Homeschooling can be an amazing adventure. However, it also shows every flaw and weakness in you. There are days when your child will make you want to cry and bring out the worst in you. This doesn’t mean your child is horrible. Sometimes it just means there are things in your past that weren’t dealt with. If you have been through a lot before having children, homeschooling can become a very daunting task. I want to share some tips and encouragement that helped when I was homeschooling from brokenness.
Homeschooling From Brokenness
I don’t know what your background is. Maybe you come from an abusive home. Maybe your parents were negligent. It could be that you grew up in the system and never knew family. Whatever that background is, now you find yourself trying to homeschool your children. If you are anything like me, some of their choices bring out the biggest weaknesses. For me, this looked like anger, impatience, and a heavy depression for quite some time. I woke up feeling like a failure and went to bed feeling the same. It was such a difficult time in my life and I have finally found my way past it. I wanted to share a few of the things that helped move me past it.
If there are pains from your past that are causing you to struggle it is ok to get help. Seek out a mental health professional who can help you to work through these issues. It doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you. In fact, it means you care enough about yourself and your children to get the help you need. I spent some quality time in counseling to work through some of what I came from.
Admit your weaknesses
I think it’s important in order to move forward to first acknowledge the weaknesses. I know for a fact that I am horrible at teaching hands-on concepts. I lose patience so fast with teaching to tie shoes or ride a bike without training wheels. I know that any time I do these I am more likely to lose my temper and act in a foolish way. Instead of causing a difficult situation I choose to ask my husband or a friend for help. If there is an area you are weak, look into a co-op or find out if your husband can help you in that area.
Surround yourself with the right friends.
It’s very important to surround yourself with friends who understand where you came from but don’t intend to bring you back there. Instead, find women who will be compassionate and encouraging while still having the freedom to call you out when needed. Some of my best friends have looked at areas where I am weakest and lovingly offered a new way to handle it.
Shrink your circle.
Not everyone needs to be your friend. If you have a past that has made homeschooling harder on you the last thing you need is negative people. I do not mean people who will call you out in love. We all need those. I mean the people who are going to judge you based on who you were or what you don’t do well. Shrink your circle and include people who are healthy for you and your children.
For me, prayer is a huge help. It’s my chance to step away from the situation and focus on someone bigger than me who can help me through it. Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t run to the prayer closet. Some of my most real prayers have been mixed with tears as I do dishes. When things get hardest, prayer can be just the thing to help you get through it.
One of the best ways to move past the burdens of the past is to set healthy boundaries. If you have a tendency to spank too much set a limit or choose an alternative. If you have a potty mouth, have a rule to handle your cursing. Do you find yourself yelling too much? Maybe it’s time to set a rule that you whisper when you are angry.
Unforgiveness is the quickest way to trap yourself and damage your future. Forgive those who have hurt you so that you can move forward. You don’t have to associate with the person but forgiveness can give you the freedom to move past what they have done.
Sometimes when you come from a broken past it can be easy to try and be everything to your children so they never go through what you did. While this may seem like the right answer it couldn’t be more wrong. The best thing you can do for yourself is to schedule time when you are not taking care of anyone. Go read a great book or grab coffee with a good friend. It may change everything.
You don’t have to be a perfect mom. You don’t have to do it all. Ask some of your good friends what they do and don’t expect. You may find that by getting a realistic perspective you will find some peace.
What do you do to move past the things that make homeschooling more difficult? Is it hard to ask for help? Leave me a comment. I would love to hear from you and encourage you more if I can.
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