While I really have to think hard about finding anything truly negative about homeschooling, it dawned on me this morning as I'm sweeping my kitchen floor for the third time in one sixty minute span, the hardest part of homeschooling is me. You see, the vast majority of homeschooling mamas are around their children 100% of the day. Which gives us about 1,400 minutes to potentially fail. I don't get a break from my older children as they scurry off to school every morning for 8 hours a day. I don't get a break from little babies that require almost all of my undivided attention. And because there are times when everyone's talking at once, someone's hurt, the baby screams, someone knocks over the box of crayons, and the oven timer may be going off at once, that's an invitation for me to react. And react I shall.
This is all to my detriment because here I am letting my humanity rear it's ugly head (sometimes it's really ugly) and it's never done in solitude. There's an audience. Four little heads turn all at once, four sets of eyes big and wide, and four lives impacted by my less than stellar performance.
It really puts things into perspective that first time or two you witness Junior reacting similarly to something seemingly cumbersome and your first reaction is to immediately correct that random ugly behavior. But "where did he learn that from?" you may frustratingly ponder. "No child of mine is going to act so...so...feral".
And then a whisper comes....
"Yea, God, you're right. He's only mirroring what he saw me do earlier."
"Yea, God, I know you want me to control my impatience and overreacting. I need your help with this. I have so many hours everyday where they watch me so intently. I don't want to fail them God."
Without a doubt this is the worst part of being in constant contact with your children...you are an open book, a mirror, a manual they read every minute of everyday.
But thank goodness for the opportunity for the influence we as mothers do have on our children. God can use anything for good, even our mess ups. So we have countless opportunities to show our children the love of the Father towards His children. We can show them that we are sinful and have struggles and need Gods help all the time. We can apologize and ask for their forgiveness. We can learn from one another. We can hold each other accountable and we can "grow in grace" together.
I believe that today's homeschooling mamas have it the hardest of all the generations of homeschooling mamas before us. We live in a crazy world and are our plates our stacked too high for one person to handle. It's so easy to feel that weight pressing you down day after day and sometimes you just break. I'm so thankful for a God that sees it all and is always willing to help me pick up the pieces and mend the relationships between me and my children. Learning, growing, stretching, and walking towards Christ is what homeschooling is all about...and doing it together is the only way to succeed.