Sunday, April 03, 2011

Ready to homeschool again

As I've said before, I haven't been enjoying homeschooling lately.  We've had a difficult time with motivation - mine and my students'.  I found myself getting frustrated too often.  Frustration shouldn't be associated with homeschooling in the kids' minds!.  I want them to have good memories of these days.  I don't want them, as adults, to think back and remember a tired, nasty Mom.  I'd been forcing pushing encouraging my kids toward more independence, and greater responsibility for their own educations.  We've had mixed results; change isn't always easy.

But I think we're coming out of it.  Things are looking better.  I'm looking forward to homeschooling again! If you are suffering from homeschool burnout, or frustration, or whatever you want to call it, you might try the following steps:

1. Sign up for a free Netflix trial.  (If you already have Netflix, skip to number 3.)

2. Fill up your instant queue with documentaries, old tv shows, and Dr. Who episodes.

3. Get your entire family, except yourself, sick for a week or so.  Not too sick!  We don't want doctor visits interrupting us. We don't want people to be miserable.  Just sick enough that hard work is out of the question. It's helpful if they have no appetite and food doesn't taste good - meal planning is much easier when buttered pasta and Gatorade is about all anyone wants to eat.

4. Let your kids read and watch documentaries and old tv shows much of the day. Watch some of the documentaries with them, preferably while knitting. Then talk about it all at mealtimes.

5. Spend that empty time reading novels, blogging, immersing yourself in a new Bible study, going out for coffee with friends in the morning and cocktails with friends in the evening, and doing a little homeschool planning.

6. When your kids are not watching tv and you're not reading novels, read something exciting yet schoolish to them, such as The Odyssey.  (Which is pure pleasure to read aloud; not difficult or tiring at all.  It's almost as if it was written to be spoken, not read silently.) Discuss.

Tomorrow is the start of a new week.  My family is getting over their sickness. I'm getting over my feeling of not wanting to homeschool.

None of the problems that caused me to stop loving homeschooling have actually been solved.  I still  have work to do, on myself and my kids.  But this break, though unplanned and not exactly fun, might have been just what I needed to get my perspective back.  I don't know if my kids are bored enough yet to get their perspective back.  I'll find out tomorrow.

Update:  It's tomorrow.  Kids woke up reasonably early, tired but healthy.  (They did need a little help to wake up. The dog is always happy to oblige.)  We discussed their assignments, then I left for a meeting I'd forgotten about.  When I got home, the work was mostly done.  One person expressed a need for help with something.  Piano practice had been accomplished.  Some creative writing had too.  Everyone seems happy, for the moment, to be back into a normal(ish) routine.  


DADvocate said...

I admire your dedication and the hard work you put into your children's education. They'll be better for it and the world will be to.

Kerri said...

Haha, so true. There are times when I wish for a sick day.

Canning for a week also helps. After that I just wish to be able to sit down and read to the kiddos and put my feet up. :)