I frequently hear moms sharing how they are frustrated with homeschooling. I totally get it. We have been doing this for 20 years so far (eight kids), and I’m not going to lie. It can be HARD.
Often, you finally find a good groove and before you know it, things are bumpy again. Even downright crazy. I sometimes have visions of waving to my children as they ride away in the yellow school bus leaving me to a quiet home and my own thoughts. Let someone else deal with figuring all this school stuff out!
But I know myself. That would last maybe a week, and I would hate not having those days with our kids. Not being part of what they are learning and just BEING together.
I’ve learned that there is an ebb and flow to homeschooling, and it can get hard for a myriad of reasons: sometimes our curriculum isn’t working, or maybe we are in a challenging season of life (pregnancy, death, move, job change, marriage struggles). Sometimes we are expecting too much out of our children too soon. Often we are expecting too much of ourselves.
I have noticed that when we are having a string of bad days, after wading through the mess in my head, there is often one thing that it comes down to: unruly children and unkept boundaries.
If I really stop and think about it, more often than not, I have been distracted for one reason or another, and I have unknowingly slacked off in staying on a routine of checking the kids’ work (chores and book work), giving them too much freedom and not enough responsibility, letting them be disrespectful, not helping them resolve conflicts properly between each other, and so on.
Here’s the deal: kids learn best within boundaries. They are most creative within boundaries. Boundaries are an important part of helping a child feel secure. And those boundaries need to be consistent, or things get thrown off kilter.
As moms….as homeschooling moms, we need to often take an account of how we are doing at providing secure, consistent boundaries in our homes. We can have the smartest kid in town, but if he/she is lacking in discipline and character, we can still raise a fool. So don’t be afraid to let character training and boundary setting trump schoolwork any day.
We want our kids to be well educated, but more importantly we want them to be wise.
Remember to keep first things first.