neighbors questions and engage in meaningful conversation. I could go on and on and on, and my guess is you can as well. You are your child’s best, most influential teacher! And of course, we practice many tasks/concepts often as nothing is ever “caught” the first time around.
So in a sense, teaching my children their school lessons has been a natural transition alongside everything else we’ve learned together.
As a mother, I’m able to teach from a state of rest because I don’t have to carry the burden on my own. Christ is leading the way. Homeschooling is gentle, slow and steady, adaptable. It’s full of forgiveness and growth. Homeschooling is moment after moment of teaching my children, experiencing the easy and hard together as we work through the rhythms of life.
I’m learning there’s a whole new depth to how and why we need to embrace our children, family, interests, belief, and temptations.
When I feel weak and begin to show frustration or impatience, I must pull back and allow myself to review my WHY for homeschooling. When we limit the distractions and increase our interaction with nature I’ve noticed our imaginations soar. They soar every time.
You’ve been fought for. Your growth matters to Him. Your growth matters to your children who will inherently learn your habits and mantras. Even when something is hard, like the idea of homeschooling your children, there’s the promise of resting in Him as you teach your tribe of littles. I promise you you will learn and be transformed along the way. It’s a beautiful, unimaginable transformation.
PS. perhaps you are in a season of not being able to homeschool. Do you believe you still have a mighty influence over your children and household? You may want to write a list of values, lessons, experience you want to create within your home. And read these books: Teaching from Rest and The Call of the Wild and Free. I know you’ll be deeply encouraged.
Whether you homeschool or not, my prayer is you believe your worth and know the source of your strength. May you draw close to the wonder of learning.