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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Why I'm Still Homeschooling

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.

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15 comments:

Beverly said...

Thanks! Nice to hear I am not alone at not being perfect!
Blessings, Beverly

:)De said...

I am so sorry for all of your losses. Sometimes, when we lay down our lesson plans, the best lessons we end up teaching our children are how to trust in God during adversity. Rest in the blessed promise that joy comes in the morning.

Peace,
:)De

Luke said...

I think your definition of success is a good thing to consider for every aspect of life... because every situation in life requires grace.

Great post.

~Luke

Robin's Reports said...

Thank you for being so transparent Carletta, in the face of sorrow and trial. You about brought me to tears because I'm just coming off a very bad month where we didn't school for 2-3 wks due to an unexpected health issue for me. I lost my eyesight for a few days and took the rest of the time to regain my vision fully & eventually be w/o pain. I'm in the midst of a big fibromyalgia attack right now. The holiday pressure is upon us too. Cantatas, decorations, company, parties....uh.

I love and will take to heart that you said a homeschool mom takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'. That is SOOO true.

Do we really need spelling lessons? LOL That's what spell-check is for, right? LOL

My condolances to your family & may God bless you richly for being an encourager to us other moms.

Erika said...

Love your post. It is nice to know we all have our days and we all have messy houses!LOL

Erika

Stack said...

AMEN!

You have been in my prayers for quite a few months...but I also want to say...yep, I totally agree. Sometimes "doing it all" doesn't mean "caught up on lessons or Housework". Praise the Lord that we are in a position to face the trials with our arms AROUND our loved ones. Sometimes "doing it all"...means crying, comforting, praying, strengthening, hunkering down and DEALING with the stuff that REALLY needs to be dealt with.

Love you, my friend,
Stack

Tonya said...

VERY well said! keep the faith and keep homeschooling!

SmallWorld at Home said...

Beautiful post. This really touched me: "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." Wow.

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Keeley said...

Wonderful! Thank you so very much for the encouragement - came at a good time. =)

So sorry to hear of your difficult year - hope your children are recovering ok, and that the results of your oral surgery aren't causing you too much pain?

MTheads said...

Your post was both sad and uplifting. It's easy to get depressed when things come at you so fast, especially with a health concern mixed in. But I like how you emphasise family over schedule when things get hectic or complicated. I have to admit, when I'm forced to ease expectations, the children start to do better, and so do I! Maybe that's something to keep in mind even when things are going smoothly.

Cari said...

I am glad you were there to comfort your grieving son. That is why we have families, isn't it? It is easy to get caught up in the typical mindset that our children's education is about the papers they complete and the tests they pass. At home, we offer them so much more.

Thank you for the encouragement that none of us are perfect and for the reminder that life is about so much more than the external accomplishments.

ByHISgoodGrace said...

What a beautiful and well written article. First, I'm so sorry for all your trials. It sounds like it has been a struggle. I am so sorry for your losses. It's obvious that God will use those trials in your life to be glorified.
Thank you for the encouragement you gave through your writings.
Katrina

Autumn Leavz said...

Thank you so much for such a timely article! Coming off of winter burn out and then many problems with our housing that has turned us upside down; and now we're in the midst of sickness...I was feeling like such a failure!

Thank you so much for being real and honest!

~Autumn

Valarie said...

Thank you for your inspiration... I love your blog and your website. Thank you Carletta...

Valarie