You sit on the leather couch in your living room and pore over yet another math lesson. You can’t help but notice the scratches on the furniture peeking out from underneath the spiral-bound math book. The couch used to be in pristine condition. Before kids, that is.

A frown tugs at your lips as you mark a red “X” over yet another wrong answer. You thought your child understood this new math concept. His protests and complaints at your attempts to explain and his repeated eye rolling and claiming, “I already know,” certainly implied that he did.

You mark another answer as wrong, and then set your red pen down and take a moment to massage your forehead. Your children often refuse your help and give you attitude. All you wanted was a good education for them and a good relationship with them. But every day, your kids only seem to repay your late nights and hard work with eye rolls and ingratitude.

Is homeschooling even worth it? Your children certainly don’t seem to care if they go to traditional school or not. If they went to public school, you could go back to work and pursue your dream career—the one you put on hold when your first child was born—or you could have a little bit of “me time.” A wry smile quirks your lips. “Me time” has been a foreign concept for so long now.

I’m sure my mom had these thoughts countless times over the years as she stayed up late, night after night, grading and lesson planning, and praying for wisdom to teach us kids. I cringe when I think of the many ungrateful words that I spoke to my wonder woman of a mother. Without my parents’ sacrifices and hard work to homeschool me, I would not be the person that I am today.

To all you homeschool parents in the world, I want to say thank you. Thank you for your hours of sacrifice and work to educate your children. While your children may not yet understand the scope of what you have given, I pray that they one day will. Homeschooling your children is one of the greatest gifts that you can give them.

Homeschooling teaches so many valuable lessons and skills that your children will forever be able to use. Not only did being homeschooled enable me to meet my future spouse and cultivate a wonderful relationship with my family, but it also helped me develop my two most marketable skills in the workforce.

Flexibility and Multitasking

With two other children to homeschool, Mom often gave me the freedom to plan my own school day. Frequently, however, I was obligated to plan my school around our many extracurricular activities, several of which came up unexpectedly. Unfortunately, my response was often to complain, but looking back, I am grateful that there was never a dull moment. Learning how to be flexible and multitask in my schoolwork and extracurricular activities has enabled me to now be able to roll with the punches at work.

Self-Discipline and Prioritizing

One of the most common complaints of my public school friends was that they didn’t have time to complete their homework each night and sleep well. It was too easy to procrastinate at home after a long day of being at school. As a homeschooler, I fought a different battle.

No matter what happened in the day, my parents always expected me to complete my schoolwork correctly and on time. With our busy schedule, I quickly had to learn now to concentrate and finish my school in order to have time for everything else that I wanted to do. This skill of prioritizing has distinguished me in the workplace as a hard worker. My supervisors know that they can count on me to complete my daily tasks and that they can trust me with any additional projects.

Homeschool parent, in those moments when homeschooling doesn’t seem worth it anymore, I ask that you think of these skills, these gifts that you are teaching and giving to your children. Think back to the reasons why you started homeschooling in the first place and remember your sacrifice is worth it. Thank you for being wonder women and super men and for obeying God’s call to train up your children (Proverbs 22:6).

Copyright 2020, The Old Schoolhouse®. Used with permission. All rights reserved by the Author. Originally appeared in The Old Schoolhouse®Magazine, the trade publication for homeschool moms.

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Galaxy tights, brightly patterned socks, and a steaming cup of tea in her T Rex mug often accompany M. R. Shupp when she sits down to write. A homeschool graduate, M. R. earned her bachelor’s degree in English and a graduate certificate in editing to assist her in pursuing her passion for writing and editing.