End of the Year Encouragement for Homeschool Moms
Dear Homeschooling Mama,
I have an important message for you to hear today.
This message must be delivered to homeschool moms by a homeschool mom.
Because – honestly, who else is ever gonna step up and tell you? Who else are you gonna believe?
Here’s the message that should be shouted from every rooftop. Here’s the message we so desperately need to hear. Here’s the message we so desperately want to believe.
Homeschool Mom, you are a special kind of wonderful.
Wonderful. Wonder. Full. As in - full of wonder.
Not only am I a homeschool mom myself, but I hang with lots of other homeschooling mamas as well.
I watch them. I question them. Dare I say…I compare them to other moms who are not homeschooling.
My keen observations (which have absolutely no biased opinions mixed in whatsoever) reveal that homeschoolers are da bomb!
While homeschooled children are quite fantastic, it’s really their parents who shine.
More specifically, it’s the homeschool mamas who are killing it. Day after day.
Lemme break it down.
On paper, homeschooling looks nice and neat and organized. But, in real life, it’s anything but neat and organized.
Because even if your homeschool is orderly and systematic, your heart may be a jumbled mess.
There’s no way around it. Homeschooling is hard.
It’s more than simply educating our children at the privacy of our dining room tables.
Nope. Homeschooling is a gut wrenching, bring you to your knees, suck the life right out of you, make you doubt everything you ever thought you knew about kids and God and parenting and education.
Here’s the real deal.
Homeschooling is not an educational choice. Or a better alternative. Or a casual hobby to enjoy on a leisurely basis. Nope. Homeschooling is a lifestyle.
This lifestyle is parenting, plus educating, plus cooking, plus changing diapers, plus folding laundry, plus checking emails, plus cleaning, plus meal planning, plus name84moreactivities all day long. Every single day.
Multitasking would be an understatement. Y’all feel me?
There is pain and pleasure. Major defeats and minor victories.
Homeschooling is exhausting and exhilarating. It is so easy and so dang hard. It is a blessing and a curse.
Homeschooling reveals not only our child’s strengths and weaknesses, but ours as well.
It forces us to stay up late and research better options and alternatives because what we’re currently doing is just not working for our family right now.
This lifestyle strengthens our family bonds while simultaneously stretching us beyond our limits.
Homeschooling encourages and lifts us up one day and then pushes us down onto all fours and rubs our faces in it the next.
Homeschooling is inhaling three granola bars and left-over juice from a sippy cup as you stir the spaghetti sauce for dinner.
Homeschooling is $23.00 in library fees.
It's Playdoh, Legos, and the monthly bills all sprawled out before breakfast.
And it's conducting a spelling test while nursing the baby.
And it's yelling step by step instructions down the hall so the eight-year-old can change the one-year -old’s pee pee diaper because you are in the bathroom pooping.
Homeschooling is second guessing our every move and crying ourselves to sleep.
Homeschooling is switching umbrellas three times just to go back to the one we originally started with.
Homeschooling is hoping and praying that each decision made is the right one. And begging for God’s grace and intervention when it’s so obviously not.
Homeschooling is teaching every child every subject for years and years and years even though we never completed college ourselves.
It is wearing sports bras even though we don’t exercise because we are unable to go bra shopping by ourselves.
Ditto for neglecting our annual pap smear.
Homeschooling is walking to the mailbox and suddenly realizing we haven’t been outside in two and half days.
Homeschooling is purchasing Tylenol in bulk for the teething baby, the preteen experiencing growing pains, and the mama with a bad case of PMS.
Homeschooling is buying curriculum instead of paying the mortgage on time.
Homeschooling is loving our husbands for letting us do this.
Homeschooling is hating our husbands for letting us do this.
Y'all know it is blaming ourselves for everything that goes wrong and taking zero credit for the things that go right.
Homeschooling is rebelling against friends, family, and dare I say, plain old common sense to do what we think is best for our families.
Homeschooling is dog cussing the printer on a weekly basis.
Homeschooling is having a love/hate relationship with Amazon Prime.
Homeschooling is moving forward even though we are scared to death.
Home education is a pain in the butt, while also being one of life’s greatest privileges.
Here’s to the sleepless nights and unshaven legs.
Here’s to cereal for breakfast and dinner.
Also, here's to being pregnant and nursing and teaching the preschooler how to read at the same time.
Here’s to reading and reading and reading and reading and reading.
And here’s to not knowing what the heck we’re doing, feeling unqualified, and totally inadequate…and still pressing on.
Here’s to putting ourselves in timeout because today is turning out to be even more challenging than yesterday.
Here’s to sticking with it even though we wanted to give up months ago.
Here’s to starting the school year with excitement and jubilation and here’s to limping along those last few weeks of the year doubting our very survival.
And here’s to the tears and struggle, to the pain and pressure.
And to commitment, courage, and conviction.
And to strength and weakness, love and hate, success and failure.
Here’s to you, Homeschool Mom.
Homeschooling Mama, I see you. I know you. You are not alone.
The path we have chosen is a worthy one.
We are sacrificing so very much on behalf of our families and that is honorable.
Homeschooling requires commitment, courage, strength, determination, and the willingness to learn as we go.
Our children have lived and experienced these admirable traits right along beside us. We exhibit these fantastic qualities day in and day out.
We are giving our children so much more than an education. We are providing a spring board into the real world.
Our children have the privilege of witnessing what it’s like to struggle and fight for something we believe in.
That’s a rare, brave thing to offer children.
Quite frankly, I think it’s wonderful.
Angelene Woodard is a wife, mother, writer, and reluctant homeschooler who blogs about her frustrations and victories at www.unqualifiedmom.com where she encourages fellow Christians to embrace their weakness and accept His strength.