It’s that time of year again, when everyone begins preparing to go back to school. Every store is full of bins of paper, pencils, crayons, and glue. Every commercial on TV is capitalizing on back-to-school bargains. The big yellow buses start to run their routes and the temperature starts to shift slightly as fall encroaches. This energetic buzz can have a great impact on homeschool families who often start the year with the energy of a horse bolting out of the open racing stall.
Some homeschool moms are looking at the new school year ahead of them wondering what energy it is to which I am referring. Maybe they are overwhelmed with choosing the perfect curriculum to make their school year go smoothly. Maybe the finances aren’t available to purchase materials to get started just yet. Maybe the kids have bickered so much this summer the idea of facing another winter cooped up indoors together is overwhelming.
Whether you are looking forward to the looming school year with eager anticipation or a little dread, it is important to renew your commitment to this task. In the midst of lesson plans and curriculum perusing, make time to evaluate why you are going to homeschool for another year. Even if you made the decision from the beginning to homeschool all the way through, it is often important to revisit those reasons.
Through my years of homeschooling, I have faced a lot of challenges. There was often not room in our budget for the curriculum that would be best suited to my children’s learning styles. With seasonal unemployment, I found it difficult to enjoy those early planning meetings with my homeschool group because activities equaled expense. Over time those of us in similar situations found ourselves in a smaller group committed to finding activities together that didn’t break the bank. I had three children of different ages with different needs and learning styles which made each day a new adventure.
During times of difficulty, and there were many, if I had lost sight of the purpose for keeping my children at home – it would have been so easy to give up. If I had forgotten the importance of this decision to nurture not only my children’s love of learning, but also our relationships with one another, there are times it would have been easy to throw in the towel. If I hadn’t recognized that the financial sacrifices of being a one, small income family, I would’ve caved to the criticisms of others and put my kids back in school in order to add another income.
The conviction to homeschool was a seed planted in my heart that God grew and bore fruit, even in seasons of drought. I had to ask Him to carry me through difficult times and revisit the reasons I had chosen to lay down my life, my hopes for a career, and the many hours of every single day to continue on the path of homeschooling. He was faithful.
Photo Credit: Graphic design by Charity Klicka.