Not Sure I Can Survive Homeschooling

by Caroline on September 5, 2012

Last time I walked you through what a typical day of our virtual homeschooling looks like. It’s been crazy, but on the whole, we’ve been doing OK.

I’m not OK today.

I don’t know what it is, but I’m halfway to either freaking out or shutting down right now. M-bug had her first day of educational therapy today. I had to take her there, drop her off, and come back home. Just over an hour later, I had to go back, pick her up, and come back home. Then, by coincidence, I had an appointment to get my hair cut. So by the time I arrived back home around 1 pm, I’d already gone and come back three times.

I’m the type of person that likes efficiency. I plan errands in the most efficient way possible to take the least amount of time and use the least amount of gas. I try to get work done right away so I have time to rest and relax later.

All of this running around is anything but efficient, and it’s only going to get worse once we finally get Speech/Language and OT set up. I’m not sure my 1996 Dodge Grand Caravan with over 196,000 miles on it can take it much longer.

I feel like I can’t wrap my brain around what I need to get done. I have so many things swimming around in my head that not one of them is getting accomplished. Paperwork is piling up. I haven’t gotten caught up on my checkbook or budget in a couple of weeks. I haven’t watered my outside plants in three days. And right now, I still need to do science with both girls, and I don’t want to. I want to retreat into a book or even just inside my imagination for awhile, and pretend that everything about my family is “normal.” And it’s ironic, because when I chose the name “Life, Unfocused” for my blog, I was kind of referring to the three ADHD’ers in my family, not me. But more than I’d like to admit here lately, it describes me to a T.

If I could sigh in a blog post, it would go right <here>.

On one hand, I can’t believe I’m crazy enough to be considering switching to traditional homeschooling. On the other hand, we’d have less time requirements put on us, so it would be easier to work school in around the plethora of appointments we’re looking at. I’d be able to pick the curriculum to better suit my own kids. Also, I don’t really appreciate the liberal worldview that the social studies curriculum is dishing out, and I’d like to ditch it.

Ultimately, it has to be about what’s right for Bubbles and M-bug, but I’m more than a little afraid that I’m going to lose myself (or my mind) in the process.


 

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie September 5, 2012 at 6:03 pm

(yes that’s my website…for now)

Just hang in there, every mom has those days (especially when we’re already stressed and run ragged). There is nothing wrong with unplugging every once in a while and we all need to retreat into a book or imagination sometimes – it’s how we can cope with life’s little stressors. Take 15 minutes for yourself before you dive back in.

Hang in there, you’re doing great!

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Caroline September 5, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Your website is looking very professional. :) Thanks for the encouragement. I’m trying to hang in there.

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Karen. September 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm

I just now took all my kids’ toys and stuffed them in my closet. They wouldn’t put them away. Does that help? No?

Well, if I were you, I would strongly consider escaping the strictures of the virtual state-sanctioned business. This right here seems, at best, unworkable. You are strong enough, especially with the love you, yourself, have for your daughters. And a schedule that doesn’t revolve around the state but instead revolves around your family? Oh, yeah, baby.

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Caroline September 5, 2012 at 6:38 pm

I totally get you about the toy thing. The bane of my Type-A existence, I think.

I’m considering it, but I hyperventilate every time I do. And if we do it, it’ll be a well thought out and planned switch, not an emotional, by-the-seat-of-my-pants thing. So it’s a work in progress, for sure.

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Karen. September 6, 2012 at 6:08 am

Wait … you’re going to think it out? Surely not. :) I get you, though. It’s September and I finally decided upon and ordered the children’s main Christmas 2011 gift. The ability to think it out is a gift and a curse.

I’m picturing your calendar from one of your first posts and attempting to mentally wedge in another couple colors per day. Yeee-ikes. I’m definitely in the camp of simplify when possible, and particularly in this case.

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Caroline September 6, 2012 at 7:45 am

You’re so funny. I love that calendar picture. I’d need to find a new set of highlighters with about 6 more colors for this year, I think. :D

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Char September 9, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Karen- I hope you planned well enough that the Main Christmas 2012 present can just dovetail into what you just bought for 2011.
The stuffed animal issues got so bad here that I made The Girls pick out 5 (five!) each they could keep and then we would give the rest away. They ended up with more than five each- you know why? Because I caved- “oh you can’t give away that one!” Geez. Now I shall go down and write a comment about what this post was actually about.

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Caroline September 9, 2012 at 10:58 pm

Stuffed animals are the bane of my girls’ rooms, too. Especially because their favorite store in the world is Build-A-Bear, and so they’re always getting gift cards to go there from various relatives.

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Jennifer September 5, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Don’t hyperventilate about a switch to homeschooling. Looking at your other post and this one, I actually think it would take a lot of pressure off, and it might even afford you a few minutes to read that book you’d like to escape into. (I do that too!)

Hang in there, and let me know if you need me!

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Caroline September 6, 2012 at 7:41 am

Thanks, Jennifer. I think that even if we do switch, it wouldn’t be until the quarter or semester are over, so that gives me some breathing room.

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Linda Cox September 5, 2012 at 10:33 pm

I have been feeling overwhelmed too! We have yet to meet our daily goals for school! Of course, Noah loves when he gets to go to the learning lab for clubs, so i havent considered going to full on homeschooling! Will be praying for you this week!

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Caroline September 6, 2012 at 7:43 am

Thanks, Linda. I don’t think the clubs are going to be as big of a draw for us this year, since Drama Club is right when M-Bug goes to therapy, and the 1 hour Art Club has been replaced with 1/2 hour Scrapbooking Club. We’ll see. We haven’t even been in to see the new lab yet; we’ll go tomorrow.

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Merilee September 7, 2012 at 6:51 am

Remember, you have a support group; you are not all on your own. And you have a little sis who is free in the afternoons if you need her to do laundry or dishes or something. :D

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Caroline September 9, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Thanks, Mer. :)

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Julie September 7, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Delicious visit this morning – over the never-ending pile of paperwork. You’ll get your legs under you soon enough. So, there is one teensy-weensy benefit to hours of therapy. If you can allow yourself, go with laptop in hand, and relax. That is what I do, and yep what I’m doing right now! Choose a clinic with a network you can hop on, or get mobile internet. It’s awesome to surf the net, email, chat or whatever GUILT FREE!

Love you and that fam of yours. Tell them all hi.

Julie

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Caroline September 9, 2012 at 10:56 pm

I had fun too, Julie. We need to get together more often.

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Char September 9, 2012 at 10:42 pm

I know several people that use a virtual school. It seems to me that they are a ton (TON!) of work. And you know what? I think those virtual schools are teaching more subjects than the Brick and Mortar Schools. I’ve talked with a number of Real Deal Teachers that all teach in different districts and they mainly teach Math, Reading and Writing. They struggle to get in other subjects.
I homeschool but not with a virtual school and if you are feeling overwhelmed than the curriculum is not a good fit. It’s also not a good fit if they are not paying attention to where your kids are scholastically. You are going to wear yourself out and they will not love to learn.
A couple of thoughts came to my mind- it sounds like this is what I would call a “Crisis Time”- you have a LOT on your plate. Which means you need to evaluate what is most important RIGHT NOW and drop what is not on that list. Would the virtual school let you drop a few classes? I think as long as you go half time they will still get their funding which is all they care about. Try to do that now instead of waiting. Take up as many offers of help that you can. It will save your sanity and will bless those that help you. (funny how it works that way)
We always worry that the kids will get behind- that we aren’t doing enough (at least I and most of my homeschooling friends do!) But after watching life I think kids can get so much from just living in a rich environment than we think (and I’m not an un-schooler!) They will see you caring for their sibling and know that family is important. Make sure that there are good books about that are on their level. And check out places like http://librivox.org/ that has books read by volunteers free to download. Think about what you want from your kids’ education- is it to know the differences in comet orbits or is it to know what it is to sacrifice for the family? Is it for them to be able to recite facts or to love learning? I think when you decide what that looks like then your path will be clear. I’ll be praying for strength, courage and peace for you.

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Caroline September 9, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Thanks, Char. I had a really good meeting with the girls’ teachers and Special Ed teacher on Friday, and I’ll write about it as soon as I can. This virtual school is actually geared toward kids with learning difficulties, and once I explained what was going on, they were all over trying to figure out how to lighten the load and work on what is really important, namely reading and math. I’m feeling a lot better about it right now. We’ll see how I feel in the middle of the day tomorrow. :D

I do think that sometimes virtual schools teach more, or at least expect more time done on actual work. You don’t get as much intense, focused learning from a brick and mortar school; there are a million distractions, and lots of time spent on preparing things and on trying to keep order. But because virtual schools have to “teach” the same amount of hours, their students likely do more work, or at least are exposed to more information.

I’ll be sure to take a look at that link. It sounds neat!

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Char September 29, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Oh good! I am glad they are working with you. I hope you figure out the solutions.
I live in a state that homeschoolers don’t have to keep track of their hours but I do think the virtual schools do. So you are right- in that when at home things usually go faster. Unless the kid is digging in their heals and not doing the work. But I am sure that hardly ever happens (she says with sarcasm in her voice.)

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Caroline October 4, 2012 at 8:56 am

Oh, nooooo, they never drag their heels. ;) If we were doing traditional homeschool we wouldn’t have to keep track of hours here in Idaho, either. Having a set number of hours definitely makes things less flexible, but I’m not exactly the most disciplined person in the world, so it gives me a target that I pretty much have to meet. In that respect, it’s probably a good thing. (Grumble, grumble.)

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