Teacher Appreciation for the Homeschool Mom

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Teacher Appreciation for the Homeschool Mom

Dear fellow homeschool moms,

It’s May. May!!

That means we’re almost done with our 180 days. It’s almost summer, and even if you homeschool during the summer months like us, the schedule will be different, the weather will be different, and hopefully different will let everyone rest and relax and recharge their batteries a bit, including you.

It’s been a long year. And if you are like me, I’m guessing you are a bit weary and ready for a change. Because homeschooling, no matter how much you love it, takes energy and focus that is just hard to sustain for months on end. And about this time of the year, it is easy to wonder if you made the right choice, if your kids are learning enough, and if anyone appreciates what you are doing.

Especially this week, Teacher Appreciation Week, when classroom teachers get kudos and recognition for doing their jobs with excellence. Do they deserve and need that? Absolutely. (Spoken by a former classroom teacher for whom May always seemed like the LONGEST month of the year.)

But you deserve and need it, too. So I want you to hear what I appreciate about each and every homeschool mom and dad.

I appreciate your courage.

Even though homeschooling is more accepted today than twenty years ago, it takes courage to not register your child for kindergarten or to withdraw them from the school where they were enrolled. It takes courage to go against the collective advice of family members or friends or just society in general that still thinks homeschooled children don’t know how to socialize. So pat yourself on the back for being courageous and living that out for your kids.

I appreciate the strength of your convictions.

People homeschool for all kinds of reasons – religious, academic, social, family, whatever. Whatever your reason, I am certain it is rooted in a firmly held conviction, and when the going got tough last fall, or during the winter, or in a season of illness, or in a battle of wills with your strong-willed child, you probably looked back at that conviction and knew that yes, you could keep going, because the roots go deep.

I appreciate your creativity.

You have figured out ways this year to teach your child a subject that they didn’t care for, to get them to improve in something that was challenging, to teach your school-age children while your preschooler was playing, and to teach four grades at once in your own one-room schoolhouse. Creativity is not about making cutesy Pinterest projects in your picture-perfect homeschool classroom. It is about finding a way around the roadblocks and barriers to learning that we encounter every day. And you have done this.

I appreciate your concern for your whole child.

One of the beauties of homeschooling is how we can integrate all we are learning – not only math and science and reading but also academics and character and practical skills. I am certain you have spent time weaving these different kinds of learning together to help your child grow as a person, not just a student.

I appreciate your perseverance and determination. 

If you are like me, you have on occasion gazed longingly at the yellow bus that comes and drives down your street twice a day. You have driven by the local school and wondered if it would just be easier to drive into the parking lot and drop your child off there. But you kept going. You found those creative solutions. You refused to give up and to let your child give up. You modeled stick-to-it-iveness for your children, and that did not go unnoticed.

I appreciate your love.

Because that’s what this is all about. You chose to homeschool this year because you believed it was the best choice for your family and your child. Not that you love your child more than another parent who makes a different choice loves hers, but in your case, love looked like lessons at the kitchen table, making curriculum choices late at night, play dates with other homeschoolers, and homeschool conventions where you learn all you can to stay one step ahead of your kiddos.

So kudos to you! You have done an awesome job this year, and whether you continue to homeschool or not, I am certain you will bring these same qualities to all of the parenting years that lie ahead.

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Kristi Bothur
Kristi is a pastor’s wife, mother, writer, and former public school teacher for English for Speakers of Other Languages. She grew up all over the United States as an Air Force brat, but moved to Columbia in the 1990s to attend Columbia International University, and has called the Midlands “home” ever since. Her days are kept full with the antics and activities of her children - homeschooling, church activities, American Heritage Girls, and Trail Life - as well as writing and leading her Columbia-based pregnancy loss ministry, Naomi’s Circle. Kristi is a contributing editor for “Rainbows and Redemption: Encouragement for the Journey of Pregnancy After Loss” (www.rainbowsandredemption.weebly.com) and a co-author of “Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother“ (sunshineafterstorm.us). She shares her thoughts about faith, family, and femininity on her blog, This Side of Heaven (www.thissideofheavenblog.com).

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