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 29, 2014

How to stay connected with your child in school

As homeschooling moms, we spend a lot of time with our children. But once children go to school, that time is limited.  What I have found though, is that I am more refreshed when they are home.  When I homeschooled them all, I was exhausted by the time I was done schooling 5 children and wanted nothing more to do with them because of my introverted personality and depression.  So the time I spent with them was not quality time.  They were in the home with me but I didn't spend a lot of time doing extra things that they liked.  Now that they are in school, I have been mindful to come up with ways to spend quality time with them so we stay connected.  If your children are in school, and you have others, please share in the comments.

(my son playing catcher- I was really cheering him on!)

1.  We live a good distance from the school.  It is a 20 minute drive each way.  I don't take them to school, but on the way home, I have one school going child sit in the front seat and allow them to talk about their day as much as they want.  I try to ask engaging questions.  Once that child is done, I let the other children share briefly what they want.  Each day we rotate children in the front seat so they get time for a longer discussion. 

2. Evening when we are home, I have a dinner helper.  I did this when we homeschooled, and they like it.  That person gets to help me prepare dinner, and we chat. 

3.  Weekend time.  We try to do things at least once as a family either a game night or movie night.  Once a month, we try to take a child out alone for some fun time

4.  Each night after dinner and dishes, we clear the table for homework time.  I only help when asked so they develop independence, but I try to look at what they are doing and ask questions.  I want them to know I care about their education.

5.  I am their cheerleader.  I attend as many school functions as I can and cheer them on be it sports, drama, singing, or whatever.  They love that I watch them, and we enjoy discussing it together. 

6.  I volunteer at school when I can.  My children love when I come help with parties, be a teacher's helper, or go on a field trip with their class.  I really enjoy watching them interact with the other kids

Friday, April 25, 2014

Benefits of school

Since putting my children into school, I have noticed several benefits for my family.  While these may not be across the board benefits for all families, I have found it common in reading about other families who have made this choice and with friends who have done the same. 

Back to School

1. Each day, both of my younger children are excited to share with me the neat things they have done at school.  My high school aged children don't share as freely ( probably because they are teens), but they will talk when asked.

2. Positive peer pressure.  Yes, some peer pressure is good.  My children don't want to look dumb or embarrass themselves in front of their friends so they are diligent about getting their homework done without any prompting from me.  This is a huge benefit for me because I had such a hard time motivating my pre-teens and teens.  It was exhausting.  This is a benefit that so many people find.

3. They no longer get mad at me for hard and/or assignments they deem dumb.  They fuss about the teacher, but they don't direct it at me.  Another huge one here.

4.  Accountability and organization.  They are learning to meet deadlines (and homeschool does not mimic this as well), and they have to keep up with their work, write their assignments down, and remember to give me forms from the teacher.

5.  My shy children have had to speak up.  They have gained a lot of confidence now.  Before, they wouldn't ask the librarian for help or the cashier for tickets for the game booth.  Lots of growth in this area.

6 I am having more quality time with my children because I am refreshed when they come home.  I need quiet, (because I am an introvert) and this has helped me stay calmer.

Have you experienced any benefits if you have put your children in school after homeschooling? 

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


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?