Nearly every morning when we walk the dog my husband gives me a reminder to look up. You see, I’m often lost in thought, pondering the details of the day’s schedule, and walk with my eyes glued to the pavement. All around me are rolling hills, beautiful trees, and (most days) sparkling blue sky; but I miss that peaceful perspective when I’m looking down at my feet.
In this series on getting started in homeschooling, we’ve given you encouragement and information to help you begin the journey. Now I want to give you some counsel to tuck away for down the road. As you walk this journey, don’t get bogged down in plodding along. Lift your eyes regularly and keep your perspective.
Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint.
One of the advantages of homeschooling is that you are with your children 24/7; however, one of the disadvantages of homeschooling is that you are with your children 24/7.
When you spend that much time with a child, it’s easy to overlook how much he or she has grown—mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. You simply don’t see it, because you’re so close to it day in and day out. Let me encourage you to widen your focus. Look for growth over a season, not over a week.
Give yourself grace.
You’re going to have good days and not-so-good days. Some mornings you’ll feel on top of the world; other mornings you will wonder if you can ever do anything right. That emotional roller coaster may feel more turbulent if you’re pulling your child out of a classroom to homeschool for the first time. It’s going to take some time to adjust—for both of you.
Just like anything else that is new, it will take practice before you both begin to feel comfortable in this new endeavor. God did not call you to homeschool because you would be perfect at it; He called you so you would become more and more dependent on Him and His grace. Embrace that grace.
Be faithful in what God has called you to do.
God measures success by faithfulness, not by visible results. One of the biggest temptations you will face on this journey is to compare your children to someone else’s children.
You will also be pulled toward comparing your strengths and weaknesses with other homeschool moms’ talents and abilities. In those comparisons, we are not wise. Comparisons only land us in the quicksand of pride or discontent. Especially if you are homeschooling a child with special needs, as I am, keep your focus on being faithful in the calling God has given you. Don’t compare.
Put your relationships with God and with your spouse ahead of the children.
God has called you first to your relationship with Himself and with your spouse, if you are married. Those relationships will last longer than the years you spend teaching your children at home. Keep them in the forefront of your mind and heart, not on a back burner.
Homeschooling is as much about shaping your life and character as it is about shaping your children’s. God wants to use the tool of homeschooling to help conform you to the image of His dear Son.
Be careful not to worship the tool.
Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, the Lover of your soul, and nurture your relationship with the spouse He has given you.
You will find many other reminders and helpful workshops at Teach Them Diligently Conventions to encourage you to keep the right perspective on your homeschooling journey. Make plans now to attend. It will lift your eyes and your heart!
If you are just starting out, or if you need some encouragement on your homeschooling journey, check out our Teach Them Diligently course on How to Homeschool with Confidence. You can also join Teach Them Diligently 365 for many more resources to help you on your homeschooling journey.