There are mothers all across America this year that are struggling with confidence, with calling and with efficiency. They are shocked, even flabbergasted, at the necessity of having to homeschool their children; these mothers may not feel qualified, either emotionally or mentally, for undertaking this gargantuan task of ensuring that their precious children are well-educated.
Many of these surprised mothers are also jugging a full-time job, the care of a home, three meals a day, doctor's appointments and any other number of commitments. Some of these mothers have a husband who is helpful, while others do not.
Have you seen yourself in this description yet? Or perhaps you have a daughter, a niece or a neighbor who are frantically trying to keep all of the plates in their lives spinning and without destroying one of them. If you can relate to this frenetic description, read on.
Dear mother, what if 2020 turned out to be the greatest moment of your life? What if during these lonely, stressful days your family developed a bond that is at once but uncommon and beautiful?
What if you laid down your smart phone, social media and Netflix and said lovingly to your family, "For however long it takes to get through this, I am all in!"
"I am all in to reading, encouraging, figuring out Google Classroom, doing math problems and being patient in the process," should be the profound declaration of your heart.
I can tell you from personal experience that life often surprises us. In the moments of unexpected and even unwanted surprise, we discover ourselves in new and magnificent ways. I pray that you will see the opportunity to bolster your child's education not as a burden but as an opportunity for greatness in the four walls of your home.
I pray that you will lavish in the artwork of kindergarten, that you will giggle at the phonics of second grade, that you will read with gusto the classic literature of fourth grade and that you will observe with grand fascination the science experiments of sixth grade. And if it is calculus, biology and physics that are causing the uproar in your home, then, if nothing else, it will teach you how to pray!
But most of all, as an older mom who deeply cares about the next generation of mothers, let me just gently say, please don't make your children feel like a burden.
It is so important that your children do not overhear you complaining about having to figure out their education this year. Please don't make your children feel guilty that circumstances have now required that not only are you their mom but you are also their teacher.
If you are your children's teacher this year then be their favorite one! You, as the teacher of the next generation, can ensure that no children are bullied in your classroom but that each one is celebrated with love and expectation.
Dear mother, if you blow it or if you lose your patience, and you surely will from time to time, have the grace to apologize and to ask your classroom for forgiveness. Look into their tear-filled eyes and try to understand that this is as challenging for them as it is for you.
Saturate your classroom with prayer and with the fruits of the Holy Spirit as you attempt to teach them not only reading, writing and arithmetic but also how to serve Jesus when life is hard.
These may just be the most productive and joyful days of parenting for you in your motherhood journey, so create a classroom filled with wonder and creativity.
Envision a classroom that is filled with giggling, reading, questions, creativity, encouragement and love—and then make it your own.
Within your heart, dear mother, lies the possibility of making this the very best year of your children's lives!
Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical, biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. Carol has written 11 books, including Significant, StormProof and Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue. Her teaching DVD, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming.
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