Friday, April 20, 2012

Leaning Into the Oars

I heard it said recently that the longer you homeschool, the more comfortable and adept you become.

I have to agree.

The first year we homeschooled it was exciting and fun... but I often felt insecure about my ability.  I had clearly felt God leading me to start... I knew, with prayer, I could feel him leading me to continue through.

The second year we homeschooled we had a strong start... but by the end of the year I was worn out.  I was trying to write most of my own curriculum and tailor our education to each individual child... which we should do... but I was going to the extreme and began to burn out.  (Approximately 10 different math sources to pull from PER CHILD each week... lesson plans became an all-day event... every single week!)

By the third year I was really getting the hang of it.  I prayed over my lesson plans and curriculum choices, I paced myself, and I  planned ahead.  Then we moved... mid year.  It wasn't easy to get back on track... but we did it. 

Four years later I no longer doubt myself (usually!).  We have our ups and downs but over all, I feel blessed by the course we travel and excited about the progress we have made.  While I know there are moms out there reading this who are practically experts on the topic of homeschooling... I feel blessed to be where I am, knowing what I know, and learning ever more as my children grow.

Yet, even as I grow and learn with my children... the year still waxes on.  As I rejoice in our achievements (mostly personal though there are good academic ones as well) I had to share what I did on Tuesday.

I wrote in bold colors on our white-board:

It wasn't a lack of confidence or persistence or burn-out... it was a simple fact.  I have to get up an hour earlier on school days after staying up late for ministry needs most days, I am tiered of poking and prodding them to be on task, and there is a multitude of things we can all do together and individually that we can't do when we need to be focused on academics.

Turns out they feel the exact same way.

But this mom knew that... and that is why I scribbled on the white board.

I wanted them to realize that dragging their feet didn't help us move forward... I wanted to drag my feet too but I am waking up each day, pushing to the goal.  I pep talked them with analogies of boat rowing... leaning into the oars because we see the shore and we must work together to row the boat in.  Because, guess what...

Actually, now it is 6!  Kind of scary... and exciting.  My prayers for guidance in the school year will need to be transitioned to prayers for guidance in our summer plans.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Psalm 32:8 (ESV)

My prayer for you is that you be not discouraged if you feel done too.  Let the Lord be your strength, your rock, your firm foundation.  Pray daily for guidance, follow where He leads and know His hand rests upon you.

My oldest son told me today about something an old English teacher use to tell the class:

You[r writing assignment] will never be finished... [it] will be due.

Perhaps much of life... homeschool years included... is the same.

Keep moving forward... you will get there!  Lean into those oars, the shore is near.


Linking up with Sue today:

as well as Kris:


  1. Exactly! A timely post! We have 12-19 days left of school (depending on the kiddo) and these will be the hardest days of the year. We're worn out and ready for summer break, but there's still work to be wrapped up for the year. We'll get there, right? LOL

    1. Yes, we will get there! It is like I tell my kids all the time: we do all to please the Lord... and I figure, personally, half done is not as pleasing when perseverance is possible :-) Blessed to know we are leaning into the Oars together :-)

  2. Oh thank you for this. I have beensoworn out lately from migraines and needed this reminder.

    1. It is that time of year! I am so glad God could speak to you through the blog today :-) I pray your migraines may leave and health and peace may follow!