Avoiding new school year burnout? - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 7 Old 10-19-2010, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
mich's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 689
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We have been homeschooling for years but I have added a lot this year. The boys are getting older and and we are taking on new subjects. How long until I adjust to all this extra work?! The kids are fine, they are enjoying the family readings and discussions we are doing, but I am wiped out!

Our short work days last year would be 30 minutes, days with more work 2 hours. Now the short work days are 2 hours, and an average work day is almost 4 hours! I know I need to suck it up and do it, but I have hit a wall. I need to push through and make this our new habit, new routine.

Anyone else struggling with all the work? How long until I adjust?

Michelle , 20+ years with a wonderful DH
Mama to two boys, 12 and 10

mich is offline  
#2 of 7 Old 10-19-2010, 06:01 PM
 
mom2ponygirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,562
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We're struggling a bit. My dd signed up for several online classes since I'm working more. She's also doing almost all high school work. We're also trying to spend much more time involved in her sports. These first couple of months have been a little crazy. We seem to have settled into a reasonable routine and plan on cutting down a bit for next semester. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed as well with work and helping her stay on top of her classes, as well as actively working with her on a couple subjects.

Homeschooling has always been a tough balancing act for me. We tend to do a little too much or not enough. Finding the sweet spot in the middle is tough! LOL
mom2ponygirl is offline  
#3 of 7 Old 10-19-2010, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
mich's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 689
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks. You mentioned work, and I think that may be part of my problem. I work from home and it has been suffering. I am hopping it will settle down soon!

Michelle , 20+ years with a wonderful DH
Mama to two boys, 12 and 10

mich is offline  
#4 of 7 Old 10-20-2010, 08:25 AM
 
GoodUserNamesTaken's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 229
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Michelle,

I can relate! My boys are 11 and almost 9, and we are also doing more this year. I also work from home, and have 8 month old twins - so I understand overwhelm feelings!

I'm really happy with the work my boys have been doing, and I can see SUCH improvements in everything. I don't know if it's the magic of growing up, or if all the work is helping, but either way, I want to keep our schedule, which is much like yours (2 hrs on short days, 4 hrs on long days).

That said, I get so tired. So, this year, I have decided that for every 25 "full" school days, we get one week off to do field trips and playing (and cleaning and resting for me!) Tomorrow is the first day of our first break, and I'm looking forward to it!

Maybe you could also do that? Because it is hard to stay full steam ahead...

~ Rachel

Rachel & Eli , with DS1 (7/99) and DS2 (11/01) twins DD1 & DS3 (01/10)
GoodUserNamesTaken is offline  
#5 of 7 Old 10-20-2010, 10:47 AM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,598
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Our approach has been to never add more than one thing per quarter. This gives us something small to adjust to, and gives us time to make sure the change is manageable. This goes for academic studies as well as for out-of-home extracurriculars or regular non-curricular at-home activities.

So for example this year my 11-year-old has added some regular work on animation, using the animation lab at our local school. It takes a sizeable chunk out of her week: 4 to 5 hours every Friday. She also wanted to take an on-line history course, but as per our rule about only adding one thing at a time, we're waiting until December on that to see how her week pans out with the addition of the animation before moving ahead with that. (She also joined the cross-country running team this fall, but that took the place of another sport that she dropped so that counts as a swap rather than an addition.)

To me two to four hours a day sounds like a lot for elementary-aged kids. My 11yo is doing some high school work (math and science) and her academic schooling still takes less than 2 hours a day. But combined with all her other passions and pursuits, that ends up being more than enough. While she does math and science most days, she rotates through various other subject areas from day to day and is still managing to make good progress in everything. My youngest, who is at a 4th/5th grade level on average, spends 30-90 minutes at academic schooling.

My eldest will be 17 soon, so we've been juggling and balancing for a lot of years. This "one new thing per term" approach has worked well for us in avoiding burn-out. If we take on too much it's only by a little bit, since our changes are always incremental. And we're willing to drop back if it seems too much, rather than assuming we have to get used to it.

So far the only person to really over-do it has been me, because I forget to play by my own rules and often take on too much paid work or too much volunteering, in addition to supporting each of my four kids' new things.

Miranda

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

moominmamma is online now  
#6 of 7 Old 10-20-2010, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
mich's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 689
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Rachel, (cute user name by the way) I feel the same. The boys are making great progress. I think they were falling behind (behind what?, I know, I can't help it) and I am very happy with what we are accomplishing. You made a great point, I had not thought of scheduled time off! In years past we missed a lot of days randomly. But so far this year we are very scheduled. I will be making some plans for that today, thanks!

Moominmamma, that is a great idea. We have added 3 or 4 things we did not do last year. In a way I feel strongly that the additions are necessary, but it was too much at once. I should have thought about adding one a month and building up. I think I will adopt that rule for the future. Do you divide your school year into quarters? How much time do you find it takes to see if the change is working?

I agree 4 hours sounds like a lot, and I would not think the work would take that long looking at the plans for the day, but it does. There is doodling, and chatting, bathroom trips, snacks, lunch, and cloud watching.

We have 4 main things we do every day. Math, handwriting/dictation, English/grammar/Phonics, and then a read aloud book. I then pick 1 or 2 (usually 2) more things from a rotating list, like a State flash card (geography), and the next chapter in our values book (I read, we discuss). I don't think that sounds like too much? It just takes longer that I would think.

Thanks again for the ideas.

Michelle , 20+ years with a wonderful DH
Mama to two boys, 12 and 10

mich is offline  
#7 of 7 Old 10-20-2010, 07:14 PM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,598
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mich View Post
Moominmamma .... Do you divide your school year into quarters? How much time do you find it takes to see if the change is working?
There's often a honeymoon period after we introduce something new when the kids have tons of energy for it, because it's novel. So I like to wait until that's worn off to see if things are still working. Usually that takes at least a month or two. So we try to reassess every three months or so. We are very unschoolish, and the kids make a learning plan in late August. We then try to get together for a meeting to reassess how it is panning out three times a year, revising, adding or recommitting as necessary. That's when we look at adding the next new thing, or removing a recent addition, or staying the course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mich View Post
I agree 4 hours sounds like a lot, ... We have 4 main things we do every day. Math, handwriting/dictation, English/grammar/Phonics, and then a read aloud book. I then pick 1 or 2 (usually 2) more things from a rotating list, like a State flash card (geography), and the next chapter in our values book (I read, we discuss). I don't think that sounds like too much? It just takes longer that I would think.
That doesn't sound like too much, I agree. For us readalouds come at bedtime and are child-led, so I don't really count them as part of the school day. If you have a lot of dawdling and transition time I guess it's understandable that it takes that long. You might find things a bit more efficient with less unintended time-wasting if you broke them up to give the kids the physical and mental breaks they seem to need. Maybe 20 minutes of book work, then 20 minutes of readaloud while playing with Lego or doodling, then a snack and a run around outside, then 20 minutes more bookwork, then some housework, then 20 more minutes of bookwork then lunch and another readaloud while the kids are doing the lunch dishes.

Miranda

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

moominmamma is online now  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off