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Meeting everyone's needs

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I guess you just have to come to a point where you just say, I've done what I can do. There is no way to do everything every single on of your children needs. For a bright, advance freshman he needs time at home to study and work diligently at his tasks. And he is best with quiet and no distractions. I need to watch Geometry and Logic to make sure I know what is going on. With my 7th grader, it is time to get serious this year and up the requirement of a child who just coast and does nothing without accountablility. However, he is social and MISSES friends desperately...as in they have none any more. Then there is 2nd grade EXTREMELY social girl who makes friends wherever we go. She if finally starting to read, but obviously almost all subjects need my hands-on involvement. Then there is my dad who is battling bladder cancer, severe COPD with lung function getting worse and worse. Then just keeping up with a house and 50 acres with a busy surgeon hubby who loves to travel, so we take a big trip every quarter. Part of this keeps him in touch with the children. I've dropped everything I am responsible for outside of home for next year. But I'll be honest, I still can't meet the needs of everyone around here. It's impossible. My 7th grader is going to be REALLY upset that we aren't doing co-op next year. Youth on Wednesday night will be all he gets for interaction and to be honest there are mostly girls in middle school. We are the only homeschoolers in my church as well. I don't know how to meet the social needs AND do the rigorous academics that we let slide this past year AND meet the needs of my dad (only caregiver) AND make a household/farm work. Any suggestions??



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I know how you feel. I don't have 50 acres, just a little over 5, but I found I had to prioritize based on what was important for me and my children.


School comes first, then the sport/activity they have committed to (only one per child, but means every afternoon for me). That means my house gets picked up a once a day, and only cleaned once a week.


My 15yo is the most social person I have ever met. He knows more people than I do. I have had to let him have the freedom to have friends over here whenever he wants, as long as his schoolwork is done. For me, that means having 2-3 extra teenage boys over here, feeding them, etc. a LOT. It also means running he and his friends to the movies or someone else's house on the weekends. He also has track practice 3x week.


My 12yo is at dance 3 days a week for 3 hours at a time (she is in company ballet and jazz). Her friends are there and she has them over sometimes for sleepovers after dance on Fridays sometimes or goes to their house on the weekend. They are a close-knit group of girls.


My 10yo loves playing baseball, is the captain of his team and will play All-Stars this summer. He is having another player over here to spend the night after the game.


My 9yo is the NC State All-Around Champion in gymnastics for her level. She is at the gym 16-18 hours a week. Her friends are there. They are together so much that they are really more like sisters to her. They come over or she goes to their house after practice on Saturdays a lot.


I said all this to say that my kids get their schoolwork done FIRST, then they have their activity/friends after that. This is not easy on me. I have to get them there, pick them up, deal with extra kids over here ALL the time. I have to remember that when they are grown (I have two grown already, so I know how fast it goes), they will think back to good times and never think about how clean the house is or whether the pasture got mowed. We are a close family and eat dinner together every night when everyone gets in, no matter what time it is. We play kickball games in our pasture with our whole family and whatever friends are here on the weekends. We take everyone hiking a lot.


Their dad works a lot, but his schedule is flexible, so he does pick-up for everyone a couple of days a week. My 23yo also helps me with pick-ups, so I do have some help there.


I think the need to have friends, especially for my 12yo and 15yo, is a real NEED, and I have to give up how I would like my days to go (peace and quiet) to meet it.


Just my rambling thoughts. I haven't had enough coffee!:001_smile:

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I'm in a similar situation. I told my husband last night that my goal is to just survive the next year, and everyone is going to have to make concessions if I am going to reach my goals.


I'm going to try to get my 14 year old together with other kids in her outsourced Worldview class so that they can study together at the library each week. I find it really unfair that she was trying to read St. Augustine, and Miss Bossy was yelling, "Close that book, and play horses with me!" She needs a better work environment.


Mr. Clever is my coaster. He did really well, in his English class this year, so next year, I'm making him focus more on Math and Texas History. If I do that, the NEXT year when he is in 9th grade, he should be very well-balanced and on level. He will still play 3 instruments, but no swim team or youth group. Scouts will be his only social outlet. To make up for that, We will send him to both winter and summer scout camp as well as piano camp.


Miss Beautiful is intensely social. I'm making time with friends a priority for her. She has one friend that spends the entire day on Thursdays. They just disappear into her room, and play dolls for 12 hours. This gives me time to focus on the other kids. I have told all of her friends that we will be at the pool on Wednesday afternoons, and they all promised to be there. That way, She can be getting some of her social needs met while I teach Miss Bossy to swim. The house is a wreck, but I'm also paying her $10 a room to really deep clean for me. She does a good job, and when she gets paid, I take her for a special shopping day. I'm also coughing up the money to buy Sonlight Core 5 for her. She will love it, and after spending time with her friends, she is really grateful, and motivated to pay me back by working hard on her schoolwork.


I'm my dad's only caregiver also. So far, he is doing so well on the chemo that it hasn't been an issue yet. If he becomes a candidate for surgery this summer, he will move in with us to recover and I'll have a lot more to do. Since this is in the back of my mind, I am making a point to take it easy, and not wear myself out.


It is a difficult situation to be in, I know. If I try to do everything, I'll become a shrew, and not do well in any area, so I picked one or two areas to focus on for each person, and try to do those things well. I will reassess in September to see how well I've accomplished my goals, and if I need to rearrange anything before the new baby is born in December.

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Here is my tentative schedule:

I will have a 2nd grader, 7th grader and 9th grader:


8-8:30- I will be watching Chalkdust Geometry with my 9th grader, 7th grader will be watching and doing Chalkdust Pre-Algebra on his own and 2nd grader will be eating breakfast and doing her morning routine.

8: 30-9 Boys continue with math and I will do Saxon phonics and violin with the 2nd grader

9-9:30 I will work on science with one of the boys. Oldest is doing Chemistry so it may be going over module summary answers or making sure he has what he needs for experiment, etc. My 7th grader will be doing a real textbook with General Science for the first time so I will need to spell out my standards, help him read it, memorize vocab, etc. My 2nd grader has a break.

9:30-10 Boys continue to work on science. I will work on phonics, singapore math and FLL and WWE

10-10:15 Boys take a quick break while I continue working with my daughter.

10:15-12 Boys will work on English and History, though middle one wants to do Spanish in that block. However, Monday will be planning, and Friday I will need to have history and literature discussion with both of them. We will be doing TOG on the rhetoric and dialectic level. They are also both doing IEW intensive C. So I will need to watch the DVD with them so I will understand what they are supposed to do. My daughter will do her vision therapy on the computer as well as handwriting/copywork during this time period. Perhaps finishing math or doing some kind of math drill that doesn't need my help.

12- 12:30 lunch

12:30-1:30 My oldest will practice his piano while middle one does history or Spanish. I will do history or science with my 2nd grader. It will be TOG for history but I'm not sure for science. I guess one of the Apologia Elementary books I have on the shelf.

1:30-2:30 Oldest does Spanish I while middle one practices piano. I continue to do science or history with oldes... Oh, literature with TOG as well.

2:30-3 Introductory Logic for oldest, Typing Tutor for middle .. I may collapse

At 3 we will do our house cleaning.


Right now I have my daughter's vision therapy on Monday afternoon and her violin lessons on Thursday. I am going to try to get them on the same afternoon. During that afternoon, my oldest will go to church to work/community service from 1-4:30. It is fine that he won't have time to do Spanish or Logic as those could be 4 days a week. He needs to get out working with people.


On Wednesday afternoons the boys have piano lessons for one hour each, so from 2-4. During this time I take my disabled father to Walmart, to get his haircut, do things for him around the house, etc.


The boys will have youth on Wednesday night while my daughter does AWANA and I do adult choir.


But the boys have NO friends. We didn't have a birthday party this year because they didn't have anyone to invite. The co-op meets 3 Wednesday mornings a month, but I would need to help teach a class if I did that. This past spring I directed a musical for a music class and just about killed myself. But even though we have done co-op for the past 4 years, my boys haven't made any friends. The co-op and homeschool group are about 45 minutes away in a neighboring town. I do have one friend here who homeschools and her oldest is my middle one's age and we do try to get together, but it is hard to find a time our schedule's work. (She has 4 from 6 to 12).



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I have no answers, just sisterhood.


I simply don't have time in my day for all the things I HAVE to do. And I'm only homeschooling two kids! We have 160 acre cattle ranch and raise beef cattle and meat goats and have a mirriad of other animals including the horses which are our recreation ( IF we find the time!). The farm is a part time job. I have homeschool which takes up my entire morning. Then there are co-op classes and errands in the afternoon. I do farm chores most evenings - TILL DARK and sometimes after. I am the leader of our county 4-H horse club, teach Sunday school, am on the Outreach team at church. I have two older kids who actually take quite a bit of interaction. My DD23 lives in IL and is very lonely, missing her family. I talk with her at least 30 minutes a day and email a couple of times. Right now, she really needs me. Then there is laundry, cooking, cleaning, paper work....etc....on and on.


I have been skipping quiet time which makes EVERYTHING worse of course. I have been ignoring my DH - he's so wonderful, but still, it's not okay. I HAVE decided that SOMETHING has to go - but I simply can't figure out what. Sell the goats? We just spend a boat load getting their facilities all set up! Sell the ducks? DD8 loves them...she shows them at the fair, we eat and sell the eggs and the ducklings (sell them, not eat them;)). I did tell her that ONE species of animal has to go and she picked the rabbits which she loves too but..... We are selling out of all rabbits - anyone? :D


I can't quit the 4-H club - there is no one else to do it. I'd love to hire a maid - but can't afford it. I did decide to quit cooking half of the days! Hehe. We eat a lot of lean cuisines and sandwiches for dinner. I have no time to exercise and I'd LOVE to go back to school - I have 56 credits and would love to finish my degree - haha - that isn't going to happen for a while.


I'm working on it though. I am so embarrassed when my son's girl freind comes over and the place is a mess. I hope she can see I'm not a slob so much as an overworked person who considers dusting and vacuuming last on the list. Oh well, I'm working on it. Now if I can get my son to clean the bathroom........

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I have unique priorities. I think everyone's values are shaped by the experiences they have had. In my family, there has never been a kid who was unsuccessful because he wasn't smart or well-educated enough. Instead, I'm surrounded by brilliant loved ones who can not keep a minimum wage job due to addiction or emotional instability.


I realize this is not the case in other people's families. These experiences lead me to put social and emotional health above academics.


I would not do a co-op where I needed to teach right now. I love where my kids take outside classes, because I just pay my money, and get really great teaching in exchange. I feel good about paying other homeschooling families who are not as overwhelmed as I am. My kids benefit from the social interaction, and practice being in a classroom setting.


I wish my oldest kids had more friends. Miss Good really has less of a need for social time than other kids. She is happy being with the animals and the family. Mr. Clever is well-liked everywhere he goes, but does not have many kids come over to play. I try to get him to invite boys over, but he is super picky about who he wants to spend time with. They both have strong relationships with adults inside and outside of the family.


Miss Beautiful needs her friends like the rest of us need to breathe. When we go out of town for goat shows, the rest of us spend the night in the barn, she has a "best friend" in every town who is thrilled to invite her over for the night.


I figure that God had each child's purpose in mind when He formed them, so I really try to see their bent and encourage them in that direction rather than make them conform to my standards.

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It's easy for us to see that women can't have it all when it comes to having a job and being an attached Mom.


But your case seems to me to be a similar situation of not being able to have everything you want all at the same time.


It seems clear to me that you can't live on a 50 acre farm that isn't near your children's friends, homeschool, and care for an aging parent and still have children who get all the different desire they have met. If you want to do the coop, you may have to give up some academic priorities. If you want academics to be the major priority, you probably need to hire someone to care for the property and for your father.


If you are able to take 4 vacations a year, I am thinking you could afford to get some household help. If that's not true, I might insist on cutting back the vacations. You really can't have everything. Maybe you could hire someone to do the driving around to lessons or to help with meals or to tutor ... whatever. But it's can't all be you.


Do your kids socialize on the weekened? Do you have a church group they fit into?


I'm not sure what you need to do, but I agree with you that you can't do a good job at everything, and you might need to let some things go.

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You have too much going on. This sounds like a perfect opportunity for you to list all the commitments, pressures, competing interests, and then sit down with your husband and talk them through. You two must decide what your priorities are for the family, and for each child. Surely he understands the importance of academic skills, but he may not undertand their social needs, if he is not cut out of that same cloth. It's nearly as important, if that is one of their giftings.


Like Danestress, I think this would be a perfect opportunity to get a mother's helper involved. I'd see if another homeschool mom with just a couple of youngsters wanted to work a few hours every afternoon doing any and every thing that you don't have time for, helping with lessons for the youngest, running kids to events, even taking on some of the farm chores or cooking.


Your dh is very quickly going to have to understand the realities of homeschooling older kids, as well. There just won't be the time for trips, unless you plan to school year round and stay out of co-op or other regularly scheduled academic opportunities. With every opportunity comes an opportunity cost, and you all will have to decide where your priorities lie. (I'd go with traveling now, arranging some flexibility with my co-op teachers, and then plan to school year round. It will get harder every year, and it's likely that at some point in high school, dad will have to realize that the kids just can't travel on his timetable as they once could. Making the change to vacations during regular school breaks has been very hard for us.)



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