What are you to do when homeschooling gets tough? Let’s face it. Most of us start out our homeschooling journey excited and hopeful, with great ideals and dreams of what homeschool life will look like. Discipleship, fun learning, quality time with our kids, sweet moments reading together, and unrushed days. While we may have some fears and doubts, we confidently step out in faith knowing the Lord’s calling on our life.
While many of these scenarios and dreams come true, intertwined are hard days. The frustrating attitudes, the character development for both your kids and you, the struggling student, the sense of being greatly overwhelmed, etc. You find yourself doubting, fearing, and struggling. Here are 6 important reminders for when homeschooling gets tough.
Go to God – Soak in His Goodness
Many times when things get overwhelming, we forget to go to God with our struggles. Seek Him through prayer (Matt 11:28-30). I encourage you to pour out your heart, your frustrations, and your feelings to Him in prayer. Sometimes this is all it takes.
Maybe you are carrying a burden not meant for you. He may just nudge you to lay something down or change direction.
Don’t only seek Him in prayer, but in His Word as well. Truly soak in the greatness of the gospel and let it saturate your heart and mind. Pray over each struggle with truth. As we intimately connect with Him, the weight of our burdens often seems lifted as we are encouraged by the truth.
Worship. Turn on worship music and let it speak to your soul. Dance. Sing. There is power in melody and music. Let it life your soul.
Seek Counsel from Others
After you have sought the Lord, seek out others who are like-minded. Tell them about your struggles and concerns. Chances are, they have been there too. If needed, a good cry can be so cleansing and liberating.
Godly wisdom and counsel can bring powerful insight to you (Prov. 11:14; 19:20). You may discover a new way to tackle your problem. And maybe most importantly, you will know you are not alone. And somehow, what had seemingly felt too overwhelming, no longer weighs so heavily on you.
Don’t let pride or fear get in your way. Talk to a trusted friend.
Take a Break
Sometimes we just need a break – from a certain subject for a week (that has been known to solve the problem in itself!), from an extracurricular activity, from the self-imposed pressure to keep up with others, or from whatever you are feeling overwhelmed by.
Give yourself permission to rest. Psalm 23 talks about the Lord leading us beside still waters to refresh our souls. Take time for personal refreshment. Nothing will fall apart if you do so. In fact, quite the opposite could happen. More growth and productivity may ensue following rest.
You may all benefit from taking a deep breath. If it means stopping school for a week, do it! You can always add days on to the end of the year.
A refreshed learner is better than an overwhelmed one.
Make Some Changes
When those feelings of stress come upon us, they may be an indicator that we need to make some changes or adjustments. As you seek the Lord, ask Him for insight to any changes you need to make.
Do you need to change curricula (yes, even in the middle of the year!)? Do you need to change your teaching method? What other slight changes could you make that may make a big difference? Maybe it’s planning on more breaks throughout your day. Or, could it be that you are trying to do too much and need to cut something out altogether? Consider how you can incorporate laughter or worship in the midst of your teaching.
Small changes can make a big difference.
I have said this before, but I truly believe that getting outside to enjoy God’s creation can be so uplifting to one’s soul. I know when there are endless rainy days, or kids have been sick, or we have just been inside too much, attitudes can start to spiral downward. Everyone feels crazed and annoyed with one another.
But, when you get outside, even if it is cold and rainy (or snowing), or too hot, everyone can become refreshed spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. So, grab your umbrella or coat or sunscreen and get outside! Praise Him for His creation. You won’t regret it!
Remember your “Why”
Sometimes we need to remember why we are homeschooling our kids. This is why it is so important to write down and have access to your reasons for homeschooling. For many of us, these may look different.
Go back to what made you consider homeschooling in the first place. Think about your life as it is. How would it be different if you weren’t homeschooling? What would your family life look like?
Are there some Scriptures that led you to your decision? Do you need to cling to those now?
Remember what God whispered to you when you first began. Don’t let hard days derail your calling. Persevere. Pray. Read the Word. Seek counsel. Get outside. Rest.
Remember, when homeschooling gets tough, you are not alone. God is with you and others have felt the same way. Take heart dear one. We are on this journey together!
If you need more encouragement for the hard days, here are some related posts that might help you:
- maintaining your sanity while homeschooling
- encouragement for the homeschool journey
- 6 tips to equip you for your homeschooling journey
Let me know if you have another tip that has helped you through hard days. We can learn from each other!
If you need prayer, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be happy to pray with you.