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Friday, November 30, 2007

When?

I have to say that when I first started homeschooling, I felt that I would just keep on trucking when something would happen- that teaching/learning would be what kept us going. Now, I am having a hard time with balancing life and homeschooling.

I want to do our lessons but not badly enough to crack open the lesson plans and get to work. I want to do them just enough to feel guilty about NOT doing them. Lol. The reality of it is that I've created this little synchronized system that I just don't have the desire to work right now or I'm letting life get in the way of what needs to be done.

My mom says that if I don't DO something soon, I'll give myself an ulcer. We are reading and until last week we were doing math. I have a long list of things that we were doing that I want to do again but I just can't seem to get to the point of actually doing them b/c I'd rather keep my house clean, play with my kids and bake for Christmas.

I'm stressing about things that are out of my control (isn't it all, God?) and I can't seem to stop. Preschool is going well but it's fun and easy. What's really bothering me is that almost every problem in my life right now is something I can improve by having a different attitude or by being more intentional in my actions and what I say. What irks me about that is that I'm the only one who seems to care! I've got hypocrisy all around me, "you should do what I say even though what I do seems to be the opposite of what I'm saying."

I've got a lot of things eating at me, comments made to me by the people that are supposed to be the ones I can trust and I'm having a hard time but I can't put stock in what they've said and I'm angry about it. Don't tell me that you're concerned about my children's education and then never read a book to them or engage them in any way academically. Don't tell me that you care about my children's health to the point of buying every OTC medicine in the world but feed them junk food because they like it even though I've said no.

Yeah. When do you ignore life and just get back to what you were doing (homeschooling) and when do you say- right now, this is what *I* need to do? I'm in limbo right now b/c part of me feels the need to jump back in and get going and the other part feels like it can wait until I'm in a better state of mind. But will that EVER happen? Lol.

 

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jessica,
I've been reading your blog since you began first grade with your daughter Camille and I've never before commented. I too, have a 2nd grader, Rebekah and have often used many of your wonderful ideas. You've given me inspiration challenged me w/ continuing on. Now is my chance to do the same for you. I've often read your blog and wondered if you ever feel the way you just shared today. I feel that way this very morning as well. I feel I can't continue to school Rebekah if my home is in chaos and disarray. Just after reading your entry I went to my next blog and it was Elisabeth Elliot's journals that I read daily and it fit so well, that I just had to share it. I hope you will link to this (http://www.elisabethelliot.org/devotional.html) and that it will help remind you (as it did me) that our Joy is in Christ and in Him alone. He is our strength and comforter. Our goal is to please Him and Him ONLY. If we do that...the rest will be in order. I have many days like this and have to be reminded of the simple fact that Jesus called me to this task, therefore it is He who will provide the means and strength to do it. I have family members who question and test us often as well. Take a break and re-focus and love on those sweet little ones and have fun w/ that puppy. (By the way - we have a golden puppy who is just turning 4 months, and when i saw that you were getting one I couldn't believe it. We have much in common). I just had to comment today as I have been a "secret" reader for so long! Thank you for your blog and sharing your family with us.
Mary Anne

Anonymous said...

Jessica,

I wanted to encourage you today. But the post before me from Mary Anne was much more beautifully written that I could attempt. Christ is the only one that we need! That post encouraged me as well! We can do all things through Christ who stengthens us!

Katherine

Angela said...

Life has a way of getting in the way dosen't it? Just take this season to focus on the season, drop the regular studies and bake, work on those life skills and focus on Christ. We are doing that, I'm using a unit study of Christmas as a guide and we are going light this month (along with Math). You are doing an awesome job, {{Big Hugs}}

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Just letting you know that I read your post and am sending you a hug. I hate it when I struggle with myself and I hate it when people tell me that it "just takes time". I guess my best advice is to not look in the rearview mirror. Just keep doing what you have been and one day you *will* wake up and it will be better. Grief is insidious.....family can be poisonous.....God is bigger then everything.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Amy Grant Bayliss said...

Maybe it is the time of year too?!

I just wrote a post about the expectations that I put on myself as far as housework and homeschooling. I felt as though I didn't get anything accomplished if I didn't accomplish it all. God has been causing me to slow down so much lately. It is as if I can hear Him saying, "What about me?"

I know that my to do lists and homescooling agenda had become my soul focus and for so long I had done it my way and because of that I got disgusted, burnt out and discouraged. We took a three week break from homeschool and guess what? The kids survived, the husband didn't complain, their dad didn't file for custody because he thought I was neglecting them, the government didn't come after me and the kids didn't forget everything that they have learned. Yes, I really thought these things could have happened! :o) Besides, isn't one of the main reasons we homeschool so that we can do things they way we see fit for our family?

I too am a silent lurker and you have inspired me as well. You are a great mom with great kids. You deserve a break! Who knows, the break could give you a new burst of creative ideas that you could blog about! Everyone could benefit!

Drink hot chocolate. Snuggle with them on the couch and watch a great movie. Have some fun girl!

blessings to you...

barrellfullofmonkeys said...

Oh, baby, big ol' hugs going out to you! Everyone has said such great things more eloquently than I could, so I second what they said :)

Really, you've had a rough year. Maybe your stress level is just catching up to your emotions. December is a terrific month to take off and just do fun things. Amy Grant Bayliss was right. . . nothing tragic will happen if you stop doing "official" business for a few weeks. Have fun. Drop everything "school" related. Just read fun books. Focus on the Christmas season. Go out and play with that adorable pooch. Take him and the kids for long walks. Go to the zoo. Watch a silly Christmas movie. Cook together, clean together, snuggle together. Enjoy your sweet babies for December and just be. Schoolwork will always be there come January, or whenever. A break always renews me.

Also, be sure to carve out time for yourself!! I know I can let this slip from time to time and I always feel it in my bloodpressure ;) My kids are to be in their room for one hour in the afternoon. Period. Don't come to show mommy ANYTHING!

Lastly, pour your heart out to God, then go to your husband and do the same. I know in our house we had some friction because my hubby was (unknowingly) saying things that were causing me to stress out even more than normal. Once I talked to him openly about how it was making me feel, he apologized and never brought it up again. He also made sure to throw in extra heaps of praise for what we HAD done thru the day. Don't even get me started with dealing with extended family!!

Anyway, take this month off. Let yourself have a breather, we all need them. Who cares how long the breather needs to be. Everyone, kids included, will come back happier and looking forward to learning again. This is turning into a book. I should stop :)

Lots of hugs and prayers,

Kathy D.

Hope said...

Just diagnose yourself with suffering from homeschool burnout and apply the appropriate remedies. I am sure the prev. posts mentioned some of the things you ought to do. It might just be easier if you label your discontent with a nice title like: November Burnout. It is normal common and curable!

AmyV said...

Awww, hugs and prayers for you Jessica. Just relax, hand it over to God, and enjoy yourself with your kids through the holidays. One of the greatest things about homeschooling is that you can set your own schedule. I know we have some pretty haphazard learning days around here. But, the days that are great are so great that they make up for the others tenfold. You are an awesome lady and you will be just fine.

Waterside Living said...

Jessica,

I enjoy reading your blog & your posts over on WTM.

I just wanted to say that our lives seem very parallel in lots of ways. (don't know if you remember that my dh is a UMC pastor, too.) I remember when my dc were 4 & 6, it was our first year in a *brand new* parsonage that all the church folks were proud as peacocks about, and I had a Christmas open house. I also remember that that year, I began a "tradition" of taking the month of December off from homeschooling. It really was a life saver for me because it allowed me to handle the holiday things, breathe a little, and still enjoy my young ones. We did Christmas crafts, enjoyed advent activities, read Christmas stories, played, watched movies, decorated the house, just had a relaxing, refreshing time of it.

Now that my dc are older (11 & 13), and we are tied to a schedule because we co-op with some other families, I can only take 2 weeks at Christmas. I really miss that month off!

You've gotten some great advice from the other commenters. I hope you find some peace in this Holy season.

Blessings--

Waterside Living said...

oops- that last comment was from JanaNC -- forgot to sign my name :-}

Sherry said...

Bless your heart--we've all been through it. I've been homeschooling for over 18 years, and there are still days when I'd like to chunk it all. I just keep the goal in mind, and sometimes you really do need the time off. And I dare say that most of us have relatives and friends who are less than helpful. You know Whom you serve, and that is where to focus.

And having lost two children, I can say with full confidence that you will not regret one moment spent enjoying your children. Not one.