Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The Benefits of Homeschooling... for Mamas!

By far the most common reasoning I personally hear for not homeschooling is something along the lines of:

I don't have enough patience to teach my kids.

This is God's sense of humor. Why? Because I am one of the most impatient people you know.

Sure sure sure. I've grown A TON over the years (and homeschooling is a major reason! More on that in a sec) but among those closest to me (husband, kids, parents, siblings) I am actually known for my lack of patience. Seriously, ask Erik.

And yet I have people tell me on a regular basis that they couldn't do what I do because they don't have the kind of patience I supposedly have.

See the irony? God chuckles every time, I just know it.

I've been realizing lately how beneficial homeschooling has been for me personally. I homeschool for my kids and for our family and ultimately in obedience to God. But, true to the way God works, I experience beautiful benefits as the mama. Bonus benefits of homeschooling, if you will. And I am going to share them miscellaneously here:

Benefit for Mama #1

I am a more patient person.

I did not become patient and then start homeschooling. Oh no. I started out as impatient as ever. Trust me there have been some u-u-u-ugly moments... er... days. But I can truly and honestly look back at those early days of pushing academics on my poor 3 year old and see how far God has brought me over the last 8 years. 

It's certainly been through growing in the Lord on a daily basis that I've grown over the years. But God has also used homeschooling in a huge way to mold me more into what He desires me to be. More into the Mom my babes need, the wife my husband deserves, the sister and daughter and friend He created me to be. Homeschooling played a key role.

So next time you want to say to me, "I'm not patient enough to teach my kids," don't be surprised when my answer is, "well, then, that's exactly what you should be doing!"

Benefit for Mama #2

I enjoy my kids.

They can certainly annoy me. I'm an impatient person, remember? It is not entirely uncommon for me to hide. But when I come out of my hiding place, usually after some serious conversations with God, I can see my kids for the joy that they are.

Their hilarity. Their uniqueness. Their constant growing and changing and becoming. Homeschooling gives me abundant opportunity to truly know my babies. What tickles their funny bone. What motivates them. Where their passions lie and what stokes those passions. I get the zoomed in view of God working in their hearts. It is the most beautiful view and I can't get enough of it.

Benefit for Mama #3

I'm a less selfish person.

Derek and I got a weekend away for my birthday. We hiked for hours and miles and miles and hours. We watched too many movies and ate whatever we wanted. We were unhindered by all things small child. It was glorious! In my mind, I was going to return home refreshed and with a heart full of patient compassion for my brood of littles.

Wow was I wrong.

The first day back from our little vaca was reminiscent of a nightmare, and my very own selfishness fueled the disaster. Being with my kids day in and day out has been exactly what I've needed to keep that selfishness in check. Now, I'm not saying don't get away! Absolutely do!! But learn from my foolishness and remember that life almost never goes exactly how you imagined it. I thought we'd come home to kids who were thrilled to have us home and at the ready to serve in any way I desired out of pure love for me. At the time I wouldn't have realized that was my expectation, but after our nightmare day, that became disgustingly clear. I can't even imagine what kind of self-absorbed human I would be if I didn't have a handful of miniatures reminding me on the daily that life isn't all about me.

Benefit for Mama #4

I'm constantly learning.

Who knew I loved learning?! Certainly not me! Sometimes I am convinced that education is wasted on the young. I spent my entire growing up years in school and yet I'm certain I've learned more homeschooling my own kids than I ever did in school and college. Seriously, I look forward to reading our history curriculum every single day. And long division... is actually fun!

I'm also always learning more about how to teach my kids. I've become a little obsessive about reading about reading. The more I learn, the more I crave to learn. Would I have so much opportunity to learn if I didn't have the motivation of teaching my kids? Would I have the desire? Maybe you would but I wouldn't. I know myself and I know that I would be caught up in all the other things that go along with mom life. Learning would take a back seat to doing every time in my world. I'm grateful that learning is a major part of my life, and I thoroughly enjoy doing it right alongside my babes.

Benefit for Mama #5

I'm a more disciplined person.

I'm resisting the urge to laugh out loud at this. I'm entirely too undisciplined. But I am more disciplined than I would be if we weren't living the homeschool life. Having to set the schedule myself for our family is quite the disciplined way of life. I'm the type who would like someone else to tell me what to do and when to do it so I can fight against the system and do my own thing. When I'm the one having to tell myself what to do and when to do it, I'm fighting myself. This is hard. Frustrating. Stretching. And beneficial for this undisciplined human.

With days almost always wide open before us, I'm faced with the constant decision to tackle it with vigor or throw it out the window. And then there's all the options in between. I fail. A lot. And then I learn and grow and become a more disciplined person.

Benefit for Mama #6

The homeschooling community!

I love love love talking curriculum with fellow homeschool mamas. Gleaning tricks and tips for teaching my various littles from women far wiser than me is a favorite. In just about any path of life you can find community. I'm just partial to the homeschool one. We aren't better than the next community. We're just us. And I love us. Spending time with God-fearing, like-minded mamas fills me up to overflowing every single time. Humans were made for community. For fellowship. For connection. If you don't have that, my little homeschooling community always has open arms!

Sometimes the idea of homeschooling feels a little like dying to self for the sake of the children. And, well, it is. But God, in His infinite awesomeness, pours out abundant blessings when we die to self in obedience to Him. And then the dying feels a whole lot more like living than living ever felt before.

This list is by no means exhaustive. I didn't even mention the part about kids doing the chores around the house! But, if you are an impatient, selfish, undisciplined mama like me who is experiencing the tug of the Holy Spirit to pursue this homeschooling thing, I'm here for you! I'm cheering you on toward these benefits and many, many more. And I can't wait to welcome you into the homeschool life with open arms!


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