Another school year has begun. Have you spent a few late nights working on lesson plans? Have you already experienced some tears at the dinner table? Are you having to turn down opportunities to be with friends because you need to get school done?
Homeschooling is a beautiful blessing and a huge responsibility. It’s easy to get so caught up in all that it requires that we lose sight of the relationships that God has put in our lives. Today I want to address three important relationships that need to be nurtured as we go about the task of homeschooling.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that even before you started this homeschooling journey, you were one busy girl. Your husband certainly noticed. He’s proud of you for all the things you do so well. And he’s happy that you have an abundant life. But, he misses you sometimes, even if he doesn’t say it.
We women wear many hats in the course of any given day. Homeschooling is like adding several more “hats” to an already busy life. You may need to stop and look at everything you’re currently doing — inside and outside the home.
Does something need to go, in order to make room in your schedule for homeschooling?
Does your homeschooling style need to be altered so it’s less demanding of your time and emotions?
Do you need to realign your focus? Maybe instead of staying up late tonight making notebooking pages, you could just buy some and give that time to your husband.
Don’t give your husband your leftovers.
- Plan your day so that you can finish your activities and be available to spend some time with him.
- Make homeschooling work for you. Change the things that cause you stress so that your husband comes home to a happy wife. Really. Even if it means putting away the math for a whole year or letting junior play Legos instead of insisting that he learn to read when he’s five.
- Involve him in the learning environment of your home but don’t place unrealistic demands on him. If he works away from home all day it’s not realistic or respectful for you to demand that he also teaches math or science or whatever it is that you don’t feel equipped to teach. Make use of tutorials for that and let your husband come home and just be Dad.
- Share your struggles with him when you’re alone with him — and calm. Ask him to pray for you and with you.
- Invite him to help you make decisions to the extent that he feels comfortable.
- Look for little ways to remind him that he’s still your man, that you love him and are proud of him. Don’t let him feel like he’s just “that guy that brings the money home.”
Did you ever imagine that focusing too heavily on homeschooling could actually teach your children some negative attitudes?
- If their world revolves around homeschooling, it could lead to them perceiving that the world sort of revolves around them. Make sure they have a full life that involves work, worship and service to others.
- If homeschooling is elevated beyond its proper place, children can develop a sense of pride in the fact that they homeschool.
More importantly though is the danger of sacrificing the relationship you want with your children in an effort to “get school done.” Please don’t ever become a slave to curriculum or to the state. If something is causing relationship issues between you and your child, trash it! I don’t care how much you spent. I don’t even care if “he needs this credit.” Find another way. There is no subject, no credit, no scope and sequence that is more important than your relationship with your child.
Recently a friend of mine posted this on Facebook:
“A couple of people I know said that they will go out to lunch together one day, after their homeschooled children graduate from high school. Now, I love these friends dearly, but I must disagree with them. Don’t wait to invest time in friendships. We need our friends today, not just later when we think we’ll have more time. And there is no guarantee that that you will have that time in the future. Ask my mom, who had a friend who kept saying that they’d get together “one day.” That friend passed away a few weeks ago. Don’t wait.”
(Jennifer Jordan Maassen, motorcityhomeschool.blogspot.com)
We were all created to be social beings. Women need other women. Don’t buy the lie that says it’s selfish for you to spend time with friends.
- Remember that your friends need you every bit as much as you need them.
- God works through friends to inspire, encourage, admonish, and empower his children.
- When God gives you a gift, it is not to your credit to turn it down because you’re “doing something (like homeschooling) for Him” which makes you too busy for His gift. Accept the gift.
- If you’re still having trouble with the idea of doing something for yourself, then know this: You will be a better mom and wife if you take care of yourself. Spending time with friends is part of that.
Yes, you have to be responsible with your schedule. I’m not advocating for you to spend every day sitting at the park. Just don’t underestimate the power of an evening with a friend. It will do wonders for you both.
Homeschooling is a beautiful gift. At its best it will promote healthy relationships within your home and even outside of your home. There is so much freedom to be found through the experience of homeschooling. Don’t let homeschooling become a god that you worship to the expense of the very people you want to bless by taking this journey. Use the freedom and flexibility to your advantage and put the people in your life ahead of your planner and the school books. You’ll be glad you did. And your husband and children will be, too.
What can you do this week to nurture the relationships God has given you? Please share your ideas in the comments. Your email will not be published.