SummaryThe most precious nuggets of advice, chosen for you from decades of homeschooling by three experienced moms. There’s something here for you.
Have You Prayed Today?
What a timely question. This morning I got up, scrubbed the bathrooms, vacuumed, then hurriedly showered and rushed out the door to get daughter number two to the orthodontist. Then I went to the grocery store, came home, arms full of groceries, mentally recovering from the astronomical bill, and I stopped in my tracks.
My darling children had stacked the dirty dishes in the sink, with milk and soggy cereal dripping everywhere when right next to the sink was…. an empty dishwasher.
I broke down in tears and did what I always do when I lose it. I called my husband, the principal, and I sobbed my heart out my entire morning.
He listened patiently and empathized but then gently said, “Have you prayed today?”
And know what? I hadn’t.
I had such an early morning that I skipped my morning Bible study and didn’t go for my regular half-hour rosary walk with some or all of my children.
So, the lesson I learned, the most valuable one I have ever learned, that He, in His infinite mercy and goodness, never fails trying to teach me, is that I cannot do this alone.
Raising children in today’s society is hard enough, multiply that by a thousand, and you have those of us who have bravely taken on our children’s education as well.
Lean on God. Involve your spouse and children. Share the load. Find your tribe. I can’t do this alone.
Neither can you. And we were never meant to do so.
Kristin Brown, Virginia
Learning is a Lifelong Process…
When I began my homeschooling journey 2 ½ decades ago, I thought I understood the purpose of education.
Back then, I believed it was about teaching my children how to read, write, add/subtract, and practice their faith. I thought the end goal was to graduate students who could go on to college and/or perform well in their careers and vocations.
But I’ve learned that education is about so much more than that. Of all the lessons I teach my children, the most valuable is that learning is a lifelong process. And rich or poor, brilliant or challenged, everyone can continue learning. Education is not just about ABCs and 123s. It is not just about obtaining a diploma or degree.
Education is about discovering the truth, beauty, and goodness in this vast world and, by extension, encountering the Author of it all. Education is about learning to live with your eyes open and your heart receptive, albeit discerning.
Eyes Wide Open
And for all the lessons I have taught my children (in grammar, math, spelling, and religion), I’ve learned in equal measure (compassion, patience, gentleness, and forgiveness). Indeed, when days are hard and doubt whispers in my ear, this understanding keeps me moving forward as a homeschool educator.
Because homeschool, by its very nature, leads students and teacher alike to see education as a process in which they are both responsible for and engaged.
Tara Brelinsky, North Carolina
God’s Grace will Come Through…
The greatest lesson I have learned in my 22+ years of homeschooling is: God’s grace will come through.
In the beginning, I didn’t see it, but after experiencing so many instances where things worked out well even though I thought they wouldn’t have, I see God’s loving hand Who made everything work out.
I’ve seen His Providence take care of all the little things that happen throughout the day and this helps to see God’s Providence in the bigger things, such as when I had very serious health issues for three years. I was in survival mode and not parenting or schooling to the same level of expectations that I have for myself.
But God’s Providence took care of us, the five-year-old learned how to read, and any gaps in the kids’ schooling were filled in in the years after I was healed. I’ve been taking the kids to daily Mass for the last five years, and with a large homeschooling family, it would be easy to say there isn’t enough time. But I have trusted in God that His grace will see us through, and it has.
Not only does everything get done, but we frequently have time left over. Plus, I think the kids have done better in their studies. God’s grace is sufficient, even superabundant when there is trust in Him.
Susan Brock, Virginia