I am starting to hate homeschooling. I need a pep talk, please? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 30 Old 03-10-2009, 03:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My oldest dd is 10. And I am... Sick.Of.Homeschooling.Her. She is "behind" in print, spelling, and mathematics. And I am getting discouraged. Unschooling is not an option for us- it hasn't worked well in the past.

I feel overwhelmed. I am suffering from, essentially, chronic pain. We've been in our home for a year now, and we're still not unpacked. My youngest is 10 months old and such a handful. On the move and fast, wants mama constantly, doesn't sleep well, hates the car (though that's getting better). My four year old is a challenge. Sibling rivalry, not super verbal, not yet potty trained, difficult to get to bed at night and thus short on sleep, aggressive at times, and in essence, challenging! And my six (almost 7 now!) year old thinks "You don't even love me!" Drama, anyone? And then there is the dog...



I don't know if I want to keep homeschooling. I want someone else to be in charge for a few hours so I can get my house clean, maybe go out for tea with just the baby, or take a nap. Am I burnt out? Now what?

Before you ask, "what are you doing to take care of yourself?" Lots, actually, or at least, I am trying to. Counseling every other week, moms night out once or twice a month, LLL once or twice a month, API once a month unless someone is sick. I'm a member of a local homeschool group, but haven't made any really good friends- everyone is busy doing their own thing, yk? I'm now seeing a naturopath in the hopes of dealing with my health problems, and she's got me on some supplements.

If you made it to the end, and you have it in you, can I have a pep talk? Or permission to quit, maybe, and register my kids for school next fall? Hugs work too.

Laura, mama to J (15), N (12), E (9) , M (6), and our little caboose, R (3).
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#2 of 30 Old 03-10-2009, 03:34 AM
 
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Oh, dear!

I don't know what to say, except that my gut reaction to your list of things you're doing to take care of yourself made me wish you were treating yourself to things like walks and healing time in nature more than meetings. You've got your hands full - it's no wonder you're run down. It's great to hear that you're seeing a naturopath - I'll bet you'll be feeling quite a bit better before long.

And, of course, this will pass...

I'm sure some others will have some practical ideas to offer, but here's another hug at least -

Lillian

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#3 of 30 Old 03-10-2009, 03:35 AM
 
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Sounds like things are rough right now.

Do the reasons that you had for homeschooling still exist?
Do you think things might improve by Fall even if you do not put your kids in school?

If you put your kids in school you are adding getting them up and out of the house every day, dealing with homework, dealing with packing lunches/bags, teacher conferences, illnesses, along with the same personalities and the kids still at home, the house, the dog... it might not be a magic weight lifted off your shoulders just by enrolling them in school.

You could make realistic pro-con lists. Maybe if you see it on paper you will feel better about hs or see more clearly what is right for your family.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#4 of 30 Old 03-10-2009, 03:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post
I don't know what to say, except that my gut reaction to your list of things you're doing to take care of yourself made me wish you were treating yourself to things like walks and healing time in nature more than meetings.
Just reading that made me sigh. I miss taking long walks and enjoying nature. It's so freaking cold and wet here. : I would trade this house (and accompanying mortgage payment) for warm weather, sun, and walks in the park in a heartbeat. Did I mention how much I hate the rain? :

ETA: Thank you for the support and hugs!

Laura, mama to J (15), N (12), E (9) , M (6), and our little caboose, R (3).
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#5 of 30 Old 03-10-2009, 03:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Do the reasons that you had for homeschooling still exist?
Do you think things might improve by Fall even if you do not put your kids in school?
Sigh. I don't know. I guess I will have to sleep on it. Maybe I will remember in the morning.

Thank you for the hugs Kim.

Laura, mama to J (15), N (12), E (9) , M (6), and our little caboose, R (3).
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#6 of 30 Old 03-10-2009, 09:41 AM
 
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I don't know if I want to keep homeschooling. I want someone else to be in charge for a few hours so I can get my house clean, maybe go out for tea with just the baby, or take a nap. Am I burnt out? Now what?
Well, unfortunately, it doesn't sound like that need will be taken care of by sending your DD to school. If you need a few hours (and of course you do!) might be better to get some help if you have the extra $. My concern is that you'll send DD to school (and IME, that is still another job) and still not have the time you need for yourself.

Whenever I think HSing is hard, I realize it's my little ones that are so demanding right now. If I sent my oldest back to school (who is the most cooperative/least demanding) it would solve nothing.

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#7 of 30 Old 03-10-2009, 09:48 AM
 
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Well, unfortunately, it doesn't sound like that need will be taken care of by sending your DD to school. If you need a few hours (and of course you do!) might be better to get some help if you have the extra $. My concern is that you'll send DD to school (and IME, that is still another job) and still not have the time you need for yourself.

Whenever I think HSing is hard, I realize it's my little ones that are so demanding right now. If I sent my oldest back to school (who is the most cooperative/least demanding) it would solve nothing.
ditto. plus, it may make matters worse when your school-aged children come home each day stressed out from school and grouchy and then they take it all out on the rest of the family. Not to mention dealing with their homework, stuff that may come up at the school that you need to deal with, etc. I'd think it through long and hard. I've been in a similar place as you in the past and I did put mine in school for a couple of years and then took them back out when I saw that it wasn't the right answer for us.

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#8 of 30 Old 03-10-2009, 09:57 AM
 
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Homeschooling, for us, is a year by year thing. We do it as long as it works. If it doens't, we do something else for a while. Putting your children in school for a year doesn't mean that you have to do it the next...it doens't even mean that you have to keep them there the entire year! Use the school system when you need it. If everyone needs a break, then take one. It doesn't have to be this huge permanent thing. My best friend put her kids in school for a year when her three year old was diagnosed with a chronic illness and it worked at the time and now they are back to homeschooling. If you need a break, take a break.

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#9 of 30 Old 03-10-2009, 09:59 AM
 
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Homeschooling is tough... so is being a mom. Add moving on top of a new little one - sounds like they were at around the same time - and it's easy to see you are stressed out.
For me, getting out of the house to meet with other moms isn't as important as time alone at home to get things feeling comfortable there. But both do have their benefits! (I loved my MNOs once my house was comfortable again!)
If you at all have some extra $, I'd seriously suggest a mother's helper or someone to help with the kids or someone to help unpack/do chores at home. It's amazing how much I was able to get unpacked (and packed again) when there was someone else around to help. I paid a neighbor high school girl $5/hr to occupy my three kids for a couple hours a week when we first moved last time. (I wish I could find someone to help this time, too!)

I'm sure the np will help, too!

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#10 of 30 Old 03-10-2009, 10:00 AM
 
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Is there any reason you couldn't find something for her to do for a few hours? Does she take any classes? Does she have a friend she could visit for an afternoon? A grandparent?

I know what you are going through, we've been going through that here too only it's my 15yo. What I found we needed was not to stop homeschooling, but to spend some time apart. A overnight at a friends house along with a date night for DH and I was just the thing. IT's amazing what that short period of noth aving to deal with just one of my kids dd to help me see more clearly. It really didn't hate homeschooling, or even homeschooling my DD, I just needed a break.

Also, I find that this is the time of year when if I am feeling slightly frustratated it all comes to a head. The dreary weather, things getting cancelled because of snow, spending WAY to much time inside....it all adds up to boredom and burnout. It will pass! I know this, but it's still hard to remember when in the thick of it.

((((HUGS))))
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#11 of 30 Old 03-10-2009, 11:08 AM
 
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My 10 year old homeschooled until this year and is now in school. It has worked out VERY well. We moved from a sunny place with lots of wonderful things for homeschoolers to do to somewhere cold and miserable where non-christians are not welcome at homeschool activities.

My DD loved homeschooling where we lived before, but here school really is a better option to being stuck in the house all day, with crappy weather and no activities. She really enjoys being around the other kids. I find it much easier to help with the school stuff than to homeschool because I no longer have to provide all the energy for it.

My other dd has chosen to continue to homeschool. Homeschooling shouldn't mean spending all your time alone. But here it does. We've lived here over a year and she has made 1 friend.

Everyone's situation is different and no one can tell you what will work best for you and your kids. So much really depends on the kids. My DD who goes to school is there because she prefers it to being home right now, so she is motivated and happy.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#12 of 30 Old 03-10-2009, 11:41 AM
 
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I agree that you need to do something to make YOU feel better. I just started going to the gym 5-6 time a week. Every evening, yes during dinner I leave for about 1 and a half hours. My dh knows I am a much happier person now that i am getting in shape and have time with no children. BTW I have 5 and run a daycare.
Now on the other hand, sometimes you need a break. A complete break from all stress related to the responsibility of educating your kids. I am giving you permission to try the kids in school for a little while. It won't kill them. My 3 oldest are in school and and are still great kids. You would be amazed at all the work your dd will do when she has to report to a teacher other than you. There are some great schools out there. You can still protect your children. My 13 y/o is not allowed to see many movies that his friends can see. We don't let him watch much t.v and what he does watch is mom approved. He is not allowed to go the mall by himself and every friend he has we are close to the parents.
You have to do what is best for YOU and your children. Don't listen to the people that always are telling you the bad part of school. It is not all bad. If you are hating every day and fighting with your kids, then maybe you need to step back.
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#13 of 30 Old 03-10-2009, 12:23 PM
 
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What do the 10 and 7 year old want?

If they want to go, I would probably give it a shot.

How are the school choices in your area?

If it doesn't work out you can pull them. If it does - great!

If your DC do not want to go to school, I probably would not enroll them at this point. You would be sending them to school to give yourself some space (I totally empathise!) but I just don't think you would be getting the break you need. I have had kids in school and it was no cake-walk. Getting kids up, fed and dressed by a certain time was hard. Helping children to keep the reams of papers organised was hard. Dealing with the school when they were being a$$es was very hard. YMMV. If you do all this plus add in kids who do not want to be there......

If you decide to send them to school and they do not want to go - I would definitely send both older kids - otherwise you will look like you are favouring one child ("why does she get to stay home while I have to go to school?")

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#14 of 30 Old 03-10-2009, 12:34 PM
 
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Yes, putting the kids in school DOES mean that you get a few hours every day with just the baby. But, you still have the baby at home, without any older siblings available to keep an eye on her, and you may not find yourself with any more time available for cleaning.

You also end up with kids who come home tired after school, who need to do homework that's pure busywork (that pisses you off because you know you'd never assign anything like that when you were in charge of their education), to bed on time, up early each day to get to school on time, PTA meetings, etc. Right now, you have the freedom to sleep in if you're having a tired morning and nobody wakes you up. You don't have to get everybody up when you're all sleeping, and certainly no need to make everybody get dressed and out of the house on lazy days.

You also mentioned it's cold and rainy outside, and that's making you feel gloomy. Don't make ANY permenant decisions when it's rainy and gloomy- everything might turn around after a few sunny days.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#15 of 30 Old 03-10-2009, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you to everyone offering support! I really do appreciate it.

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You also mentioned it's cold and rainy outside, and that's making you feel gloomy. Don't make ANY permenant decisions when it's rainy and gloomy- everything might turn around after a few sunny days.
I am hoping you are right. I am not feeling as hopeful as I would like because at this point, it feels like it is ALWAYS rain and gloom. Like, 9 months of the year. But maybe I'm just being a pessimist. I had no idea how much the bad weather would affect me when I decided to move up here.

Laura, mama to J (15), N (12), E (9) , M (6), and our little caboose, R (3).
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#16 of 30 Old 03-10-2009, 04:09 PM
 
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I am not feeling as hopeful as I would like because at this point, it feels like it is ALWAYS rain and gloom. Like, 9 months of the year. But maybe I'm just being a pessimist. I had no idea how much the bad weather would affect me when I decided to move up here.
Get yourself to a "sun" store and get some full spectrum lighting - or do some research online and order some! It's not just an attitude you have - it's a very real physiological phenomenon that's dragging you down. There are lots of different lamp options - you can just sit in front of one type while you have your morning tea, and you can have a pole types set up to light up the areas you hang out most. It's not a luxury - it's a necessity for situations like yours. And your children are probably being affected in similar ways. - Lillian

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#17 of 30 Old 03-10-2009, 08:06 PM
 
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You may be suffering from SAD (seasonal affective disorder)...this is a huge problem around in certain parts of the country.

Some treatments include Vit. D (many people are deficient), lights, etc. It's really hard to deal with other stuff when you're under a gray cloud, literally.

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#18 of 30 Old 03-10-2009, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You may be suffering from SAD (seasonal affective disorder)...this is a huge problem around in certain parts of the country.
This is so utterly obvious, I have no idea why it didn't occur to me before! I was actually diagnosed as severely vit D deficient last month. But the supplement I bought hasn't agreed with me.

Laura, mama to J (15), N (12), E (9) , M (6), and our little caboose, R (3).
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#19 of 30 Old 03-10-2009, 08:41 PM
 
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You do have your hands full mama. I would say that to take away some of the pressure form you and help her move along you should find a 2-3 day per week tutor to help her focus on her studies. Of course it all depends on what you have in your area. Even another parent who likes to teach a certain subject can get through to your child in a different way.

Kiya- Mama to 3 growing Son's. Waldorf joy.gifDoula  hug.gif  Making Recycled Woolens and Trainers every spare moment.
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#20 of 30 Old 03-10-2009, 09:18 PM
 
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I just wanted to agree about the SAD. I moved to Seattle from Miami when I was almost due with my son and we just moved back to FL now that my son is two. The weather is really gloomy and it can really take a toll on you physically so I definitely recommend getting a full spectrum light. I never tried it but I have many friends that due use one and swear by it.

Good luck.

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#21 of 30 Old 03-10-2009, 09:41 PM
 
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This is so utterly obvious, I have no idea why it didn't occur to me before! I was actually diagnosed as severely vit D deficient last month. But the supplement I bought hasn't agreed with me.
FYI, our walmart carries full spectrum lights for @ $20 (if you only look online, the options seem to be a lot pricier.)

ZM
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#22 of 30 Old 03-11-2009, 12:00 AM
 
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FYI, our walmart carries full spectrum lights for @ $20 (if you only look online, the options seem to be a lot pricier.)
But be sure to make comparisons, because there are significant differences between the lights, and I think it could make a difference in how they work for you. There was a good store up near Seattle (in Ballard), and I would think that any area that had that kind of climate would have some good local stores where you could take a look. When I lived deep in the woods, I had them all around the living room. - Lillian
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#23 of 30 Old 03-11-2009, 10:56 AM
 
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This is so utterly obvious, I have no idea why it didn't occur to me before! I was actually diagnosed as severely vit D deficient last month. But the supplement I bought hasn't agreed with me.
You might want to look at the vit D council website http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/.

I've also found flylady http://www.flylady.net really helpful for housework, which in turn helps me feel better about everything else.

Good luck. Hope things get better for you soon!
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#24 of 30 Old 03-11-2009, 02:49 PM
 
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If you decide to go with Flylady, I'd like to give some advice about how to use her system.

She has it set up pretty much as "this is my system, either you follow it or you don't." But you can use what works for you and ignore the rest. Like if you don't want to wear shoes in the house, then don't wear shoes. But you can still follow her advice about breaking up the work into 15 minute segments, picking an area that you always keep clean (it doesn't HAVE TO be the kitchen sink), etc. Don't let her approach turn you off.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#25 of 30 Old 03-12-2009, 03:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ladies, thank you again for all your ideas, recommendations and support! MDC is awesome.

Laura, mama to J (15), N (12), E (9) , M (6), and our little caboose, R (3).
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#26 of 30 Old 12-04-2011, 09:38 AM
 
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Hi, I am wondering what you ended up doing.  I am thinking the same thing for my 5 year old who is very bored at home.  He loves doing the "school stuff" but anytime I'm not doing it with him, he gets bored and bugs his brother or gets whiny. 

 

Thanks!

Jessica

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#27 of 30 Old 12-04-2011, 04:50 PM
 
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Edited because I am not paying attention!  Ignore!  Ignore!


Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
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#28 of 30 Old 12-04-2011, 08:45 PM
 
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Just a reminder that this thread is from two years ago. Not that the same issues might not be relevant to others in 2011. And yes, it would be interesting to hear an update from the original poster.

 

Miranda


Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

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#29 of 30 Old 12-05-2011, 06:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

Just a reminder that this thread is from two years ago. Not that the same issues might not be relevant to others in 2011. And yes, it would be interesting to hear an update from the original poster.

 

Miranda


Thanks!  Another zombie-read on my part.  That's 2 in 2 days.  I better slow down a little....

 


Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
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#30 of 30 Old 03-07-2012, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh wow! Funny to see this pop up again three years later. So, an update!

I put my kids in school last year (2010-2011). I had an infant and preschooler at home, and my kindergartener, 3rd grader, and 6th grader in school full time. It was a very very helpful break. The structure really helped our family. It turned out, I did have vit D deficiency, and SAD, and the chronic pain was fibromyalgia syndrome. We also discovered that my 4th child (who was then the infant in my original post) had colic and several food allergies (eggs, gluten, milk, almonds, soy, hazelnuts, and peanuts). My son was later diagnosed with high functioning autism. He did developmental preschool, and then was in the "life skills" classroom at his school. This year he was transitioned to a regular 1st grade class with a fabulous para-educator. We're getting all the supports from the school that I have asked for.

This year I have a 7th grader who is homeschooling, but also attending band at the local middle school. She has made lots of neighborhood friends and finally seems happy here in WA. My 4th grader loves school. My 1st grader isn't keen on school, but it is the best place for him right now. We do lots of "afterschooling" and ASD support activities at home, and would consider homeschooling in the future if school was no longer working for him, but would fight hard to make school work first. I don't know if we will homeschool our youngest two. My 4th child is still very high strung, and maybe she would benefit from school, but for now, we are waiting and allowing her to mature. And of course the baby is only 14 months, so she will be home for a good while yet.

I can't say I love homeschooling, but the mix of home and public schooling is working out just fine. It was a tough adjustment, to be on the school calendar, at first, but it works for us now.

Laura, mama to J (15), N (12), E (9) , M (6), and our little caboose, R (3).
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