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Home > Support > Mothering > I have been homeschooling for eleven years, and I'm tired!!!...
 
 
Question: I have been homeschooling for eleven years, and I'm tired!!! I feel that our homeschooling experience has always been an uphill battle. Mostly because of my lack of education. But the thought of sending my kids to public school and what they would witness and experience was enough to keep me going one more year. After a summer break I was always ready and eager to try one more year. Well that eagerness has just left me. Here it is the end of July and the thought of one more year makes my stomach turn. I am 42 and am feeling the beginnings of the change. I know that a lot of what I feel is physical but I just don't see me having the time to take care of me and keeping up with the kids and homeschooling. My children are good and help out a lot but they are also struggling to keep up with their school work and picking up the slack for mom because she just can't keep up. I have read and heard the advice of taking a year off to regroup. How is this possible? How do I get around the legality of children having to be in school 180 days? What if someone asks my children what they are doing in school and they answer "we're taking a year off so mom can regroup"? What would you recommend? Another thing is that we are about to begin a major construction project to our home, we need more bedrooms, and I need to take care of a health problem that is going to require surgery. I just feel like I can't go on.
Answer:

Dear Mom,

Let's begin this letter with prayer.

Lord, we ask that You allow that this dear woman feel the strength of Your embrace. Wrap Your arms around her tired and weary spirit. Let Your strength surround her so that her weakness leaves her body and she feels the blessed comfort of uniting her spirit with Yours. Lord, we love her and long to see her uplifted and encouraged as she journeys a challenge that bends her in sorrow. Lord, we ask that You let her feel Your love in a powerful way. Amen.

Let's look at the reason we homeschool. We go forward into homeschooling because we feel that the Lord is calling us to this lifestyle. It is important that we examine carefully our reasons for homeschooling. Homeschooling is not something that we do because we are afraid. Humans are not created with a spirit of fear. We are created with a spirit of caution, reserve, and prudence. However fear is a foreign emotion. When we feel fear we try very hard to outrun this emotion. The Tempter uses our human weaknesses to implant fear in us so that we will be confused about the course of action we should take. He is creative (in an unholy way) and allows the fear within us to motivate action. Many times these actions are not of the Lord. Remember that the Lord did not give us a spirit of fear. We homeschool not because we are afraid of the world and all that is in it but because we are eager to follow into the lifestyle that the Lord is calling us to. Think for a moment about a young woman who is preparing for marriage. Would it be prudent for her to marry because she is 'afraid' that she might never be asked to marry? Would it be prudent for her to marry from this fear? Of course not. Marriage is far too serious a step to relinquish right judgment for the sake of fear. In the same respect, marriage is so joyful a life that to live it from fear is to cheat the great potential of marriage. Homeschooling works the same way. I see red when persons who are in a position of influence use fear to 'sell' homeschooling. This is not of the Lord and it creates in a dedicated and loving mother such as yourself a sorrow and a burden that bends a woman to the ground. This is of the Tempter. Shame on him. The world is filled with much that causes one to concern but it is created by an All-Powerful, All-Mighty, and Loving Lord from His great desire to share the joy of living with all that He creates. As much as you want good things for your children the Lord who created them wants that more than you can possibly imagine.

I have a son who lives in prison. Prison is a sorrowful, rough, and scary place but . . . . Jesus is there. My son is loving, tender, and pure of heart. He is this way not of his own strength but of the the strength of the Lord within him. Praise God!! St. Maximilian Kolbe practiced his Catholic faith in a Nazi concentration camp. I can't think of a worse place to practice the faith yet he managed and not only brought others to the faith but was a powerful witness of the great peace of the Lord.

Look at all the books that you are currently using. Take each child separately and their stack of books and materials. Meat through the mish-mash of books, curricula, and 'stuff'. Find the priorities and pack up the rest for a time. First things first. The rest is just that...the rest. Let it rest. You have your hands full and it is important that you allow yourself the space to care for yourself. Continue into homeschooling only if you think it is a calling from the Lord. Concentrate on those subjects that are priorities. More than half of your dear children should be working independently. The little ones from age 6 down should be spending their days in play. The 6 year old should be concentrating on reading skills. This is a priority at this age.

Your children are truly blest to have parents who are hard-working and loving, desiring to follow the Lord's will. Concentrate on the strengths that you are aware of in your situation. These strengths are those gifts that the Lord has given you. As you labor to bring your dear family to the fullness of the faith it is important to remember that this is your highest calling. The Lord has given you your dear children because from His great mercy and wisdom He knew that you would be the woman for the task. You are chosen from the Lord's designs. Go forward. Go forward. Do what you can do and let the rest alone.

I want you to know that your health is important and that your witness of living a balanced life is far more important to your children than all the math skills in the world. Seriously. Nothing is more important to the health of humans than balance. A balanced life is capable of more potential than a life that is filled with anxiety and frustration. I do not like to see people push themselves beyond balance.

Sit before the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist. Sit quietly in the embrace of the loving Lord. Let the good Jesus embrace you and empower you. I would recommend that if you do not already have a family altar please dedicate an area of your home for this purpose. We bring our sorrows, frustrations, and burdens to our family altar and with the confidence and trust of a child we are asked by our sweet and tender Jesus to leave these 'gifts' at the altar. I say gifts because the dear Lord longs to take these 'gifts' from us. When we give the dear sweet Jesus such gifts we are giving the depth of our human potential and the depth of our human life.

I will be keeping you in prayer as your prepare for surgery. I will be keeping you in prayer on the 4th Glorious Mystery. This evening when my own Guardian Angel awakens me (she seems to do that more now that I am experiencing perimenopause . . . hee, hee) I will go to our family altar and pray for you, dear sister in Christ. I want you to take a deep breath and let go of all that troubles you. In the wisdom that is of the Lord examine your health challenges and ask yourself if you should discuss your health concerns with your health care provider. Go forward. Do not let the Tempter pull you backwards because in so doing you may lose sight of the power of Jesus in your life.

Sending out a prayer,

Rita Munn

   
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