About Rest for the Weary

I hope you will find this little spot a place of rest and refreshment for your soul. My intention is to build up women in the trenches of homeschooling. This includes veterans who are burned out and former homeschooling moms who have decided for one reason or another to put some or all of their children in school. Thanks for stopping by. Take a deep breath of refreshment for your weary soul.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mixing causes with homeschooling

Most of you have probably heard of the stereotypical homeschool mother---the one who wears a denim jumper, has half a dozen kids (or more)hanging off her skirts, raises her own food, and runs a home business.  What once was just an educational option has turned in to a movement with many commonalities of causes.  Once women begin homeschooling, many feel the need to do other things a different way.  We begin to question a lot of things.    Besides the previous mentioned ones do any of these ring a bell--home birth, breastfeed on demand with child-led weaning, dad work from home, create your own curriculum, have as many kids as God sends, cloth diapers, hang you laundry to dry, live off grid, shun movies, sports, and the like, don't vaccinate, alternative medicine, a distrust of any institution, etc.  Now none of these things are bad in and of themselves.  The problem I see is that many women feel they have to live up to some ideal homeschooling mom.  They want to be the best at everything and can get worn out trying to do too much. I know because it happened to me.  I felt like I had to watch everything my children ate, wore, and came in contact with.  I spent a lot of time and money  researching organic food, birthing options, curriculum methods, and alternative medicines.  I rarely did anything else in my free time because I was analyzing every little thing.  Luckily, I didn't jump on the extreme Biblical Patriarchy bandwagon, which has done a lot of damage within the homeschooling community.  This group is a perfect example of mixing causes and dangers it can lead to. 


Homeschooling is a form of education.  Yes, it is a lifestyle as well, but we don't all have to jump into other causes thinking it is compulsory.  Do what feels right for your family and personality as well as what you can handle emotionally and spiritually. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Quiet for Holy week

I am sorry I have been quiet this past week.  Life has been very full.  When isn't is with 5 children still living at home?  This week we enter the holiest of weeks in my faith, Holy week.  I will not be posting any more this week so that I can focus on the passion and Love of our Savior.  But I wanted to give you a sampling of what I have planned for the coming weeks in hopes that you will check back. My topics will include:  How to stay connected to children who are in school, Is better late always better?, mixing causes with homeschooling, and the melancholic homeschool mom.  Please stay tuned and have a blessed Holy week and Easter season. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Great post on homeschooling burnout

I have loved using Bravewriter writing curriculum in my homeschool.  Today, Julie, posted a wonderful article on homeschooling burnout that I wanted to share.  She says it is ok to try school if need be. We don't have to let homeschool choke the life out of us if it is not working.  Check it out

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Hobbies

Since sending some of my children to school, I have had some down time, a space to fill.  One thing recommended for those suffering from depression or loss is to explore new hobbies or rekindle old ones.  This has been a foreign experience for me because my children and specifically homeschooling have been my job and my hobby.  What I faced with mounting depression a few years back was an increase in anxiety over my children's well-being both emotionally and educationally.  This manifested itself in compulsive searching for the best in everything, particularly homeschooling supplies and methods.  I constantly scoured books, message boards, and blogs for answers to my questions.  Homeschool research became my hobby. 
Now that they are mostly in school, I have a big whole to fill.  Thankfully, a few years ago I was able to kick the habit of homeschool searching and found a few things I was interested in.  For one, I began to write again, a love I have had since childhood.  Also, I am finally spending more time outside, particularly in my garden.
 You may face the same thing if you decide to put your children in school, or if you continue to homeschool all the way through graduation, you will face this when your children leave home.  Either way, you will need to have a life outside of homeschooling.  Your kids need to see who you are besides their cook and cleaner. 
I know for myself, I have felt overwhelmed with wondering what can I do.  Try a few of these ideas and share any more you have tried. 



1.  What did you do before you had children that you really loved?  Is it a possibility to take it up again?

2. Consider volunteer work at a local crisis pregnancy center, at your child's school, a hospital or nursing home, or your church.

3. Consider trying something you have never tried before.  A few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:  gardening, baking, photography, dancing, knitting, quilting, soap making, bee keeping.

4. Join a hobby based group such as a knitting group, a photography club, a community garden, or a dance club.

5. Try to find someone to join you if possible (spouse or friend) because having a person doing it with you is always a source of motivation.

What are some things you have tried?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

homeschooling burnout or something more?


Recently I read on a popular homeschool blog about how homeschooling is hard at times but not to be discouraged by those hard days.  While I agree with this, there is a distinction between it being hard work and it not working out for you anymore. 

 

I have noticed a trend from the commenter's on that particular board and on homeschool message boards I visit.  Many people reference crying episodes and/or depression but slogging through, saying, “Oh, yes.  Homeschooling is just hard work.”  A day, a week, or even a short season of crying, slogging through homeschooling is one thing, but if the crying becomes daily, weekly, status quo take a second look.  I know because this slogging was my modus operandi for years all in the name of hard work. 

Yes, homeschooling is hard work, but there should be many good days and good feelings that go with it.  I find that there is a fine line between homeschool burnout (which to me is a temporary season) and being burnt out (which is totally spent, I can’t do this anymore). 

 

So, how to tell the difference?  Try a few of the things I suggest in my burnout series or other ideas you may come across about homeschooling burnout.  Give it a few months and then evaluate.  Are things overall improving?  Do you still have the same sense of dread upon waking each morning?  Or are you full of joy once again? Pray a lot. Ask others what they see in you.  (make sure you ask a spouse or trusted friend who will be brutally honest with you and not try to convince you one way or the other.)

 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Loss of a vision

It has been a hard week, and it's only Wednesday. My adult bipolar son's birthday is tomorrow.  That should be a happy occasion, but it is not since he isn't speaking to us.  For some reason, thoughts of my dad have been flooding my worn out heart.  He passed away this past October.  It is so much harder than I ever thought it would be.  And, while I think I am "over" sending my children to school, the littlest things trigger tears. 

Books     Books

We are feeling the money pinch a bit so I thought I'd dig through some of my homeschooling books and sell some that I know I won't use for my daughter.  I know I could sell them easily, and we need the money. As I began to dig through them, sort and price them, I was overcome with emotions and hot, angry tears.  I am still grieving the loss of the homeschool vision.  I wanted this to work out so bad, and I am hurt and angry that the plan isn't unfolding they way I had envisioned.  I wanted to give to my younger kids what I did to my older ones---the gift of time and family.  I didn't want to face that yesterday, after dealing with the feelings of missing my father, so I quickly put it all away and distracted myself.  Later in the day, I reflected on those feelings and decided it is ok to acknowledge and feel that loss.  I also recognized the need to see this new experience for what it is and can be so that I am not stuck in the loss but am able to move past it to what is.  I held/hold a deep homeschooling vision and conviction.  It will take time to leave that behind.  There is so much to say on this issue; I have included quite a bit about the homeschool vision in my ebook. I am pushing myself to finish it during this Lenten season. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Preparing homeschool kids for school

Many people have asked me how I helped my children transition from homeschooling to brick and mortar school.  I thought I would share those here so that if you will be sending children to school in the near future, this may help. 

As a long time homeschooling mom, I was worried about sending my children to school.  I didn't know how they would do, especially socially so I tried to prepare them ahead of time through lots of discussions and role playing.  After they went to school for the first time in 2011, I found a few things that I missed in preparing them.  This time around, I think they were much better prepared. 



1. Testing. Teach your child how to study for tests and how to take them.  To study, I helped my children read end of chapter questions first before reading the chapter, I mentioned the importance of bolded words (and we made vocabulary cards), and the looking over charts, graphs, and dates mentioned in a chapter.  Seton offers a free online study skills course.  This is geared towards middle school and high school so it may need to be modified. 
Another important thing about tests (and many worksheets) is to remember to read the directions carefully.  We found out the hard way with this one several times. 

2.  When/how to raise hand to answer or ask a question.  As homeschoolers, my children just got up and went to the bathroom when they needed.

3.  If your children or young and/or never been in any class or sports setting, they need to learn to stand in line and wait for their turn.  This is something all young children will learn in school as none of them really are good at it until they practice.  It sounds ridiculous but my scatterbrained at the time 3rd grader would just start walking to the bathroom when the teacher said it was time to go to the bathroom. 

4. Organizational skills.  Most schools now have the kids write assignments in a planner.  Since my children went in at an older age, they didn't know how to use a planner and how to organize their work well.  Teach them to write down all assignments and check the planner and pack their backpack accordingly before leaving school.  My son had to learn how to file all of his papers in his binders.  This just takes time.  He lost several papers early on, shed several tears, but he is learning. 

5. Teach your children to ask questions if they are unsure of assignments or aren't understanding a concept.  One child of mine in particular is very shy and was hesitant to ask questions when he didn't understand something which made homework frustrating at times. We did some role playing at home which we found helpful.

6.  Dealing with mean kids and how to handle it.  I came up with various situations and we role played how to best deal with these things.  I try to encourage my children to talk to me a lot about things that happen and how they or others dealt with them.

7.  Academic preparation.  I made sure to work on things my children were not strong in before they went to school.  Each person will need to determine what that is for them. Here is what we did. 
     +writing= paragraphs, expository, persuasive and descriptive essays.
     +general grammar including punctuation and capitalization.
     +basic math especially math facts
     +basic geography, dates, and familiar events in history.

What else have you done to prepare your children to enter school after homeschooling them?