Are you homeschooling today by choice? If so, be thankful! During this pandemic, many have been forced into a new homeschool role. For thirty years, my full-time career and role was homeschool mom to eight children. (Some days it felt against my will, lol.)
I am writing today for those who find themselves in this difficult role, whether by choice or otherwise. My message is three-fold and in it, I hope you will find some comfort, advice, and encouragement
First of all, BREATHE.
No child is going to live or die by doing today’s math lesson. Wait! Math lessons are important, and I don’t mean to say otherwise; however, a child has a better chance of actually doing their math and being successful at it if they feel loved and secure. And usually, that happens best when Mom takes time to breathe.
Have you ever heard the quote, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”? Think about it for a minute, it’s true, isn’t it? It’s okay to stop what you’re doing and breathe. I am guessing that your household will actually thank you for it!
Go ahead, try it right now. Just take a deep breath in and slowly let it out. Now keep reading.
Secondly, my advice to you today is to ensure that your child can READ.
If your child is young, this means reading aloud to them. Do this at least daily, if not two or three times a day. You will find it’s a break for yourself as well as a nice shared time for both of you. More than that though, you will be setting your child on the path of literacy for life.
If your child is elementary school age, whether you are their main teacher or not, have them read aloud to you. Can they read as well as they should? If not, offer more reading lessons, play reading, and letter games. Encourage them to befriend letters, sounds, and books.
If your child is in middle school or even high school and they are having trouble, don’t give up. Find someone to help them with remedial reading lessons. Make sure they’ve had their vision and eye muscles checked. If they are reading at this age without problems, give them plenty of new and enjoyable reading materials.
And thirdly, my encouragement for you today is to LOVE your child.
If you are asking how to do that, know that your question is reasonable and intelligent, and I am proud of you for caring enough to ask.
In summary, doesn’t loving our children boil down to having a relationship with them? If they are a baby we lovingly feed and diaper them, we talk to them and sing to them. We’re beginning to build a foundation of life-long love.
By doing the things we talked about earlier, Mom breathing and relaxing (as opposed to being uptight over everything), and taking time to ensure that your child knows how to read well, you are loving them.
It’s things like that, the teaching and training, and walking alongside that creates the relationship.
Whether you are potty-training your toddler or teaching your teen how to drive, choose to do it all with patience (remembering to breathe along the way).
Talk to your child. And listen to your child. Wherever you go and whatever you do, interact lovingly.
It is what you will want them to do for you someday.
About the author
Patti Wright is a former homeschool mom of 30 years. She has eight adult children engaging in professions from law to medicine, and eleven grandchildren. It is her goal to strengthen and encourage younger homeschool moms.