Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

I suppose there are many reasons to homeschool, some more pressing than others. One of the most recent arguments I have heard is that homeschooling brings happiness.

Of all the reasons we have chosen to homeschool, happiness is not among them. Why; do we not want to be happy? Of course we do! But what happens when the momentary happiness is gone?

As much as we would all like to project the image of well-rounded kiddos, perfect houses, brilliant minds, and endless talents, the truth of the matter is there are days when life is just plain hard! Kids don’t always get along, the house can’t seem to stay clean, and life just keeps interfering with our well-laid plans.

If we homeschool because ‘it brings us happiness’, we run the risk of burn out during those moments which are less than cheerful.

Happy Boy

Don’t get me wrong, I often experience moments of happiness while learning with my children. Our family is, generally speaking, a happy one. That does not mean this is our reason for homeschooling.

We homeschool to have better relationships within our family, to disciple our children, to further their education, and to encourage a love of learning. Most importantly, we homeschool because this is what God called us to do.

Joy is a byproduct of a well lived life serving the Lord. I would pray each of us be filled with joy. However, I would caution anyone from pursuing homeschooling because they assume happiness and joy will naturally flow due to this choice of lifestyle.

Time to Chime In: Was happiness a motive when you were deciding whether or not to homeschool?

“You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” Psalm 16:11

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19 thoughts on “Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

  1. no happiness was not a motivator…lol!! If that was I probably would not have lasted. I think mine was because mainly I did not want my kids in public school and it got to a point where I could not afford private school. Now that’s not to say that I am not happy with my kids being home because I am and as you said generally we are a happy family too 😀 but that was not the biggest reason

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  2. Yes, my son was miserable in school and begging to homeschool… Not something this ADD mother ever thought she could do! My child’s happiness and knowing that I could do a better job with the reading and writing issues… And guess what, Happiness and getting back my son happened immediately!!!!! Seeing that it was a teaching disability and not a learning disability, cured everything…Yes, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done as a mother, but I wouldn’t change it for anything and what we’ve gained as a family is well worth any troubles to me…

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  3. Happiness did NOT factor into the decision to homeschool for me. In fact, I fought against that calling for a long time. I wanted to teach pre-school, but God had other plans. The early years of homeschooling were rough, but also laced with many good memories. The kids are thankful we homeschooled them, though, so that’s all that matters.

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  4. One precious result of homeschooling is getting to experience a whole range of emotions–happiness, sadness, anger, confusion, regret, anticipation–and to experience them as a family. Thanks for the thought-provoking post!

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  5. Happiness was not much of a factor in us deciding to home school, but it has certainly been a benefit. I’m not saying we’re sunshine and rainbows every moment of the day (because we’re certainly not), but our overall happiness as a family has definitely increased substantially. Of course, the start of our home school experience coincides with me leaving a full-time job that I had a really angry, grumpy response to, so that’s also a factor in the happiness increase. 🙂

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  6. Happiness wasn’t a motive, for us, either. And honestly, not something I wanted to do. But, the school system was severely failing my daughter – I couldn’t get her tested (ADHD and SPD) and there was no understanding from faculty of her issues. Also, she was being bullied, badly. One time she stood up for herself and wound up getting detention along with the boys who had her surrounded on the playground. Then, as the icing on this horrible cake, the teacher told my daughter she was “too young for science” (this, to the girl who wants to be a paleontologist). So, I pulled her out, knowing I could do a better job, and she could follow her passions. Overall, we’re happier, but we do have our moments 🙂

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  7. True happiness is eternal and comes from a true relationship and walk with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The happiness that comes through Jesus Christ and the lack of Him in school systems today is the #1 reason we chose to homeschool our children. We have tough times too, but when those come I simply try to remember the prayers of dedication that were said over our two babies when they were born. A dedication I believe is being fulfilled partially by homeschooling.

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  8. I truly, love, love, love this post AND I am praying for you and all the parents who homeschool. Many of my extended family do the very same thing because God called them to do it. There is a reason why God has done this and the condition of the world is only one of those reasons.
    I also love your distinction between happiness and joy. Happiness is a natural (in the flesh) emotion based upon our circumstances and don’t get me wrong, happiness is not a bad thing, but as you stated, it is not lasting.
    Joy on the other hand is a Fruit of the Spirit and it is one of the eternal attributes. It is not based upon circumstances but rather based upon our relationship with Christ Jesus and our Heavenly Father. Plus, it is a Fruit with SEEDS! It can be spread, it can be cultured as we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit! Not many people teach the distinction in this day and age which is sad in the sense that many are looking for that next emotional high, overlooking the deeply, lasting attribute of the spiritual Fruit of Joy.
    The power of joy can be gleaned from the book of Nehemiah 8:10, Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our LORD. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
    Many teach us that when we partake of the Lord’s joy we gain strength. But– few teach that the joy expressed is possessive. It is the Lord’s joy in us, that strengthens us. Not our joy in Him. This shows how great an attribute Joy truly is. If we follow the Lord’s example and can take joy in others, can you imagine the strength that imparts to those around us?
    Anyway, ’nuff said, I truly do get wordy!! It was a great lesson and I truly enjoy your posts. Am using this day to make the rounds to as many sites I support so will leave you with the knowledge that I truly am praying for you and yours as you continue in service to the Lord and your children as well as all of us who pass through your site!! God bless you richly and oh so abundantly!!! AMEN!!

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    • Thank you for taking the time to not only read this post, but to comment. Your encouragement is greatly appreciated. I pray this post encourages more families to dig into their Word and embrace the Lord’s will in their lives.

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  9. We started homeschooling, in part, to bring back the love of learning I saw diminishing as a result of my daughters’ school environment. I don’t think I considered happiness as a reason to homeschool, but I’m pleased that it has been a by-product of our homeschooling lifestyle. When I think about it, it seems natural that we are happier overall with the increase in family time and decrease in pressure.

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  10. Our decision to homeschool was based upon what was in the best interests of our daughter. Yes, having her home with me everyday fills my life with added joy, but her education was our number one priority.

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  11. Happiness and joy are by products of following Heavenly Father. I was scared and cried for about 6 months when He placed it on my heart to homeschool my two boys. We are in our third year now and my daughter is in Kindergarten. I never grew up in a close family. I had horrible examples in relationships too. Homeschooling not only taught me how precious our relationships are but how important it is to nurture each of my children where they are at academically, socially and spiritually. A byproduct of this was an increase in intimacy in my relationship with Heavenly Father, my husband , my children and my friends. I would not trade anything for the this path. I am a better parent, wife and teacher. Nice post! Sweet reminders as to whys we do what we do!

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