The Pit Hours

"Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved" (Psalm 55:22).

The toughest time of the day for homeschool moms of young children has to be from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For some reason, God chooses to give children a second wind after supper, but He forgets to include the moms. We have to collect the pieces of a long homeschooling day that lie strewn throughout the house and also give baths, read nighttime stories, and put the children to bed. With our energy levels already running on empty, all of this work seems like a formidable, medieval castle. Where are our knights in shining armor to rescue us?

Praise God, my knight was my wonderful husband. He developed a system that knocked down these chores with one swift blow. While I cleaned the kitchen after supper, he managed the bath time, pajamas, and book reading. Together, we would both be finished in time to tuck each child into bed with prayers and kisses. Without my husband's loving help, I'm sure the dragons of homeschool discouragement would have eaten me alive.

Are you facing the nighttime dragons of homeschool despair? If so, ask God to send you the help you need. If your husband isn't available to help, perhaps there is another family member who can help you face this time of the day with courage — grandparents, older children, others? God knows you need extra strength. He will redeem you from the pit and send the knight you need. "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness" (Isaiah 41:10).

Jesus, I'm so tired! Please, help me to find the strength I need to finish all that needs to be done. I trust You for the provision I need today. In Your name, Amen.

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Comments(16 comments)

SUSAN C 11/25/2009 12:22:49

The hardest thing about homeschooling, for me at least, has never been about the actual schooling! It's the unending work that sometimes threatens to do me in. Thanks for these wonderful devotionals, because they strengthen and encourage me on a daily basis!

ANJI G 11/23/2010 04:23:19

I agree with Susan C. The most difficult for me and most challenging is staying on track and keeping a balance where we lose track of our original vision on why we are homeschooling!

Thanks for the RSS feeds on AOP homeschooling and the devotionals

FRANCES B 11/23/2010 04:50:34

My husband IS the knight of the night time routine. I'm the one with the problem. Am I lazy or is this just over my head? I've got one Kindergardener and one 1st grader and I'm so not doing the work. I got to "Day 46" of our curriculum and I've slowed just short of a complete stop. I mean rooted in the muck.

We find chores and field trips and when we don't have that to do...we play. Not always together. I look at the kids in school and think, well, you know....

My school room is unorganized, juggling two curriculums; My Father's World is good and my boys learn from it, but it does not teach multiple ages until after 1st grade. I am not a teacher at heart.... I'm becoming desperate. My husband wants to be supportive and I think he knows I'm on the verge of giving's only the thought of my precious boys in the hands of state curriculum and indoctrination that keeps me from doing it.

SHARON C 11/23/2010 05:51:13

First of all to Frances B - HANG IN THERE. Remember - what they learn in kindergarten and first grade is just the basics, if they end the year able to read and do basic math you have done what you need to do. If there is stuff in your curriculum that does not appeal, skip it! (I'm a teacher and I know that even teachers do that at times - being careful, of course, not to skip anything that could be considered 'core'.) You SHOULD play, that should be a BIG part of the learning that takes place at that age. When my children were that young we essentially 'unschooled' - I provided a RICHLY educational environment, and the learning occurred naturally, without a curriculum. We did not start 'formal curriculum' until much later. Now, granted, now that they are older, and now that I have several more on board, we are MUCH more structured. But PLEASE do not forget the value of PLAY - especially you playing with them. They can learn SO much from that!! There is more to learning than 'please open your science book to page 42' - and as homeschooling moms we are in the BEST position to provide the BEST kind of education, passing our values on to the next generation. Please don't give up!! Write to me - I'll mentor you!!

NOW, that said - I want to also comment on the devotional. : )

If your children are old enough to BE homeschooled, they are old enough to help with the chores that take place in the home. Picking up the house, getting themselves ready (mostly) for bed, etc. Obviously having a husband's help is WONDERFUL, and I am fortunate enough to have that. But there are some out there who do not, and I just want to encourage them to use the resource that is there: the kids! Also, nightly baths is a revolution of the last 10 -15 years and it is brought about by the soap manufacturers, who quite simply, want to sell more soap!! They were effectively able to more than double their sales simply by getting Americans to bathe their children daily. When I was a child we bathed once a week, MAYBE twice. Obviously, if the kids are out getting sweaty and dirty, baths are needed, but a bath just for a bath's sake is a waste of time, energy, natural resources, and it actually dries the skin out (I know, because I have severe excema, and two children with it too, and we are advised against daily bathing!) So, simplify your life, too, that will help too.

That said, I also want to thank my wonderful husband for being my KNIGHT in SHINING armor. I did not even realize that this is such a tough time for so many homeschool moms, because he has always been the bedtime king at our house. Some times I even feel guilty for not taking part in that part of my kids' days. He handles it so nicely (better than me) and he likes the opportunity to touch bases with the kids at the end of the day. I never realized how much I NEEDED that break, till I read this article, because he has just always done it. But it's true, I am usually pretty wiped out by the end of the day, especially when my special-needs boy has had a bad day. Thank GOD (honestly!) for a wonderful husband!!

And thank YOU for wonderful devotionals.

S S 11/23/2010 05:52:14

Hi Frances, Hang in there! I've been struggling too and my heart goes out ot you! It sounds like you are being too hard on yourself! K and 1st grade don't have to be so hard! You don't have to do everything in the curriculum! Choose your priorities. I have a 4th grader, 1st grader, 3 year old and 1 year old. In K and 1st my priorities were reading and math (Love Horizons!) We read lots of stories, kept puzzles and playdough out and let them play. I keep trying to make it harder but have to keep cutting stuff out to stay sane.

I've been reading blogs from other homeschool moms and it's helping me so much with my attitute and motivation. Yesterday I stumbled into two blogs that have encouraged me so much and With four kids I don't have a lot of time for playing around on the computer but I'm glad I did yesterday because I'm energized from seeing that I'm not alone or the only one that struggles with trying to keep all the balls in the air. These ladies and many others have opened their hearts and lives in their blogs and it's been very encouraging to me! I'll be praying for you today! Pick your priorities and give yourself a break!

SUSAN M 11/23/2010 06:02:06

Hey Frances, I have homeschooled seven children so far. I remember sitting on the steps of my porch with my head in my hands crying when I had a 7 year old, a 5 year old, and a 3 year old with another on the way. You can do it. It is done in obedience and one day at a time. You don't have yesterday now forget those things that are behind and reach forth to today.

I just wanted you to know that right now those boys of mine are 20, 18, and 16. Two of them are in college and doing very well. My 16 year old is a joy as I continue to homeschool the other children the Lord has given my husband and I. Be faithful to what the Lord and your husband have told you to do and He will bless your efforts.

You do not have to be Perfect Polly but you do have to do something. (Well, in most states you do ....and we should obey the law...some states don't require formal schooling until age seven). Focus on the basics with kids that age. Do some Math and Phonics and handwriting each day and read to them from "living" books to weave in history, science, and life skills.

Everyday is new and God will bless your effort to just do the basics. The righteous man (or mom) falls seven times and gets back up again.

CINDY F 11/23/2010 08:49:00

Thank you ladies for your encouragement, I struggle with getting the household stuff done too. I not only homeschool but I am a RN and work 5 evening shifts every 2 weeks. It can be daunting, I love the homeschool part of my life, I struggle with keeping up with paying the bills, getting ready for thanksgiving and all the extra stuff that is in our daily life. My husband does not help with school and he works so much that he does not help with the children at bedtime unless I am at work. It is tough but I know that this is what the Lord wants me to do, I just get so tired some days. I want my children to love the Lord with all their heart, soul and mind all the days of their life and this is a great beginning.

Cindy F

FRANCES B 11/23/2010 15:08:15

Thank You Ladies. Your advice eases my mind. I need to ask Jesus to lift me up and give me strength. I will promise myself to do reading, writing and arithmatic tomorrow and I know it will feel good. I am going to read to my boys right now. We just went to the library yesterday. May God bless and keep you all especially as the day of Thanksgiving approaches. May he bless you with peace and good will all week.

PAULA K 11/23/2011 04:36:08

I know this devotional is a year old, but the content is so timely! I feel so guilty about not doing more after dinner. I am just out of gas. My knight in shining armor DH puts them to bed and makes sure everything gets done at night. I do enlist the help of my children to do lots of chores, otherwise, I would probably be out of gas at 2 pm! Thank you for sharing this devotional. I am glad to not be the only one who struggles with this. Bless you!

BECKY P 11/23/2011 06:33:54

Wow this was a great Devotional to fall upon this morning. I'm currently homeschooling my preschooler and considering doing Sonlight next year as he enters K. It was great to read all the ladies posts of encouragement and seeing we all have the same struggles. Thanks so much and I'm looking forward to following this Devo!

STEPHEN T 11/23/2011 15:00:29

Pray for my strength yall. I'm a homeschool mom of three that lost her hubby & young son in a car accident a little over a year ago. God has been w us but life hasnt been easy. I have to shoulder all the jobs b/c I have no family near.

Thank you for this devotion. It is a blessing so often when I need a word of encouragement.

This comment is in my hubby's name. Mine is Christie.

TRISTA J 12/06/2011 00:31:45

Christie, I will pray for you. God\'s love to all of you ladies.

SANDI S 11/23/2012 05:00:17

Oh, Christie, I too will pray for you. I was a single parent for years, through no choice of my own, and the sheer exhaustion is magnified a hundredfold by grief. Let this Word from the LORD comfort you today:

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. Isaiah 40:11

KATHY S 11/23/2012 09:03:32

I have found that my 13 yr old son is my \"knight in shining armour.\"

He cannot do alot, but he does help me and he knows when to comfort me when I am sad.

So, being a single Mom also, God knew to bless me with my precious son to help me and be there for me always.

Thank you Jesus for my most precious gift ever!

LINDSEY G 11/25/2012 05:44:47

Christie, I\'m so sorry for your loss. I pray God will comfort and sustain you during this Christmas season. And I pray for all you single moms who are not only keeping up every aspect of family life, but also homeschooling, too! You\'re all making sacrifice upon sacrifice for your beautiful children and the Lord. I have so much respect for all of you. Blessings to you.

Beatrice Price 11/25/2014 11:50:42

This is how I feel! My hubby works out of town though, so it is just me and my 3 youngest kids (8, 12, and 14) plus an exchange student...Most times I end up leaving a good chunk of the work to finish when I get up...

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