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10 Secrets to Surviving the Long Haul of Homeschooling

10 Secrets to Surviving the Long Haul of Homeschooling

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"The remaining stretch of terrain lying before you can appear particularly daunting this time of year"
"The remaining stretch of terrain lying before you can appear particularly daunting this time of year"

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Published by: The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine on Jan 03, 2013
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01/30/2014

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10 Secrets to Surviving the Long Haul of Homeschooling
 
Denise Mira
It’s February 2012. The leftover frozen Christmas cookies have been consumed, the
unwanted gifts have (finally!) been exchanged, that protracted euphoric sense of holiday freedom lingering through December and January has ended, and all your
excuses for “not doing normal school” have run dry. (No, Mom, Super Bowl Sundayisn’t considered a long weekend!)It’s
that 
 
time of year on the school calendar. You’re “in between” in the dead of 
winter
sort of like the Laura Ingalls Wilder family in the late 1800s, rolling acrossthe desolate, flat, blustery plains of the Midwest in their rustic covered wagon, withno . . . end . . . in . . . sight. And, most definitely, no 7-Elevens to stop at for a BigGulp!The remaining stretch of terrain lying before you can appear particularly daunting
this time of year. I know, because I’ve been there. Our “wagon” was packed with
five busy boys and led by two public school-educated, first-generation,homeschooling pioneer parents: hubby and me, who were intent on changing theworld
but without much practical preparation.As you know,
beginning
is always more exciting than
continuing.
 
That’s why so manypeople give up in the middle. But if we’ll persist, it’s amaz
ing how much treasure is
hidden along the way. Here are ten secrets I’ve unearthed as I’ve journeyed for
thirty-
one years in marriage and over twenty years in home education. If you’ll take
them to heart, these nuggets of gold are guaranteed to propel you forward withmomentum!1.
Capture afresh your initial revelation about home education.
 
I’m doing what I’m
doing today because of a revelation, and I imagine you are too. It may have comethrough observation of a successful homeschooling family, academic study, or an
online news story, but the result was what we would call an “aha!” moment. This
unfolding of new information, this striking disclosure, opened our eyes to see
something we didn’t even know existed and brought a revolution to our homes. Let it
inspire and empower you once again!2.
Remember your vision.
Proverbs 28:19 shoots straight on this one:
“Where there
is no vision, the people perish
.
” 
When we forget
why 
 
we’re doing
what 
 
we’re doing,
we falter. Time and again, I remind myself of the dream God put in my heart: to
raise extraordinary young men who will have an impact in the earth. I can’t imagine
a more ideal setting for training my sons in every facet of life than at home with
Mom and Dad and their brothers. However, the “ideal” of which we
dream is oft-
times challenged by the “real” in which we live. Which leads me to my next secret.
 3.
Beware of “the dailies”!
 
In the 24/7 grind of life at home, the “dailies” can set in
to
bog us down and blur our vision.
You know well the tedium of everyday
life. It’s all
that stuff that has to be done: toddlers to chase, teens to embrace, papers tocorrect, meals to make, bills to juggle, friends to call, clutter to straighten, diapers tochange . . . it never ends. Enduring the daily slog can, at times, feel like the greatesttest. We must refuse to allow the mundane to overshadow the truly important issues
of our lives. Don’t be found drowning in the dailies.
 
 
 
4.
Hold on to your confidence!
Confidence is powerful. The Bible encourages it, andHebrews 10:35 reminds us that
“it will be richly rewarded”.
When our confidence isrocked, our resolve is substantially weakened. We begin to second-guess ourparenting decisions and we become double-minded about our ability to carry out ourmission to homeschool. Be li
ke a dog with a bone, and don’t let go of your
confidence!5.
 
Remember, we “live by faith” (Hebrews 10:38)!
As believers in a living God, let’snot separate our “Sunday faith” from our Monday mission as moms and dads! By
 faith,
I encourage myself daily. By
faith,
 
I see my vision for my sons’ futures
unfolding before me. If we lean only upon our natural perceptions as we parent andhome educate, we can be misled and quickly become discouraged. Many, manytimes, I must lift my gaze to see
beyond 
what my five senses are telling me. Faithenables me to press on. Which brings me to my next secret . . .6.
Learn to persevere.
In our high-speed, fast-food, microwave society, we want it
now!
We have to fight our human tendency to give up too quickly. Perseverance is
defined as “steadfastness in doing something, despite difficulty or delay in achievingsuccess.” 
1
 
It’s not a concept that initially summons happy thoughts, but James 1:4
promises that if we allow perseverance to
“finish its work” 
 
in us, we’ll become
mature and complete,
“lacking nothing.” 
 
Perseverance isn’t something that comesnaturally to most of us; it’s more like a muscle we must develop with consistent use.
 7.
Pray, pray, and pray!
As I reflect upon my twenty-seven years of mothering, themajority of my days have begun in the quiet of the early morning hours on my
knees, imploring God for His grace, mercy, and wisdom. I’m desperate for His help. I
picture myself in prayer, making a divine exchange. Trading my better ideas, myhuman reasoning, my secul
ar standards, my friends’ advice, for a heavenly anointing
that enables me to succeed. Prayer is a strategy I know I can trust completely. (SeeJames 5:16b.)8.
Count it all joy (James 1:2)!
As homeschooling families, each day presents us withfrequent irritations: spilled juice, dawdling students, rolling pencils, bickeringsiblings, lost books, and continual interruptions. We usually have a split second todecide whether to grumble or rejoice.
Choose joy!
Decide to be lighthearted aboutyour light and mo
mentary afflictions (2 Corinthians 4:17), and you will sense God’s
strength filling your heart (Nehemiah 8:10).9.
Sing!
Do you have a song in your heart? I’m not a gifted vocalist (and all my boyssaid “Amen!”), but as a homemaker I’ve found myself singi
ng my way through myblessings and my battles these past three decades. James 5:13 asks,
“Is any merry? let him sing psalms.” 
The book of Psalms is literally a songbook filled with beautiful
words of praise to God. I believe singing God’s Word reinforces t
he Truth andeffectively drives away the dark cloud that wants to hang over our homes and lives.
That’s why
“I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being” (Psalm 104:33).
 10.
Be the tortoise, not the hare.
As full-time parents and home educators, we have
to think “marathon” not “sprint.” A long
-distance runner who fails to pace himself mentally and physically runs real fast at the beginning and fizzles out somewhere inthe middle.I want you to make it to the finish line, not simply
surviving
the trip but
thriving
 along the way. I believe these ten timeless secrets will equip you well for the road

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