Jen at Conversion Diary had a post about homeschooling questions and worries. I found the first one particularly interesting: “I worry about getting physically and mentally ovewhelmed…”
(Now, the irony is, I’m revising this draft and posting it after a day that
- started before dawn (ick! I fulfilled that quota in the Navy)
- involved eight hours of driving
- saw four kids and two adults touring a flour mill, picnicing at a winery, exploring Polyface Farms, and picking apples
- included one really major tantrum (not me, honest).
More on all that tomorrow. When I’m not quite so exhausted, and the second batch of apples is in the dehydrator. Maybe with a nice piece of fresh apple pie next to me.)
Jen already has a ton of comments, and I regularly fail to be comment-length in what I want to say, so I’m springboarding.
Energy for homeschooling? It comes. Honest.
Of course, it helps to get
- enough sleep (no, I don’t, but at least I know what my problem is)
- regular exercise (ok, I try)
- a decent diet (avoid processed sugar and carbs)
- a little time to be only you, not mom/teacher for a bit (even if it’s blogging about homeschooling).
- and a schedule. This is critical! Otherwise (and especially if you’re a type a, do it all, and do it now person), you wind up feeling like you’re never caught up. It helps to see what you have to accomplish and what would be considered “getting ahead.”
Other than that, I’ll tell you what my oldest two’s godmother said: God doesn’t give you the energy you need for another child until after you trust Him and go down that path.
[brief pause while I go break up a “kittycat game” (loudest darn cats I’ve ever heard). “I’m writing about the joys of homeschooling and the baby’s asleep! Now get in the corner and think about being quiet for a few minutes!”]
Homeschooler’s version: Stretch a little on what you think you can say “yes” to; you will likely be pleasantly surprised.
A few weeks back, my kids were clamoring to go to the zoo. I had been looking at how much they had not been doing over our summer break, which was supposed to have been a light workload time, not a complete cessation of school. I looked out the window; it was a gorgeous day.
“Oh, oh, and we want our costumes, too!” they added. (“Roar!” said Empress, getting into the lobbying effort.)
“Hey, could we bring paper and crayons and pencils and stuff again, too?” said Diva.
“Yeah,” added Crash, “like we did that other time. And we could show them to Daddy!”
Ugh. Costumes, which would be off and on three times due to the heat. Paper and crayons. Double ugh. But what was I saving my energy for, if not them?
“Okay,” I finally allowed, trying not to sound too tired. After hooting, hollering, showering me in kisses and declarations that I was the “best Mommy ever!!!” they ran off to get their shoes.
The end result? We had a great time, they cooperated (mostly), and I felt more energetic when we got home than I had before I agreed to the whole expedition. So, we had an art gallery opening, complete with art on the walls, snacks in silver dishes, wine served from the bar (the kitchen island with a tablecloth over it) (the kids got Sparkling Cranberries or Glittery Apples, aka Sprite mixed with fruit juice), and music (We had a hard time deciding if this was gallery was more jazzy or techno/electronica. We went with the later, after detours through the channels for salsa, blues, new age, and club and a whole lot of dancing in the living room.).
Yes, everyone dressed up. Daddy is intently listening as Crash explains the finer points of his drawing. Diva is waiting, while showing off her favorite tights and sipping a Sparkling Cranberry.
It was fun. I hope they remember it.
And I hope I remember to say, “Sure, we can do that…” with a smile on my face more often.