emerging from your gangly boy. Enjoy
their growth, humor, and fresh insights.
Look deeper, into their characters. What
strengths are growing? My son struggles
with math but says algebra taught him
perseverance. In our carpool, I watched
a boy grow patient with his sister. Look
for progress. Small steps are easy to miss;
looking back a few years can help.
2. Nurture your marriage.
After our first child was born, a highly
respected older man confided to my husband that during thirty-three years of
childrearing, he and his wife had drifted
apart. They had to rebuild their marriage.
Surprised by his candor, we heeded
that warning. When our kids were small
and money was short, my husband and I
took hardware store dates. While a friend
babysat, we bought doorstops and toilet-repair kits—romantic, huh? But we figured if we did not talk about the children
at least half the time and stopped for ice
cream on the way home, it was a date.
When our children were old enough to
be left home alone, my husband and I
jogged or walked together. We would talk
about the kids, but also about work, our
parents, dreams, and concerns.
. . . Realize you
need to rest and
replenish so you
can keep giving.
Time alone together is important.
Whatever your strategies, the goals are to
remain friends when you become empty-nesters and, beyond that, lovebirds in
that empty nest.
That will not happen if we harbor grievances and dwell on disappointments. Decide to “rejoice in the wife (or husband) of
your youth” (Proverbs 5: 18). Remind yourself what is admirable about your spouse. I
will never forget visiting with a gentleman
at a nursing home; his wife was suffering
with dementia. She didn’t seem aware of
anything, yet he focused on God’s kind-nesses to them over the years and counted
himself blessed. Do we?
3. Take care of yourself.
I’m not saying “live for yourself,” but
realize you need to rest and replenish
so you can keep giving. Otherwise, we
homeschooling moms can become too
weary to stir ourselves up to work, and
discouragement creeps in.
but the foolish plucketh it down with her
hands” (Proverbs 14: 1).
out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs
In every thing give thanks: for this is the
will of God in Christ Jesus concerning
you” ( 1 Thessalonians 5: 16–18).
Seek the best
help you can,
trust God to work
through it all.
•;“.;.;.;Whatsoever;things;are;true,;what-soever things are honest, whatsoever
things are just, whatsoever things are
pure, whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report;
if there be any virtue, and if there
be any praise, think on these things”
(Philippians 4: 8).
Homeschooling is a noble calling, but
it should never be the center of our lives.
We were made for more. Some begin
their homeschool journey with eyes on
the Lord, but many of us get caught up in
the day-to-day, “distracted by much serving,” like Martha was (Luke 10: 40). Then
we wonder what’s happened to our sanity and our joy. We need to look up, give
thanks, and remember the One we are
following. Leaning on Him as we work
and serve, we are promised rest, peace,
Veteran homeschooler and author Kathy
Kuhl ( Learndifferently.com) offers ideas
and encouragement for all parents, but
especially those whose children are struggling, discouraged, gifted—or all three!
The author of Homeschooling Your
Struggling Learner, Staying Sane as You
Homeschool, and the upcoming
Encouraging Your Child, she speaks internationally, gives phone consultations, and offers
book reviews and tips at her website.
1. Elisabeth Elliot, address, Urbana ’ 76 Missions
Conference, December 1976.