Today I had planned on bringing you a list of ideas to help you get the other subjects in, but our world is surrounded with things in the content areas. Books, museum tours, field trips, DVDs, video games curriculum, cookbooks, etc. abound to help you with science, history and art. There is no problem with finding ways to get your content areas in. Even shows like Phineas and Ferb or My Little Pony inspire my children to new learning adventures. Just watch where your children are inspired and the questions they ask. There are tons of sites and books dedicated to resources that you can use for any learning adventure.
There is, however, a much more troubling problem involved in homeschool burnout that I want to address. In so many ways, my mild homeschool burnout last winter and spring was caused by one problem more than anything else. What was that problem? My own selfishness.
When the idea of homeschooling my children began to seem overwhelming last year, I was attempting to do to many things other than just homeschool my children. I was writing this blog, reviewing products, teaching Sunday school, teaching at AWANA, teaching at Community Bible Study, keeping house, and a host of other stuff that seemed important at the time. And I wasn’t happy. I wanted to do more and be more because I had an ambition to be the best, do the best and to be seen as the best at many things.
Those things weren’t feeding anything but a discontent to being at home. I couldn’t accomplish enough. I couldn’t reach enough people. I couldn’t do enough things. They were my desires. My dreams. The way my “heart” was leading.
I don’t know what would have happened had I continued down that path. Every time I prayed, I would tell God I wanted to do great things for him. Every thing I read in the Bible, every book I read, every movie I watched pointed out the fact that God wanted me to do great things for him. . .at home. I knew he was speaking straight to me.
I have this worldly load of guilt for the things I’m not accomplishing out in the world. I don’t hold down a job. I don’t do the ministry that I feel like I should. I have a whole list of should/could/would “except for the kids”. That’s when I knew that it was my dreams and my selfishness getting in the way, and that my dreams and desires were coming from myself and my flesh. There was so much more of fulfilling my self-worth and getting recognition for my skills in them than there was a heart of service to God, but I had deceived myself that they were God’s desires for me.
My personal dreams/longings are meant to be surrendered to the will of God. I need to align myself to God’s good goals for my life, and allow him to work through me, and in my home. My children are my first priority, and if I’m not doing the parent thing and the homeschooling thing right, and I’m not in God’s will for my life. Period.
If you’re suffering from homeschool burnout, take a look at your life. Are you trying to do too much? Are you focusing your time and your energy on something other than your children? Your children are the precious souls that God entrusted into your care. Of all the people in the world, you are most responsible for doing right by them and raising them to the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Then, once you’ve nourished yourself and are getting the parenting and homeschooling thing done right (not perfectly, but right), you can find yourself, in God’s timing and in His way, reaching out to the other dreams, goals, and ministries that God has for your life.