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Homeschooling can be tough, but homeschooling the teen rebel is even tougher. I wish I had read Homeschooling the Teen Rebel a couple of years ago. The homeschool mom failure award was mine, I was sure of it. I felt all alone. But I was not alone. I had believed the lie that if I homeschooled my children in a Christian atmosphere and did my very best, relying on God for help, my husband and I would not have rebellious children. There was a huge flaw in my theory. I am raising strong willed humans, not robots, with a free will. God was a perfect parent and look at Adam and Eve.
Even though the last two years were very difficult for our family, it was worth the growth. I understand God's love for me, his child, better now. Be encouraged as you read Deborah and Abby's story.
When I first wrote the article, Homeschooling the Rebel, in 2006, I didn’t realize the impact it would have on homeschooling families. (Full article here). It seemed everyone had a challenging child, but no one wanted to talk about it. Finally, we could bring the subject to the homeschool table. Back then, I was in the middle of raising that challenging child. I was still working out where the intense rebellion was coming from and how to deal with it, and how to not completely fall apart each day—a lot of lessons learned—often the hard way.
A few years later came Homeschooling the Rebel Part 2, where we talk about consistency, distractions, bad habits, and, more positively, we look at the blessing of being chosen to raise these rebels who were created to fight the good fight of faith.
Again, another few years and that challenging child was now a teen. So she and I wrote together the article, Homeschooling the Teen Rebel, detailing what to do with these teens, how to cope with them, and how to love them.
Here’s the thing: From my rebel’s birth forward, I was her expert. I knew her best: what made her melt down, what motivated her, how she learned—I knew her better than any expert could. And, I had my own private Counselor (Christ Himself) to give me wisdom on a daily basis, and I often shared it with her.
Today, ten years later, through tear-filled days and prayer-filled nights, we now see a girl who is fighting the right fight. She was created to fight the enemy of her soul (instead of her parents and siblings) while making an impact on this ungodly culture in her pro-life, evangelistic efforts. She was created perfectly for this ministry.
God never gave up on her even when I wanted to. Not one day. He never gave up on me either. Where there is another day and another breath, there is always hope.
I know that raising a challenging child can cause you to want to say, “I Quit!”—and believe me, I know those feelings are real! As real as that guilty feeling that keeps nagging you that you are not good enough for this challenging task.
When these feelings threaten to take over, and life is challenging with your difficult children, run to your Helper. When you feel like you are failing and need extra strength, you will find it in Him alone. Just as no one understands your rebel as you do, no one understands you like God does. His presence and His Word are a lifeline to a drowning homeschool parent (and child)!
“Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:25, 26).
Join us next Saturday for Homeschooling a Strong Willed Child.
Enjoying the journey,
Michelle Osborn the founder and owner Yellow House Book Rental, a service to homeschool families. She is a 20-year homeschool veteran of four, two married, one in college, and one teenager at home.
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