They creep in quietly, most of the time before you even realize they are there. Sliding their way into your thoughts; looking for room in your heart. The main objective? To steal your joy.
So who are these sneaky thieves that want to rob the joy away from homeschool parents? Let me introduce you to a few that have crossed my path.
5 Thieves of Homeschooling Joy
Doubt. Worry. Call it what you want, but fear is likely at the root of your emotions. We fear that we are failing our children. We worry we are not doing enough. We worry that we are doing too much. We doubt our educational choices. Fear loves to strike us whenever it can.
Everybody else has it all together and you don’t. You know, we are all in this parenting thing together and we are all just doing the best we can for our children. Comparison can drive us from our own unique path for our families and lead us to resentment and discontent quickly.
There are many things that can lead to an angry heart: challenging behavior issues with children, financial stress, lack of sleep, an overwhelming schedule, and more. When we allow anger to take control of us, it chokes the joy out of us and our families.
One can never truly have joy when perfectionism lives in the heart. Life is not perfect and when you add children, things will rarely go the way you perfectly planned them. Perfectionism will smother the happiness out of a household.
Lack of planning, disorganized piles of books, and misplaced supplies do nothing to encourage homeschool joy. It’s hard to maintain happiness when things are scattered and you are unprepared to teach your children.
Of course, there are other thieves of homeschooling joy. These are just areas I have had experience with over the last 8 years of homeschooling. They are mindsets that I have control over.
So what do we do to protect and maintain our homeschool joy?
We have to guard our hearts.
Many times this involves searching our hearts to see if and where any of these joy stealers have crept in. If we pay attention to our thoughts and words, we can know if joy is filling our hearts or not.
I also ask myself questions, such as:
- What’s the motivation behind my actions or thoughts?
- What have I been watching on television?
- Am I picking up habits from the company I keep?
As a Christian, I also guard my heart through prayer and the Word of God.
Homeschooling with joy is possible. In fact, I believe it’s what God truly desires for us. If you have been feeling burdened by homeschooling or just plain burnt out, it’s okay. You can find joy in homeschooling again. Be diligent in finding the roots of your emotions, replacing the lies with truth, and guarding your heart.
Do you struggle with keeping your homeschool joy? What are some of the joy stealers you’ve found in your life? We’re all in this together!