"Get Thee Behind Me": A Note on Discouragement

The parent is the primary educator of the child. The child’s education begins as soon as he comes home from the hospital. The natural way to educate the child academically is in the home. These are truisms that all home schoolers know.

Knowing these truths, however, does not always help parents to avoid the pitfall of discouragement. Parents can easily become discouraged if things are not going as smoothly as is desired. They might wonder if they are doing the children a disservice by keeping them home or ask themselves, “Am I harming my child? Will he be able to achieve in the outside world? Would he be better off in a school where he would have friends and more of a social life?”

St. Thomas Aquinas said that discouragement is a tool of the devil. When we are doing what we know God wants us to do and we offer it all up to Him, constantly asking His help in fulfilling His will, we should relax and know that He is in charge. Becoming discouraged is giving Satan what he would like. He will try to throw roadblocks in your way to get you to give up and send the children to him.

One must always remember that no one loves the child more than the parent; no one can possibly care as much as the parent where the child will spend eternity. When a child is home schooled, he is given more information that he would likely receive in any classroom situation and the parents know where he is, what he is doing, who his friends are and what his interests are. Most importantly the parents are able to FORM the child in the image and likeness of his Creator, which is the most critical aspect. Parents are in a no-lose situation.

Mother Teresa said these words about discouragement: “To be discouraged is a sin of pride, because it shows that we only trust in ourselves.” The next time you feel you are not achieving as you should, remember the words of Jesus, “Get thee behind me, Satan” and take comfort in His promise, “You will not be left alone.”

Dianne and her late husband, Jerry, are one of the three founding couples of Kolbe Academy.  Dianne taught grades 1 through 4 for many years at Kolbe Academy’s Day school and could always humbly assert that most of her students read, comprehended, wrote and did math at least one full level above their grade.  After 20 years of teaching, she served as principal of Kolbe Academy’s Day School until 2003 when she “retired” to become a full time volunteer academic advisor for the Home School program.

As an early proponent of the need to focus on phonics, Mrs. Muth wrote the Ignatius Speaks and Writes English program used in Kolbe Academy Home School’s program for first and second grade, and is currently working on the third grade edition. She has also authored the Kolbe Academy guides to the Catholic National Reader and was instrumental in preparing the daily lesson plans for the majority of subjects in Kolbe’s grade school program.

Dianne has always enjoyed traveling in her spare time, and use this passion to help Kolbe out by representing at many home school conferences in the spring. She and her husband successfully reared 10 children, the youngest three of whom all graduated from Kolbe’s Day school, 45 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren.

Blog Post written by:

Dianne Muth

Dianne Muth