Don’t give up when you hate homeschooling. Elijah didn’t hear God’s voice in the fire or the earthquake – he heard God’s whispers instead.
You are a homeschool mom, and right now, you’re pretty sure you don’t love it.
Perhaps this morning you have stepped on a Lego, an oddly shaped block, one 1980s vintage Fisher Price Little Person, and a polka-dotted pet rock.
And, perhaps, like me, you picked up one (or several) of these items and chucked them across the living room, raging at yourself, your children, your God.
I’ve been there, lady, and I know it feels good to let that frustration out. But then the guilt creeps in; the frustration with what you see as your inability to cope with all of that.
You are a homeschool mom.
This is not how you expected it to turn out.
The Quandary of the Unexpected Homeschooler
Your children are your heart and soul, each with his or her own room in that interior castle. But on days like today when you’ve stepped on the last toy you can handle and your words of instruction have fallen on deaf ears and the toddler’s biting the tips off the Crayola markers dripping blue drool down his chin, you remind yourself –
you never wanted to be in this place.
You never wanted round-the-clock child-rearing.
You never wanted to teach little people to read.
You never wanted to teach children how to count money, add three-digit numbers, or make a diorama of a butterfly life cycle.
You fought the call to the homeschool life harder than a Lego jamming tender flesh, yet here you are, thrust into this life of schoolbooks in every corner.
Math in every making-waffles-for-breakfast
Critical thinking skills at every red light
You wanted to thrive, but right now it feels like you’re barely surviving, hanging on by the fumes of a whispered prayer.
And there are days when you have stated rather loudly that you do, in fact, hate homeschooling.
But the truth is, you actually don’t.
What you hate is the self-doubt and the scrutiny, the fear that somehow you are not enough.
You hate the Screwtape voice that says your children would be better off without you; that being home with them all day is detrimental to their lives.
You know where these thoughts come from, arriving at your weakest moments when you are already tired and prone to negative self-talk. Throw in a few well-placed toys and a barefoot, not watching mama – you have the perfect storm of tantrum a la mom.
Tune it out, dear lady, and find God’s whisper in the storm
Remember that through it all and by the grace of God, your children love you.
And yes – they are learning.
Not just the regular subjects they would get in school.
You are teaching them forgiveness, unconditional love, social skills, self-worth, and perseverance
My friend, I know that sometimes you feel like Elijah:
“I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” (1Kings 19:11)
You’re only dealing with the education of children, and they certainly aren’t striking down prophets with their plastic lightsabers or coming after you (not usually, anyway). But when the world is crashing down and all you can hear is the sound and the fury of your failures, it helps to remember the next part of the story:
[God] said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”(1 Kings 19-22)
What are you doing here, mama?
Are you caught up in the violence of your detractors? Or are you stepping back to listen to that voice?
The quiet one, whose whispers soothe your heart in it’s most difficult moments.
Take a break.
Put the kids in front of the TV and walk away for a minute.
Lift your eyes to the heavens and listen.
On the days when you hate homeschooling, seek out God’s whisper in the storm.