If you've taken the step to homeschool, whether one child or all, then you've probably stood out from the rest of the crowd, at least a little. There will be skeptics, critics and those who are "concerned" about the welfare of your children. So what do we do? Certainly we don't completely separate ourselves and tell our dear friends and family members to hit the road. What will that teach our kids?
Fortunately, my skeptics are few, (that I know of, haha). Actually, I have some wonderful friends who, even though we have different educational preferences we can still enjoy a nice girl's night out together or have an occasional play date with our kids. But, if you really think about it, once you begin to go down the homeschooling road, your schedules usually won't match up and honestly, you probably won't be seeing as much of them anyway. Not that there is anything wrong with them as people, it's just your lives are taking you different directions.
So then, often, that leaves you in a place of, "what do I do now?" Where do I find my emotional support, my strength and encouragement? As women, we tend to be strongly relationship based. I'm not speaking about the amount of friends we have, but the need for even just a few quality relationships. Remember your childhood? Junior High? High School? College? In each of these eras in our life, we usually can put a few faces to those time periods and consider them our best or closest friends. We share memories, laughter and pain together. We shared our hearts and our time with these friends.
So now we are in a new place. A new season. What do we do?
Blessed is the man that walk not in the council of the ungodly, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bring forth fruit in his season, his leaf shall not wither and whatsoever he does shall prosper.
Isn't it our desire to be like a tree planted? To be standing firm with our roots down deep. Unlike a tumbleweed, we can stand up to the criticism and like the morning dew, negative words will just fall off, not penetrating the surface. Yet this doesn't necessarily just happen. A tree by a river, with strong roots does not just appear out of nowhere. It has to be carefully planted and cared for in it's infancy stages or it will be destroyed and never grow!
If you are in the beginning stages of your homeschooling journey then I would encourage you to be careful what you allow to go into your heart. Not that non-homeschoolers are ungodly, but we need to be purposeful about how we spend are time, with whom and where.
And I'm not even talking about leaving our home. Social media sites, phone calls, and media that has no respect for your convictions. Be careful what goes into your mind, your eyes and ears! Doubts could easily arise that you are not doing enough or that you are doing the wrong thing and you might not even realize why you are feeling this way!!
3 WAYS TO SATURATE YOURSELF WITH HOMESCHOOLING ENCOURAGEMENT
1) Join an Online Homeschool Community such as www.ourhomeschoolforum.com put out by Rainbow Resources. There are also Social Media groups that provide amazing encouragement!
2) Make it a point to encourage homeschooling friends you know. Whether they go to your church or are just a phone call away, keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Try to connect once in a while even if just for a quick conversation. A little goes a long way. Sometimes reaching out to others rather than feeling sorry for ourselves is what we need!
3) Find some encouraging homeschool blogs and follow them! NO- this is not a pitch to sign up for this blog, haha. But when you come across a site you like, subscribe and receive encouragement right in your inbox!
When you find people with the same vision as you, it makes the relationship that much more stronger and meaningful. Even if few and far between, they can be rich and strengthening!
One of my support groups is found in the Schoolhouse Review Crew! A great group of ladies! Below are some of their Homeschooling Essentials posts, check them out!
Joanie @ Simple Living Mama
Lisa @ Home to 4 Kiddos
Monique @ Living Life and Learning
Jenn @ Fresh Start Academy
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