Homeschooling : For the weary heart


There’s a place in the oceans near the equator called the doldrums.  It’s characterized by monotony and calm.  There are no great winds to carry the sails to new harbors. 

This time of year reminds me of that  very place.  It seems the hardest place to endure and the longest time of the year.  It is neither the beginning with all of the freshness and enthusiasm, nor the end when the finish line in plain sight motivates that last burst of energy and accomplishment.  I always found the February to April time frame the hardest.  It seemed malaise kicked in and everything was drudgery.   

A schoolteacher friend once shared with me that this was the most productive time of year for her classroom.  As a matter of fact she said the bulk of their work was accomplished here in the doldrums of the year.  That really panicked me.  It was definitely not our most productive time of year.

“And let us not be weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.” Gal. 6:9

This verse became light and salt to me as I struggled each “doldrum” day to fight through and bring vigor and strength to a new day of school.  Isn’t it so true that we have all the energy and enthusiasm needed to begin…. but not to endure?  Most things are fun to start, but somewhere in the middle we lose enthusiasm and are ready to quit. 

That weariness you feel is designed to rob your harvest.

So, from the other side…. the finished side, where the books are all completed, the graduation celebrations are over, and there are no more little bits of paper scattered everywhere;  here are some strategies to help.

  1.  Plan some simple fun every week.  Give your students and yourself something to look forward to.  Whether it is an afternoon of learning games, a quick field trip, or a playdate with friends, plan some fun into your week.  It’s easy to get bogged down with fractions and grammar and forget to make each week an enjoyable one.  Fun is essential.
  2. Prioritize school.  Distractions are especially appealing in the doldrums. This is a  great time to refocus and remember that this is what God has called you to do.  Put it in its proper place in your life.  Focus on school. 
  3. No matter how tempting… don’t leave out the fun and messy subjects.  Science and art often fall by the wayside because of the mess they create.  There’s a real tendency to say….tomorrow…next week….or even next year, we’ll do more science  or art.  Kids love these fun messy subjects and they add so much to their love of learning.  Purpose to do both. 
  4. Go to convention.  The best cure for weariness (after the support of God Himself), is the support of His people.  We need each other.  We need the teaching and support that we can offer one another.  Here’s the link if you’re one of my OK friends (for other states just google homeschool convention).

Embrace your calling momma. 

God Himself has called you to raise up the next generation with an unfettered mind and a core of forged steel.

  What you are doing matters. 

It matters eternally.

  Don’t let the doldrums rob you of your harvest.