Webster’s defines a sacrifice as:
I hear all the time what a sacrifice it must be to homeschool. How they “could never do that”. How I must be so angelically patient. Not really, friend.
Is homeschooling a sacrifice?
Well, yes and no.
I surrendered my desire to have a career in the field I was in before we had children. I had a small but successful wedding planning and design company and I loved it. But by the time our first child was hitting the toddler years we knew we wanted something different for our children.
I closed my company and finished my last wedding the week before we found out we would be gaining another precious baby. God has a fantastic sense of humor and perfect timing.
I surrendered what I thought I wanted for a plan that was greater than my own. But I never felt like I lost anything. Looking back now, I still don’t feel that I lost anything. It was painful at the time, but letting go usually is.
What I have gained has been immeasurably greater than anything I left behind.
What is there to love about homeschooling?
Homeschooling is mothering on steroids.
You thought you’d have a day off every now and again? Nope.
You are the mom, the teacher, the advocate, the disciplinarian, the cook, the chauffeur, the spiritual guide, the nurse, the friend. All these hats and more rest squarely, and often heavy, on your head.
Your child is struggling? You have to figure out why and then figure out how to address the issue. Is it an attitude problem, a learning challenge, a physical challenge, a curriculum that doesn’t fit? You will spend hours praying and agonizing over little details because you are the responsible party. Because you love your child you won’t stop until it has been addressed and fixed to the best of your ability.
You will stress yourself out over curriculum. Until the first time I walked into, and right back out of, a curriculum hall I had no idea how many offerings there were for homeschoolers. You will read all the literature, you will make lists of pros and cons, you will learn about each and every method from Montessori to Charlotte Mason to Classical, and you will find yourself in tears at some point in the process.
You will be referee if you have more that one child. Togetherness breeds deeply loving relationships and deeply seeded sibling rivalry. You will have to learn who needs what supports and who needs to be separated during certain subjects in order to keep your home from becoming a battleground.
Your children will refuse to “do school”. Maybe not every day or even every week, but there will be points where they just don’t want to. Sometimes you won’t want to. Because this raising a generation thing is hard. Training up children in the way they should go is not for the faint of heart.
You will spend hours learning about transcripts, college readiness, homeschool laws for your state, and how to teach blends to a reluctant reader.
You will run on coffee.
You will feel alone.
You will want to quit.
But these children, these bits of holy sandpaper, they are blessings.
Through homeschooling you will be tested. You will be shown the worst of yourself through the actions of your children. You will learn a whole new level of humility and grace. You will be shown the best of yourself through little glimpses of the people they are growing into and your heart will feel like it might burst.
And that is why . . .
Homeschooling is tea time to reset a bad day. It is tossing aside lesson plans to learn about the cicadas chirping loudly outside.
Homeschooling is seeing the light come on in your child’s mind as they grasp a new concept, and sometimes it is even more exciting than when you watched them take that first tiny step.
Homeschooling is the day to day graces we often overlook. The small hand grabbing our own to show us some wonder of nature. The teen sitting opposite us on the couch for a late night chat. The science experiments with dad because home education doesn’t have to follow traditional school hours.
Homeschooling is a path to cultivate loving and remarkable relationships with our children. It is a way for us to connect with them, to share in their interests and struggles, to show them that we are there for them no matter what.
Is it exhausting? Absolutely.
Will it give you white hair? Most likely.
Will it shape you into a better parent? If you let the Holy Spirit guide you.
Will you love the journey even if the steps are hard? Yes! Every step is toward a beautiful and wonderful goal – a child prepared to walk into the world and change it for the better.
Friend, what you are doing is an incredible thing. Raising a generation of world changers is no small feat and it is worth loving what is on the other side of these sometimes difficult days in order to press on.
When we all look back, I think we will agree that the real sacrifice would have been missing out.
As an added encouragement, Lara has graciously offered a beautiful set of Charlotte Mason-inspired prints. This set normally retails for $18.99, but for one week only, it is free! Be sure to download this gorgeous artwork; it will bring joy and rest to your day.
Lara’s passion is to help homeschool mamas not grow weary in well-doing. The small, seemingly mundane tasks of the day to day living and learning are where the grace and beauty of this remarkable homeschooling life is found. Find Lara at Everyday Graces Homeschool, the Cultivating Grace podcast, and helping busy homeschool families thrive with The Homeschool Garden morning time.
Join in on the fun of our Homeschooling is… series. Over 30 families share with you what homeschooling is for them and their families. We will have giveaways, freebies – tons of freebies, support, encouragement, and community!
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