For the first time in my life I feel uninspired about homeschooling.
There’s no magic. No sparkly feelings. Nothing.
This is odd for me because I’ve been a homeschool enthusiast since I was a child.
While other kids dreamed of becoming the POTUS or the first person to set foot on Mars, I gazed starry-eyed at the prospect of gathering my children onto my lap for heartwarming songs and beautiful stories.
When I gave birth to our first child – a tiny little girl, born 5 weeks early – the doctors put her under a heat lamp and hooked her up to monitors. I pulled a rocking chair up to her warming crib in the NICU, leaned my chin over the plastic sides of her bed and read the Bible to her. (That sweet baby was Vivienne, my thoughtful, creative, sincere daughter who will be turning 13 years old any day now.) She was just starting out in the world, wearing a stylish purple band across her eyes to protect them from the heat lamp and a gold heart sticker covering the heart monitor on her chest. That was Day 1 of our sweet homeschool. That NICU was our first classroom.
(Almost) every day ever since then, my heart and mind have been full of enthusiasm for homeschooling. I’ve researched curriculum, planned field trips, dug elbow-deep into art projects, read countless books, designed tot trays, created file folder games, orchestrated schedules, and have felt so thrilled by my calling as a homeschool mother.
But all of a sudden, I have no inspiration whatsoever.
There is no brainstorming.
There are no field trips.
Art projects seem like mountains to climb.
Field trips seem like punishments.
To top it all off, I’ve become very cynical about all of the exhausting Pinterest ideas out there and am like, “You’ve got to be kidding me….” regarding all of those enthusiastic homeschool bloggers out there (oh, the irony).
It’s all understandable: I’ve been going through a season in which I’m just tired, not to mention that I’m working at my full capacity. We can’t always feel like a million bucks. So I get it, but I just don’t like it.
One thing is for sure: I now respect anyone who home schools without a natural interest in homeschooling! Wow, is it tough to slug through without all of the feelings.
Having to continue homeschooling without my typical drive or enthusiasm is extremely difficult.
(I received Sonlight 100 in exchange for a series of blog posts that contain my honest opinion.)
Here’s what’s keeping me on track until the last day of school:
Our Sonlight curriculum.
I appreciate our Sonlight curriculum more than ever because it tells me what to do.
The quality of my children’s education isn’t dependent on my ups and downs; it’s not limited by my oscillating feelings, my unpredictable bursts of creativity, or my fragile energy level.
In the past, I’ve chosen Sonlight because it’s a springboard for all of my ideas. When I’m feeling inspired, Sonlight provides a firm foundation on which I can build, accessorize, and enrich our homeschool education.
Now that I’m feeling uninspired, Sonlight provides a firm foundation that is specific, high quality, and complete with or without my enthusiasm. On my worst days, the younger children and I just keep following the well-planned curriculum (this year, Sonlight D), completing what we are able. My oldest daughter – who is totally enjoying Sonlight 100 – keeps a copy of the curriculum in her binder and keeps herself on track.
I am so so glad that we are following such a lovely curriculum, otherwise, honestly, I’d still be in bed.
And all of the little ones? Well, they’d be raiding the pantry and watching Daniel Tiger. Or Spy Kids. Or Animal Mechanicals. Which, of course, they’d love, but just think how much richer they are because we are reading aloud The Lewis and Clark Expedition and watercoloring scenes of the rugged heroes crossing the Rocky Mountains? (It’s true that I feel like I’m the one crossing the Rockies as I gather everyone around the table to read one more chapter. Sonlight is my Sacajawea in the midst of the Shoshones, my Old Toby on the Lolo Trail. Each day, despite the struggle, my children and I arrive at a satisfying vista. I am deeply thankful for the guidance and encouragement.)
(Did you know that Sonlight is a full-service curriculum provider, so you can get the best options in a single, customized program? From Preschool to High School, you can get every subject and every grade to teach your children. Each curriculum comes with a thorough Instructor’s Guide that walks you through the assignments, the concepts, and the conversations that you can have with your child. It is so user friendly and created with an honest-to-goodness human parent in mind.)
Most importantly, God Himself is keeping us in the palm of His hand.
Every day, I rely deeply upon the grace of God, which He extends to me and my children regardless of our feelings or accomplishments. What would I do without His guarantee that He holds all things together? Our Heavenly Father is the one who has gathered us here and He is singing songs of love and telling a grand story about never-ending, never-changing faithfulness and love.