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.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The path we are to follow

"It is lesson we all need--to let alone the things that do not concern us.  He has other ways for others to follow Him; all do not go by the same path.  It is for each of us to learn the path by which He requires us to follow Him, and to follow Him in that path."  St. Katherine Drexel. 

Preview

The above quote is on my planner page for the week.  I have read it before and as always am deeply touched by the wisdom in it.  Homeschooling used to be my path.  It still is for one child but not for the others.  In the past, when I was struggling with the decision to continue down the homeschool path, I kept feeling a nudge to try the other way, but I was scared.  I liked the familiar, worn trail of homeschooling.  But God slowly showed me that this path is not the one for me right now.  He has opened up other routes (of private school) for most of my children, and the course I am on with my youngest will meander down the homeschool trail for now but will eventually merge with the brick and mortar school path up ahead at some point.  We don't all have to follow the homeschool means to be good moms.  I feel a bit lost and uncertain on my new journey, but I have the best navigator to show me the way.  I don't need to be concerned with the journey others are on and second guess mine. I just must discover mine and follow it to the best of my abilities. 

Is God leading you down a new path?  If so, are you feeling a bit lost and afraid?  Please share your feelings. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ideas for the winter/spring blues: March

In January and February,  I have shared some ideas for helping curb the winter blues we often experiences as homeschoolers.  This month's format is a bit different as it focuses on just one area for both mom and child(ren). 



As February draws to a close, I hope that March blows the funk and burnout away that so many of us experience this time of year as homeschool families.  My hope for you is that the weather is or will soon be warming up which always makes for easier school days. 

This month I want to share with you a wonderful activity I discovered last year.  It is art journaling.  Basically, the idea is to create art and journal it, but it is more than that.  Many who art journal like to collect “words” from various sources like magazines, junk mail, newspapers, invitations, movie tickets, stickers, and more.  Art journaling can be very healing and therapeutic, and you can let your mood create the atmosphere of your picture. 

Many mediums can be used from water color, pastels, collage (with a combination of paint and magazine/newsprint), and pencils. I find heavy duty water color paper best for this as it holds up well to water color and glue it doing collages.   I suggest doing this 4 weeks in a row as a start and then adding to it when you want.  We made a cover for it out of heavy duty cardboard that we decorated and add the pictures as we do them with a large rubber band to bind them. 
 
 
 
* This is a page from my journal. 

Moms, this is such a lovely experience even for you.  I tend to create pictures when life is throwing me some curve balls, and I find such stress relief from it.  And I am not talented in this area, but I love to dabble with journaling.  So, do this for yourself but do it for your children too.  It started out as a family project for us then moved to one I did alone many times.  I have created a whole art journal for myself that I love to flip through. 
If you and your children decide to try art journaling, send me a link in the comments.  I would love to see them. 
           

Monday, February 24, 2014

Wanted Guest blogger

Families, and mothers in particular, leave homeschooling for a variety of reasons.  My main reasons were  complete burnout, a few children who need someone else to answer to, and my older kids wanting more social opportunities.  I was ready to send my kids to school.  But sometimes moms don't want to put their children in school, but they must because of finances, unsupportive spouse, or the children need to go for a reason such as social, special needs, resistance to moms, etc.  The feelings and concerns have some overlap with the mom who wants to send her child, but I am sure there are some differences.  To reach a wider range of mothers, I would like to be able to share others experiences.  So, if you would like to share your story, and you have put your children in school when you didn't want to, please feel free to contact me. 

 
 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Restore workshop for homeschooling burnout

I wanted to let you all know of a wonderful opportunity to help with homeschool burnout.  It is called the Restore workshop put on by homeschool author Elizabeth Foss.  Check it out. 

Painted in Waterlogue From the Restore workshop site

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

No guarantees

Over on the Well-Trained Mind forum, there was a discussion about a mom regretting putting her children into public school.  I replied to this thread saying that there are no guarantees.  That reminded me of how much this fact has been drilled into me like a pie in the face---err, embarrassing. 

This mother felt bad that her child had fallen into the wrong crowd and experimented with drugs, alcohol, sex, extreme disrespect, etc.  She blames school on these problems.  Of course as mothers, we always look for ways we could have done something differently.  We hate to see our children hurt and get involved in questionable activities.  It is natural to try and find answers and lay blame.   But sad to say, there are no guarantees. 



Homeschooling is not your stamp for a get-it-right-life, and neither is sending them to private or public school.  You can be the best parent, prepare them with the best methods, be super involved in their life, and they can still turn away.  They have free will and fallen human nature.  They may make choices that we don't agree with or approve of.  Or maybe they won't.  I have seen in the same family, raised with the same standards, one child choose the path their parents would take and another child choose a life of immorality. 

This is a discouraging thought!  We invest many hours in our children, and we may lose them to the world!  Remember, though, that our perfect Savior lost an apostle and many disciples couldn't or wouldn't follow Him.

So why are we doing this?  Why bother?  We are planting seeds that one day we hope to see grow.  Just because they may be following the world right now doesn't mean they won't come back.  Now is not forever.  Our ways (and timetables) are not God's.  He has very different timing than we moms do.  We also have the guarantee of God's word that all things work together for good for those who love God.  Hold onto that promise.  I have come to the point of accepting that I might not see it in this life, and my son may not repent until his deathbed when I wouldn't be able to notice.  But God's got this like everything else.  He may use all of this for something very unique, and we can be sure He will use these tough things our kids may face to grow them into something beautiful. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Homeschooling and school: A foot in both worlds

Today I am linking up at Simple Homeschool for the day in the life series. 

For 2 1/2 years, I have had a foot in both schooling worlds:  First with one high school student in private school, and now I have 3 more in school.  That leaves just my 8 year old at home.  It has been very strange  how my homeschool has changed over the years.  At one point, I had 6 homeschooled students with a toddler in tow, and now I am down to just 1 child. 



I have always been an eclectic homeschooler, and now that I just have one child to homeschool, I am able to do more projects with her.  This is good because this child struggles academically. We are possibly dealing with dyslexia, so a lot of things are a struggle. 

After getting my 4 oldest off to school at 7 AM, I usually wake her around 7:30.  We spend an hour or so on language arts activities that includes reading, spelling, phonics, and writing.  I usually break this up into 2 sessions because it is intense.  Of course daily we do math, and she is doing a computer based program and is mostly self-sufficient with it.  We alternate history and science so that we are doing history on Mondays and Wednesdays and science on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Friday is our lighter day, and we do art, music, or nature study.  The highlight of our day is our read a loud time.  We both love this time together.

Right now, this schooling situation is working for our family.  I have finally been able to see that homeschooling is not always the best for every member of the family.  Coming soon, I will share ways to prepare your students if they are going to school after homeschooling.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Book Review: Let it Go

This post contains affiliate ads.

As I mention in my ebook (almost done!), I am a bit of a control freak mom. Slowly over the years, God has pried my fingers from the steering wheel of control. I am learning to acknowledge that I only have control over one thing and that is myself. I also am being challenged to trust Him with everything dear and precious to me---my family. Recently, I won a book in a giveaway, and it has changed the way I look at many things. The book is all about control.   






In this book, Karen Ehman discusses how moms tend to have a controlling nature about them simply because of being a mom. We are in charge of many little duties so we can become controlling by default. Many of us, want our way if we get right to it. She says we can become domestic dictators if we are not careful. Ouch! She discusses how we manage our man, micromanage our children, and hover over the home. But instead of just telling us how we are micromanagers, she gives ideas on how to set the atmosphere instead of dictate. The most profound part of the book for me was the section on faith. How letting go of control is ultimately about trusting God with all things. I have had such a hard time trusting throughout my mothering journey so this hit a nerve. I think many homeschool mothers find this a problem. We are trying to give our children a good education, keep them from spiritual, emotional, and physical danger--- all really controlling type behaviors but good intentions. Ultimately we have to trust and this is what this section of the book is about. Many circumstances are beyond our control and Karen offers many ideas on how to deal with these. For me, this book is one of those that I read again and again. If you have trouble releasing control (which can be a tiring thing to lug around), I suggest giving this book a try.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Help for homeschool burnout: Know your worth and pay yourself accordingly!


Since February is notorious for homeschool burnout, I wanted to revist the idea of paying yourself as a way to ease this malady.
 
According to recent studies, stay-at-home moms monetary value is set at $112,000+ in 2012.  Teachers salaries vary, but as of December 2013, they range from $44,000 up to $75,000 as a new teacher.  Both are fair sums of money and put together, they are darn good pay!  Moms, you are worth a lot!  Did you realize this?  Looking at these studies  makes me feel like my work is valued at least in theory. 

You are essentially working a full-time job, yes minus the pay, but you are saving your family a lot of money in the process.  Working full-time and putting children in private schools cost a lot of money.  You are already doing both, but have you been paying yourself?  Since you are doing the work and saving the money, it only seems fair to pay yourself accordingly. Now, I realize most of us don’t have the luxery of paying ourselves over $100,000, but shouldn’t we make ways to pay ourselves, a little here and there to help keep up our spirits and avoid burnout?  I think so.    My bloggy friend, Scooper, so eloquently states why and how to pay yourself. 

In my post in November about this topic, I listed a few ways to pay yourself.  Since that time, I have been brainstorming a bit and have come up with a few more.  I know finding the money to do some of these may be tricky, but I suggest keeping a jar to put your change in each week and budgeting it in the homeschool budget at the beginning of each year.  Please feel free to share ideas in the comments. 

 

1. Go to the salon and have your hair done.  Full deal.

2. Along the same lines, go have your nails, toes, or eyebrows done professionally.

3. Go out to lunch or dinner with a girlfriend.

4.  Hire a cleaning lady once in a while.

5.  When everything is so overwhelming, take an entire week off school even if it is not planned.

6.  Join a book club or other group such as a knitting or quilting group. 
 
If you are in the throng of burnout right now, be sure to visit the series I wrote last month on ways to get a handle on homeschooling burnout

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Am I against homeschooling?

It may seem at times, I am against homeschooling.  I want to assure my readers I am not.  My homeschool journey has led me through many valleys and up steep, winding mountains.  There has been plenty of joy intertwined with the pain.  I have been humbled and learned much in the 18 years I have been at this.  At 25, I thought I knew everything.  Now, I realize that I don't always have the answers, and that life can take us on many different paths that we never intended on taking.  I have learned there is not one right way to educate children, and that one's holiness is not marked by any form of education.  I know that God is big enough to handle anything and that He will care for my children no matter where they spend the majority of their days. 


So, for now, homeschooling is only a good fit for one child in my family because she has dyslexia while private school is the best match for the other 4. Three of those four, do better answering to someone else, and the fourth child just wants to be at school.  And I am ok with that.  But I am still a homeschool supporter if that is what is best for mom, child, and the entire family. 
The way you educate your child is a very personal decision and not one to be taken lightly.  I just want this place to be one of encouragement if you find that you are not able to homeschool.  Moms can be so tough on themselves, and I want you to know that you are still a good mother if you choose something besides homeschooling. 


Notes From a Blue Bike Blog Tour

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Common misunderstandings about children going to school part 2

Last week I shared a few common misunderstandings about children going to a brick and mortar school, and how I once believed these. Having children in school and homeschooling for 18 years, I have seen and experienced a lot and sadly been humbled a lot. As a young homeschooling mother, I thought I had it all figured out. My recipe for raising children was going to produce the best! But I have found, after years of teaching, there are many recipes for raising and educating children that work just as well and these misconceptions are just that.



  6. Children in school are not socialized as well because they spend all of their time with those of the same age. Although they do spend a lot of time with children their own age, they spend time dealing with different teachers and children who may be difficult to deal with or have very different beliefs. My experience has shown me that homeschool children can play and act well with a variety of ages including adults but most are limited to dealing with those almost exactly like them. That can be problematic for children who don’t deal with frustrations easily. I have several children who think life should always go their way. Homeschooling made life easier for them, but I am not so sure that easy is a good thing for them because they don’t do well when things are difficult. Two of these children are now in school and learning to deal with those daily little irritations.

  7. School will hurt the parent child relationship, and they will not be as respectful and obedient to you if in school. I always imagined (and heard) that homeschool children were more obedient and respectful to their parents. In many cases this is true. A few of my children were this way. Some children, however, have a difficult time being accountable to just their parents, mom in particular. Posting on forum boards through the years, I read that school would ruin the parent/child relationship, and that it would not improve their attitude towards me. In my experience, that has been a big falsehood. My children’s attitude towards school has greatly improved, and they do their work when I tell them.

  8. Children in school will not love to learn. School has not made my children love to learn but neither did homeschooling. My children enjoyed certain things about homeschooling (like science experiments and reading aloud), but most of it was work, and they didn’t like to work. Same thing with school. They like parts of it but not all. Children in both situations will like certain things but not others.

9. School is a one size fits all, and therefore they will not be able to learn as well or as easily. While it is true that you can tailor your homeschool to fit your children’s learning style, most children can learn the way things are taught at school. Always fitting the curriculum to the child could possibly hamper them if they ever go to school whether that be a public school or when they go to college. College professors won’t care if your child is an auditory or visual learner but will just expect them to do the work.