Mom-to-Mom Support/My main problem has been a lack of discipline in myself.

My main problem has been a lack of discipline in myself.

Distracted mom not paying attention to unhappy children


My main problem last year was my lack of self-discipline. I was really good the first few weeks, but all went crazy after that and I just couldn’t find the time to make homeschooling my first responsibility. We got rid of our TV cable, so I feel like I’m going in the right direction. I wonder if you have any suggestions.

Dear Mom,

I would imagine that many mothers could have written your letter. I know that I myself could write it at many different times throughout my homeschooling year. I thank the Lord that He has inspired you to write with this question. I will give you my best remedy for the struggle that you describe.

You have several small children and they require your attention. This creates an atmosphere in your household of gentle “crisis management.” 🙂 I praise the Lord and thank Him every day because He is the best manager of my time. He will empower you to do what NEEDS to be done and to work through the rest as His time allows.

My first suggestion would be to pray for the courage to stay on task with homeschooling. I am very easily tempted by the Tempter to stray from my duties. The Tempter knows my weakness and will use it to effect his goal. I love people and I love children. Many times I find myself wanting to be more of a mommy to my children than a teacher. I pray for the discipline to be a teacher and gently enforce the importance of working our plan as far as homeschool. In the same respect, when school is finished for the day, I do not bring it up again unless there is a compelling reason. For example, I have given homework when the children waste time and do not finish their studies in a timely fashion.

It may help if you work very hard to set aside a certain time each day to do “school.” I feel that the majority of people work better when they know the amount of time that they will be at a task. Children must learn early on the very important life skill of time management. They must learn to discipline themselves to stay on task. We are their first role models. However we have to be compassionate and realistic when it comes to teaching our children this skill. Pray, pray, pray when you are tempted to “punt school” and play. Remember that we all feel better when we have been faithful to our duties and have done our work well. Do you remember St. Paul’s words in 2 Tim. 4:7-8? He begins this inspiring scripture with the words “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race.”

Let us try very hard to say the same of our homeschooling endeavor. All we need to do is go to the Lord in prayer and He will give us ample time to finish His will and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to discern what can be left aside.

Limit your outside activities and choose only those things that you feel the Lord calling you to do.

In addition, you have chosen an excellent curriculum. Catholic Heritage Curricula has made certain that their materials are adaptable and workable within families that have real lives (which are always in a state of interruption and “crisis”).

You are a dear and beautiful mommy. Jesus has a faithful and loving daughter in you and your witness to your family. Praise God from Whom all these blessings come. Thank you so much for your insightful, truthful, and helpful letter.

Dearest Jesus, please send the Holy Spirit to each and every homeschooling family, and give us the gift of “time.” You are the author of time, and we trust in Your mercy to give us the amount of time necessary to do what You ask of us. Give us the grace to use our time wisely and with faithfulness to Your calling. We love You, Lord Jesus, and long for the day when You will take us unto Yourself in our Heavenly home and time will forever be gone from our lives as we gaze upon Your face. Amen.

Sending out a prayer,
Rita Munn

About Rita Munn

Rita Munn is a veteran homeschool mother of ten. For many years she was a popular speaker at Catholic homeschooling conferences. Writing has been a passion of hers for as long as she can remember, and she loves to use her writing skills to share her homeschooling experience with other parents. Her “family journal” reflections are featured in CHC’s Educating for Eternity e-newsletter.