Motherhood is a full time job, 24-7. There are no vacations, no sick days off, and no coffee breaks. Even if you do get away for a day–you’re still the mom. If you get a call that your kiddo needs you, you’re there.
The same is true for the homeschool mom. Even when school isn’t in session, you’re still a homeschool mom. Everything ties together. If you don’t get the supper dishes cleared off the table, you might get a late start to breakfast and then you might get a late start on school. There’s always a ripple affect. Even when you’re out and about you will see things through homeschool mom glasses: “Oh, we should study that in history. Oh, look at that bug! Let’s look it up when we get home.” Am I right?
If you add in the really hard stuff.. like trying to discipline, parent and educate almost in the same moment, or trying to figure out to engage and succeed with a struggling child.. well, it’s a lot of work! Most homeschool moms I know will readily tell you that it IS a lot of work, but that it’s just worth it. AND IT IS.
But dear homeschool mom, we have to fill up if we’re going to pour out into our kids. How can we stay encouraged – even in the middle of the really hard days – as we homeschool and raise these little ones?
5 Ways to Stay Encouraged for Homeschool Moms
1.) Read Good Books
There are all kinds of really good books for homeschool moms, or just mothers in general. (Check out this list of good books for homeschool moms.) There are books for moms on all the various paths of life– raising sons, raising daughters, unequally yoked, living with learning disorders, and all sorts of things. How do you find good books worth reading? Ask your friends, friends in similar circumstances for good, solid books that will lift you up and encourage you.
2.) Surround yourself with good friends
People were made for relationships. Even solitary people need a few. More than that, we need really GOOD relationships – people who are like minded, that will encourage you, sharpen you as iron sharpens iron, teach you and be there for you. Especially in my early days of homeschooling, I was so thankful for some more seasoned homeschool moms that God put in my life. Even as a veteran homeschooler now (veteran!?), I am still thankful for my wise, godly women, homeschool friends. These ladies get me, and I get them, and we can encourage each other and bounce ideas off of each other and travel this road together. Because we’re busy homeschool moms, we may not see each other every single week, but when we get together, there is such a good time of encouragement. =)
3.) Attend a homeschool convention or retreat
Why this one? Because it’s like visiting with your homeschool friends times ten! There is so much encouraging and teaching crammed in! Homeschool conventions are also a great place to get your curriculum at discounted prices and saving money always makes you feel good as a homeschool mom. 😉 Two conventions/conferences that I fully stand behind are Apologia Real Refresh Retreats and the Teach Them Diligently convention. You would be blessed to attend either one of them! (I’ll be at TTD in Dallas in June 2014!)
I understand that making travel arrangements and finding the funds to get there can be hard. I never understood how good it is to go to something like that until I finally did!
4.) Write down the good things.
Some days are hard, hard, HARD. On those days the good days can seem so far away! That’s why I’m telling you to WRITE DOWN THE GOOD THINGS. Start a journal! Instagram them! Start a blog! Something! Focusing on and remembering the good is key to not letting the hard things get you down. Paying attention and watching for the good things (to write them down, share them on Instagram, etc,) also allows you to really recognize, enjoy and savor those sweet moments. Homeschooling is hard. But it’s not ALL hard.
5.) Focus on God; Keep perspective.
The previous four tips all tie together in this last one. Perspective is everything. Reading good books, listening to wise friends, attending good conferences, savoring the good moments — these can help you keep perspective. Remember that God does want you to do your best, but He doesn’t expect you to be perfect. God does want you to teach your kids to write, but He’s the one that will call them to be a writer – or not. God is with you, and He gives grace, through the good days and the hard days. We won’t have it all together, and we won’t be perfect, and we also can’t do it on our own in our own strength. Take it to God, and lean on Him — because HE has it all together, HE is perfect and HE can use us to do this.
Speaking of encouragement, that’s kind of my thing. My main purpose here is to encourage other homeschool moms. Maybe that’s why I wrote an ebook about finding your unique homeschool style.
Image Background Source: Woman With Red Apple by Petr Kratochvil