From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


2/19/2009 11:17:06 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner Newsletter

HSLDA's Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner Newsletter
January 2009: Some Rx For Discouragement

by Betty T. Statnick, M. Ed.
HSLDA Special Needs Coordinator

It is relatively easy for any of us to fall prey to discouragement. I
confess that it is for me, and so many of you call and tell me that
discouragement tries to overtake you, too. You explain that you are
wrestling with such issues as feelings of inadequacy, unattained
goals, and experiences of failure.

In a sense, this newsletter is my own testimony. So, I am speaking
from personal experience. I refer to specific Bible references because
it is those promises and principles which have come alive to me and
lifted me out of the pit of discouragement. Perhaps some of my readers
are not Christians. My desire is that all of you who read this will
find at least one nugget of help you can cling to from this
newsletter. God does welcome and respond to any of us who call out to
him for wisdom.


James 1:5--"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God Who gives to
all men liberally and without reproach, and it will be given him."

Philippians 4:13--"I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens
me." An unknown author has given this rendition of that verse: "I am
strong for all things through Him Who infuses a dynamo in me." I like
having His motor in me, don't you?

For our part in addressing those feelings of inadequacy, we ask Him to
direct us in finding needed resources--health-wise, consultant-wise,
or otherwise. Sometimes, you will find that you really are on the
right track but that just a little different twist to what you have
been doing makes "all the difference in the world." He may lead you to
one of HSLDA's three special needs coordinators. Each of us has a
master's degree in education, plus other specialized training and
experience, and we are here to share our knowledge and experience with


There are usually many important things vying daily for our attention,
and there never seems to be enough time for us to accomplish all that
we set out to do. However, teaching and working with just one child
who has special needs may require larger chunks of time than it takes
to teach two or more children who do not have special needs. (Did I
mention that my husband has auditory processing disorder and hearing
impairment, with the receptive and expressive language difficulties
that accompany those things?) Like you, I "fall into bed at night"
with many things not yet crossed off my "To-do list."

In dispensing His wisdom, the Lord may show you some creative ways to
combine lessons (I love to help callers with that kind of thing.). In
order to free up some more of your time to work with your child who
has special needs, He may show you ways you can utilize an older child
to help teach a younger sibling. He may also confirm to you that you
really are making excessive demands on yourself. He may whisper that
you are overly concerned about the perceptions that others seem to
have of you. On the other hand, you may sense that some changes in
your teaching routine are necessary, because "same-old, same-old" just
isn't working. Therefore, you do want a little help for "kicking your
skills up a notch." (This becomes of special concern when you realize
that we have already come to the midpoint of the school year.)

All three of us HSLDA special needs coordinators may have some
insights for helping you implement your ideas. Another great source of
encouragement, especially when you are thinking about your unattained
goals, is the book "Things We Wish We'd Known" by Diana Waring and
other veteran homeschool moms. These moms look back on their
homeschooling experiences and tell what they would do differently if
they could start over again. That book definitely contains things
applicable to parents who teach their children with special needs. (In
my judgment, this book could be filed under "Fret Not and Sleep


The Lord already knows that each of us has failed in some realm. While
not all failure can be classified as sin, 1 John 1:9 does tell us that
we are to take God's side against ourselves in the matter of sin: "If
we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." The word "confess" in the
original language of the New Testament (Greek) means to speak the same
thing about our sin that God speaks about it. So, God doesn't leave us
"wiggle room" about our sin.

Sometimes you parents have told me that "until you wised up" you had
granted your children with special needs (to their eventual harm)
"wiggle room" about their sin. Because you love your children, you
didn't "write them off " forever for their "infractions." In like
manner, God does forgive and restore His children who heed 1 John 1:9.
Our enemy would have us believe that we are forever doomed by the sin
we have already confessed. We must remember that we are wrestling not
just with human beings but also with principalities and powers and
the rulers of the darkness of this age. Therefore, we must always wear
the whole (entire) armor of God in this battle. See Ephesians 6:

I am fond of a quote by an unknown author: "Failure is not final; it
is merely the opportunity to start over again wiser than before." I
can attest to the fact that learning from my own failures has provided
me platforms to share "en-couraging" words with others who have been
"dis-couraged." Look out for opportunities for God to use you in that
way, also. He doesn't waste a thing!

The experiences of many others have been recorded in books so that we
can see how they overcame "dis-couragement." These true stories tell
how God supplied their every need in spite of their feelings of
inadequacy, unmet goals and experiences of failures. God did that
when they swapped their every inadequacy for His sufficiency. Here
are the names of some of those many Christians whose biographies I
have read to my own children and students. Look for the youth versions
of these books at Christian bookstores and YWAM Publishers

Brother Andrew
Gladys Aylward
Amy Carmichael
Ben Carson, M.D.
George Washington Carver
Jim Elliot
David Livingston
George Mueller
Hudson Taylor

1 Samuel 30:6 "Now David was greatly distressed. . .but David
encouraged himself in the Lord."
-> How many of your friends would pay your legal fees?

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and foreign countries.

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