Tuesday, January 14, 2014

First Semester Recap - Part 1

Yesterday was the first day of our second semester.  If you want a reminder of what our original plans were you can go here.

When we finished our first semester in December my only thought was, "Thank goodness."  I, we actually, were very burned out.  And Christmas and Advent were a total blur, thanks to general busyness plus a trip for my dear hubby and Fritter to Wyoming the day after Christmas.  So really I didn't have much of a chance to even think about why we were so burned out and what I could do to help fix that for the next semester.  When there is no time to even sit and think for this introvert, a crash is coming quickly.

I tried to do quite a bit, filling in our lesson plans with things I thought we should do, and things I thought would be fun to do.  Obviously this is fine, except it's very hard for me to know when to step away and say this is too much.  I keep plowing ahead.  On a high level, looking down, I can admit the reason for this is because I don't fully trust the process.  I am very much stuck in the public school education mentality, which is what I (like most people) received.  So for first grade our curriculum doesn't call for a regimented science or history, and we are told to read good books.  I truly believe that that is the best way.  I get it philosophically.  But practically?  I don't trust that what I'm giving can possibly be enough.  And so I add more, and we don't manage to get to it, and then I feel guilty, because we are however many chapters behind in various books, and it all adds to a mentally exhausted mama.

And? My house was not being cared for, which heaped on more mommy guilt, and I have an almost three year old who is into everything and is very needy, and an eight month old (who is by comparison a breeze) who also needs me.

So.  What am I going to do about all this?  Because something has got to give and if I don't come up with something it will be me.


And unfortunately that's all I have time for right now.  It's time for school.  But I do have a plan so if you can be patient with me, I will try to post it a little later.  In the meantime, tell me.  Have you run into these same issues in your homeschool?  What have you done to mitigate some of this?


Jennie C. said...

Probably the most helpful thing for me to embrace is the idea that you can't learn everything before you graduate high school, and, hopefully, you keep learning according to your interests and needs as long as you live. David has had to embrace that, too, since he's been home full time for almost two years. He'll ask at the table, "Have you learned about..." and then look at me when they shake their heads.

"You didn't learn that in high school, either," I respond. "They have their whole lives to learn what they want to know." He can't help but acknowledge that I'm right, so off we go!

I know exactly how you feel, though. Your little ones are just that - little. Let them be little. School doesn't need to take more than an hour or two in the mornings, and then you have the whole rest of the day to finish the laundry and explore the neighborhood. Much more fun. :-)

Michelle said...

We are not yet done with the first semester and I don't think I have ever managed that before Christmas in 11 years of homeschooling. I have planned to, and starting school at the beginning of August, we should be. But it just doesn't happen. My favorite technique for avoiding burn out is to schedule a break week every 4 weeks or so. In theory, we could do something fun. In reality, the little kids get a break and the big kids catch up in certain subjects and complete papers they have procrastinated on.

Michelle said...

I totally understand the feeling that the curriculum isn't good enough. Have you seen the parent classes online that show the progression of study? You don't have to be enrolled.

My girlfriend used to take the same breaks I suggest and she would spend that week doing unit studies, lap books, other supplemental.