Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mom Loses It

It all started Sunday night.

I was doing my predictable last minute planning for the week to come. It was late. I was tired. As I worked subject by subject, child by child to make my plan, I turned to my husband and said, "These lists are getting long. Maybe I'm trying to do too much this week."

Man, was I right about that!

Monday was a typical day. Even though we hadn't finished our list completely by 4pm, I wanted to get to the library, so we saved the history reading for bedtime. The boys did their Story of the World map work while having a bedtime snack. All was well.

Tuesday was the beginning of a downward trend. We started on time, but no one seemed ready to work...including me. My parents were coming for supper so I was trying to straighten up while bouncing in to check on progress now and then. JT was having difficulty with a few components of the K12 Literary Analysis course. I didn't feel like I had the time to sit and explain it thoroughly for him. Maybe he should just read the directions again? EM was playing with random toys he always hides in his desk. He didn't seem to want to get serious about any of his work. No one seemed able to stay on task. I was repeating instructions over and over because no one was listening. I was getting aching shoulders (always a sign of stress in me) and that was making everything more annoying.

Late that afternoon, the yelling started. And pretty much continued the rest of this week.

On Wednesday morning, I made the decision that we needed a day out. I had the boys finish a few things from their lists, a little math, a little reading, a bit of science, and then we took off for a day at a local amusement park. We discovered that going to the amusement park when most kids are in school is definitely a benefit of homeschooling. No crowds. The trip to the park gave us a chance to unwind, but the lists were still at home...waiting.

After another dismal day Thursday, I took a good look at what was really happening here. I think I just get over-excited at the start of the school year. There are so many new things to do; I just can't stop adding more to the list. My biggest problem this year is the K12 material I am using for JT's literature studies. It's fantastic material. I love every part of it. I just need to break it down into smaller chunks to keep it from taking over our days. Remembering that our homeschooling lifestyle is supposed to be about the journey and not the destination would also be a good idea.

So, I'm going to take a deep breath...and reduce the lists for next week. Our days do not have to look like a typical school classroom, running from one subject to the next, no time to stop and explore the small details that make our lives so rich. We want time to stop and smell the roses.

On our way to the park, I asked the boys how they would respond if someone asked them why they weren't in school. After some discussion, we decided the best response would be, "The world is my classroom."

Now I just need to make sure I stay true to that statement.


Annie said...

I'm so sorry about your week, although I love the photo. I'm going through something similar here. And I think it happens every year. I've cobbled this amazing curriculum, but I feel like I'm jogging through each day now. And we are looking to add outside activities. I can see the handwriting on the wall.

Hang in there. Your instincts will lead you out of this.

Monica said...

*pets you*

Ingi said...

Oh how I've been here! And you know what? If you don't do the "list" the world doesn't fall apart! I read a fabulous blog today that I need and sounds like you might need too:

Enjoy your classroom!

Cyber Momma said...

Thank you all for your comments.

Ingi, I'm not sure why your link isn't here in the comments. I'm checking your blog to see if I can find the link you meant to share.

I know that sometimes I just need to stop and look at myself from outside of myself to see what I'm doing. I don't always remember to try a new perspective. Luckily, it came early this time, before I made all of us crazy!

Now if I can just remember that next time...

Tiger's Mum said...

I'm sorry to hear about the stress you have in your week. It's very common, though. When it happens to us, I just declare school's done for the day (or two or three) and we go outside for a change of scenery before things get 'too ugly'. Being out in the fresh air usually helps. :-)

Ingi said...

Oh, I guess I haven't conquered HTML after all!

The link is:

Hope it's useful to you :-)

Cyber Momma said...

Ingi-thank you for coming back and sharing the link. It was just what I needed to hear!

Tiger's Mum- I think the advice to get outside is just what we need. We'll be trapped indoors soon enough for the winter. We are off for a garden and zoo trip this week. I think that should help.

Lisa said...

I'm just seeing your post now. We're 2 weeks into our homeschool year and already the schedules I made have been revamped - twice. If tradition prevails, I'll be throwing them out entirely pretty soon!

Those pesky kids just learn so well on their own that I don't have the heart to take them off task to make them do "my things". That's when the schedule falls apart. It's fortunate for them that it does, because they probably learn more and are happier the less I get involved!