Most homeschool moms have had days where it seemed as if they were pushing boulders up a mountain … and it was raining hard, and the ground was muddy … and there several slips, grazed knees, bruises and broken nails … am I right?
A child who cried, sulked, pouted, rolled eyes, delayed, procrastinated, yelled, threw tantrums or refused – that’s your big boulder!
The uphill, mud and rain is the teaching journey … which seems hard, even impossible. The end is no where in sight.
And somehow, we are caught in the process of pushing, shoving, shouting, crying, throwing our own tantrums … of wanting to give up … of burn-out, exhaustion, and self-doubt.
Moms, allow me to share some thoughts as I have faced this situation several times in my years of homeschooling ~
Put a rock under the boulder to stop it rolling down.
Step away from the ‘problem’, the child, the curriculum, tests and plans, and sit at the side and catch your breath.
Allow the Lord to come alongside and bind up your wounds and build you up with His promises. He is faithful and gentle and ever-so-kind and loves us even when we think we have completely messed things up. One moment with Him and His words of truth and life will show you the way.
Acknowledge that you took on a burden that you are not supposed to carry – He is! Repent of your best efforts and ask Him to take control.
Ask Him to show you how to proceed.
He will walk with us … as we walk with our children. Our role with our children is supposed to be supportive, encouraging. When we experience personal strife and aggression, tears and fears, we have lost sight of our Saviour walking right there with us. Call on Him and trust Him to be the ever-present help in times of trouble.
Find a new route.
Fresh starts are wonderful!
Often we all need a “do-over”. I liken this to “wipe the whiteboard” and begin again as if the horrid moment never happened. Moms need this just as much as the kids!
Start with a new approach, a different book, a new time schedule, even a new pen!
Give the subject that is causing so much difficulty a “time-out” and leave it for a week. Do something relaxing, rich and rewarding together … like Fine Arts.
Look … the boulder has shrunk!
Most of my weeping under the tree with the Lord started in a stuttered prayer, confession, and repentance, and the Lord wonderfully met me with simple whispered thought.
Even if nothing has changed, I find that my boulder has shrunk in size.
I think that is why mother-to-mother support is so helpful … just talking about it can be so helpful.
Find a wise, loyal mentor and share your problems and doubts with her. Pray together with your husband, sister or best friend.
To quote my nearly 16-year-old who wisely told me recently,
“Mom, stop taking things so personally! This is not about you. We are going through our own stuff!”
If you have high schoolers, you may find a tutor’s or non-parent’s assistance very helpful, as they are not emotionally connected to some of the issues that get in the way of schooling. Teens are complex, emotional, changing individuals who often are overwhelmed with their own lives.
Hoping that this post encourages you in your hard times.