Coping with "Dry
for those longtime homeschoolers out there.... Do you ever have periods
of time when you just feel tired of homeschooling, yet all you can see
in your future is homeschooling? What I'm feeling is deeper than
'am I doing enough'. I KNOW that at the moment I'm not 'doing
enough' because I'm doing almost nothing that can be called school.
(But even then I can see that my children are continuing to learn.)
I know that in the long term, my children will learn even if all I do
is love them and provide a caring environment.
Even if this is a temporary dry period, I'm still feeling trapped.
For our family, I can't even consider not homeschooling. For one
thing, none of the children want to quit homeschooling. For another,
my educational philosophy is just too far removed from classroom school.
To be honest, I don't think my family suspects my feelings in this area.
There are days that even though I love my children with all my heart,
and I wouldn't choose any other life than to spend the time at home
with them, I am also resentful of them at some level because of their
demands on my time.
I do think this is something that will resolve itself in time.
I'm just curious to know if I'm alone in these feelings or if any of
you have ever struggled with them also.
This is me.
I can see myself as the world's oldest homeschooling mother - attending
conventions wearing my AARP membership card around my neck, Depends
and, of course, the required denim jumper. It just isn't a pretty
picture. This is our 12th year of homeschooling. Andy is
6. You can do the math.
I sometimes wonder if he is being shortchanged. I really don't
want to do the field trips or the park days or mom's night out.
These things don't excite me the way they once did.
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LOL! Actually I just
got my AARP card, but not ready for Depends just yet! I'm afraid
that after 14 years, I'm not interested in field trips anymore either,
tho' I still do the Mom's nights out. (I'll do almost anything
to get out with grown-ups, except go to another Tupperware party! >g<)
What I really think is this: education is an introduction to life.
Whatever you, yourself, enjoy doing and feel like doing at this point
in your life will probably be educational for the kids if you can find
some way to include them in it. Reading, gardening, fixing-up-the-house,
art , crafts, martial arts, cooking, dancing, whatever. Sometimes
we all need a break. And you probably wouldn't take a break and
just SIT there (not for more than a day, anyhow ;-) So whatever
you feel like doing......
The college one of my kids goes to takes the whole month of January
for "Interim". They spend the whole month studying something
of interest to them, whether it fits into their normal course of study
or not. So take an Interim, do something you enjoy, and don't
feel a bit guilty about it. The math & language arts &
all the rest will still be there when you get back to them, and you
may be pleasantly surprised to find progress made in areas you weren't
even thinking about.
We have a wide span of ages in our family, too. After a while
I sent the teenagers off on group activities without me. There
was always some adult along I could ask to keep an eye on them, and
I didn't want to drag my little 'un along on a ski trip (or go myself,
truth be told...it's COLD out there on the slopes! ;-)
I wonder anyway if kids really need all the "enrichment" activities
that parents of our generation dream up. I don't remember much
of field trips, etc., from my own childhood....mostly we kids just played,
without adult involvement unless someone got hurt. We had a good
time. The only thing I really wish I had was a youth group in
my teen years. My church didn't have one and that would have been
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YES, I have felt this way
and expect that I will feel it again. This is not an easy thing
we have committed our lives to. And many times it is thankless.
We are not understood by most non-homeschoolers. Our lives constantly
go against the flow of the world...not only because we are Christians,
but even among Christians. And sometimes, it's just downright
hard to be with your kids all the time. I am like you in my commitment
to homeschool, for much the same reasons. It would really take
a clear word from God to change it.
If you can, try to do some things for yourself...extra alone time with
dh, or find something you can do just by yourself. (I have a friend
who took a pottery course at a local college. It gave her 24 hour
access to the pottery lab...a little pricey...but great for her.
Another friend took stained glass making and woodworking...made all
her Christmas gifts). I know it is tough to find things that are
cheap when you are struggling on one income...so I am currently considering
what I can do to get away on a shoestring. Even an hour alone
in a bookstore is a treat for me. It can help to have some
life apart from the kids...even if it is only once in awhile.
But regularly is even better. If you couldn't tell, this is an
area where I need to take my own advice. Hang in there my friend....and
truly...make some time for yourself...you need it and deserve it!
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I am trying to do this too.
I am going out to lunch with friends several times a week lately.
I just need to. It is getting expensive and I need to do something
else, but I just love "doing lunch".
I also do not enjoy homeschooling the way I used to either. Probably
because my girls are in school, and Josh is so independent that the
only thing we do together is church. Jordan is home, but the NACD
program takes up most of our time and he is off with friends when he
is done. Homeschooling is not fun...so I am trying to find things
that I do enjoy. So far eating is the only thing I can
I need to get a life...and I need to go take an aerobic walk....seriously...I
have my walking duds on and I was going to go take it an hour ago...but
here I sit at the computer...LOL...I am truly an addict...
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I will admit to feeling this
way from time to time. When I consider the immensity of the responsibility
of educating our children, I can easily get overwhelmed. Usually,
it's because I'm trying to do it in my own power and ability.
But God called our family to this life, and it *will* be accomplished,
not because of anything I can do in my own power, but by His infinite
power. I need to remember to walk in the Spirit, not according
to the flesh. Maybe you could use this "scheduled" time out from
school to spend extra time with the Lord, just seeking His strength
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I understand just what you
are saying. I have been homeschooling for 11 years now.
I feel this way sometimes. (Ok, ok... I feel this way often, like
last week when two of my friends wanted me to go to Costa Rica with
them for a few days. I wanted to go so bad. It's been a
long winter... but I had to stay home with my little ones. First
I was mad, but then I ended up feeling thankful that I was able to stay
with them and not have to work everyday. I get burnt out sometimes and
even think of putting them in private school. This usually happens
when I get stressed and haven't taken any time for me or my own interests.
Then there are the times I see my neighbors leaving to go play tennis
or golf then I see their merry maids pulling up in the driveway and
well, life's just not fair <g> But then my boys will do something
sweet, or my teen daughters will say something that lets me know I'm
appreciated, and I'm back to feeling very thankful that God allows me
to stay right here with them.
BTW I was listening to New Life (Christian counseling radio ministry)
they were talking about happiness. They said it's very important
to find the one thing that you love to do and DO IT once a week.
I love to garden, sew, and jet ski so I'm looking for ways I can do
some of these things. But it's very hard to find someone to watch
my boys in the day; everyone is either working or at school .
Debbie in Nebraska
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I get out at least once a
month to do something I think is fun - a downtown Seattle walk, hiking
or skiing, movie with the girls, bike ride with Ben, tennis with anyone,
and now that the weather is getting back into shape (remember we had
97-100 days of rain?) Well, now I am feeling like getting out
there and enjoying the outside again!
I also sit and quilt and of course this dang computer takes an awful
lot of time! I like to read books too and mostly read them out
loud to whoever will listen! I love children and have my SS class
and quiz teem at church to gobble up volunteer time! And of course
helping the kids learn things - got to remember though that mine are
a bit older and more self-directed at this point. When all 8 were
less than 16 years old, most of my time was not my own to decide what
to do with. Meals, laundry, schooling, church work, left little
to even think about. Now, I have to really be careful not to "waste"
the time God has given to me to do His work. What does He want
me to do today?????
Also, one of the very best things I do for myself is take a day of prayer
each month to be alone with God - no kids, no husband, no friends, no
computer!!!! This is a very special time and helps me stay connected
to my Creator!
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