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Homeschooling Through a Difficult Season

I have been waiting to write this post until the time was right. I wanted to tell our story free from anger, bitterness, and resentment. In short, I wanted to write a kind post. Although there is still a lot of uncertainty ahead and on some days a little anger, I am in a much better place and I hope that I can help to encourage someone else that is facing a difficult season. Here is our story:

In January of this year, our lives were completely turned upside down. My husband had been at his job for almost 10 years, we were recovering from Christmas, still caring for our oldest son that has a chronic illness and our other 2 small children, and of course, paying our mortgage and bills. We were preparing to pay off debts and continue to work on our plan to become debt free. I was also working on starting my home daycare business and paying for all of the certifications that come with state licensing. Life was going along as usual. Then, my husband told me that we needed to sit down and talk. Earlier that day, we had attended a beautiful dinner celebrating his grandmother’s birthday and I was ready for a hot bath and a good night’s sleep. I noticed right away that my husband had not prepared himself for work for the following day, which was a nightly routine. My stomach instantly began to sink with thoughts of what he was going to tell me. For the last few months, I felt that something was not right at his place of employment. He was not being appreciated, there was a lot of nit-picking, and after 10 years with only a small raise, no talk of advancement or a raise anytime soon. Something just felt uncomfortable and uncertain. My husband is a hard worker and does whatever (sometimes more) is asked of him. However, he does expect to be respected and his daily text messages home were reflecting that he was not respected anymore by his managers. I felt that our season there was over, but it had been a means of support for our family for a long time so it was difficult to just walk away. As I prepared myself for our talk, I suspected what was coming. Then, he said it, the thing that I was fearing, “I was let go today.” I was shocked, but not shocked, if that makes any sense. I was angry about all of the years that we had believed that we were like family there, all of the holidays that we had to plan his work schedule around, all of the phone calls answered and work he conducted even on his off days. Most of all, I was angry about the lack of thought or concern for our 3 children, especially knowing that we had a child with a chronic illness. I mean with no previous write-ups, could they have not sat him down to go over their issues? It turns out that my husband not being able to work on his day off, not allowing people to speak to him disrespectfully, and having a job on the side preventing him from working over his 8-hour shift at times must have led to his termination. No warning required.  Insubordination which was written on top of the pink slip was the cause. He was escorted out of the building by security. After 10 years of dedication, that was that.

Anger slowly turned to hurt, my emotions were all over the place. It was very confusing! I wondered what would happen to us. How would I pay for some of our son’s medical needs? What about bills? What about homeschooling? Homeschooling has been something that we both find to be important and want to continue until we are led otherwise. I did the only thing that I knew to do, I prayed. I prayed for help, I prayed for direction, I prayed about homeschooling, and I hate to admit it, but I also selfishly prayed for God to bring punishment to those responsible. Sleep did not find me that night as I thought about having to tell our kids and as I thought about our future. The kids considered his job to be a second home, the only workplace that they had grown up knowing. The next morning, however,  I felt a strange sense of relief. It was strange because I was supposed to be worried. I heard a voice from within and I immediately had peace, because I knew that God had a plan! I told the kids about the unfortunate change, but they were more excited about spending more time with their dad. With his work hours and a side business, he was working quite a bit. My husband reassured me that we would be taken care of, he would see to it, and I believed him.

Since then, we finished our homeschooling year and we have continued with our plans to homeschool. We have spent some much-needed family time and I have learned a lot. My husband took our resources and started his own handyman business, which has been going very well. We are still able to take care of our son’s medical needs and our family. The last few months, I have learned some life lessons along the way. If you have experienced a death in the family, job loss, or any other circumstance that is making this a difficult season for you, I hope that this will help you. You can continue on your homeschooling journey even when your journey leads you onto a rocky path.

Take a break.

I know that it has been a while since I have written a blog post! That is because I needed a little time to rest. I had to put my mental health at the top of my priority list. The same goes for homeschooling. It is okay to adjust your homeschooling lesson plan to be more relaxed. Don’t add more stress to the lives of you or your kids. Take nature walks, watch some educational videos, go on free field trips, read stories together. You have time to catch up. Let this be your season to rest and to take care of yourself. Children learn in so many ways! This is not the time to be a slave to your homeschool plan and curriculum.

Realize the purpose behind the change.

Everything has its purpose! It was only until my husband was terminated that I realized how many times God was telling us to move on to something else, but we relied on the paycheck and became too comfortable. God had to move us forward. He has a funny way of doing just that. Ours came as a termination, but he has his own special way to get us to something better.

Pray and release the anger.

Remember earlier when I told you that I was praying for punishment? Well, I had to start praying for the people responsible. I began to pray for their hearts as leaders, the other employees, for their good health, and for their families. Seems odd, right? The moment I began to do this, all of my anger and hurt transformed into acceptance and contentment. I also started to see God open even more doors of opportunity in our lives. I began to thank them in my heart for the last 10 years, for the resource to buy our home, and for the work experience. I even prayed for help in the areas that we need to make improvements. I am sure that my husband was not a perfect employee and neither have I been in the past. I am thankful to be able to work on the areas that we need improvement on so that we can be better individuals, prepared [better equipped] for our future endeavors.

Know that you are cared for.

After a job loss, you wonder if anyone cares? You feel alone and uncertain. However, I was constantly reminded of just how many people love us and just how much God loves us too! Phone calls, text messages, meeting up with friends and family and reading the Bible as a family got us through those early weeks. We are so thankful for the love and support that we were shown!

Homeschool for free.

I was so thankful to have already purchased our curriculum before this took place, but I always have the option to homeschool for 100% free! This can help those who are in a financially difficult season and help to eliminate stress for those who don’t feel up to finding and locating the next curriculum choice. I have written so many posts about homeschooling for cheap or free. With so many resources now available, it is simple to homeschool without paying anything. I am thankful for Khan Academy, for Easy Peasy online homeschool, and for the internet. These are free resources that cost nothing, but a donation is always nice when you have the means! Find books at the thrift store, borrow resources from the library or from a friend, buy cheap workbooks from Walmart for younger kids. It is possible to homeschool without paying a dime or for fairly cheap. You just have to get creative! If you need help, there are blogs (like mine) and homeschool resources that can help you.

Enjoy your family.

When you are going through a difficult season, enjoy the extra time to spend with your family. Doing things together, watching a movie together, talking, and just being a family can make everything easier. I am so grateful that in this season we have had so much more family time and I have had more time to work on my business plans. Although our outings have to be within a budget, I am thankful to have the time to spend as a family. We are also able to worship together on Sundays, which we could not do previously because my husband worked on Sundays.

Stop looking back!

God reminded me of Lot’s wife during this season. I kept looking back at the former workplace, at the dedication of my husband, all of his hard work and being angry about how things were handled. I was reminded that we couldn’t move forward until I stopped looking back. In that, I also found peace and acceptance. Looking back causes you to stay absorbed in your anger and pain. It also causes you to walk in resentment and to not be able to see the blessings that come from the difficult circumstances. In every difficulty of life, there is a blessing, even if it has yet to be realized.

Know that after the rain, a rainbow often appears.

Give yourself some time and a lot of grace. Change is not easy! Our family has months that are great and we have months that we have to work harder to pay bills, but we always make it and I know that it only gets better from here! Just like rain that sometimes appears out of nowhere (sometimes even while the sun is still shining), rain is something that will surely come at some point. It may ruin our plans, rain can even make it difficult to see when traveling, and it may be an inconvenience, but it is necessary to keep things growing and to keep things blooming. After all of the rain, we get a greener and more beautiful landscape. Sometimes, we may even get a glimpse of a beautiful rainbow in the sky. Out of some of the worst rainstorms comes great beauty. The same goes for our personal life storms. Just keep going, embrace the rain, and when it is over, enjoy the results that it has produced.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope that it will bless your life! Remember that even when life is challenging, don’t forget to make everyday beautiful!

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”

-Psalm 32:8 NLT

Sad mom image credit:

image downloaded July 23. 2018

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