Why is it that the most difficult thing to do at times is ask for help? Is it because we would be admitting our weaknesses? That we have to let someone else in? Our friends might find out that we’ve made some mistakes? The truth is, we all have weaknesses, and our friends and family know what most of them are already. They aren’t fooled by our brave front and our plastic smiles. Many times they stand by watching, out of respect for our privacy and pain, but are desperately hoping that we will ask them in so that they can help us bear our burdens. They are right by our sides, but when we are falling and flailing, we won’t even so much as reach out our hand so they can lift us up.
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2
We may lift our eyes to the God of the hills and valleys for help, and we may be praying and seeking God’s guidance, but we forget that God often uses our friends to lift up our heavy hands and strengthen our feeble knees.
Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
Year after year, families begin the homeschool journey, feeling alone, sometimes because they are experiencing opposition from family and friends who don't have their best interests at heart. These parents keep their problems to themselves, and struggle to find the answers they need to make a go at educating their children at home.
Year after year, families become weary, and begin to think that they can't do this homeschooling thing, that it would be so much easier to put their kids in school. And maybe that is what they need to do - but did they ask for help first?
What happened that has hindered you from continuing on as a homeschooler? Remember why you started homeschooling in the first place? Have your reasons for schooling at home changed? Have your circumstances altered so significantly that you see no other options but to reset to the default of traditional education?
I can't stress how important it is to connect with other homeschoolers. Not just online, but in person.
There are going to be days when you just CAN'T do it anymore. You, your kids, and your spouse are human beings, and you will get on each other's nerves, let each other down, and conflict is inevitable when you are dealing with individuals who live and learn in the same house.
Financial strain will wear you down, even as you spend hours choosing the best books and curriculum you can afford in order to provide your children with a quality education.
Situations will arise that block your path and distract you from your focus.
Lofty goals, once inspirational, will remain unmet and a constant source of discouragement, if not 'proof' that we are failures as homeschoolers, and maybe even as parents.
Stop right there.
When you feel yourself sinking, ask for help.
When you are tired, get some rest.
When you need to refocus, meditate on The Word.
When you need wisdom and encouragement, seek out a friend.
Whatever you do, do not wait until you are gasping for air to try to call out. Sometimes it is difficult to lean on others for even the tiniest bit of affirmation or support, but to depend on others, and to be equipped as someone who can be depended on, is the way God programmed us. He wants us to love and and support others, but He also wants to us to allow ourselves to be ministered to.
As you begin or continue your homeschooling year, remember that God has given us the gift of friendship and fellowship. We don’t have to fall, we don’t have to fail, we don’t have to be alone. All we have to do is set aside our pride, our fear, and reach out when we need a helping hand.