Are you feeling overwhelmed? Whether you’ve been homeschooling for years or are just getting started, we all run into rough patches along the way. You can find joy in your homeschool journey and enjoy this amazing experience with your kids!
Homeschooling can be a joy-filled adventure
Teaching your children at home provides the opportunity for one-on-one instruction that can be tailored to their unique interests, needs, strengths, and challenges, too. Homeschooling is a wonderful way to foster a genuine love of learning. It can be a rich, interactive, unhurried endeavor in the nurturing environment of home and family. Homeschooling can be a joy-filled adventure.
As a parent, you are uniquely qualified to provide a quality education for your children. No one has your child’s best interests at heart like you do. And homeschooling is so much more than academics. Not only are you providing instruction in subjects like math, science, grammar, and history, you are also teaching your children important life skills and character qualities—and most importantly faith in God.
Homeschooling has its challenges
Homeschooling is work. Sometimes hard work. It requires effort, time, and diligence. And let’s face it, our kids aren’t always cooperative or motivated—and neither are we.
Your child may have learning needs that require extra attention or special care. Or you might have a gifted learner that soaks up information as fast as you can provide it. Perhaps you have several children at different ages and stages or you’re trying to homeschool while juggling a job. The reality—and an important fact—is that the lion’s share of the work of raising and educating your kids rests squarely on your shoulders.
And homeschooling isn’t the only responsibility you have either.
You’re still surrounded by the same projects and piles and things that need your attention. Laundry to wash, bathrooms to clean, sticky floors to mop, and bills to pay. Groceries must be purchased and dinner must be prepared, plus you have to feed your kids breakfast and lunch—every.single.day! You might also be a caregiver for an aging parent or any host of additional responsibilities and challenges. It’s no wonder we grow weary and lack motivation ourselves sometimes. Have you lost your joy in homeschooling?
Where did all of that motivation and joy go?
The day-to-day reality and hard work of teaching and raising children can dull the shine of this remarkable adventure if we’re not careful to keep joy in our hearts and homes.
Remember back before the start of this homeschool year? Back when hopes were high, anticipation was energizing, and plans felt inspired. The curriculum you ordered arrived, all shiny and new, just waiting for your kids to dive in to explore new concepts and make great discoveries. The scent of fresh school supplies in the air, drawing you into visions of happy, productive, joy-filled homeschool days ahead.
Perhaps you had big plans for a year filled with exciting learning opportunities such as going on field trips, doing science experiments, art projects, and unit studies, taking music lessons, reading biographies and classic literature, incorporating hands-on history complete with feasts, costumes, dioramas, salt-dough maps, creative writing, and more—oh, so much more!
Your enthusiasm helped launch your school year on a great trajectory, but now you’ve hit a slump. Motivation is lacking and joy is elusive. Can you relate?
Joy is a gift to strengthen you
Homeschooling does not need to be drudgery or a grind. You CAN renew your motivation and get into a good rhythm for homeschooling and family life. The key is finding—and keeping—joy.
The joy of the Lord truly is your strength. Joy is a gift in your homeschool!
I’ve found it helps to look at joy as a priceless treasure—a gift that I am responsible for safeguarding. Joy is mine to keep or yield. Joy does not mean that life is free from difficulties. It does, however, bring strength and peace along with the ability to see beauty and blessing, even in the most challenging times.
Plant good seeds and cultivate joy
Like a gardener tending to her garden, you are doing good work planting seeds in your children’s minds and hearts that will reap a harvest in their future and for generations to come. Don’t grow impatient or weary in this good work. It takes time for seeds to take root, grow, and bear fruit.
Fertilize the ground you’re cultivating and water those seeds by speaking life to your children, over your day, and to yourself. Also, be sure to keep a close eye out for weeds that will sneak in bringing discontent, strife, complaints, or discouragement, stealing joy from you and your kids.
Remember to look up to the Lord and out to the future. The seeds you are planting today have an eternal impact, and raising your kids is one of the very most important things you’ll do in your lifetime. There is a reward for a job well done. So, hang in there, mom and dad! You’ve got this! You can create a joyful homeschool experience for you and your children.
Four tips for fostering joy
1. Look at today with the end in mind
Ask yourself what you want to have accomplished during this season of raising and homeschooling your children. When your last child has graduated, how do you want to feel as you look back at your homeschool years? Make choices today, moment by moment, that help create that future.
2. Actively seek joy
Teach yourself and your children to look for joy. When you’re having a rough day, stop and look for blessings together with your children. Ask questions like:
- What can we be thankful for right now?
- What is going right in our homeschool?
- In what ways has God show Himself mighty on our behalf?
- How is He helping us right now?
Focus on the beauty and the blessings and you will find joy seeping in, bringing with it strength and peace.
3. Order promotes peace
I’m a firm believer that order promotes peace. Having a daily routine and at least basic order in your home can go a long way toward less stress, less chaos, and greater joy. Look for simple ways you can foster a peaceful environment that lends itself to joyful learning and living in your home. A few ideas to get you started:
- Have your kids put their homeschool books and supplies away neatly at the end of your school day so everything is easy to find the next morning.
- Challenge your kids to do a 10-minute tidy-up-the-house session once or twice a day. Make it a race where everyone picks up and puts away as many items a they can in ten minutes.
- Take 15 minutes a day to clean or organize one area or item. Clean out your purse, straighten up the kitchen junk drawer, or clean off the kitchen counter.
I don’t know about you, but clutter steals my joy and my peace of mind. Conquering clutter in a small area, breaking it into short, easy-to-accomplish tasks can reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed by all of the things needing your attention. This makes getting organized—and staying organized—more do-able.
Start with the areas that cause you the most frustration. One small task at a time and you’ll find your stuff isn’t fighting against you for space quite so much. Each day has enough new messes of its own. Investing a few minutes consistently can help you start each new day without so much of yesterday’s mess coming along for the ride.
4. Enjoy your children
Your children are a gift from God. Look them in the eye and smile at them. Let them know you love them—and you like them, too! Enjoy your kids and the learning adventure you’re on together. The days, weeks, and months ahead are full of opportunity, discovery, and moments of wonder and awe as you and your kids explore, learn, and grow—together.
The days may go by slowly, but the years really do go by fast. You CAN find joy in your homeschool and stay motivated to accomplish this important work ahead of you.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always have all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
30 Days to Restoring Joy in Your Homeschool
Free digital download
This free 15-page digital download includes ideas for 30 actions you can take to help foster joy in your homeschool, blank cards, plus additional encouragement for each of the 30 actions. Also includes several full-color printable Bible verses and quotes about joy.
Subscribe today to receive your free digital download.