Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My first real Meltdown

Before my son reached kindergarten age I just knew I wanted to homeschool. I guess I didn't exactly know at that time, what I'm getting myself into. At least that's what I've been pondering about a month ago, when I had my first major breakdown. Already filling out my now 6 year old and soon to be kindergarten age 4 year old's school applications, ready to be sent off, I was D O N E !!    Already picturing myself having all the extra time in the world to do whatever I want to, whenever I want to and as long as I want to... 

The applications I believe are still "ready to go" just that they'll probably end up in the recycle bin. I spent the last 4 weeks reevaluating my initial motivation of why it was so important for me/ us to educate our children and slowly but surely the thoughts of whatever, whenever and as long as I wanted to ... crumbled, making space for new excitement and strength to try it one more time. 

I did my research reading books from the library such as: 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum. I absolutely enjoyed reading this book. It helped me a great deal finding out more about learning styles. Not only my son's but also my own learning style and how we can combine to two styles to make it fun for the two of us. I learned a lot about the different learning styles of homeschooling, the different curriculums that are available for the different teaching methods etc. 
Also I spent a great deal of time online reading myself through the jungle of blogs and found some very helpful ones, such as Letting Go of Curriculum GuiltThe Public School Parents' Guide to Homeschool Parents including all the comments on the blogposts and others which helped me find out, first of all that I was not the only one struggling once in a while. Of course I knew this was only a beginning but, it made me feel "normal" again. Both of the above mentioned post are seriously a must read at one point in time for every homeschooling parent. 
I emailed a few friends, made phone calls and had so much wonderful support (thank you all again so much, you know who you are <3 ) I sat down with my very dear friend who listened to my concerns, my pro's/con's about where the problem might be, since I couldn't even put my finger on a specific problem I had with teaching my 1st grader, all I knew is that I was ready to throw the towel !! Some of my concerns were that:

  • I am not doing enough daily
  • we're too slow
  • what I was teaching him was so irrelevant and we're missing out on the "real" stuff
  • that I was lacking behind
  • my son was complaining mostly every morning about studying
  • I felt horrible for neglecting my two younger ones since most of what they heard of me half of the morning was either to be quiet or having to get out of the study room etc.
  • and last but ohh...  not least, specially the social study curriculum was driving me MAD !!
The first thing my friend said was: you're doing too much.. Of course that made little sense to me since I was convinced otherwise. I thought of trying another homeschool program etc etc. To make a quiet complex story decently short it turned out I didn't do much wrong except that I forgot to have fun teaching !!! Finally I had a teacher's meeting and she flipped through my work confirming what everyone else was telling me that I WAS DOING TOO MUCH !!
The same night I had a long talk with my husband and my boy. Together we chose topics that we wanted to study about. I was once again so excited and literally couldn't wait to prepare our next lesson ... I am still working on processing and changing whatever knowledge I have gained through this whole time, it is definitely a process that takes time and adjustment, I believe it was totally worth the sweat for I've learned a lot !! but one thing I did NOT do since then: I haven't touched our so maddening social studies curriculum since *grin*. 


  1. YAY for the new blog! I chuckled a bit when you admitted you didn't really agree with me when I said you were doing too much! :D I'm glad things turned around and you and Mister K. have rediscovered a new love for homeschooling and having fun while doing it. The beautiful thing about homeschooling is you can always change things up and make it adapt to fit you and your little one's needs! However, with that said - I still daydream about all the things I could be doing if my kids went to traditional public school. Then, the reality of how little time I would actually get sets in... waking up early to get the kids fed and dressed - and the stress of getting them to school on time. Then picking them up and spending 1-2+ hours every night making sure they do their homework, packing lunches, etc... etc... When all is said and done - I would actually spend more time if they went to public school than just homeschooling (we can do school anytime we want, in our pajamas if we want, take a nap if we want, take a break when we want, field trips when we want, the possibilities are endless!

  2. I just realized I never replied to your Comment.. horrible lol, You're absolutely right we do have the freedom to choose for our kids what we think is best.. but I think I'm so "brain washed" to go with the system that it is easier said then done to feel free to choose something else than what you've been given.. I'm still learning but now I know it's ok to do so.. And with all the homework etc. I agree.. specially here in the states where we have to drive everywhere.. making sure we're in time bla bla bla.. thank God for Homeschools !!