Pressing the Restart Button
Have you ever felt like you needed to restart your day? I have.
an opportunity to reassure your child of his value in Jesus Christ (Luke 12:6-7).
Feeling like a failure, I sat on the floor drenching myself in tears. I didn’t know it then, but this was the pivotal moment in our homeschool.
It was only a few years after I started homeschooling. I was filled with the insecurity of not knowing how to help my child, not knowing if my love was enough, and not knowing if I was making the right choices for my daughter. It wasn’t the fact that she could have died within days of being born had she not endured a heart surgery. It wasn’t the hardship she faced when walking and navigating stairs. It wasn’t the eye surgery she experienced when she was four. It was the sinking feeling of not having the education and training in order to help my child when she faced challenges with processing, mathematical reasoning, and fine-motor coordination when she studied . . . so I thought.
Trying to view my computer screen through the distortion of tears, I began scrolling through the possibilities of special schools and outside expertise.
But one night, something miraculous happened. As I kissed my daughter goodnight, my tears turned from earthly saltwater to cries for God’s help. Almost immediately, fear washed over my body, but not because of my insecurities nor my child’s struggles. For a second, I was confused about where this new fear was coming from. Then it became crystal clear: I was fearful for my child doubting her worth in God should I send her to a special program or a school that segregated her into a special group!
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:14, NIV)
I started reviewing our homeschool experience. I remembered how we had already witnessed our daughter become keenly aware of her differences and start doubting her value when she attended kindergarten. When my husband and I decided to homeschool her, we continuously surrounded her with our ever-present love and care. My daughter and I delved into study of science, history, reading, and even math from a biblical perspective while working hard at instilling biblical truths. We had conversations about dilemmas and resolutions. And we discussed how faith, compassion, and love can bring us through difficult times. We would often talk about how she positively impacted the lives of those around her through every step of her life. Throughout our time together homeschooling, my daughter felt the reaffirmation of her worth as her love and faith grew.
This reflection left no question in my mind. We had to keep homeschooling!
Now that our direction was clear, I needed to gain wisdom on how to forge the way forward.
I contemplated our studies in science and the specific ways God designed each element of his creation to provide for itself and survive. I thought about the African lungfish’s response to a dried-up habitat. He tunnels underground and surrounds himself with a leathery enclosure that allows enough air flow to breath—no water required. I contemplated about how zebras run back and forth, crossing each other’s paths, blending their stripy coats together to confuse their predators. I considered how the camel’s hump provides it with sustenance during long, dry expeditions. Knowing God takes great care to meet the needs of his creation, we can be confident that he cares for us too.
Then I thought about how, throughout many stories in the Bible, God called on many people who were unequipped for the tasks he would give them. He would then help those who answered his call, providing them with wisdom and strength at the exact moment of need. I had to trust that as my husband and I searched, God would bring the right counsel alongside us and impart us with the wisdom to discern what would work best for our child.
Each time we faced an unknown in how to best help our child, we reached out for advice on how to move forward. We concluded that slowing down her learning pace would help tremendously. And for a season, we gleaned from the help and training of an occupational therapist. We gained confidence as we met and conquered each obstacle, feeling encouraged to keep persevering through each year of homeschooling. We were continually filled with peace, knowing in our hearts that the time we get to spend together with our daughter, holding her hand and meeting her needs, would continue to bless all three of us every step of the way.
My daughter recently celebrated her 20th birthday, and I can only be filled with gratefulness that I had the time to nurture her heart and surround her with love. Along the way, we could see her refine a special God-given talent. My daughter spent months editing my book and continually edits my other work. She completed her first novel at age 18 and continually uses her gift in writing. I have full confidence that God will continue to use her story, her strengths, and the very way she was created. May she continue to glorify God in her work.
Lo and behold, my story does not end with my daughter. God knew that, over the years of homeschooling, we would travel over many peaks and valleys. I have had the opportunity to help one of my children further her interests in becoming a military pilot (a field in which I had no expertise). I have had the opportunity to help another one of my children persevere in his reading and spelling even though he faces the insecurities of dyslexia. And last year, my family had the opportunity to move in with my mom for a time to help her as she healed from a fall. Through each season, I remain content, knowing that our hearts continue to grow as we walk this journey together.
Homeschooling is intertwining love with education, learning with everyday life.
Whether you are experiencing a difficult season or a season filled with excitement, I pray that the stories I share will help you feel equipped, encouraged, thankful, and faith filled.
May you feel at peace and find light in every season. May you be filled with gratefulness for the blessings that come through homeschooling: growth and togetherness.
What people are saying about INSPIRATIONAL HOMESCHOOLING
One of the main obstacles homeschooling families have is struggling to balance academics with home life. Inspirational Homeschooling by Yvonne Strachan gives many solutions, practical tips, and Scriptural support for not only homeschooling, but everything that goes on in your home. From meal planning to budgeting to marital counsel to disciplining and discipling children, this is a comprehensive guidebook that brings clarity to everything related to home life. Included is a huge amount of material covering every aspect of homeschooling as well. From early learning to higher education, from learning styles to daily schedules, from transcripts to scholarships to building a spiritual life for the future, there is no stone unturned in this extensive guide. I found Inspirational Homeschooling to be very insightful, purposeful, and supportive with its plentiful advice and practical wisdom. Although I have been homeschooling for over 25 years, I found new treasures within these pages. Inspirational Homeschooling truly was “inspirational.”
–Deborah Wuehler, Senior Editor, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine
"This book is truly inspirational! I highly recommend this book to all new homeschoolers and to veteran homeschoolers as well! Even the Acknowledgements are inspirational and each chapter helps the reader draw closer to God, spouse and children, building relationships and creating opportunities for discipleship through the faith-filled journey of homeschooling. The author is incredibly transparent, sharing her personal struggles and victories, and giving a clear picture of what homeschooling looks like. There are practical helps for college prep, the high school years, preparing transcripts, and homeschooling a child with special needs. As a veteran homeschooler myself, with 12 children ranging from 6 to 26, I have read many books on homeschooling. This book is by far the most inspirational and helpful book that I have read on this topic!"
-Kimberly Probst, MA, homeschool program director, Front Range Christian School, Littleton, CO
(read the review on goodreads)
"I highly, highly recommend the book, Inspirational Homeschooling by Yvonne Strachan. I read at least a book a month, mostly on Christian living, homeschooling, and parenting. I firmly believe she has just published the definitive book on homeschooling for this decade! I have moved it to the top of my recommended books for when I teach homeschooling seminars because it is that good! Managing your home, having a great marriage, appropriate discipline, finding time for nurturing your own soul, and homeschooling your children through the marathon to high school graduation are all addressed, and even more!"
-Shari McMinn, Author, Editor, Public Speaker at ShariMcMinn.com. Advertising Manager at Christian Home Educators of Colorado
(read the review on Amazon)
Fantastic book of practical tips and priceless information. This book not only helps you develop routines for homeschool it also helps with every other aspect of family life. The true life experiences poured into the pages are such an encouragement and the author offers so much knowledge. Definitely a book that will be read and re-read many times in my home over the years! Highly recommend.
"This book is overflowing with inspiration, guidance, and relevant anecdotes. This one stop book has information on finding the methods and curriculum that best fit your child's needs, self-care for you, record keeping, organizing, all the way to meal planning! What a gold mine resource! As I turn the pages and read the words, I'm motivated and comforted to know I'm not in this alone. What a blessing!"
"This book really covers the whole gamut of homeschooling life. It starts with building a sure foundation and covers topics like organizing, clutter control, discipline, family time, marriage, high school, and much more!
I have to say this book is lovely (and big! 430 pages). Its packed with really practical helps for moms in your day to day life. She is incredibly honest and doesn’t try to portray that she has a “perfect” life as a homeschooling family. I don’t know about you but I love encouragement for moms that doesn’t make me feel like a failure.
She’s very helpful in ideas for implementing a homeschool routine (not schedule) and gives you lots of suggestions for what works in her life.
One thing I absolutely love is the focus on Jesus and his work in your..." Read more of Jenny's review on her blog post on the "Our Inconvenient Family" website here.
As a fully integrated part of everyday living, homeschooling can be affected by or have an impact on every aspect of life. As a homeschool parent, it is easy to feel overwhelmed or ineffective as you try to blend homeschooling with everyday responsibilities and commitments.
In Inspirational Homeschooling: The Christian Homeschooling Guide to Balancing Academics and Family Life, Yvonne Strachan offers guidance that will revitalize your soul, realign your focus, inspire confidence, and move you to action. Her compassion, loving support, and personal stories will reassure you that are not alone in your determination to keep going in the face of challenges as you strive to make a difference in the lives of your children. The resources and guidance throughout this book will give you confidence as you manage various aspects of homeschooling and daily life including:
Taking care of yourself and your family
Managing responsibilities, commitments, and schedules
Adapting your teaching methods to your children’s individual learning styles
Facilitating the success of a child experiencing learning difficulties
Teaching high school and documenting your teenager’s education
Combine these elements with the biblical scripture and thought-provoking questions contained inside, and you will find an abundance of joy and inspiration to fulfill God’s purpose for you in the education of your child!