Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Broken Day

I last blogged about homeschooling, which is a lifestyle my husband and I are committed to. Some days are the picture of perfect, happy family life and learning--the cozy kind one might imagine when they picture how homeschool goes in some people's homes (particularly those who blog about it).

But some days are not beautiful at all. Some days we're just stumbling through, grateful for grace and mercy, that the day will end and there will be a new (hopefully better) one tomorrow.

A few weeks ago, my husband was out of town for the week. The. entire. week. I was here with four small children. Three energetic young boys, 7, 5, 3. A teething (four molars) toddler that cried and clung to my leg most days. Most fun I've had in a long time.

Here's part of a raw journal entry (names have been removed):

"[Child] is going through an awful attitude phase, snapping at me over just about everything...
[Child] was rudely complaining about how the letters looked in his Italic handwriting book. I asked him to make just one letter a to try it the italic way, and he just snapped. I walked away teary-eyed...

Here's the list of things the boys broke or otherwise damaged today--
1) Broke the orchid pot. [Child] climbed on the counter [rule violation] to get the bungee cords they've been hooking to their belt loops to go bungee-jumping off the railing outside. They already tore their pants once, so that's off-limits, yet they did it again, and I took them away and put them up high.
2) [Child] threw something at [other child] and hit him in the head hard.
3) [Child] threw something at the lightbulb in his bedroom during quiet time  and broke it.
4) Apparently, [child] threw something at my Ansel Adams picture from Justin [my husband] and it broke the glass.
5) [Child] took everything out of the alcove upstairs to see what it looked like empty [we have a storage area going up our stairs]. I couldn't even get out of the hallway of our room to the stairs. He put some stuff back and was supposed to be putting more stuff back, but was actually taking it out again. A big tub of baby clothes fell and the clothes tumbled out, all over the stairs below.
6) [Child] punched [child] in the eye, which gave him a blood blister, then proceeded to scratch him several times. This made him look like he ran into a barbed wire fence (as someone commented later...at church).
7) Not to mention all the food crumbs, water spills, other fights during the day
8) [Child] woke [grumpy, teething baby] from morning nap so she only slept a half hour. Then she cried and clung to my leg all morning.
What a day. Taking a shower and going to bed."
So this was a bad day. I wondered why I choose to keep my kids home with me day after day after day. I was looking up the number for the school district to inquire into where they had enrollments for kindergarten and second grade. Yet, I knew this lifestyle--even on its worst days--was something we were committed to. So I didn't make the call.

We're a family. We're learning to live together and love each other, through thick and thin. The bad days test our resolve, and dare I say, our love for one another. On the bad days, we go to bed, grateful the day is over, and pray for a more hopeful day to come.

And then we receive the answer to our prayers. A good day comes. We learn side by side and have great discussions about things that matter, and we're so thankful we're doing this, that our children are home with us for these talks, for these moments.

If you had a bad day, a better one's coming. It's like the waves on the sea. Bad days, good days, they all roll together to form our story, our homeschooling experience. I'm grateful for what the bad days show us and they ways they help us grow; I'm more thankful, though, for the good days!

Sharing with:
Women Living Well
Raising Homemakers
The Better Mom
Heavenly Homemakers



  1. Thanks for sharing Cheryl. It's wonderful to hear your heart to homeschool and your desire to look to Him as you walk through the difficult moments. This calling on your life is an exciting one and one that I know the Lord will bless as you continue to be faithful. :) I just started this year with my preschooler. I'm thankful that the Lord has opened the door for my family to take this journey.
    Blessings to you!

  2. It's true that we can't let a bad day or week change what God has instilled in our hearts...to keep them home with us. You are not alone. A couple of weeks ago we were having a challenging week, and the enemy was feeding my mind with defeated thoughts that I can't do this. Once I turned back to positive thoughts and leaned on Him, things got much better! Now we are having much better days, and we are productive and getting other things done too, not just school work. Just with any other task in life, not every day will be filled with roses and sweetness. There will be challenging weeks, perhaps even months. We just have to take ourselves back to WHY we chose this path...and then things come into clear focus and we remind ourselves: this is what I am called to do for His glory! :)

  3. Thank you for sharing your experiences. It is a thoughtful reminder to remember what is most important, especially on the worst of days... which I've had several of the last couple of weeks. And we are just getting started.

  4. Thanks for sharing. It is always nice to know that I am not alone in living in chaos :)