Encouragement Homeschool

Why Homeschooling Matters

I’ve been homeschooling for 20 years.  That’s a long time, so believe me when I say,  “What you are doing matters.”  If it didn’t, I would have given up long ago because it can get hard. Really hard.

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But I can tell you it’s worth it.  Because here’s the deal: just the fact that you are willing to take that kind of responsibility for your kids’ education shows that YOU CARE. THAT alone is huge.   The unspoken ripple effect of a caring parent is bigger than we realize.  There are countless studies that prove that a loving, caring parent makes all the difference in a child’s development, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  Caring parents typically raise caring children.  And we all know the world could use more of those.

The homeschooling environment encourages thinking.  And thinkers change the world.  They are the ones who contemplate life outside the box.  They are the movers and the shakers who don’t follow the herd just “because.”  I have a love/hate relationship with this fact, because it can make daily life more challenging than I want…”Why can’t you people just cooperate with the plan?!!”  Sometimes our kids dispute our reasoning behind a decision and want a clear explanation.  Sometimes it’s appropriate.  Sometimes it’s not.  But that’s another thing that they learn.   These thinking children may ask questions you cannot answer, doubt things you never questioned and do other things that would have never crossed your mind to try. But they WILL make a difference in their lifetime.

Homeschooling lets kids be kids.  They can get book work done AND still have plenty of time to be a kid.  A childhood is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children because it really contains so many life lessons:  the gift of wonder, the gift of time, the gift of curiosity, questioning, trying, the gift of play and accomplishment, creativity and innovation.

It’s easy for we homeschooling moms to drown in the  waters of expectations, busyness, details, and fear that what we are doing isn’t enough.  Take it from an older mom:  don’t waste your time and energy on these things.  Take that energy and use it to be engaged in these moments with your kids, to simplify, to enjoy this time with them (because it is fleeting) and to BE a person worth imitating.  Because the most important things we pass on to our kids won’t be found in curriculum, lesson planning, or science projects.  It will be found in who we are and how we live life WITH our kids.

And you know what?  No one can do this thing with your kids like you can. You are a perfect fit for your children and they for you (even though it doesn’t always feel like it).  So embrace the uniqueness of your family and yourself, as a mother.  You are making a long term investment that doesn’t always bring an immediate return, but there’s a very good chance your kids will thank you later.  So don’t lose heart,  WHAT YOU ARE DOING MATTERS!

About the author

Durenda

Durenda is a mom to eight (ages 13-27), nana to four, and wife to Darryl for 28 years. She has homeschooled from the beginning (22+yrs) and has graduated 5, so far. Her two oldest girls are married and her oldest son graduated from college at 21. She loves encouraging moms through writing, speaking and podcasting. One of her favorite things is helping parents to slow down, think simply and outside the box so they can homeschool confidently and in a lifestyle that is a great fit for their families.
She has her own podcast (Durenda Wilson) and has published a simple, mercifully short book on homeschooling called, "The Unhurried Homeschooler" which encourages parents to take the time to find out what really works for them, let go of self-driven standards and learn to homeschool from a place of peace! She recently published a devotional just for moms. "Unhurried Grace for a Mom's Heart" can be found on Amazon.

13 Comments

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  • Beautiful post and the perfect encouragement as we head into the holiday season!

    What we’re doing as homeschool moms matters. It’s hard work but it’s so worth the effort!

  • It’s silly but the most encouraging thing to me was reading your bio. I homeschooled two of my children, one of whom went on to the state university and then to her masters degree. Most of the other homeschooler moms I knew acted as if I was a traitor, sending my child off to an INSTITUTION. So, to read that the uber-homeschooler mom had one in college was gratifying. Homeschooling is about doing what is best for our children, and sometimes that is sending them off to college … but that’s a whole post in itself.

  • I’m so glad I came across this today! I began homeschooling my 3rd grade son around February of this year. He had been in public school up until now. I’ve finely been overwhelmed and I’ve felt that I’m not doing enough in teaching him. I also have a good year old daughter who is being home schooled also. My husband has told me that I’m doing a great job, but I don’t feel that way. I struggle with keeping a clean house and doing school with them. It’s so stressful. I’ve listened to so many tips and read articles but it’s just hard to maintain! ! But thank you so much for this article. I know that I am capable of doing it!

    • Ashley, it is a balance just like so many other things in our lives. My house is driving me crazy right now, in spite of the fact that we pick up and clean regularly. So this week, the kids are only doing math and we are organizing and purging unnecessary items out of the house. Mom has to keep her sanity too! And by the way, you should listen to your husband! Husbands seem to have a much better perspective on things!! Don’t give up! And can I encourage you to not try to do TOO much? I have seen SO many moms knock themselves out homeschooling in the early elementary years and before you know it they AND the kids are burnt out! Keep things as simple as possible and build slowly and let your little boy BE A KID!! One of the best gifts you can give your kids is a childhood! 🙂

  • Hi, Durenda!
    I love your posts and videos. You are so encouraging to me. My kids are 8, 6, 3.5, and 15mos, girl, boy, boy, girl. We are hoping for at least 2 more. I am always worried that I’m not doing enough, but posts like this one help me realize that what I *am* getting done, the character & relationship building, is what is going to matter so much in the long run. It is sometimes hard to see that in the short term when the house is crazy and I’m buried in (clean but not folded or put away) laundry! 🙂
    Speaking of laundry, do you have a weekly or daily routine you follow to keep up with your home duties (besides school)? I love my mom bunches, but she didn’t teach me how to cook/clean because she wanted to do it all herself, maybe. The seat-of-my-pants flying stopped working about 1 baby ago, and I need a road map so things aren’t so crazy!
    Blessings!
    Amy

    • It’s good to hear you are being encouraged, Amy! Yes, you definitely have your hands full, but I’m sure you wouldn’t have it any other way! Looking back, I miss those busy days of “doing” with sweet (and sometimes not so sweet) little ones. Simplicity is the key. I usually had certain days I focused on laundry more and had the kids help me, but it seemed to just be a perpetual job.
      I usually spent a little time (still do) each morning tidying the house and getting dishes done. The kids had and have jobs they do each morning. Then we would do school for a little while and if they were working independently on that, I would work in the kitchen (usually utilizing my crockpot) to get a head start on dinner or baking bread, etc.
      I think meal planning is a good idea. As the kids got old enough, they helped out with breakfast and lunch. I think I just started having someone on lunch duty each day…warming leftovers or making pb and j or some other simple meal at lunch time. This is where planning so you have stuff in the house for that really helps.
      Also, I made the kids have quiet time every afternoon after lunch and then around 4 they would do “odd jobs”…whatever picking up, etc that needed to be done so we would go into the evening with a tidy house. Baths would usually happen after dinner.
      If you have any more questions or want an ear to listen and help problem solve, my email is durendalee@gmail.com
      Blessings
      Durenda

  • I am currently homeschooling my 9 year old through third grade. I am going to school myself taking only one class online and working on my Bachelors in Elementary Education. I thought this would be a great experience for us both. Turns out it has been a nightmare!! We do the public school online version of homeschool because I like the idea that he is keeping up with public school so if I change my mind for next year I can send him back to public school. I am strongly leaning in that direction these days. I cannot get him to stay on task. I have a four year old and I make her worksheets to do, she gets them done, and then she has the rest of the day to play and “be a kid”. My son does not get this. He spends all day on his 4 classes, and is continually off task. I have to pretty much stand on top of him for him to keep going and not stop. I feel so overwhelmed and stressed and tired. I just want to stop and send him back to public school. I tried this because I thought it would be better for him (he was on the honor roll at school last year) and he would not have to deal with children bullying him. He is taller than most kids his age and wears glasses. I am ready to pull my hair out of my head. I never get any complements from my husband about the hard work I am doing just to keep him getting his studies on track. I get flack from my son, stress from my husband, and not to boot I am in school myself. I was all ready at the begining of the year to do this, but now I just want to quit. I need more encouragement to keep going. At this point I just want the school to be over!! I feel like a huge failure at doing this.

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