Episode 15

Motherhood Unmasked with Vanessa A. Harris Episode 15 First and Best Teacher

First and Best Teacher

With dramatic flair I get the conversation started concerning our fears around starting another school year with a pandemic as the backdrop. 

And we get practical, too. Head HERE for goodies to help you and your child have an amazing school year!

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Praying for your children shouldn’t feel so complicated…

…but somehow it does in a time when you’re pulled in so many directions, plagued by decision fatigue. So, here’s a prayer to pray over your child for the current school year and beyond!

Episode 15 transcript


“Let me get this straight. You want me to cook and keep house, care for myself and my family and teach my children? Who said I have any business teaching my children?”

“Wait, what?”

“You’re saying my kids will benefit from their first and best teacher this year? Humph! And there’s a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.”


And that internal tennis match is exactly what we’re talking about in today’s episode.

Hello and welcome to episode 15 of Motherhood Unmasked. Whether it’s your first time visiting or you’re a regular, I’m so glad you’re here.

Well, today’s the day. My kids head back to school and I say that with air quotes because back to school is still at home in this COVID era.

Lord Jesus! We are all still in this house and very much in need of your grace.

Now we already talked about the journey to your decision about how your kids do school this year in episode 11, and for many of you the school year’s been underway.

But today’s episode is encouragement for those of us overseeing distance learning or homeschooling for the first time.

For some of you, distance learning was forced on you when your school district left you no other option.

And like I said in episode 11, homeschooling isn’t something you enter into lightly or feel confident about going in.

I remember how frightened I was when we began our three-year stint homeschooling.

At the time as a military family we moved to an area with a school district that left a lot to be desired on top of the fact our oldest had just come out of a toxic learning environment and needed to regroup.

But I had a medical degree, not a teaching degree and I’m not the MOST patient person in the world.

What if I screwed them up?

What if when it was time for them to return to brick and mortar school, they were behind?

I had every fear people who are anti-homeschooling pose. And a couple things snapped me out of that fear cycle.

One, my kids were in a situation no one else had the answer for.

You never know what motherhood will require of you, but when you believe your kids are in a bind that’s potentially hazardous, a mama’s got to do what a mamma’s got to do.

Two, while I’m not a formal teacher, I’m certainly my kids first teacher, as you are to your children.

You taught her how to respond to social cues, like smiling when smiled at and how to play peek-a-boo.

She learned social graces from you, like please, thank you and how to put away toys.

You taught him his first words, how to identify letters, animals and animal sounds and how to do his business in the potty.

There are countless things you taught your child. Some fun and some not so much, but you know what you had—the grace to do it. Even when you didn’t want the grace, you had it.

And three and most importantly, I had assurance my kids would have the best teacher based on a promise in Isaiah 54:13, which says…

All your children will be taught by the Lord and great will be the peace of your children.

If I functioned as the junior teacher following His lead, Jesus assured me my kids would have the best teacher.

And with that grace and assurance, I did my best to prepare a curriculum customized to my children’s needs and learning styles and find other homeschool families to share the teaching load with.

And it was still a one day at a time journey and along the way I found out what didn’t work and would have to pivot.

But God is faithful!

When we moved to Texas and I registered my kids for school, not one of them was behind.

My oldest was fully prepared for 6th grade, my middle child tested gifted and talented and my youngest tested ready for 1st grade though by Texas cut off dates she was too young for first grade.

So I get it, it’s a tough pill to swallow that after giving birth, middle of the night feedings, countless diapers, potty training, character building and on and on—for multiple children some of us—to now have educating them thrown back in our laps when you feel clueless and unprepared is a lot to ask, especially if you’re working a full-time job.

But I tell you this, you can do more than you think you can when under the right circumstances.

You’ll be surprised how creative you become when your child is counting on you. And I know you’re afraid you’ll let them down, but you won’t because there’s no one more invested in your child and passionate about their success than you.

And if that’s true for the homeschooling mom, that’s certainly true for those of us managing our child’s learning environment, but not directly responsible for what they’re learning.

Keep it simple sista.

I know you see the posts of people setting up desks and decorated learning spaces but don’t get caught up in that.

Make sure your kids have basic school supplies in addition to their device and a space to work in that’s comfortable for them. Put a little thought into what to have on hand to busy them during breaks in the school day like books, crafts or toys that don’t require a battery or a plug.

And just take it one day at a time.

Once you acknowledge, your confidence regarding your child’s education isn’t ultimately in you or a school teacher—awesome as they are—but in Jesus, He’ll make sure you have everything you need to face the challenges this coming school year.

Because when it comes to you being the mother of your children and whatever that requires in any given season, YOU are STLL the woman for the job. Take care.

For my tips on creating a structured environment for kids distance learning, click HERE to join my email list and have instant access to all the goods.