Stay Strong in Your Decision to Homeschool

Yesterday we talked about Starting Fresh when you feel stressed and burnt out with homeschooling. That was Part 1 of a 3-part series.

But how you can stay strong and run the race of homeschooling that you have chosen for your family so that you don’t get to that breaking point? That’s what I would like to address today. You need to follow a 5-Step Plan that will keep you from the cliff of burn-out and frustration and squarely on the road of successful, joyful homeschooling.

strongwoman

Read on about the 5 Steps to Staying Strong in Homeschooling…

5 Steps to Staying Strong in Homeschooling:

  1. 1. Identify the source of your strength! For me, it is my Lord. Whether or not you share my faith, I believe that you have to find the source of your strength. When I have hard days, I look to the Lord for my strength and He promises that He will give it.

It says in Isaiah 40:

“Who has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and the hills on a scale?” (vs. 12)

“He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.” (vs. 29)

“Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength” (vs. 31)

Psalms 121 reads:

“I lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.”

Ephesians 6 says:

“Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.”

So, how do I tap into this strength? By spending time in prayer, mostly. I try to take daily walks and I use that time to pray. I also gain strength from the Lord when I read the powerful words of scripture, like the ones I just typed above. Reading the Psalms, Proverbs and the Gospels always strengthen me to press on.

  1. 2. Dig Deeper! Remember why you started homeschooling. Keep your goals at the forefront of your mind. Write them down and refer back to them when you have doubts or feel tired.

Have you seen the Indoctrination movie? If you ever need to fuel yourself with reasons WHY to homeschool your kids, this is a great movie to watch.

We may start out homeschooling for reasons that don’t seem quite so important anymore, such as not being ready to part with your 5yo when it is time for him to start Kindergarten or you didn’t like the teacher. We began homeschooling because my 5yo had learned to read at 3 and was already reading at a 2nd or 3rd grade level by the time she was supposed to enter kindergarten. I was afraid she would be bored in kindergarten, so I decided to homeschool her until the bulk of her peers had caught up in reading, maybe until 2nd grade.

Whatever reasons we had for starting homeschooling may not be enough to sustain the decision to continue. Sometimes we have to dig deeper and find the reasons WHY we are homeschooling and keep those at the forefront of our minds for when those bad days happen and we question what we are doing.

Here are some great reasons to homeschool:

Academic reasons – 1-on-1 tutoring is more effective than classroom instruction. A parent is acutely interested in her child’s academic success. You don’t need a teaching degree to effectively teach your own child, even through high school! Kids can progress at their own speed – not held back or pushed ahead unnaturally.

Social reasons – Social interactions in age-integrated settings are more appropriate and effective in developing socially adept adults than peer-driven age-segregated social groups.  As a parent, I can find better social situations for my child than the school playground, classroom or bathroom.

Spiritual reasons – Teachers and students have to check their faith at the door of the public school. Their hands are tied to pursue or discuss their faith in school, particularly if they are Christians. I can teach my kids about our faith all throughout the day. We CAN pray in school. (Deut 6)

Life preparedness – The majority of kids today spend 8 hours in school and 7 hours in front of a screen. There must be some overlap! We can finish up our schoolwork before noon and use the rest of the day for baking, gardening, hiking, etc. We can volunteer at ministries, apprentice or shadow a professional; we can learn new skills, start businesses, take field trips and so much more with our extra time. Classroom time doesn’t prepare a child for “real life”, but experiences do.

  1. 3. Strength in Numbers – Find Support! We need each other. It’s harder to work alone; it’s harder to exercise alone; it’s harder to diet alone; it’s harder to homeschool alone. It can be done, but it is harder. Find support. You may not have many friends in your local area that homeschool. Reach out and find some. Maybe they don’t go to your church or live in your neighborhood… maybe they aren’t part of your scouts club or theater group… but they are out there. Look for a local support group or co-op. See if there is a First Class in your area or other local grass roots support group. Maybe you have to drive to the next town over. You may only be able to connect with homeschoolers online for a season. It’s not ideal, but it is better than having no one in your life who shares your educational choice.
  1.  4. Rhythm in Routine. Having a daily routine and schedule will help you get through tough days. Routines allow children to do the next thing without having to ask you. Schedules help you stay on task and are a great reminder of what must get done each day. Routines and schedules take the “thinking” out of what comes next. This is homeschooling on auto-pilot! (a day doesn’t have to be scheduled out to the nth degree, but even an order of events make your days much easier to tackle.)
  2. 5. Power in Personal Boundaries – Say “No.” Sometimes you need to say “no”. You can’t do it all. This is a season of life – even if it is a very long one. Sometimes you can say yes, but not always. Understand your limits and don’t overcommit.

Stay posted for tomorrow’s post on Finishing Well. How can we finish well this race that we began so long ago (it feels like that, doesn’t it?)? Do you need any help staying the course? Check out Homeschooling ABCs and Upper Level Homeschool for the encouragement and equipping you need to homeschool for success.

Question: How do you Stay Strong during the marathon of homeschooling?

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014 at 4:05 pm and is filed under Homeschooling, Lifestyle. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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