Biggest Homeschooling Roadblocks

Biggest Homeschooling Roadblocks
I love homeschooling, no doubt about it. We're closing in on two decades of doing this now, and by God's grace, here we stand. Three graduates, two high schoolers, a junior higher, and two elementary students. (Plus sweet Verity, of course.)

BUT. (That's a big but, lol.)

I'm not gonna lie. I never want to paint an unrealistic picture of homeschooling.

It's hard. Seriously hard. 

We've been through the good, the bad, and the ugly of homeschooling. Over the years, I've walked with many friends and moms I've mentored who have also experienced the ups and downs of homeschooling. And there seems to be a common thread, some common...

Homeschooling Roadblocks

In my early years as a homeschool mom, when I would crash, I'd crash hard. I fell for many of Satan's lies. And I'd wallow in them, stirring up all the mud until I couldn't move forward because I was stuck in the muck. 

I can't do this.
I'm messing up my kids.
They'd do so much better with someone else teaching them.

The lies might have different wording, but the basic meaning is the same: You're not good enough, smart enough, or strong enough to homeschool your kids without messing everything up. 
Hope and help for homeschool moms

I've talked to enough homeschool moms over the years to understand that I'm not alone when it comes to struggling with feelings of inadequacy, discouragement, and even burnout on this journey. Being a mom is hard enough--just feeding, clothing, and keeping everyone clean, safe, and reasonably sane is a big enough job! Add your children's academic, social, and intellectual development as your sole responsibility, and you can see how the pressure can quickly mount.

Hope for Homeschoolers

Thank God He doesn't call us to homeschool and then leave us in the trenches! His divine power, remember, has given us everything we need for life and godliness. He is so faithful to equip us. He doesn't call us to homeschool because we are amazing teachers and perfect homemakers (whew)! He calls us to homeschool because He wants us to shape our children's hearts and minds to follow after Him, even as He seeks to shape our own hearts and minds to be more like Christ. 

Speaking truth to and over ourselves and our children is a key component to getting past these homeschool roadblocks. But we have to realize that this is best done when we can connect with others! Sometimes it's hard to see past our own roadblock; we need someone outside ourselves to speak truth lovingly to us.

This could be our spouse. A godly friend. A trusted mentor. Or even a group of like-minded mamas.

Do you have such a community? I hope so! If not, or if you're looking to expand your circle, you're more than welcome to join our private support group.

And if you're ready to dive deeper and really get a handle on overcoming these roadblocks (in community of course!), check out this upcoming workshop. I'd love to lock arms and do this together with you!
Hope and help for homeschool moms
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Christmas & Homeschooling: From Clarity to Chaos and Back

Christmas Before & After

Homeschooling, like Christmas, can look perfect and beautiful in the beginning...

Yet homeschooling, like Christmas, can quickly feel chaotic and out of control.
This is what happens when 15 people crowd around the Christmas tree to celebrate the gift of Jesus and shower one another with love and laughter. ðŸŒē

It was a beautiful day with many surprises and memorable moments! âĪïļ

When all is said and done, we can look at the mess left behind and heave a sigh as we focus on what we still need to clean.

Or...

We can be grateful for all the blessings and precious moments that led to the state of disarray! And truly, with so many hands to help clean, it isn't long before things look "normal" again.

Homeschool Before & After...?!

As a homeschool mom, I sometimes feel like those pictures above on a daily basis! "Perfect" lessons planned, a routine in place, everything looking pristine at the start of the school day/week/year. 📝📚

But it doesn't take much for the beautiful picture to turn chaotic. ðŸĪŠ

We can focus on what we feel "should" be happening in our homeschool, or we can focus on what our eternal purpose is--ours AND our children's.

Mama, if you're feeling discouraged or burned out, take some time to refresh your spirit however you can. Step back from high (and perhaps unhealthy) expectations and allow yourself the gift of being fully present in the moment. 🎁

Life is a series of ups and downs, highs and lows, picture-perfect moments and days (or even seasons) of chaos. Embrace the ebb and flow and look for ways to plant seeds in your children's hearts that will help them be deeply rooted for life!

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Homeschool Balancing Act: When Personal and National Collide

Homeschool Balancing Act: When Personal and National Collide

When the News Is Personal

A major news story this past week hit close to home. A woman in Texas desired to abort her unborn baby after learning the child had trisomy 18 or Edwards syndrome. I remember the fear we experienced when we learned Verity, our youngest child, might have this condition. Since we have walked this journey ourselves, a number of people reached out to us this week.

"Have you heard?"
"Do you know about this?"
"What do you think??"

I have so many thoughts swirling around in my brain. So many feelings bubbling about in my heart. It's hard to capture them all in words, but here's a feeble attempt about a few of them.

First, regarding the situation at large: 
My heart feels the weight of a devastating diagnosis all over again. I ache for Kate Cox and her family. I wish I had the chance to take her out for coffee and share our story. I wish I could encourage her that even though this seems so incredibly difficult, there is hope, beauty, even joy in this journey. I shared a few other thoughts in a brief video here. And I will probably share more points through our ministry channels (you can subscribe here if you don't already follow Verity's Village).

Second, regarding how a story with national interest affects us on a personal level:
It's easy for me to get caught up in these emotional aspects. I feel things deeply, and I truly desire to help others on a similar journey. And yet I'm not only Verity's mama and the founder of a non-profit that she inspired. I'm also mom and homeschool teacher to other kids (and teens and young adults) who still need me! I had to set aside my phone and laptop, pick up the school books, and snuggle with my kids. The world outside can get along without us. We chose to continue our journey through Genesis, memorize our next verse in Psalm 24, study a people group in Africa, practice locating central African countries on a map, and so on. 

Yes, there's a world outside our doors that is hurting. But there's also a world inside my home, young hearts and minds I am responsible for shepherding. 

Homeschool Focus & God-Given Passions

One thing I've learned over my many years of homeschooling is that life doesn't slow down! And I'm still learning how to manage the various hats I wear in my different roles. God has given me the beautiful privilege of being Verity's mama, her voice in a world that doesn't typically value what she represents. I cherish that role, and I have a deep passion for speaking on behalf of the community we minister to. 

But I also have a deep passion for homeschooling my kids and helping them make sense of what is happening in the world around us through the lens of truth. As we talked through the current events this last week, we were able to do more than check off the boxes for our regularly scheduled schoolwork. We dug more deeply into God's truths with love and compassion. I pray my children will develop their God-given passions so they too can be a voice of truth in a hurting world. For us, homeschooling gives us unique opportunities to fuel those passions.

Christian moms must fuel their passion for homeschooling

Mama, what passions has God laid on YOUR heart? 
What passions do you see Him developing in your children?
How are you incorporating that into your homeschool?

My Be Rooted program addresses these deeper, spiritual aspects of homeschooling. We spend a whole module digging into our God-given passions. If you haven't really thought of this before, I encourage you to pray about it. And consider reaching out to me for a quick phone call to discuss it! I'd love to help you be intentional in this area!
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Re-entry

Re-entry
After roughly 10 weeks of being deactivated from a major social media platform for no discernible reason, I got my account back! It would not have happened if a friend hadn't connected me with someone who works for that company. Even so, it took a lot of time, repeat emails, and simply waiting. I'm thankful to be reconnected. It's a great way to keep in touch with family and friends and allows a further reach for ministry.

Yet I'm still feeling a little disoriented. All the good things about unplugging--I don't want to lose that! How exactly SHOULD I spend my time on social media? How much is too much? When does my desire to be/feel connected become unhealthy? The pull to "just check my notifications" can turn into such a time waster! 

As a homeschool mom, it's alarming to me how often I feel I'm doing just that: wasting time and "death scrolling." It's frustrating that my brain seems to have been rewired simply by using technology for the last couple of decades. And I realize that if I, a mom who didn't even have access to the internet until I was in college, struggle with these things, how much more difficult is it for our children who don't know a world without smart phones and search engines?

Technology is a tool, and like any other tool, we can use it for God's purposes or selfish ones. 

And there are technology tools to help us control (or at least navigate) our technology use!

One reason I'm pondering these things is that I'm 2/3 of the way through John Crist's book Delete That (and Other Failed Attempts to Look Good Online). I'll hold off on giving a review right now since I'm not yet finished, but I will say that I appreciate his willingness to share some vulnerable thoughts that many people have but don't feel comfortable admitting. And again, as a homeschool mom, I'm tucking away some nuggets and pondering parenting strategies in light of Crist's experiences growing up in a large Christian homeschool family himself. 

If you've read the book, what are your thoughts?

If you've had similar struggles with technology use, how have you overcome them (or what are you doing to help)?
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Ode to the Library

Ode to the Library
Ode to the Library
by Beverly Jacobson, Homeschool Mom & Chauffeur  

Would you rather read than cook?
Would you read a library book?
Yes, I'd read a library book!
Yes, I would, oh, take a look!
📚
I would read while in the van. 
I would read as much as I can.
I would read in a coffee shop.
I would read until I drop.
📖
I would read and sip a shake.
I would read each book I take.
I would not notice others' looks.
Oh, I do so love to read my books!
âĪ

Thank you! *Takes a bow* 😂

Do your kids love the library like mine do?! 
Do you have a certain day of the week you go? 
Do your kids have their own shelves for hold items waiting to be picked up?
Is it a travesty when they close the library for a "staff training day?"
Is it an emergency when the kids are "out" of library books (meaning they've read all the ones they checked out 2 days ago)?!

Do tell!


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