More than a year ago I was asked to speak at a local homeschooling conference on homeschooling in a crisis. Our family has been through quite a few, but I did not know when I was asked that we would weather yet another, just a week before I was to speak.
God planned it that way. Through tears I was able to bring His truth to that room where so many parents sat teary-eyed themselves, weary and battered by trials that were threatening to make them quit everything, including marriage and life.
I honestly thought no one would show up to that workshop. Who comes to a convention workshop called "Homeschooling in a Crisis" unless they're in crisis, and how many people could possibly be in a crisis at one time? I was shocked to watch that room fill up. There are so many, many hurting families out there, and if you're one of them I want you to know something: you are not alone.
No matter the glossy magazine covers, the beautiful school rooms on Pinterest, that family at church with the kids all lined up quietly in the pew. You are not alone. Broken, saddened, struggling family, this is why Jesus came and why grace wins. It's the sick who need the doctor, and this time of triage for you is when you get to call upon His name in bold and unashamed clamor.
7 Points to Remember When Homeschooling (or Parenting) in a Crisis
1. God has this.
3. Homeschooling provides us with opportunities to walk alongside our children.
What your family learns through your crisis might be the only thing God really wanted to teach you all this year.
4. Academics can be accomplished, but they might look different than you imagined.
In the 14 years our oldest two sons were being homeschooled, I had 6 more babies and a miscarriage, we experienced three near-deaths that required hospital stays with various children, and we have been raising a brain damaged son. The oldest will graduate with his BA English this fall and the second starts nursing school next month. Homeschooling works, but it sure looked different than I imagined it would. Much of what our family learned wasn't remotely academic, but it was life-changing.
5. Flexibility is key.
Maybe you need to do school at night. Or before the crack of dawn. Maybe it's time to take advantage of online classes or hire a tutor. Maybe this is the year you pare down to the bare essentials: reading, writing, arithmetic. Ask God; He's creative and our ever-present help in times of trouble.
6. Surround yourself with cheerleaders.
Those people in your life who bring condemnation or negativity might need to be given some healthy distance right now. If they bring judgment or jealousy, this isn't the time to listen patiently. Surround yourself with people who will point you to Jesus.
7. Tell yourself the truth.
What's the truth? You are loved. God is in control. There is nothing you can do or not do that will lose His love for you. Ever. That's the truth.
Need more encouragement? Don't forget this week's episode: Homeschooling Through Hard Times.