Just like every other aspect of life, homeschoolers go through “Seasons”
The “Spring” of homeschooling, when everything is NEW and Exciting…. Oddly enough, I often get this “Spring” feeling in the fall when we start our “new year” of schooling. (Hmmm... maybe I wouldn't find this so "odd" if I lived "Down Under" in the southern hemisphere! :D ) I also feel this excitement when working with a 3-5 or six year old~ They are so INTERESTED in EVERYTHING~ and absorbing such a volume of information! Then there is the excitement of learning to read, and write, and so on~
“Summer” tends to mostly stay in Summer, for me… Life is slower, fewer commitments
I typically look at my “Fall” seasons of homeschooling as the times when everything is moving right along at a nice brisk pace~ things are runny smoothly and there are few bumps in the road. It’s a time of reaping the harvest of all the hard work that has been put in through the other seasons.
Now, “Winter” is a funny one for me, because I LOVE Winter, but given popular understanding~ I’d say that the “Winter season” of homeschooling is when you aren’t seeing much progress being made, indeed, when you might be feeling like NO progress is being made. You may feel that life has come to a standstill and/or you are buried under a mound of incomplete and unfinished work, or perhaps you are feeling like nothing is getting done. One picture that encourages me is that of a spring bulb. Have you planted daffodils or tulips or crocuses? It is amazing to look at those dry, papery, brown, dead-looking bulbs. They look dead~ They REQUIRE freezing temperatures for a specific amount of time in order to "come-to-life" again, but they are ALIVE! Please, take heart~ Those times when it feels like nothing is getting done, or getting through might just be a time a "deep-freeze", to prepare for that awesome burst of energy, when suddenly, everything makes sense! (I always think of some prints by my friend, artist Ilana Manolson when contemplating this...)
Do you keep a list of prayer requests? That's a good thing to do, but can sometimes be discouraging if the answers are slow in coming. If you are finding yourself getting discouraged, here's another idea... How about keeping a list of Blessings?
This was something I did during the month of November~ posting them as status updates on my facebook account. It was encouraging to ME, but it was also encouraging to others, and some of them even started the practice themselves, to help them find the blessings in their circumstances.
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp http://www.aholyexperience.com/ann-voskamp/
I really encourage you to check out Ann's website, and when you have opportunity, to check out her book. I haven't read it myself yet, but it has been highly recommended to me, and is on my list of books to read... soon! :)
Focus on Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Diana Waring has much encouragement to share in her book "Beyond Survival"
Here are a few key thoughts to remember
Life doesn't run on our timetable~
Don’t expect more of yourself than God does (but be faithful)
Overwhelmed? You may need to reach out and ask for help. But remember that oftentimes it is just a season, and there WILL be growth and change.
Here's a quote from a blogger I enjoy reading:
Enjoy each season. Even the more difficult seasons have moments of joy that we can’t capture at any other time. ~ Kris from Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers (You can read more of her post here)
Take a minute to contemplate that thought. Even in the difficult times there will be joys that can't be experienced without the difficulty. Take joy in the journey! :D
(This is the first in a series of posts inspired by my monthly local support group meetings~ If they are a blessing to you, I'd love to hear about it!)