10 Secrets to Surviving the Long Haul of Homeschooling

Published with Permission

by Denise Mira

www.denisemira.com/blog

www.TOSMagazine.com

It’s February. The leftover frozen Christmas cookies have been consumed, the unwanted gifts have (finally!) been exchanged, that protracted euphoric sense of holiday freedom lingering through December and January has ended, and all your excuses for “not doing normal school” have run dry. (No,Mom, Super Bowl Sunday isn’t considered a long weekend!)

It’s that time of year on the school calendar. You’re “in between” in the dead of winter—sort of like the Laura Ingalls Wilder family in the late 1800s, rolling across the desolate, flat, blustery plains of the Midwest in their rustic covered wagon, with no . . . end . . . in . . . sight. And, most definitely, no 7-Elevens to stop at for a Big Gulp!

The remaining stretch of terrain lying before you can appear particularly daunting this time of year. I know, because I’ve been there. Our “wagon” was packed with five busy boys and led by two public school-educated, first-generation, homeschooling pioneer parents: hubby and me, who were intent on changing the world—but without much practical preparation.

As you know, beginning is always more exciting than continuing. That’s why so many people give up in the middle. But if we’ll persist, it’s amazing how much treasure is hidden along the way. Here are ten secrets I’ve unearthed as I’ve journeyed for thirty-one years in marriage and over twenty years in home education. If you’ll take them to heart, these nuggets of gold are guaranteed to propel you forward with momentum!

1. Capture afresh your initial revelation about home education. I’m doing what I’m doing today because of a revelation, and I imagine you are too. It may have come through observation of a successful homeschooling family, academic study, or an online news story, but the result was what we would call an “aha!” moment. This unfolding of new information, this striking disclosure, opened our eyes to see something we didn’t even know existed and brought a revolution to our homes. Let it inspire and empower you once again!

2. Remember your vision. Proverbs 28:19 shoots straight on this one: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.When we forget why we’re doing what we’re doing, we falter. Time and again, I remind myself of the dream God put in my heart: to raise extraordinary young men who will have an impact in the earth. I can’t imagine a more ideal setting for training my sons in every facet of life than at home with Mom and Dad and their brothers. However, the “ideal” of which we dream is oft-times challenged by the “real” in which we live. Which leads me to my next secret.

3. Beware of “the dailies”! In the 24/7 grind of life at home, the “dailies” can set in to bog us down and blur our vision. You know well the tedium of everyday life. It’s all that stuff that has to be done: toddlers to chase, teens to embrace, papers to correct, meals to make, bills to juggle, friends to call, clutter to straighten, diapers to change . . . it never ends. Enduring the daily slog can, at times, feel like the greatest test. We must refuse to allow the mundane to overshadow the truly important issues of our lives. Don’t be found drowning in the dailies.

4. Hold on to your confidence! Confidence is powerful. The Bible encourages it, and Hebrews 10:35 reminds us that “it will be richly rewarded”. When our confidence is rocked, our resolve is substantially weakened. We begin to second-guess our parenting decisions and we become double-minded about our ability to carry out our mission to home school. Be like a dog with a bone, and don’t let go of your confidence!

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