When chaos would strike and throw our family and our schooling into a tailspin, my initial reaction used to be to want to throw in the towel. Homeschooling is just too tough! I am not cut out for this! My kids are probably getting the short end of the stick! The reality is that when one begins to homeschool, you do need to realize that it is a commitment and needs to be accounted for almost like taking on a full-time job. The hard part is that you don’t leave home behind, jump in the car, and put on your office face. Life continues to happen all around you while you are attempting to educate your children. Life can feel like a huge interruption into what we feel home educating our children should be like.
So if I don’t quit, what is the alternative?
Here are a few things that I have started to implement when that anxious feeling of chaos ruling our home strikes.
- Take time to praise God in the midst of the storm. Far too many times we forget that God is still God in the midst of chaos. We seem to give all power to the situation at hand and lose sight of our Heavenly Father’s omnipotence.
- Remind myself that whatever is happening is only for a season. Our lives are comprised of many seasons and cycles. This too shall pass, but until it does I have only the choice to live in the present. God has a purpose for this day and wants to accomplish something in me in this situation. It is time to be a God-seeker and search out with all my heart how He wishes to use this situation to draw me closer to Him.
- Review my priorities. In an ideal world, home educating our children should be one of our top priorities if that is what we have been called to do. However, there are times when it may not make the top 5. I remind myself to always put God first, the people in my life second, and everything else comes after that. Yup, school falls into the everything else category.
- Give myself permission to not finish the To Do List. So many times, moms are especially great at heaping buckets on guilt on their heads because everything on the list doesn’t get done. This may be daily chores, long term projects, lesson plans, or even (gasp) our books by the end of the year. Maybe the list was your list and not God’s list!! Consider what you have accomplished and thank Him for allowing you to get done what you have and then consider how you and your children have grown during the process.
- Get back to the basics. Many times when things feel like they are spiraling out of control, we will cancel “school” and get our lives back on track. We may organize our space, declutter, and finish projects that are hanging over our heads. We give ourselves a break and then get a fresh start when the time is right.
- Monitor Time Thieves. Email, text messages, and social media are huge stealers of our time. I am not sure that studies have been done yet, but I am convinced that there is an addictive side to these technologies that keep many of us from living. Ask yourself if you are living your life with your family or in cyberspace. If need be, keep a time journal for a week to see what are your big time eaters or set a strict schedule of when you can access these technologies. Life existed before social media and text messages.
- Take life one day at a time. God provides us grace for today. The grace He gives can not be applied in living yesterday differently in hindsight nor is it meant to be used to manage our worries about the future. When you rise in the morning, it is good to plan your day, but remember to give your day (along with the rest of your life) to God and allow him to determine your steps. You may find yourself walking down a different path than what you imagined, but you will find peace in remembering that God is the God of the footsteps just as much as when we seem to skydive off of the mountaintops.
Remember that He is the God of the laundry piles, dirty dishes, sickness, and even toddler meltdowns.
God is in control and will not fail you.
Dawn Oaks is lives in Central KY with her hubby of 20 years, Gary, and her four children.