Stay the Course
by Audra Talley
Gah! Some days I am ridiculously unmotivated . . . for housework, schoolwork, wifework . . . pretty much anything. On the sunshiny days I want to lie in the greening grass and soak up months of missing vitamin D. On the rainy days I just want to huddle under a blanket with a cup of coffee and a . . . blank stare. My kids are struggling, too. With months of being trapped indoors, the tedium of the daily routine, the newness of our school work worn through, completing the school year has become a struggle. We’re in a rut. Life can be like that; it can be doubly so in our homeschool endeavors as we fulfill the roles of both parent and educator.
This winter has been particularly difficult for us, with painful events and unexpected changes, but we muddled through. Then, God did what He is so good at. He met me where I was with unexpected daily encouragement so I could not just struggle through, but joyfully press on. Our typical school day begins with Bible time. This is our second year in Apologia’s Biblical Worldview books (cite below). The chapter we covered during the time I found particularly difficult focused on running the race and I found the insights encouraging in my homeschool rut:
Go for the win – Homeschooling isn’t about doing the minimum. Most parents opt to homeschool because the minimum isn’t satisfactory. We have to work hard, train hard, push hard, and be deliberate in our homeschool endeavors. We have to want to win the race.
Keep your eyes on the prize – the prize is children who follow hard on the heels of Jesus Christ. The prize is children that know what they believe, who live what they believe, who bring glory to God, and who, with the benefit of their home school education, are capable of excelling where God puts them.
Believe that God keeps His promises – What has God promised us in His Word? What has He shown us as we home school? He has proven himself faithful to generations and we get to live under the blessing of His faithfulness. We just have to believe Him. If we homeschool because that is what He has asked us to do, He is faithful to see us through to completion.
Keep doing what you know to do – Sometimes homeschooling can be so tedious, difficult, and overwhelming that we feel lost. Sometimes we can lose sight of the goal and question the choice to home school at all. But we have to keep going on our previous marching orders and put one foot in front of the other. Short of clear direction from God to change course, we have to press on, even if we are so deep in the trenches we can’t see the finish line.
Learn from your mistakes – If you are like me, there are plenty of them. A mistake is a chance to change course, modify our parenting attitude, our homeschool method, and more. We have to be careful that we don’t persist in a mistake because of hurt pride, or curriculum cost, or we don’t see an alternative. This kind of learning can be painful, but is so very essential to our long-term success.
Stay on course and run with purpose – The homeschool course isn’t a sprint, it is a marathon. You have to keep moving the right direction and do so intentionally, carefully, thoughtfully, and prayerfully.
This home school race isn’t one we enter lightly, but once we choose to run it, we have to give it everything in us, even when we can’t see the finish line.
“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” 1 Corinthians 9:24
Audra Talley was born and raised in Idaho, was homeschooled K-12, and graduated from CofI with a degree in political science and history. She is currently a full time domestic engineer and homeschooling momma. Married to the man of her dreams for nearly 12 years, Audra and her husband have four children (16, 8, 6, almost 4 years of age). The youngest is the only girl in the bunch. The Talley family loves spending time together and does lots of fishing, camping, hiking (anything outdoors). Calling Nampa home, Audra is involved in her church, various homeschool activities, and whatever adventures pop up.
Who Am I? (And What Am I doing Here?): Biblical Worldview of Self-Image. Copyright 2010 John Hay and Apologia Eductional Ministries. Apologia Press, a division of Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc. 1106 Meridian Plaza, Suite 220/340, Anderson, IN 46016. www.apologia.com