stack of Seton homeschooling books

Hi Momma! How are you? I want you to know that I have been where you are, (maybe) right now! You have worked tirelessly to provide the best education you possibly can, yet you feel like you have failed your precious children—when days, even seasons, come when you just can’t do much more than the minimum. You know what I’m talking about… You’ve done hours of research for the best homeschool curriculum, ordered all of the books and supplies to ensure a fully stocked homeschool room, and worked hours to put all of those notebooks together, categorizing subjects, reading through the first several weeks of assignments, and planning the school year out. Once homeschool starts, you and your children are on a roll. Everyone is up early in the morning to start the day off well, everyone has had a nutritious breakfast, and everyone is working quietly at their desks or around the dining room table. Everything is going according to you plans. Everyone is doing well on their schoolwork, and everything is as it should be in the the homeschool room and in life (in general). The weeks and months go by without any issues, aside from the mild clarifications of Math, Spelling, and English. For the most part, though, there is a rhythm in the home, there is a rhythm in the homeschool room, and the homeschool routine runs like a well-oiled machine! Then one day…

Several years ago, in the early days of my homeschooling journey, I was discussing with a friend how I needed to adjust some of the subjects I was teaching because some were becoming monotonous, while others needed more attention. I was really stressed about this dilemma, when my friend said to me, “Why are you worried about it? Just do the bare minimum until you can figure out what is more important.” Well, I was shocked by this response, especially being the kind of person who always turned in their assignments on time, who always was on Honor Roll in school, and who strived for years to be the very best at whatever I was trying to accomplish. My friend went on to share a story about how another friend of hers, had to walk away from homeschooling after her father died. I said, “So, she put her kids in school for a little while, right?” My friend replied, “No! She just stopped!” My friend went on to describe, “She was numb for 2 years after her father passed away. She just could not function well enough to run her homeschool the way she wanted to…and that’s ok!” Shocked, I replied, “What do you mean that it’s okay?! Those kids didn’t get an education for 2 years!!” My friend went on to said, “It’s okay…they are doing well now and are all caught up to where they need to be, but I’m sharing this with you so that that you know not to be so hard on yourself.”

In 2016, my mom was diagnosed with Stage-4 Adenocarcinoma and would go on to battle this evil with a 9-hour surgery, 60 rounds of radiation, and endless days…weeks…months…years of suffering in one aspect or another. All the while, I continued homeschooling, as though nothing had changed. Everyday, the homeschool schedule was the same, and I continued planning out the months ahead, to include tests, fieldtrips, projects, etc., while still taking my mom back and forth to radiation treatment and other appointments. Then, in October of 2020, the world came to a halt…! When my mom died, I was numb. I could not think, I could not function. I thought back to that conversation about the momma who lost her father and couldn’t function for 2 years. That being said, we did not go 2 years without homeschooling, but I did go at least a few weeks without it. Once we started homeschooling again, I did the bare minimum, just so their minds would stay fresh, and you know what? It was okay…

I share this story with you, Momma, because I want you to know that you are enough! There will be days in your homeschooling journey (in your life, for that matter) when all you can manage is the bare minimum. It’s okay…give the kiddos some Math, some English, some Handwriting, some Phonics, and some Geography. Then, send them off with their books or other Readers to go practice their reading on the couch or cuddled up with you. It’s okay, because they are still learning. And you know what else? You will get through this, too … 😊

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