A while back now, I came across Amy Puetz’s website. Wow! What a wealth of information and resources! I especially love this collection of history resource links. Amy has channeled her love of history into numerous writing projects, including the book, Uncover Exciting History – Revealing America’s Christian Heritage in Short, Easy-to-Read Nuggets, which I recently read and enjoyed. (Amy has graciously set up a discount code for Pajama School blog readers so that you can receive a 20% discount when you order her book. Just enter the code: UEH when you checkout at her site!) Amy also has a heart for encouraging homeschool families, so I am pleased to post here today a special article she wrote to encourage homeschool moms.
A Lasting Inheritance
by Amy Puetz
“When I go to school, I’m overwhelmed,” an outgoing high school girl said to me one Sunday. “Usually I’m okay, but sometimes it just hits me how much garbage I see and hear every day.” I looked at her sympathetically. This conversation took place after church, when I welcomed a young lady who was visiting. She looked at least twenty years old, so I was surprised when she told me she was a junior in high school. Within a few moments of talking, this sweet girl had tears in her eyes as she shared the story of what life was like at school. Words like battleground and attacks kept coming up as she explained how her faith was undermined by her peers. She and I hit it off immediately, and I tried to encourage her to keep the faith.
How many people, including adults, could go through 7-8 hours of brain washing everyday for 12 years and come out unscathed? Put on top of all that the influences of peers who shape a student’s perspective of the world and of themselves. How my heart aches for these precious children who are thrown into a battle that they are not equipped to fight.
Many parents have chosen to homeschool their children rather than send them into the halls of ungodly schools. The blessings of homeschooling are many. Unfortunately, the blessings do not come easily, and as homeschool parents will testify, it is hard work. Most homeschools are taught by the mom, and there are days when she will be overwhelmed, frustrated, and irritable. Hang in there! Mothers are probably the most overworked, under-appreciated people in the world. With love and kindness, they cook, clean, organize, run errands, teach, advise, supervise, and juggle a hundred different jobs.
As a single gal, I love to watch my friends move into the role of motherhood. Seeing my friends struggle with the feeling of being overwhelmed, I’ve realized for the first time how difficult being a mother is. I want to take a few minutes to say “thank you” to all the wonderful mothers out there. You may be running low on energy and feeling inadequate, but I want you to know that what you are doing is important, and someday your children will appreciate the sacrifices you are making. I am so grateful to my mother, for the love and time she invested in my life. Your children will have the same kind of gratitude towards you someday, too. Please know that even if you are not getting the pats on the back that a “career” woman might get, God sees what you are doing, and the way you are giving yourself to your family. He will reward you with greater gifts than any human accolade.
May God bless you, dear mothers! You are impacting the world in ways you may never know. Please do not grow faint hearted. As a homeschool graduate I want to say “keep pressing on!” I’m so glad my mom didn’t give up when my sisters and I were far from angelic. When Mom was really stressed, we always knew it because she would wear a T-shirt that had a picture of a frazzled smiley face with large eyes, and the word “stressed” written under it in big letters. Children cannot comprehend the huge responsibility of parenting. Someday they will understand, but for now, please keep up the good work. You are important, and are fulfilling a meaningful job.
Although you know you are doing valuable work, there will be days when you must feel overwhelmed. It would be silly for me to offer some practical advice about how to overcome the feeling of inadequacy. I’ve never been there, but I do know that relying on God to fill in our deficiencies is critical. “Where God guides, He provides” is an old saying that rings true. Since God has led you on the journey of homeschooling, He will provide the strength and wisdom to get you through.
There are many blessings that result from a family’s faithfulness in teaching their children the ways of the Lord at home. Strong family bonds would be at the top of my list. When my family began homeschooling I was in the 8th grade, and we immediately began to experience a closeness that we had never known before. It was amazing to spend time with my sisters and mom.
During this time I discovered that my mom could be fun! One time while we were preparing to do a history lesson, we gathered around Mom on the couch. My older sister asked, “Mom, what are we going to study today?”
“We are going to study about Napoleon and his defeat at Waterloo,” she replied. We could not stay on task, and began to talk with each other before the class even began. To get our attention, Mom lifted her feet in the air and said, “Napoleon faced de feet!” Laughing, my sisters and I settled down to begin our lesson.
Homeschooling also offers a flexibility that adapts to difficult situations. During my last years of high school, I began experiencing severe health problems, which made study difficult. At times I could not even comprehend simple math problems that had always been easy before. Since we homeschooled, I was able to work at my own pace and rest when I needed a break.
Another blessing is the spiritual growth that a family enjoys. A homeschool family does not have to deal with the negative influences that are so prevalent in traditional schools, and they are free to spend more time growing spiritually. Character development and Bible study can easily become part of the daily curriculum. This course of study will have a lasting impact on students and determine their path through life.
Homeschooling is hard, which is why I personally want to encourage you to stay the course. As a homeschool graduate, I’m so thankful that my parents taught me at home. The education I received at the feet of my parents has given me a stronger relationship with God and my family. It has also provided the foundation on which to build a meaningful life. Your experiences will be different from mine, but God will always be the same. When a family homeschools, they are making an investment that will be a lasting inheritance to their children–and, in a bigger scope, to the world.
© 2010 Amy Puetz, www.AmyPuetz.com
Amy Puetz (pronounced Pitts) is a homeschool graduate, a self-taught historian, and a servant of Jesus Christ. History has been a passion for her since childhood. Years of in-depth study (both in modern and old sources) have equipped her to write history-related books. Amy Puetz is the author of Uncover Exciting History: Revealing America’s Christian Heritage in Short, Easy-to-Read Nuggets and Countdown to Christmas: Memory Making Stories and Activities for Every Day from December 1st to the 25th. As a columnist for Home School Enrichment Magazine she shares stories about historical events from a Christian worldview. She especially loves to dig for little-known stories that show God’s providential hand. Because of a chronic illness (fibromyalgia) that limits what she can do, the Lord led her to start an online business which she can do from home.