My Upstream Learner

This year we embarked on our second year of homeschooling, and I am slowly feeling more confident and settled in with this new way of life. This was a tough decision for my husband, Jason, and I and was definitely something we did not take lightly.

Jason and I have been married for 13 years and have two boys, Jonathan, 9, and Jacob, 7. The biggest reason this decision was so difficult for us was because of the services Jacob was receiving at school. He was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 3, and from that time up until last September 2019, he had been receiving services through the school district in some form or another.

When Jason and I started talking about homeschooling in August of last year, that was the one thing that we kept going back to that made the decision so difficult. We knew God was calling us to switch to homeschooling but to be completely honest, I was really nervous about what that unknown looked like with Jacob not receiving those services anymore. It kind of felt like a safety net for him and me, and it was terrifying to think about cutting those cords and losing what he had in place. But we both knew that God was calling us to make this change, and we took the leap of faith and put all our trust in God. Ultimately, we knew we needed to be obedient to God’s will.

Fast forward one year, and we are so happy we decided to homeschool – for so many reasons. Jacob is doing so well and continuing to thrive.

Over the past 9 years, I am learned that in motherhood, complete transparency is so important. Learning that other moms are going through the trenches and have the same challenges and demands that I face has kept me sane and continues to take the weight and burden of feeling like a failure off my shoulders. Every day is not rainbows and sunshine. To be honest, most days are challenging. I am constantly questioning my ability and asking God if I am enough. I dread starting school most days because I know I will get a lot of push back from Jacob. It takes a good ten minutes to get him to the table, and then I am constantly trying to find new fun ways to get him excited and engaged to even start on his assignments. What works one day usually doesn’t work the next. On good days, I’ve also learned that I have about 20 minutes blocks where he will cooperate and be attentive. For some subjects, like reading and math, he will easily get so frustrated, and he is the only one that can pull himself out of that ‘mood,’ and it doesn’t matter what I do or don’t do. I also have to redirect him about 48 times throughout the school day. My patience is constantly being tested on a daily, even hourly, basis.

Regardless if your child has been formally diagnosed or not, please know that you are not alone in this journey. Many other moms, and dads, are experiencing very similar things, and we’re all on this emotional roller coaster together. Please be encouraged to know that God didn’t make a mistake. He called you down this path that not every parent can or is willing to journey on, and that does not go unnoticed. He sees you, in the trenches, sometimes crying with frustration, and He is right there with you to help guide you…all you need to do is ask for His help. From what I have learned this past year, He doesn’t let anything go to waste and will always bless your time spent homeschooling your children. For us, seeing Jacob’s heart more and his little personality continuing to shine has been one of the sweetest gifts of this journey.

We are all in this together, and please know that we are here to rally around you to encourage you and pray for you.

Lots of Love,

Sarah Talbot

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