Homeschooling is a blessing. I’ve said it a million times, and I’ll probably say it a million more. The part I don’t chat about quite as much? Homeschooling can also be really tough. We all go through seasons in life. Some seasons are great and you breeze through life happy as can be. In other seasons everything seems to be going wrong, and it can feel like the season will never end.
Sometimes during the difficult seasons, it can be all too easy to see the big shiny yellow school bus and wonder if maybe this homeschooling business is really worth it. You think about all the time you’d have if you sent your kids off to school for 8 whole hours a day. In my heart I know that homeschooling is what’s best for our family, but sometimes it’s all too tempting to give up when life gets tough. During our “summer break” (we’re year round homeschoolers) I’m taking some time to look intentionally at the gifts of homeschooling even during our difficult seasons.
10 Gifts of Homeschooling During Difficult Seasons
The Chance For Heart Training
Some difficult seasons are caused by things completely out of our control, but sometimes they’re caused (at least in part) by behavior issues. Mr. C was really struggling with the transitions back and forth from his biological dad’s house to home.
Trying to do school work, chores, or follow our basic structures and routines was a struggle after having different rules at their house. Because of homeschooling, we were able to take lots of time to work through the bigger heart issues that may not have been addressed if he was gone for 80% of his waking hours.
Homeschooling Is On Our Schedule
Mr. C and A-Man have visitation with their biological dad on Mondays and Tuesdays because he works retail and those are his days off. With homeschooling, it’s easy to be flexible with our schedule. If the boys were in public school Monday through Friday, chances are their visitation would change to every other weekend.
They’d see him much less, and the transitions would be that much harder. Mr. C brings one day’s worth of school work with him, so he has one day “off” at each house. It’s what works best for us, and putting the kids in public school would ruin that routine.
We Can Make Slow Progress
When we have heart issues to deal with, or there’s a change in routine, we can easily take a quick break. When morning sickness hit, there was no way that I could keep up the pace we were going. We slowed down and focused on subjects Mr. C could work on by himself.
When we have busy seasons (for us, usually the holidays) we can take longer breaks and spend time doing things we enjoy knowing that we’re still moving forward and making progress.
I Know My Kids
Because of homeschooling, my kids are pretty much always home. Because of this, I know them inside and out. I know when they have tummy aches and when they just don’t feel like doing anything. I know when they’re exhausted and need to take an early nap time. I know when they’re overworked and need to take a break from school. I know when they’re being overstimulated and need a sensory break.
I can calm the boys down and help them work together to find solutions because I know them. I know their favorite shows, activities, and songs.
I know Baby M likes garlic crackers more than regular, I know that A-Man prefers his sensory bin over play dough, and I know that Mr. C would rather snuggle and read from our chapter book than watch a movie (most days). I know all of this because they’re home with me all day every day.
My Kids Are Together
Similar to my last point, my kids are together all the time. They get to know each other inside and out as well. They learn to play together and work together to solve their problems. Baby M wants to be just like A-Man lately. He plays with toys in the same way and tries to copy everything he does.
Mr. C is so much more accepting of children of all abilities because he’s been raised around his brothers and their special needs. He knows how to communicate with kids who have communication difficulties. A-Man learns how to share because he’s always around Mr. C and Baby M.
They will grow up fighting and making up and playing and learning from each other, and hopefully they’ll be best friends for the long haul because of it.
Homeschooling Is Real Life
Sometimes in real life, homeschooling doesn’t look like a beautifully finished workbook and a craft project straight off of Pinterest. Sometimes homeschooling looks like adding practice at the grocery store and a Magic School Bus episode. Sometimes homeschooling looks like learning new chores and reading animal books because Mommy has a migraine and can’t read anything.
With homeschooling, we get to experience life’s ups and downs together. We get to go through the difficult seasons as a family and all learn to accept that doing our best is much better than striving to get everything perfect.
Homeschooling Challenges Me
I’m a perfectionist, a planner, and definitely type-a. I like things to go exactly how they’ve planned, and I’m easily overwhelmed when things get off track. If you’re a new homeschooler, let me tell you now, things will go off track. You will have a picture perfect pinterest craft planned and your child will decide they’d rather just see what color is made when they use every single marker in the box (hint: it’s a yucky brownish black that stains all the markers).
I love that I’m with my kids all day pretty much every day, but it definitely has a way to show me my flaws. Homeschooling constantly challenges me to be the very best teacher that I can be because there’s no one in the world who cares more about my students’ success.
We Can Include Faith In Our Homeschool
When we’re in a difficult season, we can use our homeschool to point our children to God. We can practice prayer together. We can read the Bible together.
When we’re dealing with a particular behavior issue, we can search together and find out what God has to say about it. When we’re afraid we can read stories of empowerment and know that God will protect us. When we are struggling with obedience, we can read about people who obeyed God’s commands and those who disobeyed.
If the boys were in public school and disobeyed, they would likely get a time out, but here we can seek out a Biblical response which can lead to really interesting discussions.
Homeschooling Gives Us Victories
We took a tiny road trip to the ocean yesterday which included 5 or 6 hours in the car round trip. Mr. C brought books and spent a majority of the car trip reading stories to himself. During the day to day mundane practicing it can be hard to see the wins, but when you look back after a while they’re easy to see.
Mr. C can pick up a book off our shelf and read it with minimal errors when last year he was struggling to sound out CVC words. This year he’s writing simple stories, and last year he was still learning to write his letters clearly.
Last year A-Man could not sit through anything other than his favorite TV show, and now he’s learning to sit for table work. This year he’s narrating his day to us, when last year he struggled to ask for a sandwich. Homeschooling gives us the ability to look back at these wins and know that we helped them do it.
Homeschooling Is Filled With Grace
There is no rule that we have to be out the door by 7:25 AM to catch the school bus. We don’t even have to get dressed every day if we don’t want to! To be honest, we’re in our jammies all day more often than I’d like to admit. We don’t have to school from 8-3 every day, and we don’t have to worry about packing lunches and making after school snacks and being prepared.
Honestly, moms of kids in public school, I applaud you. I don’t think I could do it. We get up and start our day when we feel like it, we finish school when it’s done, and sometimes we all need a family nap in the middle of the day. If we don’t finish our lessons today, we can do an extra one tomorrow.
There’s no permission slips to forget to sign or running to the school because your child forgot their homework lesson. There’s no battles at 8 PM because your kids finally got home from their after school activities and they have to finish their homework tonight or you’ll get a note from the teacher. There’s just grace. Our family. Our homeschool. Our schedule. Filled with grace.
Have you been going through a difficult season? How do you focus on the blessings of homeschooling when the shiny yellow bus goes by? I’ve shared the blessings that I focus on, and some lovely other homeschool bloggers of the iHomeschool Network are sharing about the gifts of homeschooling! Be sure to click on the image and check out their posts!
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