This last week I had a phone call to check in with my homeschool ES. We were supposed to go over my plan for the semester, questions about subjects and budget items. She’s called and left a few messages but I didn’t call her back until my kids were away from me.
I didn’t want them to hear the conversation.
I told her I wanted to quit. I’m overwhelmed and feel like I’m failing. There’s so much happening in other areas of life that I feel I am unable to give their schooling the attention it deserves.
I was in tears.
I was fully expecting her response to be helpful but methodical. I expected some tips or some advice on how to either get through it or the process of how to un-enroll…but I didn’t get any of that. To my shock, she just stayed silent for a second…and then I realized she too was crying.
She then opened up and shared some of the sweetest encouragement I never would have anticipated. She said that as she’s watched our family interact and the non-traditional ways we’ve taught them and how the kids respond to her during our meetings that she has often wished she would have done similar things with her own children.
She said that I might be discouraged that the kids aren’t getting enough “school” in, but that the richer lessons of life, love, beauty, oneness, listening, faith/family values are absolutely being learned. She said that of all the families she’s helped through the years ours is one that has impacted her the most and if there was ever a family she didn’t want to stop homeschooling it would be ours.
Whoa, right?! I sure didn’t see it that way….
I was sitting there thinking of all the ways I’m getting it wrong, all of the subjects we had left to get to that day, and the 13 fights I just broke up that morning.
So, of course….at that point I’m sobbing on the other end. Just floored and blown away. Here I was thinking I’m ruining my kids and without even knowing our story she points me back to the reasons we decided to homeschool in the first place.
It’s not that we didn’t love parts of public school too, there is so much good there as well. But I found that I had less and less time to focus on these kinds of weightier issues I wanted to teach the kids since we were rushing everywhere so much. No, maybe we aren’t caught up in spelling and maybe we are a few lessons behind in math…but if I can teach my kids about responsibility, conflict resolution, Truth, patience, forgiveness, serving others, determination, receiving and extending grace and that they are loved, and show them how to love others then I can’t consider it a total failure.
Friends, maybe you’re like me and you don’t see what’s happening under the surface. Maybe you’re working so hard but are feeling like you’re spinning your wheels, the results aren’t coming and you are tempted to give up.
If that’s you I would want you to know this…just because things are difficult, and just because you find yourself having to teach/instruct the same thing over and over again…just because you can’t see results yet doesn’t mean good isn’t happening.
That good might be in you as you press on and endure…or it might be in others as you continue to pour your life out…(maybe it’s both?!)….but either way I would want you to be encouraged to keep valuing the richer parts of life…not the errands, the spelling lists, or the house chores…but the people.
Look up sweet friends….who can you encourage today?! Who is it that needs your kindness? Who can you reach out to? Maybe it’s your friend…maybe it’s your neighbor…or maybe it’s that kiddo that’s been driving you crazy lately….who can you love today? What ‘weightier issues’ can you invest in today?