You’ll also need to take care of yourself. Author and homeschooling mother of nine Elizabeth Foss reminds us: “It is not ‘laying down your life for your child’ when you skip meals, skip sleep, skip exercise, skip showers, and skip private time for prayer. It’s suicide. You have to put on your oxygen mask before you can help them with theirs. Took me nine babies to learn that.” Took me eight, and now my daily prayer time, workout routine, and better eating habits are non-negotiables. This has changed my life.

Sit down with your husband and ask him what he thinks your priorities should be, and record daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals on paper. Where are you going with your preschooler? What’s your main reason for keeping that little person at home? What are the absolutes in your homeschool, and what can you set aside for another season—or skip entirely? What else is on your plate? The truth about homeschooling is that while you’re concentrating on helping your preschooler develop fine motor skills, teaching her to follow directions, memorizing Bible verses with her, and taking nature walks, there is still laundry to be done, meals to make, and messes to clean up. I learned early on (thankfully) to ask my husband to help me prioritize. It changed my life. 

Pray. A lot. Ask God what He wants you to teach your preschooler. He is faithful, and He will help you to navigate the copious curriculum catalogs, convention vendor halls, and well-meaning fellow homeschoolers. When I finally learned to put all those things aside until after I had laid my preschoolers before the Lord in prayer, it changed my life.

These days, there are two very busy preschooler boys in my home, as well as six other students covering everything from college coursework to multiplication tables. Life is complicated and noisy and messy and nuts! Maybe even—dare I say it . . . schizophrenic? 

Keeping that firstborn home for preschool was just the beginning of our journey, and it very well may be the beginning of yours too. May God bless you tremendously as you endeavor to honor the Lord in your homeschool, and may it truly change your life!

Kendra Fletcher is the homeschooling mother of eight, aged 17 down to 2. She has never known what it means to homeschool without the presence of preschoolers and loves to encourage other moms who are beginning their homeschool journeys with little ones underfoot. Her website and blog can be found at www.PreschoolersandPeace.com.

Publication date: August 3, 2012