The following post is from Shannen of Middle Way Mom.
When you’re committed to homeschooling for the long haul, there will be at least one tough year. I’d say you’re pretty lucky if you get away with just one! This last year was a challenge for us. We started with great goals, started out doing well, and things started falling apart as the months went by.
Sound familiar? Well, here’s my aspirations as we are heading back to school.
Know what happened
What went wrong?
What was the biggest contributing factor?
On the other hand, what went right?
We started 9th grade out at a sprint, and foolishly thought we could keep the same pace through the year. I also learned that driving 3+ days a week for year-long scheduled activities wears me down, and I stop following up with other tasks. Just getting two little kids dressed and in the van is work enough some days!
My exhaustion was a major factor, so during the coming year I’ve committed to only having one year-long activity each week. Homeschooling needs wiggle room, especially with littles included. Jam packed schedule? Bad idea.
If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy
Yes, it’s cliche, but it’s definitely true. I’ve learned we have to carve time out for ourselves, for the sake of everyone around us. Ideally, you can leave the house and do what you like, even if it’s just heading to a coffee shop a block away to knit.
Maybe you are rejuvenated by laundry, dishes, and cooking. If so, more power to you! I wish I was like you, but I’m not there right now.
Earlier last year, I was trying to fit in my blogging time in between running around, picking up and dropping off, and whatever other reason I wasn’t able to be home. Life is much smoother now that I have carved out time for the things I enjoy, even if it means blocking off time in my busy schedule.
Even if you have to start the school year a little late, start with a breath of fresh air. My daughter worked well into the summer with some of her school work because it just wasn’t done in time. Rather than have two school years run back to back, I told her that as long as her work was done by mid-August, she could have a solid month off before starting the next school year. I think we both needed it.
Forgiven, but not forgotten
It’s not fair to hold a child’s shortcomings over their head for an extended period of time, just like we don’t want to be reminded of our shortcomings if we are actively working on changing them. Sure, it’s probably best to have a shorter leash in areas that were a struggle the year before, but it’s not a punishment.
In our case, it’s just a reminder to me that she’s not an adult yet, and there are still areas that I need to work on with her. Study skills and time management are not inborn skills we all have. Adjust what needs adjusting, but not so far that it feels like a year-long punishment for the previous year.
Outsource when you can
I’ve heard numerous homeschooling families say that taking on some outside classes from places like Currclick or Pennsylvania Homeschoolers has been a fantastic relief after a trying year. Many areas have educational co-ops that can lighten your load. Younger kids could use something like ABC Mouse to supplement what you’re doing at home also.
You don’t have to do everything! Our job is to find the right resources for our child, even if that resource is housed outside of our home.
Have you had a difficult year? What have you done to get back on your feet?
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
|Shannen homeschools her teen daughter, focusing on earning college credit while in high school, and is getting ready to start the homeschool cycle again with two little ones. You can find her blogging about how they homeschool high school and everything that goes along with it, plus meet up with her on Google +, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.|
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