I'd be lying if I said I never thought about sending my children to school. In fact, there are many times this fall that I've wanted to pack everyone a lunch, load them into the van, drop them off at the nearest school building and come home to spend the day hiding under the covers.
We were at an all time high this summer, and then my husband's father died. Then I had a botched oral surgery that resulted in permanent nerve damage. Then my husband's grandfather died. There's more, but I won't bore you with the details. As for schoolwork, I'll just say we've watched more than our fair share of preschool on TV, and it's a good thing there are no record keeping requirements in Texas...
However, in spite of all that has happened this year, we've felt the Lord's presence and we've been encouraged in many ways.
It's been encouraging to talk to my aunt who is a homeschooling mother of 12, and has 6 successful home school graduates. She says, "Carletta, there were years when the babies kept coming and there was no time for school work. Your children will be fine."
It's also been encouraging to know that my Lord and Savior is no stranger to sorrow. It encourages me to know that even Jesus struggled with walking in His father's will.
I do know that, for now, it's God's will for me to homeschool, even when my flesh tells me there's a sweeter cup somewhere. But that's not why I'm still homeschooling.
My son burst into tears a few weeks ago during his spelling exercises, and we put the lessons aside. He told me how much he missed Pa Pa and how even though he knew we'd see Pa Pa again, life isn't the same without him.
I wondered how many children failed a spelling test that day because they were missing their Pa Pa. I wondered how many children couldn't concentrate on schoolwork because they were thinking about a puppy they'd left at home, a new baby sister or brother, or their parent's pending divorce.
I am a mother. And I homeschool for my children. No matter how much or how little we accomplish, for now, their place is at home with me.
There is a picture here in cyberspace of a homeschool mom who faces trials joyfully and never wants to hide under the covers. She has a neat and tidy home, perfectly executed lesson plans, and well-behaved geniuses for children. In my quest to encourage you towards Successful Homeschooling, I don't want to contribute to that false image.
A successful homeschool mom doesn't always have her act together. She's not always caught up on lessons, and sometimes her home is a wreck. (You don't want to see the photos. Really.)
A successful homeschool mom is a woman who can take a lickin' and keep on tickin'.
Many hugs to all you mothers who've had a less than perfect year.