For the 14 years that I have been encouraging and strengthening homeschoolers in Maine, one topic always seems to come up many times in a year.
Thoughts “where you assess yourself at the end of the year, and you feel pretty small and as though you just can’t quite do and be enough. Where your shortcomings in regards to schooling your kids at home are leaving you feeling defeated.” (actual quote homeschooling mom)
My reply is “From what I can see you are doing an awesome job. I have done the same thing and now that my children are all moving on into the adult world, they have strength and confidence that I never had! Do they make all the perfect choices? NO, unfortunately, but they are level headed, use common sense, have great jobs and are complimented often about their work ethics and I now know that I have done a pretty good job, Jim and I both, even with all our short comings. God is good all the time, even when we beat our self up, he is lifting us up. Please know that your children are going to get much more out of being home educated than you may see in your lifetime. It is a hard and demanding, draining, emotional, rewarding, and tiring job but it is such a blessing to be able to be with your children everyday all day and to walk with them through the tough times, teaching them how to react to situations, not only by talking to them about things but by how we handle things. I commend you for the great job you are doing.”
As the conversation went on the Mom comes to the reality that – “I think a lot of home schooling parents let their guard down and quit because it’s the easier option than struggling with the guilt of their own imperfections, or even worse, from listening to the societal lie that we just aren’t doing right by our children.” “…especially as our children get older and are on the cusp of their schooling years coming to an end. It’s terrible. Sometimes I lay awake with insomnia at night wondering if I’m doing right by them!”
Why are we so hard on our selves?
Our middle child is at boot camp right now, we couldn’t be more proud of him. He had a rough two years and has come back to what he knows is right. We just got a letter from him, (he was never a writer so we are always excited to get one) he thanked Jim for teaching him to never give up. That is what it is about. Too many just give up because it is too hard or we have to go with out or …. you can always come up with a reason to not do something.
So when the day is done and the homeschooling is completed you will have done the best for your children. We may not do it perfectly but no one is perfect. They will have fond memories of their mom or dad being there for them everyday of their childhood. It may take them a while to appreciate the sacrifice that you have given for them, but, it will come.
As I am preparing Guilford Christian Academy for another year of helping families to home educate I reflect on all the lives we have been part of. The fond memories I have of graduations, field trips, events, and just great conversations are all coming back to me. I love each and everyone of these families and I am so thankful for the Lord leading me to do this job he has for me.
Are you interested in homeschooling and would like to know the way to get started, the options you have, the resources that are available? Give me a call, stop into the office or send me an email. I would love to talk with you. If you are too far away we can always Skype as well, for a face to face discussion.
Visit my blog on the Bangor Daily News at The Homeschool Hub.
*Photo credit Rachael Darrah and Kimberly Whitton