When Homeschool is a Struggle

I feel less self-conscious these days when I share bits of my life (particularly my struggles) online and I’m grateful for that. Struggles keep us humble. Struggles teach us great lessons.

Today, I’ve struggled with homeschooling my daughter. Truly, it’s the feeling of forcing learning (a task that is impossible as achieving perfection). No one can force us to learn anything. We can only be forced to perform.

I try hard to avoid this, but this week, I’ve failed. Maybe it’s the weather. We’ve had rain every day and haven’t been able to get outside like we usually do. Maybe it’s the fact that my son closed on his house and is moving out. Kat has expressed that she doesn’t want him to leave. Maybe it’s too much device time, even though I do limit that.

Maybe it’s me.

I have been so exhausted this week that I’ve failed to get up at 6am for vital quiet time. When I don’t carve out this time for myself, I feel like I’m pulled in a million directions all day and I have little patience.

The reason for my exhaustion is we’ve finally started making our daughter sleep in her own bed. So now, instead of sleeping all night, she comes down in the middle of the night and talks to me. I wish I could say I find it cute, but I don’t. First of all, she has no idea how to whisper. She also wants company to go to the bathroom. Then she wants water and I make her get up and get it herself.

My dog is also terrified of thunderstorms, so I hear him trying to get into our room after the loud clacks of thunder. I open the door to let him in.

My alarm goes off at 6am and I get up, stumble to the living room and click snooze on that fucker.

Maybe I’m too hard on Kat and me. Maybe I need to relax.

You know, I downplay the teacher training I received, but as I was showering this afternoon (to alleviate some major cramps), I remembered that as teachers we were taught not to take anything personally. If the students don’t do well, don’t take it personally. Simply adjust. If a student gets angry, don’t take it personally, we all have bad days and bad moods. Start fresh tomorrow.

As a parent who is helping my daughter learn, it’s hard not to take it personally. Her bad mood doesn’t last a class period, it can last all day. If she doesn’t grasp a concept, I wonder where I’ve gone wrong. It’s not fair to me or to her that I take everything personally.

As a parent who is helping her daughter learn, I don’t have the luxury of a planning period either. I don’t have a built-in break at any point in my week, unless I wake up early. Honestly, I don’t want a break from her. I want to find race in all of it.

I don’t have colleagues to discuss anything with. I’m alone in all of this. Her education is firmly on my two shoulders and my two shoulders alone.

This is something I need to improve on and I’ve started in a small way by posting real talk on Instagram, where there are other homeschooling moms.

What I’ve learned in all of this is:

Don’t take it personally. I know this is hard, but I think it’s vital.

Connect with other homeschool moms. Moms who send their kids to school will not understand your struggle, even though they may try to empathize.

Don’t get too hung up on curriculum. I’ve made that mistake lately and look where it’s gotten us. My daughter and I were both in tears today. I mean, are you kidding me?

Have fun. Play is learning. I keep having to remind myself of this. Play is vital to learning and you don’t have to have an objective. Just have fun.

With that, I’m going to sip peppermint tea and curl up under a blanket, because I’m really feeling terrible and I have chills.

Oh wait, I can’t Kat has just asked for lunch…

Best of luck, mamas.

Xoxo

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