Homeschool Discouragement

  "Be strong and of good courage, fear not . . . for the LORD your God, He it is that goes with you; He will not fail you, nor forsake you" (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Are homeschooling moms more prone to discouragement than other moms? I don't know, but none of us are immune. Many moms, after being cooped up inside during a long winter, sometimes with sick children and several months of schooling still ahead of them, often battle discouragement. 

Discouragement can weigh you down, robbing you of your joy, motivation, and enthusiasm. It often paves the way for its cousin, depression to set in.

The word “discourage” or “discouragement” appears only five times in the whole Bible. Does this mean that discouragement is a twenty-first century phenomenon?  Certainly not. David’s psalms poignantly express his struggles with discouragement, and the Apostle Paul is a New Testament figure who shares how he “despaired even of life” in 2 Corinthians 1:8. 

Discouragement, like many other emotions, takes various forms and can seldom be summed up in a single word. When we research discouragement in God’s Word, we find several truths that help us battle it.

We see the first occurrence of the word “discouraged” in Numbers 21:4. In the New International Version, the word is translated “impatient.”  

I wonder, as homeschooling mothers, how much of our discouragement comes because our children's slow progress makes us impatient.  

Are fractions or multiplication tables taking forever?  Will they ever learn to say please and thank you and pick up their toys and clothes?  

Weighing heaviest on our heart, when will they begin to show signs of spiritual life and vitality? How dearly we want these good things for our children. How impatient we get when they are not forthcoming.

Application Questions:

How much of your discouragement can you trace back to impatience over some area of your child’s development?

Are your expectations too high?

Are you discouraged as a result of comparing your children to someone else’s? 

Are you carrying the burden for something the Lord has to do in your child’s life?

Action Step for This Week:

Prayerfully seek God and ask him to show you if impatience is at the root of your discouragement. If it is, surrender your timetable for your children to the Lord and ask him to work in their lives to bring about growth and change in his perfect timing.

Prayer of Commitment:

“Lord, I confess that I sometimes get so frustrated and impatient with where my children are right now. Sometimes all I can see is how far they have to go and how slow their progress is. Help me to see everything that you have accomplished in and through our homeschooling. Give me patience and trust as I work alongside you to teach and train our children.”

For face-to-face encouragement, listen to Lori's vlog: When Nothing Seems to Be Happening - Hope for Discouraged Parents.

For more posts on homeschooling, CLICK HERE or on the Homeschooling tab at the top.

This post is an excerpt from Lori's devotional book for homeschooling moms, Joy in the Journey.

With a devotional for each week of the school year, JITJ has application questions, an action step, and a prayer. It's suitable for your own devotional reading or for use by a support group for meeting ideas.

Don't start your new year without it!

For more information and to read what other homeschooling moms are saying about Joy in the Journey, click here. 

To order a paperback copy, click here.

Back to School Special Ebook: $1.99 -- see ordering info in the sidebar.

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  1. That is so encouraging, Lori! I wish I'd known you when I was homeschooling my boys but really, those questions would apply to other areas as well.

    I loved the question asking if we are carrying the burden for something that the LORD has to do. That would fit in our child's life, our husband's, our friends, etc.

    I always tried to have high goals but low expectations, so that I wouldn't easily get frustrated with my boys or frustrated if I didn't see a character change fast enough. If your expectations are too high, you can get upset and take things personally! We have to remember that we are teaching and training, and that it takes time!

    Thanks so much for linking up to "Making Your Home Sing Monday" today! :)

  2. Great post Lori!! Thanks for sharing over at WholeHearted Home.