Our first year of homeschooling had been going a few months. Kathleen was trying to teach Christina how to read along with other kindergarten subjects.

How hard could it be?

The student to teacher ratio was in our favor. And Kathleen had “home educated” Christina from birth.

The challenge was that Christina had two younger sisters, 18 months and 3 years old. With a 4th child on the way. Kathleen was feeling the pressure of being Christina’s official teacher.

Things were stressed to say the least.

One day I arrived home after a typical ten-hour work day and 40-minute commute battling LA traffic.

Kathleen faced a bigger battle. She was practically in tears after a particularly long and frustrating day.

She looked at me and said, “We need to do something. I can’t handle this.”

Think fast Richard.

I had a great idea. “I’ll write Dr. Dobson and ask him for help.” Why not, he had given me the idea to homeschool in the first place.

I began my letter with an attention grabbing headline. “Help, I need somebody. Help, not just anybody. Help!”

Who knew if Dr. Dobson was a Beatles fan. Or if he would even see my letter.

A few months later I got a very unexpected reply.

We were eating dinner when the phone rang. I jumped up to answer the phone as yet another example of lifting a finger to help Kathleen at the end of her busy day.

“This is Dr. James Dobson. May I speak with Kathleen?”

Gulp. I handed Kathleen the phone and listened to her side of the call. He asked how things were going. “Much better.” He was glad about that and asked if he could pray for her and our homeschooling efforts. “Yes please!”

Several lessons learned through this. Frustrations pass. Ask for help. Offer encouraging words. Prayers get answered.

If your family is frustrated in its homeschooling efforts, find a way to lighten Mom’s teaching load. Here’s one way to do it:

Always learning,

Richard Emmons

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