10 Secrets to Surviving the Long Haul of Homeschooling

5. Remember, we “live by faith” (Hebrews 10:38)!  As believers in a living God, let’s not separate our “Sunday faith” from our Monday mission as moms and dads! By faith, I encourage myself daily. By faith, I see my vision for my sons’ futures unfolding before me. If we lean only upon our natural perceptions as we parent and home educate, we can be misled and quickly become discouraged. Many, many times, I must lift my gaze to see beyond what my five senses are telling me. Faith enables me to press on. Which brings me to my next secret . . .

6. Learn to persevere. In our high-speed, fast-food, microwave society, we want it now! We have to fight our human tendency to give up too quickly. Perseverance is defined as “steadfastness in doing something, despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.”1 It’s not a concept that initially summons happy thoughts, but James 1:4 promises that if we allow perseverance to “finish its work” in us, we’ll become mature and complete, “lacking nothing.” Perseverance isn’t something that comes naturally to most of us; it’s more like a muscle we must develop with consistent use.

7. Pray, pray, and pray! As I reflect upon my twenty-seven years of mothering, the majority of my days have begun in the quiet of the early morning hours on my knees, imploring God for His grace, mercy, and wisdom. I’m desperate for His help. I picture myself in prayer, making a divine exchange. Trading my better ideas, my human reasoning, my secular standards, my friends’ advice, for a heavenly anointing that enables me to succeed. Prayer is a strategy I know I can trust completely. (See James 5:16b.)

8. Count it all joy (James 1:2)! As homeschooling families, each day presents us with frequent irritations: spilled juice, dawdling students, rolling pencils, bickering siblings, lost books, and continual interruptions. We usually have a split second to decide whether to grumble or rejoice. Choose joy! Decide to be lighthearted about your light and momentary afflictions (2 Corinthians 4:17), and you will sense God’s strength filling your heart (Nehemiah 8:10).

9. Sing! Do you have a song in your heart? I’m not a gifted vocalist (and all my boys said “Amen!”), but as a homemaker I’ve found myself singing my way through my blessings and my battles these past three decades. James 5:13 asks, “Is any merry? let him sing psalms.” The book of Psalms is literally a songbook filled with beautiful words of praise to God. I believe singing God’s Word reinforces the Truth and effectively drives away the dark cloud that wants to hang over our homes and lives. That’s why “I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being” (Psalm 104:33).

10. Be the tortoise, not the hare. As full-time parents and home educators, we have to think “marathon” not “sprint.” A long-distance runner who fails to pace himself mentally and physically runs real fast at the beginning and fizzles out somewhere in the middle.

I want you to make it to the finish line, not simply surviving the trip but thriving along the way. I believe these ten timeless secrets will equip you well for the road ahead. “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9). Stay the course!

Endnote:

1. Mac dictionary app

 

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