There’s nothing like homeschooling to put a mom’s insecurities under a microscope. Not only are you responsible for all the other things your kids need, now their education is on your shoulders too. Whether this is your first time home educating your children or you’re a stay at home mom to preschoolers, Erin Cox has some excellent encouragement for moms to help us get through the hard days of homeschooling and motherhood. 

My nerves were frayed. We had completed this lesson a dozen times before. 

Multiplication is repeated addition. Multiplication is repeated addition

We had tried every trick in the book to make any concept of multi-digit multiplication stick. It just wouldn’t—as so many other lessons before hadn’t either. Or just couldn’t.

As a mama of four and of at least one with multiple learning differences, teaching a thing repeatedly, in every conceivable way—through tears or gritted teeth or hope or resignation—was not a new situation to find myself in. It ought to have been old-hat at this point. But on this particular day, it just wasn’t.

We quickly ended our lesson, as a frustrated mind isn’t usually a pliable one, and I set myself to work in the kitchen. Old fears that I hadn’t battled in quite some time came to mind as my hands busily scraped dishes. 

She’s never going to catch up. 

She’s never going to be on grade level. 

How can she handle basic life responsibilities if we can’t make it past 4th-grade math? 

How can she attend college or ever get a job? 

If you’ve ever fretted over a child mildly or grossly delayed, thoughts similar to these have likely worn a deep rut through your mind as well.

As my hands worked busily to prepare the next meal, my mind worked its way into my deepest homeschooling fears. With fingernails crusted in fresh pizza dough, as I attempted to roll my fears out with a rolling pin, I felt a nudge to simply remember.

Remember the countless, sleepless nights filled with the overwhelming fear that she might never read. Remember the gallons of tears and the wringing of hands and the miles driven to therapy. Remember how it felt as if she would never work independently or never write coherently. Remember?

Remember how, despite all of those fears, she now reads on grade level?

Remember how, despite thinking I would never read her handwriting, she now writes me 2-3 page letters, eloquently articulating today’s big feelings?

Remember how, despite believing she could never test well, I’ve been told she likely wouldn’t even receive the dyslexia diagnosis if tested today?

Exhale.

Future grace is just as assured as past grace.

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR MOMS WHEN YOU FEEL INSUFFICIENT

While we did our due diligence in seeking help and doing the hard daily work of crawling along in progress, inch by inch, almost always two steps forward and three steps back, I know in the deepest recesses of my heart that grace alone saved my child from illiteracy and from a fractured relationship with me.

When I raised my voice because I thought her lack of progress was a lack of effort.

When I grounded and removed privileges because I thought she just didn’t care enough.

When I took months off from trying because it was so discouraging to always feel like I was failing her.

When my blood pressure would rise because it took her so long to answer the simplest question.

His grace was there.

During the moments my panic and fears overwhelmed me, His grace protected her from my frustrated words and accusations. 

During the moments I punished her for not trying her best, He affirmed to her that she was enough no matter what. 

During the moments my blood pressure was elevated, He stepped in and gave her a voice to speak up for herself. 

During the months we took off in defeat? He took that time to gift her with new understanding, knowledge, and abilities. 

I decreased, and He increased.

THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A PERFECT MOTHER, ONLY A PERFECT GOD

His constant grace taught us that an education filled with fear and tension was an anti-education that was actively denying His perfect authority over all wisdom and knowledge. “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6).

Yes, it had been a while since I’d battled these kinds of doubts and fears about her education and future. It had been a while since I’d forgotten the multitude of graces that covered over my every failing and sin as a homeschooling mother in those first few years before I knew better (and in every moment since then).

But the one thing I have learned about the grace of our Father is that we are just as assured of its presence in the future as we are of its presence in our past. 

His grace was there—in every moment, especially the ones that I didn’t even realize so deeply needed it.

 And it will be there later—when she makes plans for her future or completes a job application or takes a high school math class.

I can’t always be certain that my brilliant, tenacious, confident, talented child will always bring her A-game.

 But I can be certain that no matter what fears I harbor in my own heart for her, the same grace that has covered over every moment in her education and in our relationship so far will continue to cover her all the days of her life.

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3 comments
  1. Thank you for your honest words on the gritty moments that at the time feel like failure. Every homeschool mom knows them, but not all of us have the wisdom to see it as part of the journey. The journey of decreasing so he may increase. Thank you!♥️

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