When I Get a “Homeschool Cramp”
I have several friends who can say they have run in a marathon. No, I am not included in their ranks. I consider it an accomplishment if I can make it to two miles.
But I admire them. It is an impressive thing to do. Running over 26 miles takes months of training and a strict nutritional regimen.
And I have seen that whenever you undertake a really challenging task like that, there are going to be times when things don’t go smoothly. You hit roadblocks. Like shin splints or sickness. Sometimes, it makes you want to stop and give up.
It’s the same thing with homeschooling. We are often looking at two decades of selfless work.
We are in this for the long haul. Sometimes I get homeschool shin splints. The enthusiasm isn’t there, and I feel like I can’t make it through the day as easily. It takes a little longer to teach that lesson. I have to stop the academics to deal with character issues.
I hit roadblocks. You know. Like when the washing machine blows up and leaks soapy water all over the place…….No more school today.
How about when the stomach virus hits. I don’t know why it seems to always hit one child at a time. The first gets it, then throws up everywhere for a day or two. The following day he feels better, but the next child has it. And it takes out my family one-by-one, making a two-day sickness drag out to over a week or more. As the first child is taken down, I feel like the king before the great battle in the Lord of the Rings:
Right?? Bring it on!
But I begin wondering why we decided to do this whole homeschooling thing in the first place. Is it really worth it? It certainly isn’t easy.
I do have a place of encouragement to turn to. It is a simple manila folder we keep in our file cabinet. We made it when we started homeschooling (before the days of laptops or home computers). It is titled “Why We Homeschool,” and it contains a list of the reasons we felt called to homeschool in the first place.
In it, we also place articles we have torn out of magazines that showcase successful homeschooled students and their accomplishments (Yay! Someone else made it to the finish line!!). We add printed blog posts of encouragement.
If I read a Bible verse that is especially encouraging to me, I will write it on a piece of paper and put it in this file, too. Then when I have an unusually difficult day (or week!), or I just feel like I need to regain my perspective, I can open this file and get filled with encouragement.
We all have reasons we began this homeschooling journey. We just need to remind ourselves sometimes. I encourage those of you who are educating your children at home to have a place to remind yourself why you began this marathon. Then you have a place to go to re-gain your perspective of why you are doing this. You can massage that cramped math muscle and go over that lesson with your kids yet again. You realize that reaching the finish line is worthwhile. So you keep on running…
Keep running. I am cheering you on!!