Homeschooling When Mom Needs an Attitude Adjustment

The little ones are fighting, the big ones ‘never’ obey, you’re struggling physically with another pregnancy, hubby is stressed about work, the house is a disaster and one of your friends just sent you a note requesting that you no longer contact her because of something that is beyond your control.moms of many manage

Sometimes it’s just too much. Sometimes I know that I can’t possibly do this and sometimes I wonder why God has chosen me to parent a large family.

How do we keep homeschooling when we don’t even want to parent?

Repent

If I have a bad attitude about my circumstances, the only one I have a true complaint against is my heavenly Father.

Bella tears up a Henty book

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. ~Romans 8:28

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. ~Jeremiah 29:11

I am demonstrating by my attitude and possibly my actions that I do not believe God or His Word.

Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:13

I am sinning against the One that gave His life for me and I must repent.

Seek out your husband

God has ordained that we are not alone in this parenting journey. My husband is my sanity and strength during times when I don’t know what to do.


Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. ~ 1 Peter3:7

Ask for your husband’s advice and input. Ask for his direction. Ask for his prayers.

And then do what he suggests.

Focus on the reason you are homeschooling

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge ~Proverbs 1:7

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, ~ Deuteronomy 6:5-7

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. ~Mathew 6:33

Hopefully, your goal in home educating is to teach your children to fear the Lord, to seek His kingdom and to love Him. Hopefully you are striving to teach them that their only duty, their only allegiance in life is to be faithful to their God.

And isn’t that what we need to learn when we’re tempted to give in? Isn’t it what we need to remember when we struggle with a poor attitude? Isn’t Jesus where we need to turn in the midst of the storm?

There are often times when our family has chosen to eschew our normal course of study for a prolonged time of Bible reading, prayer, discussion and praise.

There are often times when we spend the day listening to praise music, sermons, lectures or the Bible on CD. We also spend days praying for forgiveness, strength, reassurance peace. (Once again I realize the blessing of educating our children year round and of deliberately limiting our outside activities as this makes it possible for us to focus on the most important rather than being a servant of the immediate.)

Depending upon the ages of your children, share your struggles with them. This is part of “as we walk by the way”. We are to live our lives side-by-side, hand-in-hand with our children and struggle is a part of life. In God’s perfect design we are to speak of God to our children in the midst of the storm.

Don’t let anyone tell you that this isn’t homeschooling.

Don’t believe the lie that ‘they’ tell us over and over and over again, “It’s the academics.” “It’s the curriculum.” “It’s the test results.” “It’s the number of days.”

Pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17)

We’re supposed to do this everyday, but I usually fall far short. It’s times like these that remind me to faithfully commune with God as I go about every aspect of life.

Do the next thing

Nick can find a mud puddle when no one else can.

Sometimes our circumstances seem so overwhelming that we are paralyzed, but God does not call us to clean the bathroom, wash the laundry, fix dinner, listen to a reading lesson and make those phone calls all at once. He calls us to do what needs to be done next.

I remember times when I would tell myself, “All you need to do is change this diaper.” “Now, smile at the baby.”

Two minutes later I would say, “All you need to do is make one sandwich. ” Then, “Make one more sandwich.” etc.

At every point I would know that I could do that one task, but I would have sworn to you that I could not possibly manage a whole day.

Yet, by doing the one task that I knew I could and then by doing one more task that I knew I could, I would eventually make it through an entire day and eventually an entire week.

How do homeschool when you need an attitude adjustment?

Be sure to visit the other Moms of Many to see how they homeschool when they need an attitude adjustment:

KimC at Life in a Shoe says exactly what I hope I said, “How do you homeschool when you’re in a rotten mood?” “You don’t! Repent first and then put one foot in front of the other.”
Connie at Smockity Frocks reminds us to put on our big girl panties and do what needs to be done.
Headmistress at The Common Room offers biblical encouragement and reminds us it’s OK to take a break.

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21 Responses to Homeschooling When Mom Needs an Attitude Adjustment
  1. Blessed Mama
    May 24, 2012 | 9:22 am

    Awesome:)

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  2. KS
    May 24, 2012 | 9:29 am

    Thank you for posting this. I really needed to read it today.

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  3. Verna
    May 24, 2012 | 9:36 am

    I needed to hear this today! Thank you!

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  4. Natalie
    May 24, 2012 | 9:36 am

    Thank you SO MUCH for this post! Sometimes I feel like I’m hanging on by the tip of my nails, and I do the moment-by-moment living, too..and then God blesses me with the peace of knowing that I went through it before and survived, and I just have to hang on, pray, and keep moving, inch-by-inch.

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  5. Debra @ Sweet Kisses and Dirty Dishes
    May 24, 2012 | 9:49 am

    Thank you for this list. Even though I don’t “technically” homeschool now (my oldest is 2) I find this encouraging. I should go my new task now!

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  6. Irene
    May 24, 2012 | 10:36 am

    Hi Kimberly,

    I especially appreciated the part about just doing the next thing i think that will be helpful for me to remember. Here are some of the things I do when I need an attitude readjustment:

    One is I daydream about other families here and around the world that have hardships…like a mother too young to be dying of cancer, or a child abducted and whose fate you almost can’t bear to imagine, or lonely unloved orphans, etc. I try to imagine (or learn about) the details of their lives and to spend a few minutes sympathizing from my heart and praying for them. This usually guilts me out of complacency into sincere gratitude for my many undeserved graces and blessings. 

    Another thing that helps me is when I see my own sinful attitude and behavior reflected in the behavior of my kids. Sometimes I have to stop and consciously pay attention, other times it just hits me in the face. I see them imitating me, and it startles me into guilt. Sometimes I see that I have been leading them into sin instead of training them as I should. I feel ashamed and even scared. Then I am usually highly motivated to shape up, for my children’s sake. 

    One last thing that came to mind was listening to prayer/Scripture music.  For me, music always cuts more deeply than plain speech. And then, I often find the tunes “sticking” in my mind and myself humming them throughout the day. Then I can pray as I go about my work, and it helps me stay in a good frame of mind.  I hope you’ll let me share just a few of my favorites.  ( I don’t even have a you tube account, so this is no self-promotion, just some of my favorites).

    The Servant Song
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-Pk2NHKg_o&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    Prayer of Generosity
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oF_1xxMxqHc&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    the Beatitudes
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chqY9S1Lm2w&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. –Isaiah 40:11b

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  7. Irene
    May 24, 2012 | 10:44 am

    I also thought this was appropriate:

    “The Teacher”
    By Leslie Pinckney Hill

    Lord, who am I to teach the way
    To little children day by day,
    So prone myself to go astray?

    I teach them knowledge, but I know
    How faint the flicker and how low
    The candles of my knowledge glow.

    I teach them power to will and do,
    But only now to learn anew
    My own great weakness through and through.

    I teach them love for all mankind
    And all God’s creatures, but I find
    My love comes lagging far behind.

    Lord, if their guide I still must be,
    Oh, let the little children see
    The teacher leaning hard on thee.

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  8. Jennifer
    May 24, 2012 | 1:24 pm

    This is excellent. Thank you for the reminders and encouragment!

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  9. Monica Godoy
    May 24, 2012 | 2:51 pm

    Kimberly, have you been spying on me lately?! Seriously I needed this post …. wow… thank you so much for your openness and honesty…. this post is definitely getting printed for rereads… and pinning it!!
    Thank you for your encouragement!! I love how you go to scripture with each piece of advice… TOTALLY AWESOME and the way advice needs to be given… backed with the WOrd of God!!
    Monica
    God’s Most Precious Blog

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  10. Heidi
    May 24, 2012 | 3:26 pm

    I like the part about telling yourself what to do next: “Now, smile at the baby.” I’ve thought similar thoughts before. Smiling does seem to help make things a little brighter and lets the kids know that it’s not (necessarily) them that is making Mommy feel stressed. :)

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    Shannon Reply:

    That little comment stuck me to. One thing I do when I am in a mood, is to smile, it is hard to be persnickity or depressed when I am smiling. Such a small thing, and sometimes so very hard to do, but once I get the smile to stick the mood seems to go away.

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  11. Xay
    May 24, 2012 | 3:29 pm

    Thanks…a much needed reminder of my sinful nature. With a husband deployed and all of us feeling the absence a little stronger at this time, its necessary to be reminded of why we do choose to homeschool.

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  12. Rhen @Yes, they are all mine
    May 24, 2012 | 11:07 pm

    Being able to step back and regroup is a huge part of how I deal with the hard days where my attitude is the one in need of improving! God is always right there encouraging me and reminding me that He has this whole thing in His mighty hands. All I have to do is focus on Him. When I need to vent or “let it all go”, hubs always has a shoulder and a plan!
    Thank you for the great post and the scripture.

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  13. Mary
    May 25, 2012 | 9:25 am

    Awesome post :)

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  14. Stephanie
    May 25, 2012 | 11:44 am

    Thank you so much! Thank you for your transparency and encouragement! What a blessing! I had one of these days yesterday. Today I start with prayers and relief that His mercies are new everyday. I seek forgiveness from our Lord and from my precious children. And then … full of hope … begin anew.

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  15. Elizabeth Hamm
    May 30, 2012 | 1:54 pm

    VERY helpful to keep everything in perspective! So, important to remember that God does have a purpose for everything and that we need to trust in him ALWAYS! I think it’s so awesome that he blessed us with these little gifts in our lives, to hold us accountable to our own sinful actions, and to constantly shed the focus off of ourselves and onto Him. What a magnificent God we have!

    On a side note….I think you meant Philippians 4:13. Sorry, I am not trying to nit pick….Just saw it and thought I should say something. LOVED the post!! Thanks again for your wisdom and encouraging words!

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    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Yes, I did. Thank you!

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  16. MomStarr
    May 30, 2012 | 3:05 pm

    I went to my room the other day and shut the door and locked it and cried. I knelt and prayed with baby and toddler with me. The toddler kept looking at me wonderingly and I told her mommy needs to pray…pray with mommy.

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    Natalie Reply:

    Oh, MomStarr, I feel for you and pray for you right now. God loves you so much! He knows you can pass through these difficult moments even if it feels like you can’t.

    I’m really glad that Kimberly mentioned doing one thing at a time. I keep remembering the “make one sandwich and then another” whenever I start feeling overwhelmed.

    The other day when I was having a physically difficult moment, I remembered reading a Bible verse about God giving us his angels to take care of us. Right at that moment, I told myself that God had at least 2 angels, one on either side, holding me up so I could finish the physical task I knew I should do.
    God is with us, but He also said that He sends us His multitude of angels. I never put much thought about that Bible verse until that moment the other day.

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  17. Natalie
    May 30, 2012 | 4:04 pm

    Oh, MomStarr, I feel for you and pray for you right now. God loves you so much! He knows you can pass through these difficult moments even if it feels like you can’t.

    I’m really glad that Kimberly mentioned doing one thing at a time. I keep remembering the “make one sandwich and then another” whenever I start feeling overwhelmed.

    The other day when I was having a physically difficult moment, I remembered reading a Bible verse about God giving us his angels to take care of us. Right at that moment, I told myself that God had at least 2 angels, one on either side, holding me up so I could finish the physical task I knew I should do.
    God is with us, but He also said that He sends us His multitude of angels. I never put much thought about that Bible verse until that moment the other day.

    [Reply]

  18. Brandi
    April 8, 2013 | 9:16 am

    Wow, so inspiring and its great to hear that I am not the only one who struggles in this area.

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