In the past few months I have noticed a drastic change in our homeschool. It was stressing me out. Actually, I’m pretty sure it was stressing all of us out. I realized that we were having a stress-filled homeschool and I needed to stop re-evaluate and possibly take a break.
In truth, we have been homeschooling for about five years now, as we started when AppleBlossom was quite young and vying for educational inspiration and exploration. We jumped right in, and I couldn’t keep up with her thirst for knowledge and budding learning skills. Teaching her has been a delight and looking forward to learning more and going deeper has been a dream to contemplate. But that is not how the last few months, or school year, has played out…
There are quite a few new elements. Toddler Rascal brother in the background as well as five-year-old attention span of a butterfly distracting dramatic sister being only two of them. The past school year we switched gears and curricula and instead of reading, and doing a page of work and moving on to the next one we were using specific lesson plans and being held accountable to an outside scholastic source. Last school year was one thing, because it was just submit proof of progress twice a year. Yet, this year, the one we’re currently only halfway through… We have to submit specific assignments on specific dates each quarter, or four times, through out the scholastic year.
Some days we are great and learn so much and are excited about school. Others not so much, but isn’t that the way of every homeschool family life? This year, more than once we’ve found that THE ASSIGNMENT happens to fall on a bad day, and then it is dreaded and causes an overhaul of emotions, when it should just be a little thing and then move on. But it’s not.
We’ve found ourselves to be highly stressed. We never have time to read together. Our snuggles are cut in half, and usually when they ask for it I’m so tired and frustrated from requesting something else be accomplished first, because it has to get done then nobody is friendly and it is all around cranky atmosphere.
School does not have to involve tears and shouting from any party. It does not need to be a constant state of tense. Not all subjects have to be fun to be taught and learned, but if there is more negativity in the school life than fun and positivity things have got to change.
Praying is always a great step back toward the right direction.
Stopping and taking a dance or singing break will often remove the tension and bring on the giggles gearing us back to a friendly environment for learning.
Road blocks happen, surgery, new babies, and other things happen. Going a bit with the flow, and encouraging just one more step is always better. One step forward, even if there are two steps back gets us further on the path.
I’ve been freaking out this year about deadlines and the things that just are not getting accomplished. But oh my goodness, I have an incredible advanced super hero fanatic child that loves to read. She reads on an advanced grade level. She can compute math on an average fifth grade skill set. She loves animals and researches in her own time. She teaches concepts to her younger siblings and plays little mama with ease. She is seven years old, and nearly halfway through an advanced third grade curriculum. So we are not quite going at the pace set by the scholastic umbrella. This stress isn’t worth it. This isn’t the home school environment I set myself up to look forward to. Yes we need to learn. Yes we need to move forward. But not this way. Never this way.
If your homeschool environment is taking over you or the curriculum is using you rather than you utilizing it. Stop. Breathe and re-evaluate like we did.
God has created amazing independent and creative children for us to guide on their learning journey. We need to make sure to take care of ourselves as well as our discipuli with each day as we move forward.
I miss the smiles and the giggles we had every day, let’s get them back.