[Adapted from Staying Sane as You Homeschool by Kathy Kuhl.]
Ever feel like running away from home—when you’re the mom? Some days I felt like quitting. A pathetic parent, a tedious teacher, and, as for housekeeping, don’t even ask!
Sometimes it is hard to keep homeschooling. Illness puts us far behind schedule. A hurting or rebellious child makes our hearts ache. The strain of caring for a new baby or a grandparent or child with a disability or a chronic illness can wear on us. If Mom or Dad have a disability, chronic illness, or unemployment, that can discourage us.
But sometimes, we unintentionally worsen our difficulties. If your homeschool has become more drudgery than delight, remind yourself of three essential tasks.
These next weeks we’ll focus on three.
First, love your children.
“But,” you say, “of course I love them! I’m giving my life teaching, cooking, laundering, driving . . .”
However, if we do it without love, all our effort is just noise. While we won’t always feel loving (cleaning up after a sick child comes to mind), we must guard against resentment and self-pity.
In Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens, Paul Tripp asks, “Whose idols are in the way?” Are we thinking God owes us an easier life? This book offers very practical insights for all parents, even those who don’t share Tripp’s views on God.
Many parents find that mediating on scripture, singing, giving thanks, and praying can help us reorient our minds toward eternal truths.
Next, look above the piles of papers, dirty dishes, and laundry. Look at your children. Enjoy their growth, humor, and fresh insights. Children are a gift.
Look deeper, into their characters. What strengths do you see growing? Small steps are easy to miss; looking back a few years can help you see character growing.
Next time I’ll consider a second step to avoid burnout. But first, a question:
When they seem hard to love, what do you do to nurture your love for your children?