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Ever survive a homeschool "crisis" - how did you get past it?


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I'm going thru a horrible homeschool funk and all I can say is it is much like a 40yo hitting that "middle age crisis" stage. I don't know what I want, or why I want it. I don't know what I should teach the kids nor why I should teach it. Don't know if I should teach with an iron fist, or let them flow thru their days, figuring that eventually, if they're really ready to learn it, they will. I'm posting this on the Logic Stage list because you all seem like you've been thru enough to understand what I'm talking about. I have a 10yo, which I guess that would technically place her about 5th grade, and thinking about entering Logic Stage is sending me into an even bigger "crisis". She's all over the board as far as ability. Ahead in reading, behind in math, probably waaay behind in writing. I'm lost:( I will mention that the toddler isn't helping my crisis at all, lol. Even if I had a plan of action, I may just take one look at that little person destroying my house and think, "ah, screw it. why bother?"

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It's been a tough year here as well. I have a 10yr old DS, 7yr old DS, and a 4yr old DD. DD disrupts things so much and then I feel guilty over not spending as much time with her as I did w/ the boys at the same age. We also move late August and that really set me back. I don't have any advice except try to make it to summer and then give yourself a break.

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:grouphug:

 

Lighting a candle, I'm Julie and sometimes I'm not the best parent or hsing mom. Passing candle to the right ;)

 

It happens. We all have grey periods. If she's way ahead in reading then let her free read and work on math together. Get some math games for the computer (lots of free ones out there) and let her spend some time learning her math facts without you needing to hover. For writing, if she's really far behind, start with some copywork, add in narrations for all the reading she does. Even oral narrations, have her tell you about what she's read. Build up to her writing down her narrations. Two or three times a week, try to do some simple dictation. One sentence, then two, then three, then add in some tricky punctuation (an exclamation point, question mark, &tc).

 

There is hope!

 

It's O.K.

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Being all over the board in abilities is okay. My son's abilities span about five grade levels. I tend to freak out at least once a month about him being behind, forgetting to think about where he shines.

 

It truly helped me to find an underlying philosophy to hang my hat, so to say. Where do you identify more? WTM, LCC, CM, other????? I tend to revisit the hilights of that philosophy at least twice a year.

 

We've had probably the most inconsistent year ever in the seven years of homeschooling. We started late, we started weak, we moved, we had to stay with my parents for a while and skipped more than a few weeks. It's the end of January and we've finally gotten in four good weeks.

 

At the beginning of this year I had my own personal homeschool conference. I gathered resources I've enjoyed, scheduled some time alone, and refreshed myself for two days. You can read about it here and here.

 

I tend to question my own motives a lot. Why am I doing something. Because I read about here? Because my friend uses the same curriculum? I get brutal about this time every year and re-examine why we do each subject, is it working, is it working for my son, is it driving me crazy? I've slashed two items this week and I'm tweaking another over the weekend.

 

Maybe you need a couple of days to just chill. Take a field trip, do something schooly but not related to anything you're currently doing. See if you can get some time alone to refresh. I started scheduling a week off in February for us. This always seems to be like the Long Winter session and the hardest part of the year to get through.

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I'm in year 2 of my homeschool funk. Dealing with my own depression has helped a little, but I'm still struggling to figure out what to do with everyone, esp. B (12yo ds) who thinks everything is 'stupid' and regularly refuses to do his work. :glare: I'm going to try a modified AO plan with him for the rest of the year. Re-reading WTM & LCC is a good idea.

 

Lately I've been wanting to just send everyone away, have a quiet house and spend all of my time sewing/crafting. :001_huh: Not very realistic, but there it is. :tongue_smilie: Trying to get back to excitement or at least good attitude/steady work (on my part!)

 

:grouphug: to you; hopefully someone who's made it past this stage (please tell me people get past this stage and don't stay in a funk forever!) will chime in with some words of wisdom. :)

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This is a timely topic for me. I go through funks regularly, but it seems like they happen more often now. I was about 70% sure I would enroll my dd in middle school this semester! I mostly freak out when I think about high school--there are so many options, it makes it so much harder to decide.

 

I'm pretty sure what I need to do is sit down, relax, and go over my priorities for her, me, our family, etc. Then I can narrow down the options. I think seeing it on paper will be better for me. When I say "options" I mean either public school, part time homeschool enrichment that we've been doing, dual enrollment at CC, online classes, video lectures from the Teaching Co, etc. Those are all the things floating in my head right now.

 

It's definitely not helping that more and more people are asking if we'll be homeschooling for high school. I just cannot not be polite...and I've come to find out that not everyone is supportive of us doing it, despite how well dd is turning out. So that's another added stress for me, trying to determine who I can talk to/complain to IRL without them telling me, "Put her in school already!" I'm second guessing myself a lot lately.

 

So...to the OP, don't worry. I think February is often a time for homeschool funks. Your dc has varying abilities in different subjects, but that's the beauty of homeschool. You can make sure she is learning, even though she might not be on "grade level" with some other child. And these boards are the best place I know to vent! Sometimes it helps just knowing there are others who are having the same issues. Hang in there!

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My opinion? Just take the next step.

 

Keep her in literature. It would be nice to find something that did some analysis, but not over the top. She is still Jr. High and it could wait till High School.

 

With math just keep going. Mastery is more important, so just keep taking the next step. BTW I have a 7th grader who can do algebra, but when she tries to do it without me sitting there (even if I don't say a thing) she becomes overwhelmed and shuts down. Thus she is doing Lial's BCM which is a lot of review with bigger numbers. Oh well!

 

Define behind in writing. If she can do dictation, copywork, answer discussion questions and summarize a passage then she is right on track. BTW I hear the next levels of her writing will be out this fall. :D

 

It really isn't that different than elementary school. You spend time wrapping up any core areas they don't have mastered yet, and in areas they do you allow them to slowly take the next step. Also work on time management, study skills and working independently. This is where you start moving to more a coach, making sure they get stuff done, stepping in when they need it but you are trying not to lead them through it.

 

You can do this. ((Hugs))

 

Heather

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We're coming up on February, and even JW (Jessie Wise) said at the convention February is the murder month. (She didn't put it exactly what way, but sometimes it's fitting, eh?) Is your vitamin D low? This is the first winter I've been on it the whole way, and it is doing pretty well. Can you get out, take a week off, or pamper yourself a bit? Who says you have to homeschool??? I mean SERIOUSLY, does the world REALLY stop if you just unschool this month and then go back to regular programming? Nope.

 

Last year, when my dd was 10, we took a few weeks off to do this: http://www.amazon.com/Private-Eye-School-One-Hour-Mysteries/dp/1593632940/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_c We had a TON of fun with this, an insane ton of fun. I photocopied the whole book to get it ready, divided it in packets by days, and it was all ready to go. You could splurge on a new lego set or Snap Circuits if you haven't done those yet. Do you do puzzles? You could do a puzzle a day. Try something longer, say 100-300 pieces. I've been doing them with my dd, and we race, each working on one. Melissa and Doug makes some GORGEOUS 200 pieces puzzles in a variety of pictures and themes.

 

Find something you want to do. The spunk will come back later. New curriculum always has a luring effect. Are you going to a convention this year? Nothing like a convention to pump you up. Ours is coming up the end of March, so it's not far off! And have you started thinking through fun things you'll do this summer or planned a garden?

 

Some people sit under special lights to perk themselves up too.

 

Oh, and 6th isn't that bad. I've been spitting and fuming over junior high and high school. You'll be fine for 6th. You can do this. :)

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Yes. I've been there.

 

My suggestion? Find what you all enjoy learning-wise and dig into it. My kids love read-aloud time. So when I find myself in a funk, we read aloud a lot. The kids grab their Legos and we read about history, science, whatever. I just try to do the next thing. I try to enjoy my kids.

 

Usually the funk lifts soon.

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(Taking the candle from Julie) My name is Wendi, and I am in a hs funk.

 

OP, I completely understand where you're coming from! :grouphug:

 

I don't know what my philosophy is anymore. The first hsing book I read was WTM. I just assumed that was the only real way to homeschool. I've since realized the absurdity of my original thinking. I love the idea of a good, solid Classical education, but I'm not sure if that is working in my house. Then I start feeling like a huge failure, like if I don't give my kids this rigorous Classical education they will be scarred for life and completely useless in society. The guilt sets in and we go all out. That lasts about a month before everyone gets exhausted, cranky, and unteachable. So I take a break and feel guilty for giving my kids breathing room because OMG they have to learn it all right NOW! So we go back to rigorous, rinse, repeat. It's a vicious cycle. Oh, and let's not talk about what happened when I read the whole "Out of the Box Learning" thread! Mom guilt+hs mom guilt+I'm not doing it right guilt=debilitating guilt.

 

I'm still new enough at this to think that if I just purchase the perfect hs curriculum all my problems will vanish. I admit I let my curriculum use me, instead of using my curriculum as a tool. I keep waiting for that magical hs mom moment of clarity to come. Because you know, those moms who have been doing this a while have it all together and never have any doubts.

 

Sorry for dumping on your thread. I have absolutely nothing helpful to add except that you are not alone. Right now, we are just doing the next thing. It isn't perfect, but it's getting done. Sometimes, good enough really is good enough.:grouphug:

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I've been here since before Christmas. Last weekend, I came to a full-blown crisis of confidence. I even put both the girls on a waiting list for a classical public school. :)

 

Then I talked to my older dd about school - what she likes, what she thinks she needs more or less of. It was refreshing and eye-opening. We had the talk on a bench at the top of a really big hill. Maybe that made it all seem more important.

 

Then Monday night, I read The Lost Tools of Learning essay by Sayers. It really struck a cord with me. It gave me permission to relax with my younger and enjoy the beginning of the pert stage with the older and reflect on my ds working through the upper stage.

 

And now its dinner. I'll finish this thought later....

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Now....Quinoa is yummy.

I don't have any good advice. I know that I was afraid the whole time my ds was in high school. I was terrified I had ruined his life. For a year or so, I falsely believed that I had more confidence since I'd done most of this before. I was quite devastated to learn that I can still feel like I am failing.

 

The best I can suggest is that you find things about schooling that are doable (reading and art are the only things on my list sometimes), work on math slowly and steadily, and wait out this crisis. Just keep swimming.

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Yes!! I have survived! I am surviving! I will survive!! I live with this.

 

It happens to me every year. A few years ago I had probably three years in a row of family crises (my parents took turns getting cancer and dying, and there were some tough times with teenagers at home), so school definitely fell by the wayside. We got into the habit of hardly any school for a long time. Thankfully that dark period is over, but these days I have to fight myself just to get my motivation to carry on. My poor youngest said to me recently that he's aggravated that every year we get off to a (fairly) good start but then we buckle and not much gets done for quite a while. That's true, he's right. And I feel really really bad about it.

 

My answer to how I got past it is that I don't know, all of a sudden I get new energy, and I'm down the road a bit, and I hardly noticed.

 

"Do the next thing" is great advice -- when you don't know what to do, just pick something and do it, it's better than nothing. Even if you just do a read-aloud or something, it helps you feel better than if you did nothing. There were times when in the morning I would announce that we're going to the museum for the day, or some other fun thing, just to give us some life. Honestly, I'm my own worst enemy sometimes.

 

Thanks for asking this question, I am in a funk right now, and this actually motivates me to get going again. I know what I have to do, it's just the doing it that trips me up. There are a lot of moms who need this kind of encouragement, so thanks for bringing this issue to light.

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Do any of us not go through this? I think if a homeschooler tells you that they don't go through this they just haven't reached it yet...or they are lying.;)

 

I think I'm at the tail end of what you've described. I don't even know when it started...well before the holidays. I started feeling like I had lost my way, I felt un-focused and wasn't sure that the things I was doing with the dc had a purpose. I was also dealing with some learning\behavioral issues with one of my dds (dd11) and realized that we had just been spinning our wheels for the whole year. I don't think we made any progress in any subjects; in fact, we decided that we needed to go WAY back in math. She is all over the place in her levels too. She was not ready for logic stage work this year so I am going to have her repeat a 6th grade year so that I can get 3 solid years of logic stage before we move on. I was also loosing my oldest. She was becoming more and more disengaged from her school work and dd8 was getting bored. Even the 4 yo was complaining that school wasn't fun. You know when your 2nd grader and preK dc are complaining then something just isn't right. The something "not right" was me. I was completely unmotivated to do most of the curricula we had and that was of coarse rubbing off on my dc. It was just all - open this book and do the next thing. That method served us well when we started out but we are all ready for something different.

 

So, I'm completely re-vamping how we do school. I'm moving away from a strictly classical method and moving more toward a eclectic mix of interest projects, unit study, Mason and Beechick. Most of our skills are going to be taught within the context of content subjects and personal interests. Everything they need to learn can be taught in a way that will engage and excite them but it's completely up to me to make that happen.

 

I think it helped too for me to sit down and write out what my goals were for each of my dc by the end of the year and then for next year. It helped me to see where I needed to be heading. I also spent some time writing down why I started homeschooling and why I want to continue. I even wrote a list of reasons why I don't want to homeschool anymore...they were all pretty lame.:tongue_smilie:But it helped me to see that I could work through this because I still feel this is the best thing for my dc. It's still hard though. I should have been planning the last few days and it was really hard for me to get motivated to do it. A couple ladies here gave me a pep talk and got me motivated and now, since I've actually written out a unit study for dd8, I'm actually getting more excited about it. Of coarse it helps that it is about a topic that I'm passionate about and I'm going to love to be able to share that passion with dd!

 

Well, this has gotten long winded and I know that it sounds like I'm just talking about me, me, me, but my intention was that maybe something in here might speak to you and give you some idea or encouragement. Hang in there, it's just a phase. As others said, just take a break, unschool for awhile and try to reconnect with your dc. Ask him (was it one boy?) what he thinks and maybe together you can brainstorm some way to make it all work again. :grouphug:

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To the OP, you are not alone.

 

Around Thanksgiving, I sold ALL my homeschooling books save OPGTR because I didn't know what I was doing or wanted to do anymore. Then we took a month long vacation to see family for the holidays. All I had mine do was handwriting, math, vocabulary cartoons, and journaling. They loved it! Ok, being with the extended family members they haven't seen in 2 years probably helped, too. We all came back calmer than we have been for a long time. I bought Oak Meadow 6th grade and K to use and, for the most part, everyone is happy.

 

As others have said, sometimes a break just doing light stuff and reevaluating the method, your goals, etc. is what you need to do for your peace. There is no shame, no failure stigma attached; it is being wise.

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I have always found it harder to make curriculum choices when I am lost in life in general. When I know where I am going in general, then I end out with a list of things that are needed to be learned to get there.

 

I'd work on some healing and electives and spiritual stuff for awhile as the core of the curriculum, and then kind of unit study around the healing/spiritual/nature/art.

 

Try reading The 7 Habits of Truly Effective People and maybe The Artist's Way

Edited by Hunter
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I'm going thru a horrible homeschool funk and all I can say is it is much like a 40yo hitting that "middle age crisis" stage. I don't know what I want, or why I want it. I don't know what I should teach the kids nor why I should teach it. Don't know if I should teach with an iron fist, or let them flow thru their days, figuring that eventually, if they're really ready to learn it, they will. I'm posting this on the Logic Stage list because you all seem like you've been thru enough to understand what I'm talking about. I have a 10yo, which I guess that would technically place her about 5th grade, and thinking about entering Logic Stage is sending me into an even bigger "crisis". She's all over the board as far as ability. Ahead in reading, behind in math, probably waaay behind in writing. I'm lost:( I will mention that the toddler isn't helping my crisis at all, lol. Even if I had a plan of action, I may just take one look at that little person destroying my house and think, "ah, screw it. why bother?"

 

It is called burn-out. I have gone through it several times during the last 17+ yrs. This blog post might be helpful.

 

http://ebeth.typepad.com/reallearning/2007/04/sing_a_new_song.html

 

I am attempting to emerge from it right now. RIght after I made the decision how to set things right again, everyone in the house got sick so I haven't had the opportunity to implement my new plans.

 

I know my burn-out came from trying to be and do all things for all people. We never stopped. Life was not living; it was a treadmill of events. We simply got up at 5 and went until 10 at night then went to bed to repeat again the next day.

 

It was a journey of 2 yrs and it was a frog in the pot scenario similar to what Elizabeth describes on her blog.

 

I wrote about my journey as if it were a blog post, but I don't have a blog. :lol: It helped me put it all in perspective and work through it in my mind and firm my resolve to change.

 

If anyone wants to read, pm me your email and I will be happy to share it.

 

Anyway, what Elizabeth wrote on the blog that I linked has been my experience, repeatedly. Burn-out comes when we get our priorities out of kilter.

Burnout occurs when we are out of sync with God. It happens when we shoulder a yoke that is not His.

 

When I responded, I told her that God tells us that his yoke is easy and his burden is light. So, if we are straining and fall under the yoke and the burden, it's not God's. Something that we are doing, or something in the way that we are doing it is out of God's plan

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My name is Mandy, and I am in a wallowing in hs crisis.

 

I am in my 9th year at home. In year 7 when my oldest was a high school junior I went through a crisis where I was concerned that I had ruined his life. I evaluated where we were and went with a more CM approach with my middle ds. Now middle ds is a high school junior and I am in crisis mode again. I feel like he has been gypped, because I have always focused on the oldest or the youngest.

 

Like Karen I spent Christmas looking at schools for my youngest. We ended up visiting and this past week enrolling my youngest in CC Foundations. They didn't have space for my extra student, but she will now be following some of the CC Foundation material as well. I have every intention of placing the little guy in CC Foundations and Essentials next year. I have worked at the Kumon center for uhhmm I think 3 years and last week I told her I need to quit. I need to get middle ds prepped for college... or at least looking into college.

 

When my middle ds is a college freshman, I have high hopes that I can relax for a little while. I would like to relax with the little man for a year, but at that point dh doesn't know if he wants the little man to be home alone as an only child. arrgh, another crisis on the horizon.

Mandy

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Yes. Last year was horrible. I really didn't know why we were homeschooling, why we had homeschooled, why we were going to continue homeschooling. I am still feeling pretty burned out on many levels and was actually bawling my head off in the car as my dh tried to make sense of my hysteria 2 nights ago.

In my case I'll claim situational angst- in 13mths we were burned out of our house, re-built, moved twice, did a lot of the work ourselves, my oldest was in the E.R in KY and had swine flu, my dh had pnuemonia and bronchitis 6 times, my 48 yo sister died 4 days after the house fire and my 74 yo dad died unexpectedly. It's rocked me; I'm still rocking some days. You can read all about it on my blog if you want. (I try not to make it too much of a pity party, but honestly it's been my therapy).

 

Through it all we've homeschooled. I think it's provided stability for the kids in a year that has been totally unstable. I think being together has been for the best. I think if we hadn't had our class day and co-op we would probably be unschooling. I think if we were that would be o.k. I think the co-ops and class days are better than unschooling. I think we are all still struggling to get through the upheavel and grief and shock and we've given up some things this year and probably will next year too. I think homeschooling has given the kids the space and time they've needed to really cry and grieve and try to make sense of this past year.

We are still committed to homeschooling. Do we think it's a better educational option than government school? Yes.

 

More than that we think it is a better training ground for maturity and wisdom. Again this week, we were told by complete strangers how mature and kind our kids were, how respectful and polite they were. People have commented for years about our older girls and our family when we are together but with my 16 yo and 11 yo ds's there is a kind of awe when people say positive things. The receptionist at the Dr.'s (my ds went alone) said, "it is so rare to talk with a teen boy that is not sullen." Our kids are smart (o.k, they are idiot savants) but more than that they can look people in the eyes and see them as human, talk with them, communicate in a way that dignifies the other person. That is becoming a rare thing.

 

My dh has been firm about the benefits of homeschooling through my entire 1 1/2 year crisis. He has worked as a school psychologist, done disabilites testing in schools and counseled enough kids struggling with severe depression and suicidal ideology to believe that while we have the time and energy and money to homeschool it is the best for our kids. At home, even when I say mean Tiger Mom things like, "YOU are an idiot savant!!" they still know I love them to death.

 

Getting our kids educated and getting them into college are worthy goals. But they are not the only goals in raising our kids. Test scores, college admissions are well and good and something we take into account (very much so). But there is more to raising our kids and launching them than getting them in to college. My parents did that, paid for it and then I was on my own. I had no plan, no true job skills, no understanding of being an adult. Test scores don't drive us like they did back when our poor guinnea pig oldest was in high school. Cause really, our kids are so individual that the normal route just hasn't taken with any of them yet.

 

All of that being said. Life with a toddler is utter chaos. I would have happily had a dozen kids if they just skipped toddler hood. It's 2 years. For 2 years your house will be trashed. It's o.k. My littlest is 8 today. Our house is clean. And, oddly, I really miss all of the adorable bright colored toddler toys.

 

Write the vision. Make it plain.

Work that out with your dh. Write it out. Put it where you'll see it.

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I have been homeschooling for 16 years and have been through many, many crises throughout that time. Physical, psychological, financial, you name it. new babies, exhaustion, dying parents (mine and dh's) getting kids into college, finding materials that would "work", learning HOW to homeschool, starting a home based business, working full time, not losing myself in it all, dealing with tenn and adult kids along with little ones....like i said, you name it.

 

Now, I love this forum, but there are times, in that homeschool funk, where her is not the best place to be. It seems the answer to the funk is to pack them off to public school and be done with it. You gave it your best shot, now it is time to give up...

 

Well, although that may be fine for other people, I am commited completely to finishing out this journey...whether by stubborness, or by the principle of the thing, it has never been my way of getting past a crisis by getting rid of it....

 

So, how to get past it...

 

1. Realize that homeschooling is a loooong and arduous journey full of ups and downs. It is not a sprint, it is a marathon.

 

2. realize that it is ok to shake things up, get off the treadmill, go off the history sequence or change grammar books...play a little, try out new things. No one will be ruined. It is an adventure where you discover new things...together

 

3. Realize that homeschooling is a joint effort on everyone in the family. Homeschooling is a lifestyle. It is family-centric. We work together, play together, worship together, laugh together, cry together.

 

4. It is ok to be tired. It is ok to take some time to yourself. it is ok to throw all the books in the closet and sit on the couch and read a long read-aloud, or break out the paints and create.

 

5. Realize there will be gaps in an education no matter where that kid goes to school. I know public schooled kids who have no idea what a noun is....They will learn it in English 101. Really, it happens. I know homeschooled kids who are behind their peers in one subject and eons ahead in others...that is ok too as long as Mom (or dad) is serious about the child's education.

 

6. Realize that one of the great benefits of homeschooling is you do not need to be on anyone else's time schedule. We can school in the even ing, we can school in the car, we can school on Saturday, we can school early in the morning, on vacation, in the summer, etc. We can make schooling a living thing, not bogged down with workbooks or assignments....but a truly living, breathing, enjoyable lifestyle.

 

7. Realize that crises come and go, and just because it really sucks right now, doesn't mean it will always suck.

 

8. Learn to never, ever, ever, ever , ever compare yourself to any other homeschool Mom. We are not all the same. our kids are not their kids. Mom's here usually post their strengths and their kids strengths. While some 11 year old may be flying through Calculus, I doubt he is reading Homer in his spare time. My 11 year olds do neither....they are still learning to do fractions and are reading Ramona the Pest....my 11 year olds are usually still little kids....so what? They grow up...and they are growing up in an academic environment with parents who love them and love to learn...so they love to learn...and get to be little kids too.

 

9. Sometimes we need to change our surroundings...put in extra lights, school in a different room, buy new pencils, whatever little thing will bring a spark back.

 

10. Once again, learn to love yourself and be proud of your accomplishments. Homeschooling is not easy. If it were, everyone would be doing it. It is hard, it is lonely, it is sacrificial, it is often a thankless job. It is also the most important thing I have ever done. It is also the most satisfying job I have. It is what makes me who I am and my kids who they are.

 

~~Faithe

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Wow, thanks everyone!

Faithe - that is a good list to live by!

Laughing Lioness - that was a horrible year, yikes! Thank you for sharing your wisdom thru all of that. And I am deeply sorry for your losses. Sometimes it is a small consolation that others can be blessed through what we are able to share from those things.

Wendy - (hugs), you can dump on my thread anytime! lol. Yes, mommy guilt. I have that.

Elegant Lion - oh, I love that one person conference you had! I may try that (in 5min spurts, between chasing a toddler...it could work!)

Honestly, my funk started at the beginning of last summer. That's a rather long funk. We took a break, I thought I was better, we had a great 3 weeks of school...and then fizzle, funk. LOL. By Dec, I signed the kids up for Time 4 Learning and called it a year. I am trying to focus on math. I've always been terrible about drilling math facts, so we're taking a time-out to work on math facts. Perhaps its all working toward the greater good, and all this down time isn't all bad. I just start hyperventilating when I think of all the things I *should* be doing, and how dreadfully behind we are falling. And instead of completing worksheets (in the box) or building a wigwam in the backyard (out of the box) learning, we're playing computer games and watching movies. Dumb movies, not even educational. Blah.

Hunter - you nailed it about things being out of sorts. I'm up 50lbs since I started homeschooling, the house is a pigstye, the kids have little structure, and dh would like me to find another source of income, lol. I'm a mess! And I'm not sure what to pull out of the pit first.

And to all - yup, despite my complete lack of ability right now, I am absolutely not sending kids to school. Although I really don't want to homeschool right now, I really really don't want to public school, so that is keeping them home (although I might threaten sometimes...)

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Honestly I'm well beyond counting the times I've doubted. Sometimes it is daily. Every year that passes, I'm amazed that we kept going and thrilled that their test scores show progress despite perpetual turmoil beyond my control. I barely even remember the days of "just" homeschooling now, and yet I'm well over halfway done.

 

I think that the key for me is to realize that homeschooling is a priority in our house no matter how I feel about it. Of course it is painful and time-consuming, but we're committed and that is that.

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To the OP---you stated above that your house was a mess, the kids are a mess, etc.. and you didn't know which to pull out first. May I give a suggestion? Put your house in order first. Clean, sort, whatever you need to do to get your environment back in order. Open your blinds to get whatever about of sun you can flowing into your home. A house of order is a house of learning. You will all feel better.

Second, I would have a heart to heart with your sweet dh. Where does he want you to focus--teaching kids or working because it sounds like at this stage of your life both aren't going to happen. To every stage in life, there is a season.

Third, unplug the gadgets. Kids get amazingly creative when no electronics are allowed. I can't tell you how many times I have seen this with mine. Is getting to the library an option for you? If so, buckle the baby in a stroller and grab a box for books. Have the kiddos choose something they want to learn about and hit the stacks. Mine are famous for taking whole shelves of books on their topic of interest at the moment. Who cares if they read them all. Don't ask for any output...just let them learn and share. Grab some books on tape. We listened to all of Dahl's and EB White's among others one year. This and all the DK and Magic School Bus DVDs we could find with a little math is how we got through those baby years.

It is okay to buck what everyone says you are 'supposed' to be doing. BLAH! What do they know about you and your situation now? Taking an 'easy' child led year will not ruin the kids, I promise.

One last thing...post partum depression can hit anytime. You might consider some supplements to help. I suffer from this so please do not feel I am being judgemental.

HTH!

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Well, although that may be fine for other people, I am commited completely to finishing out this journey...whether by stubborness, or by the principle of the thing, it has never been my way of getting past a crisis by getting rid of it....

 

~~Faithe

 

 

Brilliant!

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Well, although that may be fine for other people, I am commited completely to finishing out this journey...whether by stubborness, or by the principle of the thing, it has never been my way of getting past a crisis by getting rid of it....

 

 

There are some aspects of life that make homeschooling hard that will never go away or will last potentially for years. I always laugh to myself when people say "lighten up for a week/month/year." Maybe we need a break, but the problems will still be there when we come back. If I took it light every time we had a crises, we'd probably not be homeschooling any more because we seemingly always have a crises in the background, and we're at the time academically where certain subjects need to be covered certain years. Relaxing for a year won't help anyone at this point.

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10. Once again, learn to love yourself and be proud of your accomplishments. Homeschooling is not easy. If it were, everyone would be doing it. It is hard, it is lonely, it is sacrificial, it is often a thankless job. It is also the most important thing I have ever done. It is also the most satisfying job I have. It is what makes me who I am and my kids who they are.

 

~~Faithe

 

Thank you! This is going up where I can read it everyday.

 

Capt Uhura

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Hunter - you nailed it about things being out of sorts. I'm up 50lbs since I started homeschooling, the house is a pigstye, the kids have little structure, and dh would like me to find another source of income, lol. I'm a mess! And I'm not sure what to pull out of the pit first.

 

 

I bought P90X and wake up at 6:30am to exercise. I. feel. so. much. better!!! So much better! My resting heart rate was getting really high from stress. It's now low again. I went over the schedule w/ the boys and put together an independent work packet they can work on if I'm late finishing my exercises. I realized that I have to take care of myself b/c no one else is going to do it for me.

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Hello, my name is Cheryl, and I, too, am a mom in hs crisis.:) You know it's bad when your husband scoops your kids up to take them to an activity, that he never goes to, and "uninvites" you. I can thankfully say that we have no other home/health/family crisis going on, but doing what we do every day is a really big job...and the stakes can feel suffocating. No one else is responsible for their education except you, we don't get the luxury of pointing the finger at someone else when there are gaps or someone is behind, etc. It feels utterly impossible to not take even the smallest problems, whatever they may be, personally. I would love to figure out how to distance my heart a little and be able to look at things with "business" eyes so to speak so that I can keep a more level headed perspective but I have a feeling that will probably not happen until we are all done with our journey.

 

ALL these posts have seriously MADE MY DAY! I feel invigorated again. The thoughts on writing your own mission statement are great, cleaning and rearranging, setting new goals, and keep on keeping on. By golly, I am buying new pencils too!

 

A lot of these topics are covered in Homeschooling at the Speed of Life by Marilyn Rockett. I am going through it right now, and highly recommend it for anyone needing to refocus themselves and their lives as it all pertains to hsing.

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You are at the right age for your hormones to be shifting. My OBGyn said that after 40 women's hormones start to fluctuate, and after 50 they decrease through menopause (must be average, because some women go through menopause before 50--my mil was 46). I've also been in a slump/funk (both) and there are many ways to handle this. My dc are 10-15, and I'll get to my 10 last even though you have a 10 yo because the rest bears on what I'm going to do with him while homeschooling to get out of this. One of the things I'm doing is reducing my stress load which helped me when I was in a huge slump after I had ds (I had lots and lots of stress factors back then and had a very high stress score for several years with various things going on and have lived with a stressful, but also wonderful, dd for much longer.)

 

First I expelled my 15 yo from homeschool this past fall and put her in ps because she argued all the time and wouldn't write for me. Nothing worked to get her going consistently. Now we frequently have pleasant discussions and it's saved our relationship (although she still argues a lot, etc, just not as much and she is doing more writing and she needed this; she's not one who could successfully go from homeschool to college, and it took me until now to fully realize that.)

 

It's been somewhat better with only two because I am now free to take my other dd to a creative writing class and do a few other things with her. I am probably going to let my middle d one do a year in ps next year so I can focus on my ds who needs a lot more time with me, earn some more money (right now I'm teaching piano 1.5 hours a week because 2 other students moved and I can't do more with both of these dc at home) and reorganize. She wants to go (she has never been), the honours program is very good here and she can do more theatre without me having to pay for it. She and I are at opposite sides of the pole as far as hormones go and frankly the two of us could use the break, although we don't need it as much as my eldest and I did.

 

As for ds, I'm going to change some of what I did with my dd's, and ought to be able to afford this if I only have one at home next year. I've already given him a break from his regular math (SM) and we're doing LOF again since he hit a wall with is attitude on something he can do but decided he can't (long story, I know him well enough to know that in this case it's his attitude standing in the way.) I've ordered a book called The Dominance Factor which I think will help me understand how to teach him; he learns very differntly from my dd's and he's almost completely left dominated (possibly 100 percent, but I haven't got the book to test him yet) whereas they are chiefly right. No other learning style has helped me with my dc enough.

 

These moves will help me reduce my daily stress, particularly with all the hormonal changes of menopause I'm dealing with (instant menopause last spring, but the effects last for 1-3 years even with the hormone therapy I'm doing, at least for now.) Women respond to hormonal changes differently, so don't compare yourself to women like my mother who sail through it with barely a symptom (I have to my detriment, so I'm speaking from experience.)

Edited by Karin
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