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.

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? 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Brain chatter

Do you ever feel like your mind is on auto pilot with thoughts—generally negative ones that chide your every parenting decision?  I have often had this brain chatter, and I used to not know how to hit the pause button and shuffle to a new number. 


Moms tend to be their own worst critic using a standard we would never use on a good friend, spouse, child, or even stranger.  Why is that?  Doesn’t our Lord say to love thy neighbor as thyself?  How can we love to ourselves when we are constantly playing a tape of negativity and criticism in our head?  If you have this problem, you need to find a way to change this and be kind to yourself.


So, what have I done to replay the right track in my brain so I don’t get derailed and down on myself?  I am not great at this yet but am improving.


1.        Tell yourself daily that you are human and make mistakes but it is ok.  Everyone is in this same place.  God doesn’t expect perfection just our love.

2.       When you do make a mistake, quickly forgive yourself and make amends if it is appropriate then let it go.  No rehashing.

3.       Replace your negative thoughts with positive thoughts mainly from God’s word.  I love Norman Vincent Peale’s books for finding what he calls thought conditioners. 

4.       Start a gratitude journal.  Each evening list 5 things you are thankful for and 5 positive thoughts you had about yourself.

5.       Let go of perfectionism.  You aren’t expected to do it all.  That may hurt your pride a bit, but it is true.  God does not expect you to kill yourself to educate your children (or to do anything else for them).

How do you deal with the brain chatter in your head?