Of all the excuses people give for not homeschooling, this one hurts my heart the most. I can’t homeschool, I have to have my me time. It falls along the same lines as “I’d kill my kids or they’d kill me” (which also makes me sad) and I’ve noticed it comes mainly from moms who are torn between a tugging they feel to bring their children home and what is “expected” of them by society/family/their favorite professor in college. It often comes up in conversations that begin with “Well, we’ve discussed homeschooling but . . . ” followed by a list that seems a little too well rehearsed.
*I do not think God calls every single Christian family to homeschool. I do believe there are a lot of families being called to homeschool but ignoring or refusing to for many reasons. If you truly do not feel that you are being called to homeschool, this post is not for you 🙂 I’m also not saying that quiet and alone time is bad, creative and quiet pursuits are also a gift from God, it’s just not a good reason not to homeschool.*
Why ME time is not a reason to choose not to homeschool
Yes, I said choose. It’s a choice. Just like becoming a parent is a choice. Just like loving your child through sleeplessness, tantrums, sickness, disabilities, learning struggles, social awkwardness, bad choices, and everything else they may throw your way in the years you are blessed to parent them. (It doesn’t stop at 18, just ask my mom.)
The moment you choose to have that child and keep that child for your own you also choose to accept all the pieces of parenting God entrusts us with when He sends us our heritage, our living legacy, our children. Accepting to train a child up in the way he should go is not a 4 hour a day job. It is a 24-hour a day job. If you feel a tiny nudge, a twinge of guilt when you see that yellow bus, or consistent little signs that perhaps you are being called to homeschool, I guarantee you that is the Holy Spirit. Why?
Homeschooling is a sacrifice
The world is absolutely right about that! You lose time to yourself, time to clean your house, time to have a latte with your BFF at the local Starbucks, time to read the newest “it” novel while tanning your legs on the back deck during those quiet school-day hours. You may not be able to finish that degree in the time frame you wanted. You may never get that new car. Your clothes may all be thrifted if you “give up” that second income.
But what about if you ignore that tiny voice? What do you sacrifice then?
Time. You cannot buy back or replace gone time with more, better spent, or extra time. This is the only time you have. Your choice of how you spend it has eternal consequences for the hearts of your children.
Yes, it’s true. If you follow the call to homeschool you may not get much, if any some days, me time. There are days I consider it a triumph to get 5 minutes of alone time with God before the day gets away from me. There will be days with no showers. There will be days you claim a win because everyone finished a math lesson but nothing else that was scheduled got done. There will be days when dinner burns in the crock-pot because baby fingers can reach higher than you thought. There will be invitations to grown up gatherings you have to turn down because you can’t afford a sitter on one income. There will be much sacrifice. There will be much denying of self. There will be much much much time spent on your knees in prayer.
Is the sacrifice of me time worth it to homeschool?
What if I get too cranky? You will. What if I lose it and go all angry mom on my kids and my hubby? That will probably happen, too. What if I screw it all up and my kids suffer? At some point, you will mess up. You will need to ask forgiveness and grace from your children. Model for them that it’s OK to mess up and when it’s their time, show them grace. God will equip you for the task to which He has called you. Rest your weary, homeschool-called head on the promise of His light burden, His loving-kindness, and His plan for your family.
The biggest secret I’ve learned about me time
When I give my children the gift of my time, intentional and attentive, I give them a sacrificial love offering. I give up “me” time for “them” time. Without fail, in those raw moments when I want “me” but choose “them”, that empty cup is filled. It’s funny how God shows up like that, proving again and again His love for us and how much better His plans are.
What does giving up me time get me?
I’m so glad you asked! Giving up me time gets you more time with your children. More firsts, more growing together, more learning together. It gets you an insight to your child’s mind and heart that simply does not happen with only 3 hours a day interaction. It gets you the kind of relationship with your child that grows and blooms into a trusted friendship in later years. It gets you a front row seat to the life of your child allowing you to guide their hearts and their steps toward God.
Giving up your time to be there, to walk this path of life and homeschool with your child, is also one of the most sanctifying journeys possible. You will both see the good, the bad, and the sinful ugly of each other. You will also see real grace, real mercy, real forgiveness, and real love daily. Don’t let your fear rob you of the joy that comes from following God’s plan for your family.
To see more “I Can’t Homeschool Because . . . ” posts from the iHomeschool Network, click here.