This post is part of my #write31days series about being an unlikely homeschooler. Be sure to follow along with the entire series by checking out the main page here.
Did you have chore charts or cleaning routines in your home growing up? In my family, we didn’t have either of these, and other than being in charge of my laundry when I was older, I didn’t have daily tasks that I had to do.
But, what we did have was Saturday morning cleaning. Ughh. I still remember how much I hated it, especially dusting! My mom was a busy, working mom juggling so many different things, and my sister and I were always going here or there with extracurricular activities during the week. So, for our family Saturday morning cleaning was what fit us best. But like I said, I hated it!
One habit I had during those days was to take whatever was laying around my room that needed to be picked up and cram it under my bed. It was a quick and easy solution to the visible mess in my room. But the mess was still there, just hiding.
I took horrible cleaning habits with me to college, and my wonderful and incredibly patient college roomates/BFFs recall a time when I pretty much told them that I wasn’t going to clean. I didn’t care if the apartment was a mess, so if they wanted it clean they would have to do it themselves. (Why they remained friends with me and are still my best friends to this day is nothing short of God’s grace and mercy to me! They should have kicked me to the curb way back then!) And, I won’t even go into the issue with my clothes, other than to say I’ve made great strides in not making my bed my closet anymore! I’ve seen much grace given to me in that area! But, it can still be a struggle sometimes. #iamstillaworkinprogress
For as long as I can remember I’ve been one who does not love cleaning. A messy and cluttery existence doesn’t bother me for a really long time. Though I like the idea of being organized, it just seems like a whole lot of work and I don’t mind the mess. (More on how my character flaws make me an incredibly unlikely homeschooler later this week.)
I’m not a picture of what immediately comes to my mind when I think of what an awesome homeschool mom is. I am definitely tempted to imagine she’s a mom who has got it all together. Organization is her favorite pastime. Chore charts are her love language. And there is always a place for everything and you best believe that everything is put beautifully in it’s place by the end of the day! She’s got the home care part down pat, so of course she’s well prepared to keep her homeschool organized and running top notch!
But I’m not that mom. Not even close.
For someone who is already a bit, shall we say, domestically challenged, the thought of taking on the responsibility of educating my kids when I can’t consistently keep my room clean seemed like less than a good idea.
How can I organize all their work and keep it together when I can’t keep my clothes organized in my dresser and closet?
How can I plan (and stick to the plan) for our homeschool day when I can’t even plan to switch the clothes from the washer to the dryer before having to start them again?
How can I possibly think I can stay on top of what my kids are learning and need to learn when I cannot stay on top of the duties and responsibilities in my home?
I had some major hesitations about starting this homeschooling journey when I stopped and considered all of this. I’m a mess, in so many ways, a mess. How could I add in homeschooling?!?
Do you want to know what I have learned about all this in my 5 years of homeschooling? Being neat and organized or being cluttered and a mess does not make or break you as a homeschool mom. Either person can be an incredibly awesome homeschool mom, because it’s not what’s on the outside that counts, but what’s on the inside that matters. I used to cram all sorts of stuff under my bed to “clean up” my room, but it wasn’t actually clean at all! Looks can always be deceiving! We all have our own “messes” in spite of what we see from the outside, so don’t live in or believe the lie that you must live a certain way, act a certain way, or be a certain way to pursue homeschooling. (Or have to have the perfect homeschool space, the perfect chore carts set up, and a perfectly tidy home all the time!) It’s what’s at the heart level that is always most important. And though I know there are some incredibly awesome, super organized, tidy homeschooling moms out there, those qualities are not what make an awesome homeschool mom an awesome homeschool mom.
Awesome homeschool moms show up, day in and day out. They faithfully love their kids and do their absolute best for them. They are diligent to accomplish the tasks that are necessary for that day’s lessons, but they don’t do it bulldozer style neglecting the heart of their child. Awesome homeschool moms are trying everyday to give their kids the best education that they can, and sometimes the scene they do that it in is a little more cluttered and messy than is desired.
Yes, I am a mess, but that doesn’t disqualify me or anyone else from pursuing homeschooling. I will always take strides to be faithful to what God has entrusted to me (including caring for my home!), and try to be better today than I was yesterday. But give yourself grace, friend. God sees your heart, all of your inside and outside messes, and through Christ He loves His children just the same. His mercy is new everyday, and everyday we have a chance to embrace His grace and love and trust Him to help us be faithful to the tasks at hand.
So go be faithful! I’m going to go put away some clothes…