Monday, July 19, 2010

Homeschool update

I haven't posted any school updates here for quite a while.

The reason?

I haven't really had any updates {sigh}. This last year has felt really LONG, but at the same time, we only managed to finish 17 weeks of school.

Why, you ask?

Well, mostly because this last pregnancy, delivery and recovery were all really hard on me. I get HUGE when I'm pregnant and that makes me whine {*insert sheepish grin here*}. And the delivery and recovery were really hard this time. I can't explain why, but it took a lot out of me. Plus, I've basically been an emotional basket case since about 4 or 5 months pregnant (just ask my poor husband). I feel like I'm coming out of it now, but..........I still have my bad days.

So, even though I did not intend for it to happen (and tried not to let it happen), school kinda got put on the back burner. I tried to school all through December, but there are just too many things happening that month and, without intending to, we took most of the month off. Then baby came in January and we (intentionally) took that month off. I tried to get back into things in February, but that didn't work. Then March. Then April. Then May. I think your starting to get the picture {grin}. Don't get me wrong, it's not that we didn't to any school. It was just hit or miss. No structure. No consistency. I just got further and further behind. I tried to assure myself that it was OK, I'd just school through the summer and get caught up.

Then, I hit the brick wall of full speed.

I know what you are thinking, "how do you burnout when you're not really doing anything in the first place?"

Well, the best answer I can give is, it's a weight thing. No, no, no. Not how much weight I have (or haven't) lost, more of a weight-of-the-world-on-your-shoulders type thing. The more days I took off, the guiltier I felt. And the more overwhelmed I became.
  • We are so far behind, how will we ever catch up?
  • I'm not doing enough, my kids are hopelessly behind.
  • We wont get to have fun this summer because we have to catch up on school.
  • I'm not cut out for this, I'm ruining my kids, I should just put them in school.
These are some of the things that went through my mind on a daily basis. I was ready to throw in the towel.

Then we went to the OCEAN conference. I was very inspired by David Hazell's lecture, "Help, my homeschool is chaos!". I came home encouraged and ready to take it all on again. I was stuck on one of the things David had said. He had explained how they started their school year early, in July. That way they were ahead from the get go, so it was "OK" when they had a day that didn't happen. I sounded like a great idea! It was exactly the type of thing I needed to implement! But then I remembered how far behind we were and I got discouraged. All those statements from above started running through my mind again. After all, I was already soooo far behind, how on earth could I get caught up, much less, get ahead?

Once again I was right back to feeling overwhelmed. Feeling like I was ruining my kids. Ready to throw in the towel.

My husband (bless him!) was desperate to encourage me. But I was convinced he couldn't understand how I felt so his attempts at encouragement just added more weight to my shoulders. Now I felt like I was letting him down as well. What I really needed (but didn't realize it at the time) was for him to give me "permission" to take a break and re-evaluate. He did eventually suggest that (that's why I now know that's what I needed {grin}) and I felt like some of the weight was lifted.

Then I jokingly made the comment to hubby "Maybe I'll just say we're doing ECC* for next year, then we are 17 weeks ahead!"

He latched on to that and told me it was a great idea and he thought that's what I should do. As I pondered it further, I decided it was a pretty good idea. MFW doesn't do grade levels, so it really didn't matter what grade I used it for. I could just as easily use it for 4th grade as for 3rd grade. It really was just a matter of changing my thinking and choosing to consider myself ahead for next year instead of behind for this year.

So, now that I've had some "official" time off and I've changed my thinking, I'm ready to go again! I've been drooling over back-to-school ads (I get a high from shopping for school supplies! I know, I'm weird, but I've accepted that!) and we've decided our "official" back-to-school start day will be August 9th. And the best part is.............

...I'm excitedly looking forward to it!

*Note: For those of you who don't know, we are using My Father's World (MFW) curriculum. It's a unit study type approach that you cycle through every five years. Exploring Countries and Cultures (ECC) is the first year of that cycle. For more info, visit their website.


Rebeca said...

Glennda, that is a perfect idea! You are way ahead of the game now and can give yourself lots of leeway. You're doing a great job, and your kids will do just fine. Hang in there, and I hope the start to the new school year is a good one!

mommyto4duckies said...

I'm glad you can give yourself a break from feeling overwhelmed. Burnout hits us moms so hard because we DO feel the pressure and the weight of everything: school, kids, home, hubby, money, etc, etc. Sounds like you've got the perfect solution. Yeah for you! Enjoy the rest of your 'time off' and have a great school year!

The Frugal Family Manager said...

Glennda, we are both in the exact same boat. Except I think you might even be further along than us! Life just kept getting in the way here too. I had decided to continue ECC next year as well, although we're working to get caught up on the math & language arts this summer. I agree, the ECC can be either grade level- that's what I love about MFW. I hope the school year goes well for you!

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