SummaryChristine Smitha says homeschooling is more than developing intellect and urges moms to put on the Armor of God to protect our children’s spiritual lives.
Parents involved in homeschooling have long understood that the education of our children is more than just an academic pursuit, that it isn’t simply a question of developing intellectual capacity in our children and preparing them for successful careers.
Rather, it is a waging of war against the powers of darkness that would seek to destroy the souls of the heirs of the kingdom of heaven.
Mothers are on the frontlines of this conflict, as they are the ones who faithfully take up the pen and ruler to daily march into the fray.
With each math quiz scored, each book report marked, each religion lesson reviewed, and each science project applauded, every mother widens the ring of truth and love protecting the souls of her children.
There are days, however, when the soldier wearies of battle, and at Seton, we know that mothers also have those days.
Especially as we come to the final weeks of the academic year for those who follow the standard American schedule, these can be trying times. It’s not just difficult for the kids to stay motivated; it’s hard for moms too.
That’s why we recommend taking a little time this month to polish your armor. St. Paul says, “Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:14-17).
We know it isn’t easy to find time, but just as soldiers work to stay in peak condition, it’s important for mothers to cultivate themselves so they can return to battle better than ever. (Fathers, you can always help this endeavor with some extra cherishing of your wives!)
1. Renew Your Decision to Homeschool
Take some time to renew your decision to homeschool. Recall the reasons you had for making such a choice to begin with and look about you to see the good it has wrought in your home.
If you need further affirmation, read what the authors at setonmagazine.com have to say about the value of homeschooling, and think about the encouragement you’ve received from Seton’s counselors. You have devoted yourself to giving the truth to your children.
You spend each moment of your life witnessing the truth of God’s teachings about marriage and family life. Indeed, you are girt about with truth, and you are wearing the breastplate of righteousness as you fulfill the obligations of your vocation.
Rejoice in the truth! And if it helps you to stand tall, consider digging that favorite necklace out of the bottom of your jewelry box and wearing it while teaching for the rest of the year.
2. Take Quiet Time
Cultivate a peaceful heart, by taking a few moments of quiet time for yourself each day. Try reading something that focuses and encourages you, such as Small Steps for Catholic Moms, Rooted in Love, or A Retreat with Elizabeth Seton. Spending a little time withdrawn each day helps keep us grounded and calm.
Otherwise, it’s easy to overstress, and the more stressed we become, the more frantic our actions become, and the less effective we are able to be. Staying rooted in Christ’s peace by periods of reflection allows us to step forward with precision and purpose, so we can keep marching forward in the great battle against evil.
Of course, a new pair of shoes also might help, and Mothers’ Day is just around the bend. . .
3. Restore Your Spiritual Life
Renewing one’s relationship with Christ is always a good way to grow in faith. This month might be an excellent time to take up a weekly hour or half-hour of Adoration.
Regular prayer is our strongest ally, and indeed the only shield capable of protecting us from the slings and arrows of a society that doesn’t understand, or doesn’t think we’re good enough to do the job we do.
Recommit to the Rosary, for it is one of the greatest weapons we have. In the meantime, know that at Seton, we believe you can do what you’ve set out to do, and we daily pray for your safety and blessing.
4. Never Give Up
Don’t lose hope, and don’t give up.
Even in the darkest, hardest days, God still works. Your children are better off with you, and though they might balk or struggle at times, you are planting the seeds of faith, and arming your sons and daughters for success in their own battles. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart” (Pro. 3:5).
Hold your head up with confidence that God desires the salvation of your children even more than you do, and He has died and risen again to make it possible. And get that haircut you’ve been wanting for the past six months!
5. Reacquaint Yourself with Scripture
Finally, reacquaint yourself with Scripture. The Psalms, in particular, are full of inspiration for the weary, as they show us God’s grace continually poured out in mercy.
Or take up one of the Gospels, and note Christ’s particular care of women, towards whom He is endlessly tender and understanding. Draw energy and inspiration from the Word of God, so that you can be ready to meet each challenge with a sharp mind and determined heart.
You can make it through another day; you can win today’s battle.
Mothers of Seton, you are heroes. You are our heroes, and we honor you.
Header photo CC: Adobe Stock: sepy