(This was originally written almost 6 years ago! My added notes are in parenthesis:) )
Homeschooling parallels life in general. Whatever happens at home, among relationships in the family, affect our homeschooling ( Think of the newborn phase, moving homes, living away, caring for elderly parents, illness in family etc). There are struggles and victories. There is laughing and yet, crying too. And to our dearest first time homeschoolers, there will be bad days, so bad you may end up wishing you could retract your decision to homeschool your children.
After 14 years of homeschooling, let me encourage you by saying, yes bad days will come but as a whole, the amazing, “My heart and mind are full, thank you Lord for homeschooling” kind of days will far outweigh those terrible, horrible days.
Let me share some of my experiences:
1. I made my 6 year old son weep due to Math. I don’t remember the details but I think the lesson was too difficult and he had to do “more pages”. I was so moved and vowed never to make any of my students cry. Of course, I failed. He cried again because the multiplication exercises were just too long and tedious. I then decided if he knew the basics of multiplication, we could forego the added worksheets. Does any level headed adult multiply 2 4-5 digit numbers manually? We all have our calculators with a few clicks of our fingers , right? (Why would anyone want her students, much more her own children, cry due to academics?)
2. There are days when our lessons or homeschool experience is messed up because of misplacing homeschool materials! The whole mood is off. Frustration brews and you just want to call it a day, organize and fix your “homeschool” and start fresh. You tell yourself, “That material was purchased for this very reason, this very moment and I can’t find it! Waaaahhhh!” (Haha this still happens—even after you are done with homeschooling!)
3. When you let your phone or online experience and socialization time disturb homeschooling time- I remember my 5 year old son told me once, “Teachers don’t text.” (The phone and digital usage has truly evolved since I wrote this and so it becomes more challenging especially since most use technology in homeschooling and social media can get in the way when we use our phones/laptops for learning sessions0
4. For Home Economics, we did major cleaning of appliances: laptops, keyboard, screens, electric fans, etc… We over cleaned the keyboard of our I-Mac and it stopped working. Water seeped through the letter keys ( since I asked the boys to use cotton dabbed in water to clean each letter button in keyboard but they used were and drippy cotton!) We had to humbly report to the Principal, Daddy Gilbert and offered to pay part of the new keyboard.
5. Character issues will definitely arise.
The easier and less taxing way is to just simply shrug it off, and move on and get on with the lesson. But that is not the right and proper way to deal with it as parents/teachers who have the responsibility of raising our children in the best way we can. Sometimes, it can disrupt the entire morning addressing some issues but alway do so in a calm and nurturing disposition and always end in prayer. When you have multiple kids, do it privately, one on one. Never embrass your children in front of his/her siblings, that will turn a bad day to a nightmare.
6. There are days when either the teacher or student is just out of sync for no apparent reason.
You’re not in the mood to teach or your students are not motivated and seem to be rushing their school work. The environment is far from nurturing and positive. Some may call it toxic! Just tweak the day! Go for a walk, a swim or get out of the house. Do something different and just take a break from the mundane stuff of homeschooling.
The sooner you accept that bad days will happen, the better the chances of surviving them or even turning them around!
You’ve got 365 days a year to homeschool, don’t fret and fuss! You can always say sorry (and make sure you try to learn from that experience and take responsibility for the offense). Grace abounds especially from young children. Let us be gracious to our very selves.
Above. all, God is has unlimited and boundless grace. Like a song based on verses in Lamentations (of the Old Testament ) beautifully puts it, “Morning by morning, new mercies I see. All I have needed Thy hand has provided. Great is thy faithfulness, mercies and love.”
Mommy, or Daddy dear, it may be dark now, but morning is sure to come. Take heart!
Lamentations 3:21-23 21Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”
Credits to : www.akiit.com for the featured image on this