Twenty Years of Home Schooling
- Mike Farris, Esq. President of Patrick Henry College
- 2001 12 Aug
As most of you know I host a daily radio program entitled Home School Heartbeat. One of my favorite series was the week that I interviewed my wife, Vickie. As we begin our twentieth year of home schooling, I thought it might be encouraging for you to hear what keeps Vickie motivated and encouraged. I pray that the following excerpts from our interviews will be a blessing to you.
Vickie, what has kept you going through 19 years of home schoolingyouve got 10 kids, youre wife to a very busy husband how do you do it?
First of all, Ive tried to really focus on Gods truth instead of my feelings throughout all of this. Ive clung to God in faith and determined to believe what He says.
For example, when I feel like the kids are just making no progress, I try to remember Galatians 6:9 which says, And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.
When Im feeling totally exhausted and ready to give up, I remember Isaiah 40:31, Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength, they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.
When Im feeling like Im missing out on life because Im just staying at home with babies, teaching little ones, then I remember Psalm 84:11 which says, For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory. No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. So I try to just keep Gods truth in my mind.
Vickie, I know that a lot of home-schooling moms sometimes just feel overwhelmed, that they have more to do than they can possibly do. In addition to relying on the scripture you just shared, what else do you rely on to make sure that you can keep going through all that you have to do?
Well, another thing that keeps me going is a vision of what God is going to do through my children as they get older. I have imagined them as adults, walking with the Lord, being used by Him, and raising their own godly families. So, I look towards the future a lot, especially on the bad days.
Another thing Ive done is collect quotes to remind myself of how important it is to be a mother. Elisabeth Elliot has a wonderful quote. She says, None of the gifts of my own life, not my career, or my work, or any other gift is higher or more precious to me than that of being someones mother. We need to remember that what were doing is one of the highest and most important jobs that a woman can do.
Vickie, I feel like youre little more than halfway through with your home schooling. Weve done it for 19 years now and our youngest is still a pre-schooler. What do you suggest to make life easier for busy home-school moms?
I would say to just try to be a little easier on yourself. A lot of home-school moms push themselves too hard. Dont be a perfectionist. Just in our family, we use paper plates for dinner at night. Sometimes the dinner hour gets so busy, and after a long day of home schooling youre exhausted, and it just makes life a little easier. I dont give baths to the kids every night like I used to anymore. Ive tried to get the kids to do a little more of the work themselves.
Another thing Id say is this: Try not to take on too many outside things; cut back on what youre doing if youre getting stressed out. Try to take a little time for yourself each day, go for a walk, read a little, take a bath, whatever.
Vickie Farris is the mother of 10 children, a 19-year home-schooling veteran, and the wife of Home School Legal Defense Association chairman Mike Farris. Vickie and daughter Jayme authored the book A Mom Just Like You.