Week three. I’ve already threatened to send the kids to school. More than once. September is a hard month.
It’s not just September. Homeschooling is a hard gig. It is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done and will probably be the hardest thing I’ll ever do.
It’s messy. Keeping up with the general tidying, let alone properly cleaning, is near impossible when there are little ones running around undoing everything as soon as it’s done. (And yes, they do have chores.)
It’s exhausting. The mess, the chaos, the battles—I’m tapped out by the end of the day.
And yet, I know that it’s worth it in the end. Educating my children is the most beautiful, most rewarding thing I have ever done and will ever do.
In this season of life, I’m called to this.
Yesterday, when everyone was fighting me on school work and I could feel my patience waning, we closed our books and headed to the park. I brought a picnic blanket, a read-aloud and some snacks. The kids smelled the roses and ran and climbed. I stretched out on the blanket, the breeze in my hair, and watched the squirrels busily gathering nuts for winter.
And everyone felt better.
Relationships are more important than academics.
I remind myself of that. It’s okay to step away every now and again. It’s not that I want my kids to be undisciplined. It’s a matter of peace in the home.
Sometimes, I need to step back and re-evaluate what we’re doing and why.
Sometimes, I need time to breathe so I can be a better mother.
Remember that post about planning? In it, I told you guys, “It took me a couple of years to figure out how to create a schedule that was rigid enough to keep us on track and yet flexible enough that I didn’t feel completely overwhelmed if we fell behind a bit.”
I can’t stress this enough:
Prepare in advance for the hard days.
I build a two-week buffer into our school year. Somehow, even with the buffer, it works out that we’ll be finished most subjects by the beginning of June this year.
I’m happy about that, but when it comes right down to it, it’s okay to homeschool during the summer if we need to. In fact, many people recommend a lighter summer school schedule. There are no hard and fast rules.
We have time.
We also have an end goal. Raising intelligent, curious children is important, but even more important is raising children who love Jesus.
Focus on the end goal.
I remind myself of that constantly. I don’t want to give the Lord my leftover time and my leftover energy. I want to put Him first—first in my day and first in my homeschool. My natural bent is to live in the here and now, but there is something much more important to consider.
Isn’t that why we do this? To raise little ones for His glory?
It’s hard to do that when the chaos of homeschooling creates chaos in us. But Jesus creates peace in the storm.
In our homeschools, in our homes and in our hearts.