Every year around this time, I see cartoons in which moms celebrate the yellow bus coming around the corner and shout, “Take my kids, please!”
Those comments usually make me sad, because I really loved being with my kids and count our homeschooling years as such sweet time together. I want all of us parents to be able to enjoy our kids and grow closer as we learn together. That’s one of my aims in offering Sonlight.
But let’s also be ruthlessly honest here.
I talk a lot about the benefits of homeschooling and even the aspects of homeschooling that make life easier, but not everything about homeschooling is picture perfect. I want you to know you’re not alone if, when the bus rolls right by, you feel a little chaos within and you start to ask yourself, “Why am I doing this again?”
That is just the right question to ask. The key step in purposeful homeschooling is to remember your “why.” Holding fast to why you chose to homeschool in the first place will you help you navigate the ups and the downs of the journey.
You Don't Homeschool Because it's Easy
Whatever your why, you are deliberately making this choice not because it is easy, but because you feel it is best for your children and you are willing to make the investment, to dig in deep—even when discomfort comes—to live life according to what matters to you most.
Every powerful story has conflict. So it is with many good things in life, whether that is homeschooling, relationships or work.
Let me encourage you not only to remember your why, but also to embrace the challenge of homeschooling. Everything worth doing takes time. A fulfilling life does not always mean the easiest life possible. Theodore Roosevelt said, “Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”
I can reassure you that your homeschooling journey is likely to be filled with lots of delightful moments, warm memories, snuggles and cuddles and probably lots of days when your kids are having so much fun they won’t even realize they are doing school. But what about the days when it’s not smooth sailing:
- shaping character and discipline
- pushing through a subject that has sticking points
- ironing out relationships that need to be addressed
- coordinating the rhythms of your family
You Homeschool Because it's Worth It
These are not easy tasks, but they are worthy work. Your investment in your family, in doing the hard work of relational healing and pursuit of growth and the discipline to learn new things, has so many benefits.
When we read missionary stories of those who go through hard things for the cause of Christ, or ordinary people who change the world, we can see that it is not a life of ease, but a life of purpose that is most meaningful.
As a homeschooling parent, you are investing your life in purposeful work. What a privilege. May you press on with courage and joy in this great task, through the easy times and through the challenges, knowing you are being shaped and formed and accomplishing great things.
P.S. Whether you have children in public or private school, homeschool, or some combination of all, your work as a parent is worthy, important, and you are doing hard and good things. I just wanted to focus today on the parent who may be wondering if they have the inner strength to meet the challenges of homeschooling and say "You can do this! And it is worth it!"