Dear Homeschool Mom, You Deserve an A+

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Dear Homeschool Mom,

Has it been “one of those days” AGAIN today? Have you decided to throw in the towel or at least planned a solid escape route to go hide in the bathroom? Have you felt isolated, alone, and completely out of control? Do you feel like every decision you have made from hand picking curriculum to choosing to homeschool in the first place has been a mistake? Do you feel ill equipped, inadequate, and like a complete failure? If you had to give yourself a report card would you be in danger of not being promoted?

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Stop right there! Before you answer any of these questions, let me tell you why I believe, despite all these roadblocks, that you deserve a big A+!

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1. You trust God’s plan for you as a wife and mother

Titus 2:3-5

“the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,  to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.”

By choosing to be a homemaker, loving your husband and children, and being a “teacher of good things”, you are fulfilling the role God desires for you to fill. In so doing, His word is not blasphemed but exalted.

Homeschool mom, how can you be failing when you are trying your best to be what the Father would have you to be?

2. You esteem the needs of children higher than your own needs

Let’s face it. Homeschooling is a very SELFLESS act. It requires much denial of self and much giving to others, namely your children.

Philippians 2:3

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”

Homeschool mom, how can you be failing when you are placing the physical, educational, emotional, and most of all spiritual needs of your family above any selfish desires you may have for yourself?

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3. You know and can meet your children’s needs better than anyone

You carried your children in your womb, nurtured them from day one, and know everything about them. Why at age five should you all of a sudden relinquish your role of molder and care giver to someone who more than likely is a complete stranger? You have rejected this option for your child. You have chosen to continue in that role of nurturer and teacher even if it gets difficult, scary, and downright unenjoyable at times.

Isaiah 49:15

“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.”

Homeschool mom, how can you be a failure when you have chosen to remember the needs of your children and show them compassion?

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4. You are a blessing to your family

You completely understand the brevity of your time with your children.

James 4:14

“whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.”

It starts from the day you bring them home from the hospital. They grow so fast. They transform right before your very eyes. You have chosen not to miss a minute of that transformation: good, bad, and ugly. Because of this decision you are a blessing to your family. You are going to have the opportunity to help mold these precious gifts into what God would have them be, and in the process instill in them the most important goal in life. No, that goal is not being a genius, a musical prodigy, or getting accepted into Harvard. You are getting your family one step closer to spending eternity together with the Father and His Son. It DOES NOT go unnoticed.

Proverbs 31:28

“Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her”

Homeschool mom, how can you be a failure when your children call you blessed and your husband praises you?kids2

So there you have it homeschool mom. Even the worst days are working for good toward the most important objective of getting to heaven. You are aiming your quiver full of arrows towards the bulls eye with a prayerful heart and an iron will. Will you always be 100% accurate? No, we all have bad days. You know, the kind that make us want to lay our quiver aside; days we feel like complete failures that couldn’t hit the broad side of the barn. We even have days we use that escape route to cry in the bathroom. We are not alone in this journey. We have one that lifts our heads when all we can do is bow them low.

Homeschool mom, how can you be a failure when you are leaning on the ONE that never fails?

In Him,

Shanna

 

 

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Two (Three, Four, Five….) Are Better Than One

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We just spent the day doing what is, and has been for the past ten years, the highlight of our week. What, you might ask, would that be? After all, you are a homeschooling family. Did you wear your fancy P.J.s and have school on the good placemats at the kitchen table? NO! We spent our afternoon with our PAJCH family. “What is a PAJCH?” you say. Well, according to my children it is the best group of friends anyone could ever ask for. However, according to the legal documents, it is the Putnam and Jackson County Homeschoolers, INC. It is not just a “homeschool group”. It has become so, so much more. (note the usage of the word FAMILY)

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You may be where I was many years ago on this whole “homeschool group” debate. You may be of the mindset that homeschooling is just that, schooling AT HOME. You see, it took a very good friend to help me realize that I DID need to be a part of a homechool group.

By nature, I am anti-social, so being at home ALONE with my children played a huge role in the decission making process to leave the teaching profession and focus on family. I was just as content as could be to stay at home the first few years of our homeschooling journey. I guess if I had a theme song at that time it would have been, “I Shall Not Be Moved.” Against my better judgement, I decided to “sacrifice my comfort” because obviously, my friend really needed this socialization. Boy, did I have a lot to learn!

We need each other!

“Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone?
 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Eccles. 4:9-12

This truly conveys the value of a friend. In PAJCH, we work together, play together, laugh together, and cry together. My children and I have made friends that are closer than a brother or sister. We meet once a week to recharge our batteries with people who really get “who” we are because they ARE “who” we are. The strength of that threefold cord is comforting and reassuring on many fronts.

We Help each other!

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Gal. 6:2

Sometimes, we just need help. If we isolate ourselves, this help isn’t always readily available. I have been amazed at the diversity of gifts that are available to be drawn upon in our group. Where I am weak, someone else is strong, and vice versa. I never have to live in fear of not reaching my homeschooling goals because I have friends at arm’s reach that can meet my needs and help me overcome my shortcomings. We also see this willingness to assist and aid among the children. The older children mentor and teach the younger children, and the younger children have role models that they adore. Now, that is my idea of no child left behind!

We Love Each Other!

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

In PAJCH, you never have to wonder about how we feel about one another. It is evident very quickly, we LOVE one another. My father in law compares the relationships to his days in the one room schoolhouse. We are more than assosiates. We are family, and families love one another.

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I guess by now you have realized who was the better friend. (hint: It WASN’T me!) My friend could see what I could not see at the time. We need to be surrounded by people who love us and are always willing to help. Am I blessed, or what? Surround yourself with these kind of people. I can promise you, you WILL NOT be sorry!

Happy homeschooling!

Shanna