Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Todd was WRONG!

OK, maybe not completely wrong, but.............

Today was not a good day.  

It started out OK.  Everyone did their morning chores and got ready for school. Little P even put his breakfast plate in the dishwasher without a fight!  No one argued when I said we needed to clean off the entertainment center before starting school.  Then we started school on time (well.... almost).  

And that's when things started downhill.  

Little P and Little Bits insisted on playing nerf guns in the livingroom, making quite the ruckus, while I was trying to read the history lesson.  But a raised voice (once or twice) and we made it through.

Then we started on Kindergarten.........And things got worse......Way worse.

Today's lesson was our first introduction to reading a simple story.  We were working our way through and she got stumped on a word.  No big deal.......sound it out.  But she wasn't getting it.  The kicker?  She had just read the word FOUR times in the previous sentences!  My mind just couldn't wrap it's self around the idea that you can struggle with a word you've already read 2 seconds before.

And I found myself getting frustrated.  Really frustrated.  And (I hate to admit it).....Angry.

I finally threw up my hands in defeat and stomped into the bedroom.

I texted my frustration to my husband (it's easier for him to text than call when he is at work) and he responded "right" with words of encouragement.........."You can do it."

And I got angrier........

Now, let me deviate from my story a little and back to Todd.  Todd Wilson is one of my favorite homeschool speakers.  He's funny and real and I can relate to him.  His concept of "be real" is great and something I think we homeschooling moms tend to ignore. 

Hubby and I heard him for the first time a few years ago when he came to our states' annual homeschool conference.  One of his concepts that really stuck with us then was the idea of "shutting the escape hatch".  In other words, committing to homeschool and taking public school off the table.  So, Hubby and I did just that.

For a while things seemed great.  But then I started feeling like I was clawing at that escape hatch, trying to reopen it on a regular basis.  After several blow-ups, I finally put my finger on the problem.  I explained it to Hubby this way:

"It's as if we were both in a room and closed the escape hatch and then I turned around to find you had snuck out of the room and locked me in by myself."

Ouch!  Well, after a long heart-to-heart and some reorganizing of our homeschool, things got much better.

But lately I've been feeling like I'm back to clawing at that escape hatch.  And today, things really came to a head.

One of the things Todd stresses to homeschool dads is to be encouraging, especially when your wife has a bad day.  My hubby has latched on to that and has always been very encouraging.

However, today I finally discovered something about myself....... Encouragement doesn't help!  Well, at least not on a bad day.  'Cause, don't get me wrong, I need encouragement just as much as the next homeschool mom.  But, when I throw up my hands in defeat and stomp out of the room, the last thing I want Hubby to say is "you can do it!".  'Cause what I hear is "you have to or I won't love you anymore".


What I need is for Hubby to give me "permission" to take the day off, to take a break.  I already feel guilty for walking away, but know I'm too frustrated to go back.  So when Hubby says "you can do it!" I feel like he is pushing me to go back.  

And I know I can't.

Thus, I feel like I have failed him and he won't love me anymore.  So my only solution is to accept failure and put my kids in public school.

Thankfully, all these realizations have helped and Hubby and I have had a heart-to-heart this evening.  He is more than happy to simply give me "permission" to take the day off when things aren't going well and I'm beyond frustrated. =)  

So, I'm laying all this out there just in case I'm not the only one who feels like this (Please tell me I'm not the only one?!?) and it may help someone else.  

And, Todd, if you ever read this, maybe just a little clarification from you that not all homeschool moms are made exactly the same?

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