Do I have to?

Homeschool-burnout1

This post is linking up with the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum first blog hop of the year – Staying Motivated throughout the Homeschool Year.

For our northern hemisphere friends, it’s the middle of the school year, and apparently, snowing in a lot of places! I get why they would be feeling a bit over the whole homeschooling thing at this point in time, especially given they may be a bit house-bound! Here in the southern hemisphere, it is bright and sunny, and we are just a few short weeks into our school year. The year ahead stretches out…all our plans are in place…we are all motivated and ready to go! Or that’s the theory, anyway.

So, what do you do when you are feeling over it all, tempted to send them to school just to give yourself a few minutes peace?

Keep it real - don’t be deluded by blog posts and Pinterest pins that show all happy smiling faces of Moms helping Daughters, sitting at a desk, LOVING their maths, whilst Dad helps out Son with his laptop work.

I forgot to add colour-coordinated and perfect makeup!

The reality is somewhat different and I share these as a public service:
Vague much?
Do I have to?

Give me strength!
And I haven’t even got photos of the kids crying (’cause I’m a great mother like that) or me. But I should have, because there are more than a few of those moments around here. 
So, next time you feel inadequate, come back and look at those photos, because I’ll probably never have perfect makeup.
Review the plan – I read when researching this post you should go back and read your plan for the year, yanno, to give yourself some inspiration. Great idea if you are on schedule and doing well. Not so great if you are “behind” or the kids have far outstripped your plans for science, because they already knew all the stuff. So I say “review” the plan – add some red pen of your own, get some new ideas and make it more realistic – this is especially important in your first year of homeschooling where your enthusiasm far outweighs everyone’s abilities.
Remember to count ALL the learning – just because it’s not sitting at a desk with a pen in hand, doesn’t mean it’s not learning. We have the best discussions in the car, watching QI, or going for a walk down the beach. Remember (and I was a teacher, so I’m fair-dinkum) although schooled kids are there for 6 hours a day, they aren’t doing anywhere near 6 hours of written work, not even close. Plus, working one-on-one (smiling, hair and makeup done) is much more time efficient. So go a bit easy on yourself if you don’t feel like you are doing “enough”.
Start putting together your homeschool accomplishments in a report – I love doing this! I put all my photos and tick boxes together in a Word document, each under a Subject heading. It’s amazing how fabulous it all looks when it’s in one place – we even look like “real” homeschoolers! Go on – I bet you’ve done more than you thought!!!
Have a screen-free day – for you as well as them! When we can’t get sucked into the time-vortex of Facebook or Minecraft, it’s amazing what you’ll do to pass the time! Out come the board games, the recipes, the art and craft, the … dare I say it?…glitter. It does everyone well to think outside the square occasionally.
Come on kids, cheer up! It’s Screen-Free Day!!!!
Clean up – yes, you read that right. Having a clean up of your homeschool area or even moving it to another part of the house can reveal a mountain of crap resources that you’ve stashed away and forgotten about! Those science kits you bought on sale? Do them (even if you’re not studying that at the moment). Those art supplies? Use them! That English workbook? Sell it on eBay… if nothing else, you’ll make some spare change!
Change it up – if the kids are really hating the way you’re doing something, don’t be afraid to look for another way – whether that’s another resource, googling natural learning, or asking around on a Facebook support group for ideas – there surely has to be a better way. You’ll find it…eventually.
Most of all, when you ask yourself at the start of another homeschool day “do I have to?”, remember WHY you homeschool in the first place. Blog it (seriously – I look back at my blog and think, wow! That was cool!). Take photos. Look at your kids – are they happier because they are at home? Mine are, so there’s my answer – yes, I have to :-)

Head on over to Gifted Homeschoolers to check out the other posts to keep you motivated!!!

What are your tips/hints for staying motivated?
Do you have a part of the year that feels hard going?

22 Comments

  1. Jeanne

    That card game photo worries me. The wrong child has a hat on. It has me all discombobulated.

    Reply
    1. Ingi Mc

      Just wanted to shake things up a bit ;-)

      Reply
  2. verdemama

    Gasp! Glitter?

    By the way, I spent part of Valentine’s Day resurfacing a concrete floor with my hubby, … thought you might like to know. That’s what passes for romance around here.

    Thanks for sharing Real Life in all its gritty goodness, as always!

    Reply
    1. Ingi Mc

      Can I share a secret? The glitter was at another homeschoolers house. She’s braver than me! Resurfacing concrete – aww, go on – you are just making me jealous!!!

      Reply
  3. Erin

    Record and blog is good, thumbs up:)

    Reply
    1. Ingi Mc

      I only show the good bits in my report (and holidays magically transform into learning experiences), but I show ALL the bits on my blog!

      Reply
  4. wendasheard

    Thanks for your ideas. Well done.

    Reply
    1. Ingi Mc

      :-)

      Reply
  5. Susanne

    This made me smile. I love the very real photos and DEAR GOD NOT THE GLITTER!

    Reply
    1. Ingi Mc

      Glitter and I generally don’t mix – that’s why I sent my kids to preschool…

      Reply
  6. Pamela Price

    I love the report idea. I cheat and just do it with photographs, but it does help to “see” it.

    Reply
    1. Ingi Mc

      We have to report in some form back to our registering body, so I just list a whole bunch of “Outcomes” met and whack in a billion photos – it even amazes me how much we’ve done when you look at it that way :-)

      Reply
  7. Jade Rivera

    Those pictures! Hilarious! The clean-up idea is a great one I haven’t seen other places– organized space = organized mind…usually.

    Reply
    1. Ingi Mc

      I’m periodically organised. If I REALLY wanted to get organised, I have to move house!

      Reply
  8. YellowReadis

    *Grins*. This is awesome. I never thought of doing a report in word – what a great idea! I just take pics and hand-write a journal-thing. Actually getting the two together…*headdesk* Why didn’t I think of that???

    Reply
    1. Ingi Mc

      Because that’s what I’m here for :-)

      Reply
  9. Carolyn

    The pictures are great so is the screen-free day.

    Reply
    1. Ingi Mc

      Thanks Carolyn! We don’t have them often – the kids resist and frankly, I find it hard going too. But occasionally they are value!

      Reply
  10. jofreitag

    I love this post ! It is important not to expect that home schooling will be all sweetness and smiles every day.
    And it is great to appreciate and celebrate the learning that is taking place with the photos and the journal entries.
    Thank you for showing how to ‘keep it real’, Ingi!

    Reply
    1. Ingi Mc

      The reality is so different from your preconceived idea and many blogs and all those google images of “homeschool”! And yes! Appreciate and celebrate all the learning :-)

      Reply
  11. loveena beezadhur

    Loved the pictures!! and how true…..the picture perfect homeschoolers on the web do make me feel drab in comparison!

    Reply
  12. Target List Marketing

    Thank you for posting the pictures – I love how real they were!! Its so helpful to know that we all feel this way at times – that its normal :)

    Reply

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