The Unexpected Homeschool Mom

It’s been an overwhelming time filled with scary news that has challenged our sense of security. Many of us are struggling to figure out our “new normal” when we don’t fully understand what next week or next month entails. One of the top concerns for women has been unexpectedly becoming a homeschool mom.

The sudden reality of going from career mom or work-at-home mom to teaching children at home can be overwhelming. Normal life has changed and we wonder if we are equipped for this season. Will we be able to homeschool our kids? Will they fall behind and do we have the skills and patience to carry out the task?

I felt that way once too during a personal crisis that compelled me to do something I thought I never would. My daughter suffered from severe separation anxiety and six weeks into the first grade her condition peaked. I had no choice but to pull her out of school. It was the bravest parenting decision I had ever made. We became a homeschooling family for five years.

I share this with you, mama, because I know the fearful and anxious emotions you might be experiencing right now. Please, take those feelings to God in prayer; He’s ready and waiting to listen and respond. The Holy Spirit also brings just the right scriptures to reset your perspective and to give you the courage and faith you need. Don’t you just love how God does that! When we allow Him to guide and direct our lives, He is faithful to lead us perfectly.

Bible verses for anxious times:

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Philippians 4:6 NLT

Always be joyful.  Never stop praying.  Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.  I Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.  2 Timothy 1:7 NLT

During my daughter’s educational crisis, God made a brand new pathway for us to walk upon…a new life I never dreamed possible. There is no doubt He will come and make a way for you too!

Here are some tips for you during this time when your kids are at home:
  1. Don’t stress out about the physical space of homeschooling or spend money redecorating and rearranging a room. An already existing space might be the best spot! The first year of homeschooling, I made a spare room into a schoolroom but we never felt comfortable there. We always migrated to the kitchen. It’s more natural to sit around the table learning, doing projects and engaging in meaningful conversations.
  2. One of my favorite parts of homeschooling is the flexibility. My husband is in law enforcement and his schedule is anything but normal. Being able to arrange the school schedule around his meant my daughter could have valuable time with her dad. Don’t be afraid to adapt your schooling to fit your family’s specific needs. That’s the beauty of homeschooling.
  3. Hands on learning has saved my sanity many times. My daughter is active and she learns best when she is doing a project or playing games that incorporate the concepts we are studying. It’s as simple as turning a math lesson into measuring ingredients for a recipe, building Legos or creating a pretend store with play money. Find ways to take the lessons and turn them into an experience. Plus, it will help with the boredom blues of the stay home stay safe…it’s like getting two for one!
  4. Give yourself and your children grace. We are all living in an unfamiliar time that might leave us feeling anxious or scared. Now’s the time to sit with your kids, snuggle on the couch and have good conversations. Read aloud to them or take turns reading. Select uplifting books or read Bible stories. Make connection your priority. Connecting with your children will bring a great reward to both you and your kids.
  5. Start each school day by inviting God to join you. Ask Him for guidance and to bring peace and joy into the homeschool day. It really makes a difference. On days when things have gone wrong, I often noticed that was a day I forgot to start out in prayer. God is always willing to help us, but we must remember to ask.

Live Courageously,
JJ Gutierrez

Continue to pray with your Moms in Prayer group through the rest of the school year, on the phone or online!  If you haven’t joined a Moms in Prayer group yet, now is the time!

JJ Gutierrez is a corporate career woman turned homeschool mom, author, speaker and soon to be podcaster. Purchase JJ’s new book, Chickening IN- from FEAR to Courageous FAITH and find out more about her ministry Chickening IN.  She has been married for 24 years and has three girls, two adult daughters and 10-year-old Hope, the mastermind behind Chickening IN. JJ has a passion for seeing women grow in courage and faith, and you can often find her starting new small group ministries. She loves her German Shepherd, Bella, and most days you’ll find her sipping a glass of freshly brewed ice tea.
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