The kids aren’t alright, and neither is mom. Exasperated sighs and groans cover each math lesson. Tear drops glisten across those essay rough drafts. Mom’s hair is standing on end and there just isn’t enough coffee or chocolate in the world to combat her stress or exhaustion.
Welcome to notorious November. Mid-year, many of us are hitting burnout, questioning our abilities, and wondering what on earth we were thinking over the summer when we decided to pursue another year of homeschooling.
I used to think I was the only one who hit November like a car hitting a center-median, but apparently I’m not the only one!
If you’re feeling exhausted, do the following:
Take a day off.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner. We are imitating our local schools and taking the week off—we all need it! I’ll still be prepping for the holiday and probably catching up on some planning, but I intend to have at least one full day of summer-like rest with my kids.
Pause from Social media and Tech. Fast from Facebook and Pinterest with their over-the-moon expectations. Play with your kids at the park, feed the geese, drop by a museum just for fun, and play some board games. Read a fun book together and have some good laughs.
Hit pause on your teacher-mode, and focus on being present with your children.
Hit pause on your fret-mode and write down why you chose to homeschool. What are you thankful for? What has God provided to make it possible? Write it down and meditate on those things.
Now that you have your “why” and a list of thankfulness, take a moment to outline your struggles and fears. Write them down and acknowledge their existence. Once you have these two papers, “roll out the scrolls” before God in prayer. Thank Him for the opportunity to homeschool and all the ways He has made homeschooling possible. Once you’ve poured out thanks, pour out your fears, your struggles, and your petitions to the Lord. Do this daily until (and even after) school resumes.
Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you.
Psalm 55.22, ESV
Maybe you came to this article hoping I would pull out the pom-poms, the glee club, and the cheer squad, shouting, “You can do this!”
Honestly, dear friend, you can’t do this… not without God.
Homeschooling, when done diligently, is not remotely easy. It demands every ounce of creativity, it requires intense determination to keep everyone on track, and it insists on an abundance of planning and preparation. If you’re struggling, it’s because it is actually challenging! You’ve undertaken a mammoth responsibility!
Just as Moses and Joshua and countless other faithful men and women discovered, we can’t win the battles without God at our side.
You can persevere—if you have His strength.
Your children will be okay—when you commit them to His care.
Homeschooling can be successful—when approached with diligence and prayer.
Keep on pressing towards the goal of training up your children, but don’t run this race without God. Maintain a steady stream of prayer, especially through the fights and tears and apocalyptic-scale meltdowns. Give thanks for the light-bulb moments in your child’s eyes. Praise him when He provides for your needs. Praise Him in the peace and praise Him in the storm.
Press on towards the goal with your hand securely in Jesus’ hand. Give Him your best and trust Him with the outcome.
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
~ Colossians 3:17 ESV