Burnt out on everything, need to rethink how my family works - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 10-17-2012, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, this title sounds worse than teh situation really is.  But I just feel so tired...  getting my public school 7 yr old to school by 8 AM, then home at 3, doing her homework (which Ive actually talked to the teacher about...  it is too much.  Teacher is new and has had several complaints about theamount of h.w)


Then, there are the things we want to do--  dd loves gymnastics, and the closest school is 45 min away, so that takes up an afternoon.  she also does other after school activities.

I am flippin' exhausted.  Learning and school are not fun.  And I dont see her any more.


I have another preschool child,, and our days are even set by DD's school and activities. 


I just remember when DD was a pre schooler, we had FUN learning.  No set schedule, but we learned.


where do i start, i am so over whelmed, even with advice from this forum and links to curriculm.

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#2 of 9 Old 10-17-2012, 03:51 PM
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Oh Mama!  I hear your exhaustion and you've reached out to the right place.  :)  I think you will get lots of ideas on this forum.


Maybe you should start by making a list of your family's top priorities.  Go through and ask each person, even the preschooler what is important to them...what they love about your current life and what they are missing.  Make sure you and your partner are included in this list.  Then have some conversations and brainstorming  for best way for your family to rearrange life to meet those needs/desires.  Maybe it will lead you in the direction of homeschooling...maybe you'll find another school for DD that meets your need better...maybe you'll come up with a hybrid of the two.  Some communities have Waldorf, Montessori, or Charter schools which have different schedules of different philosophies about homework and family time.  Just investigating your options might bring other ideas as well. 


I think the big thing to remember is your children are still very young and there is lots of time.  No decision has to be forever.  Do what works best for your family right now.  You can take it year by year.  Don't feel like if you decide to homeschool now or keep her in school or change schools that you are making decisions that will last forever...that is too much pressure.  Children change and need different things different years.  One step at a time.


I have 3 children, 11, 6, 6.  We have homeschooled (fairly unschooling) exclusively until this year.  My 6yo DD wanted to go to school.  I wasn't ready to change our entire family's schedule (or lack of!) since I knew she hadn't experienced it and wasn't basing her request on experience.  I found a public school in our community which offers classes to homeschoolers.  I showed the list of classes to all of my children and they were interested in trying it out.  So, we go one day a week and my children each take 4 classes.  There are some hoops we have to jump through by showing work we do at home, etc. but it is working for us right now.  The other day (after 5 weeks of this school) I asked the 6yo DD if this was "enough" school for her and she said yes.  One day a week is meeting her need to go to school and we still have lots of free time.  We might do this next year, we might not, we'll just see.  I still feel like the bulk of learning my children are doing is happening at home, but they are having fun trying new things, getting a taste of school, and meeting other homeschoolers.


I hope this helps! 

Mama to Ainsley (7/01) , Finley (10/06) and Jade (10/06)

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#3 of 9 Old 10-17-2012, 07:44 PM
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If you decide on homeschooling know that it is okay to ease into it and try things out.


As sleepypeanutsmom said you can take it year by year. You don't have to decide if they will always homeschool if you decide to try it for the rest of this year.


1. Decide if you want to homeschool. Talk about it as a family. Write down things you all are concerned about and find answers. Decide if you want to switch to homeschooling right away, next semester or next year.

2. Find out the law for where you live and how to meet the requirements. http://homeschoollegaladvantage.com/resources/homeschool-laws-by-state  You might also check for a homeschool association for your state or local area homeschool groups.

3. Formally withdraw your child from school.

4. Think about homeschool style & curriculum later. You do not have to decide any of that that before deciding to homeschool. Just think about what your dc are interested in and will enjoy learning about right now.


I recommend that you decide on a budget before you start any curriculum shopping. Don't spend more than you can afford- you can find resources to fit any budget and get different/more stuff  later as you figure out what you are doing. The library and the internet are great resources.


Don't rush to join every activity at once either. Add things to your schedule slowly while you deschool. Visit the library, take field trips as a family and bond a little.





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Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#4 of 9 Old 10-17-2012, 08:43 PM
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I have a 4 year old dd and 6 year old ds.  The oldest would have been in 1st grade, had we decided to send him to school.  I think what helped my decision is being pretty clear eyed about the whole thing.  I weighed all the options pretty carefully and talked to my DH extensively about it.  I also read a lot.  Since the overwhelming majority of the responsibilities fall on me (I am home more) I thought about what would drive me crazy and tried to set up things in a way that reasonably accommodates all of our needs. 


Most importantly, I went into it with a minimalist approach.  I decided reading/writing and math were the only subjects I would teach.  The rest, they could learn themselves from living.  I started out with thinking schooling for the oldest would take about (under) 2 hours a day, five days a week and the youngest would do none.  But that changed as I realized I didn't need to subject Ds to that much sit down learning when he could do the learning by doing other things he wants to ... like planting, baking, playing, drawing, writing etc.  So now we are down to the bare bones, to the point where I now consider myself an unschooler.  


I don't know how long I will do this but I really feel like I am not going to worry much about it until after 3rd grade.  I have seen what the state required skills are for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade and I feel my children can learn the important stuff (yes, i don't think all the stuff they put in these requirements are important at all!) easily and at home.  In the mean time, they will develop their other skills because they have the time to.  Cooking, baking, cleaning up after oneself, playing outside, roller blading, skateboarding, ping pong, soccer, sitting quietly exploring their books, drawing, making things with polymer clay -- I mean, LOOK at all this stuff they are able to do because they do not go to school!  It has truly been an amazing experience for all of us so far!  


If you can do it, I highly recommend it.  The jitters you're experiencing are normal.  I would also suggest you go into it with the lightest possible schooling burden on yourself and your Dd -- i.e. do kids really need to learn social studies/art/PE/Science etc from a curriculum at this age?  


Once you peel all the layers and get to the core of what you really want, you start to feel less overwhelmed and more excited.  


Good luck :)

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#5 of 9 Old 10-17-2012, 09:44 PM
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I've been there.  I think it is funny when people say, "wow, I could never do homeschool". . . I just remember the crazy when my oldest was in ps 3rd, my second was ps K, and I had a toddler too!  That was much harder.  


Sometimes it helps to remember that you can give it a try.  If hs doesn't work out, your child can return to ps.  They won't be terribly behind.  I think it is often better to know what the options really are.  If you like it, great!  If not, at least you aren't wondering. 



Mom to three very active girls Anna (15), Kayla (12), Maya (9).
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#6 of 9 Old 10-19-2012, 12:26 AM
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Our kids were in a private school last year. We homeschool this year and it's much easier. Not many things are as difficult or exhausting as getting yourself plus five kids, all under eight, up/dressed/fed/out the door by yourself by 7:30am day after day. Yes, academic work takes several hours each day and there is prep work in the evenings but everything is done on our schedule. If we're stressed we can take a day off. We can do a week's work on the weekend and spend the week enjoying nice weather or going on field trips. 

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#7 of 9 Old 10-19-2012, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
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and to top it off, at the beg. of the year the teacher gave my 2nd grader homework that added up at about an hour a night.  and i had to teach her how to do it...  so...i was basically homeschooling anyway.


what was happening at school then 

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#8 of 9 Old 10-19-2012, 12:50 PM
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I've never understood how it can take them seven hours at school plus another hour or two of parent supervised homework to teach what a homeschooling parent can teach in an hour or two. Not to mention it costs taxpayers $10,000+ per student whereas homeschooling families provide a better education with what is often just a few hundred per year.

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#9 of 9 Old 10-19-2012, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by elus0814 View Post

I've never understood how it can take them seven hours at school plus another hour or two of parent supervised homework to teach what a homeschooling parent can teach in an hour or two. Not to mention it costs taxpayers $10,000+ per student whereas homeschooling families provide a better education with what is often just a few hundred per year.


Yeah, it seems crazy to me too. But you know, as an unschooling parent I often remind myself and others that in our day to day homeschooling lives the kids are learning all the time. There's a sense in which their learning takes 15 hours a day. A little bit of that is academic type learning, but it wouldn't be a complete education without all the rest: the conversation that springs out of a story on the radio, the conflict resolution skills that are exercised dealing with an annoying brother, the fried egg successfully over-easied at lunch, the visit to the garden to collect a last bit of parsley before the frost kills it all. And school, just like homeschooling, isn't just about academic learning. A lot of time is spent on intangible, non-academic stuff. Whether that stuff is entirely positive is another question entirely (eg. waiting for others to get on-task, reviewing well-mastered learning, creating paper trails for grading, conforming to expectations). But there is a lot of non-academic experiential learning going on at school, just as there is at home. And that stuff takes time. It's a little bit like the old stereotype of the dad coming home from work at the end of the day and looking at mom with her three kids under 6 and the huge mess the house is in and wondering what the heck, if anything, the mom did all day. Well ... if you were there, you'd realize that just managing basic family organization and kid-maintenance fills most of the day. I think life in a school classroom is a lot like that.


I do agree with you that school costs families a lot of energy and society a lot of money compared to homeschooling.



Mountain mama to one great kid and three great grown-ups
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