The homeschooling life is no different and walking the path less travelled gives rise to many concerns and second-guessings, and many times you will just simply not know what to do with those difficulties and thoughts. I can remember 3 very distinct moments when I reconsidered our decision to homeschool. During each of these moments there were a number of ingredients present. Each time I was chronically ill, we were struggling with loneliness, and we were at a crossroads with at least one aspect of study that was causing real difficulties. Each time I asked myself, Is it time for school?
If you are at that point, don't be afraid of this question. Take it from hiding in the corner of your struggling heart. Dust it off, pull it apart, analyse it, think about it. Think about your days, where your difficulties lie, and attempt to pin point the root cause of your discontent and concern. Surround this process with prayer. Only then will you begin to know what the right course of action might be.
Each time I considered whether it might be time for school, I dug deep, and during the process I went back to our beginnings and the very real sense that this was the path God was guiding us down. My question then became, Was God telling us that homeschooling was no longer for us? After much heartfelt prayer, soul searching, and family discussion, the conclusion remained that homeschooling was still the path for our family to walk.
With this renewed conviction in mind, I then had to face my difficulties. Chronic illness, loneliness, and learning blocks are not problems to brush under the carpet. If God called us to this life as a family, He will show us how to navigate these rocky, uneven parts of the path. My questions then became, How can we make learning stable, positive, and enjoyable while I am unwell? How can we alleviate the loneliness of that time? How can overcome our learning difficulties? The good news is that God is faithful. When He has called us to something, He will equip us for the work at hand, He will show us the way.
I found a way to keep our days relaxing and restful. I found learning resources the girls could work at independently. In our difficult areas we either took a break from a subject/resource, or found something else that worked in that season to get us over the hump. We made online friends, participated in Skype learning with friends, wrote letters, made phone calls, loved our pets, stayed busy with hobbies and play, and focussed on building a happy homelife with what we had.
We learned a lot together in that season.