Finding GOOD on the Hard Homeschool Days
Hard homeschool days. We’ve all had them. And if you haven’t, you will. It’s just a part of life – and no one is exempt from it. But having a hard day doesn’t always have to end in the way that your emotions tell you it should. It doesn’t have to end in tears or harsh words, nor does it have to end with a bad attitude or lingering anger. It can actually end in peace and just be chalked up to what it was – a hard day.
Think of hard days like this: It is just a challenge for your team (family) to overcome together. And the key word is TOGETHER. Don’t let the difficult day divide your family, rather see it as an opportunity to come together and overcome the challenges presented. See it as another time that you can show your children what the character of Christ looks like. Even though it may be tough to do, seeing good in each homeschool day is important for your family.
3 Reasons to Seek the Good in Hard Homeschool Days
1. If you don’t you can damage your relationship with your child(ren).
Yep, it’s true. I have some friends who can testify that broken relationships with their children resulted from some really bad homeschool days that got out of control due to their (the parent’s) lack of self-control. If you are homeschooling your children, it tells me that you have a vested interest in helping your child achieve the very best academic success humanly possible for them. It also tells me that you value your relationship with them as well. Make sure that both of those points are shown to your children by your actions as a parent. No matter what the day brings, don’t lose sight of the reason you started homeschooling in the first place.
2. If you don’t it can be harmful to your child’s self image.
How? Well first off, if you are only focusing on the bad (which on bad days is easy to do) then you are only communicating that your child is associated with the reason for your bad day. Sure, maybe their behavior is off, or they are making poor decisions, but at the end of the day, it isn’t their fault you are feeling what you are feeling. I know that I have had many days where I felt as if my days were falling apart because my children were misbehaving. But the truth is, that isn’t why. Sure, raising children is no easy feat, but our responses to their poor behavior choices are the real determinants for how our day will be. If we are being real with ourselves and the condition of our hearts, we will understand that we are only hurting our children and our relationships with them if we make them feel like our frustration is “their fault”. When God calls us to be parents, He also equips us. If we are struggling in this area, it is simply reason to seek Him even harder allowing Him to change our own heart so we can better minister and shape our children’s hearts.
3. If you don’t your child may begin to develop a bad attitude toward their school work.
Because our children are looking to us to learn coping mechanisms, they are often not equipped to know where to “compartmentalize” their emotions on hard homeschool days. If we are only focusing on the bad they are doing, then I can guarantee you that at some point that will affect they way they look at school work. Even if their behavior is not related to poor academic performance, it will eventually find it’s way into their mindset about school.
The Challenge (2-part)
1. Every day during your homeschooling day, find at least one GOOD thing (per child) to focus on at some point. I know there are going to be days where you feel like this is an impossible feat – and when you do – I encourage you to pray and ask God for His help. And keep this scripture in mind:
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
~Matthew 19:26 NIV
You know your children best, so be sure to share things with them when they need a morale booster. This encouragement can be shared in the middle of their work or at the end – just make sure they hear you tell them something good.
2. Don’t beat yourself up. As parents (particularly mothers) we tend to forgive others but not ourselves. Make sure that you forgive yourself and give yourself room to grow gracefully in this area of your life. Although often times we “know” what to do, doing it isn’t always easy. So as you are seeking out the good in your day, remember what Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Keep that in mind when you are tempted to condemn yourself.
Speaking Life Into Your Homeschool
A while back I did a series called Speaking Life Into Your Homeschool. In this series I talk about the importance of speaking life-giving words in your homeschool to create an atmosphere conducive to love and learning. I also created a free printable scripture list to speak to get your thoughts, heart, and homeschool off to the right start in a new direction! My husband Michael and I also wrote a family devotional that teaches young families how to incorporate positive confessions (from the Bible) into their every day life that will change the course of their thinking. You can learn more about our book here.
If you are looking for some good family scripture lists, come take a peek at our page of FREE printable confession lists at Learning to Speak Life™.
Learning to Speak Life Podcast
Looking for some encouragement to help you in your journey to speak life-giving words over those you love? If so, then please join us for our new podcast on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network! Our first show is up and we’d love to have you listen!