Thursday, January 27, 2011

Burn Out.

Right now the SOR house isn't a fun place for me to be. The kids are mutining against homeschooling with the simple- yet diabolical- method of dilly-dallying. They're driving me nuts, plain and simple. I have, what I feel, are basic daily school requirements; math, language arts, reading. Everything else is done in a unschooling type manner. We study what grabs our interest in music, art, history and science when it interests us. Yet, for some reason, the kids are opposed to even just a simple handwriting lesson.

They sit. They leave the table. They make silly noises. They look at the page. They leave the table. Then a bathroom break. They're thirsty. But she's not doing her work, why do I have to? They write three letters and their hand hurts. They chat. They pick up the pencil. They fold bits of paper. Is that blood? Maybe they should get a bandaid. They ask what we're having for dinner and then complain about food I haven't even made yet. They write a couple more letters. They leave the table. They make kissy noises. Repeatedly. They write another letter and have a meltdown that it's not perfect and we go into a discussion on how no one is perfect and just WRITE THE FRIGGING LETTER.

Four hours later handwriting still isn't done and nothing else has gotten accomplished except pissing me off.
I'm right there with you.

Part of the issue is the little ones. The babies that get to watch a show during school or (like right at this very second) climb the chair the big kid is on, take their pencil and run off. In the middle of a lesson I have to leave and change a diaper or rescue Max from climbing in the toilet, coloring on the wall, climing UP the refridgerator, pulling his sister's hair, climbing into the washing machine, coloring on the walls, dumping whatever food is in his reach onto whatever closest surface that is non-food acceptable, pooping on the floor (or like yesterday the futon), coloring on the walls or using the dishwasher as a ladder.

How I  feel most of the time.

I know that homeschooling can be a smooth venture. I know it won't be that way every day. But having to struggle over the tiniest things. Fight over insignificance. Battle to complete every single single-digit equation. Day after day, week after week.

Wears. Me. Out.

I get no break. No relief. My planning session for school are much the same as actually doing school. I get distracted with the myriad of crisises, every day I'm just fighting to get school completed and running between freak outs. Trying to temper a three year old and dissuade her from stealing food and eating it under her sister's bed and leaving the garbage behind, keep a two year old from maiming himself, stop the bigger girls from bickering and doing stupid things and working to get the oldest interested in something other than war machines and computer games where he holes himself up and rarely emerges for more than a potty break or sustinance (and even then I have to coerce him).

Then heft on the responsibility of miles of laundry, piles of dishes, three meals a day that need to be planned out, shopped for and made, bills to be budgeted, college to be learned, animals cared for and a husband to consider.

I feel like I'm failing. No matter what anyone else says.  

My life.

I get that part of it is our recent move, the fact that not everything is even over here yet doesn't help. We just took a 2 month break during November and December so another break really isn't going to work. I actually got to the point of applying my 3 year old for VPK next year and called a daycare for a spot for the baby. Neither of which I really want to do.

I'm just running out of options, trapped in a house with no local support and fairly certain I just can't take any more.


plaidshoes said...

Is there a homeschool group near you? It might be helpful just to get out of the house and bond with some other homeschool families. While I don't homeschool - most of my friends do. They definitely have days like you describe. Sounds like everyone is just in a funk. Maybe shaking it up a bit will give you all a little breathing space. Hang in there!

Crystal said...

I've contacted the two closest (and by close I mean 45 min away) HS groups and neither is particularly active. I haven't even gotten a response from one and it's been a couple weeks.

Sarah Faith said...

I'm not sure if you're just trying to vent (go ahead - been there myself!! have 6 kids 8 and under myself) or if you wanted some input.

Input coming, so please ignore if you want.

My advice is to completely forget about homeschooling for now and just work on being there with the kids and having fun together. Things like cooperation and productivity flow out of your relationship with them. It is very hard to break that vicious cycle of fighting to breathe while attempting to hold it all together, but the only way I've figured how is to force myself to stop overachieving for a bit until our relationship is back on track. Give you and them a break. Have fun, be silly, bake something together, get messy, clean up, take a family nap, whatever. Avoid saying "no" for as long as you can. Tell them stories from when they were babies or stories from your childhood. Play a game. Build a fort in the living room.
Don't make 'education' more important than relationship. When you flip the priority you will be amazed at how much gets done cheerfully. Hope this helps.