I was having a hard day emotionally and probably should have put myself in a time-out in my bedroom to work through my stuff...but instead I was attempting to help my 11 year old with her math. Can I just say....bad idea.
Back when I first started homeschooling, the greatest area of struggle was, can you guess?....yes math. I can remember getting so frustrated trying to teach a Kindergartner math concepts. I would cry and think, "I can't do this" or "I'm such a failure, I can't even teach math to a 5 year old." We went through multiple math programs until we came across Queen Homeschool: Math Lessons for a Living Education. It was a keeper for us and we have used it for the past 5 years.
No matter how great a curriculum you find, if your child doesn't like a certain subject or struggles in it, you are going to have difficult days....and this was just one of those sort of days. I was already in a place of feeling overwhelmed and the combination of my daughters attitude was too much for me in that moment. The end result of my "fit" was a math book in the garbage (Sorry Angela O'Dell, wonderful author of this curriculum, but keep reading). I know, such a mature thing to do right?
We all have hard days. We all have days where any combination of circumstances, fatigue, sickness, kids with attitude, pressures, stresses, and demands on our time can be so OVERWHELMING.
We can't do anything in our own strength. We need Jesus every moment of every day. We can't parent in our own strength, we can't homeschool in our own strength, and we can't face all that life throws at us in our own strength.
My daughter actually approached me first to apologize for her attitude. I held her in my arms and cried and apologized for my fit...but I still wasn't ready to remove the math book from the garbage. I jumped in the shower (aka my prayer closet) and just poured my heart out to the Lord. I was wrestling with so many things. I started to realize that the combination of my already emotional state, added to teaching math to a child having attitude, were not a good combination. Also the math was just moving along at a quicker pace, teaching too many new concepts with not enough review in between, for my struggling child.
The math book was salvaged from the garbage can (Yay!)...but it's going up on a shelf for a little while. I printed some free math worksheets for some much needed review.
If I could pass on any encouragement to you it would be:
1) If you are facing some heavy circumstances in your life or having a rare emotionally rough day, give yourself GRACE - We are not and will never be perfect. Rough days are inevitable, and thank goodness, because they remind us we are frail humans who need to rely on the Lord.
2) Know your LIMITS and readjust your EXPECTATIONS- As much as we all wish we were super human, we are not. We are limited, weak, and easily overwhelmed. Give yourself permission to retreat to your room, if possible, to take a moment to pray, cry, read from your devotional, or simply to take a deep breath and calm down. The Lord will carry your burdens if you let Him. If you homeschool and need to let go of, change up, or put a curriculum on the shelf for a while....it's OK!
3) Where are your priorities? Is it in projects or in people? I have said it before and I will say it again...Homeschooling and life in general are about so much more than academics, agenda's, programs, busyness, and projects....It's ALL about relationship! When there is more emphasis put on checking things off a to-do list or not falling "behind" in homeschool curriculum, you will always be left feeling undone, overwhelmed, anxious, frustrated, and may possibly throw your own tantrum (but please refrain from throwing anything in the garbage...unless it's truly trash!).
"Lord, I lift up to you this precious woman, whom you see and know and love. You understand all the desires of her heart and all the decisions, demands, and duties before her. You know her strengths and her weaknesses, her struggles and gifting's. Pour out your grace in those overwhelming moments, days, or circumstances. Help her to let go of trying to perfectly balance everything in her own strength. Show her what needs to be at the top of her priorities and to let go of anything that is unnecessary baggage. And most of all engulf her in your unending, unfailing, unconditional, unrelenting, and unchanging love. In Jesus name I pray, Amen."
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