How Do You Know When to Keep Homeschooling?
How do you know when to keep homeschooling and when to look for other educational options? Our homeschooling is going mostly ok. She whines sometimes when she would rather watch YouTube than do math, but just typical 8yo behavior and she usually has fun once we get started. She is ahead in some subjects and a little behind the norm in reading, again typical 8yo stuff. But, homeschooling is exhausting! All the planning, searching for materials that are truly secular and a good fit for my child, implementing academics in an engaging hands-on manner, plus working full-time (from home) and trying to keep the house from completely falling apart. I know it’s important and worth it and I want to keep going, but I am burnt out! It doesn’t help that we have zero local friends or family, so I never get a break. And we don’t really have the money for in-person classes or activities. I have adhd and I am pretty sure my child does as well, so I’m not sure if public school would work for her (it was terrible for me growing up). I truly do want to keep homeschooling, but I cannot keep going like this much longer. I don’t expect homeschooling to be easy. I know making sure I am raising a well-educated human will always require some work. But do you have any advice for how to make it easier or how to not constantly feel like the weight of my child’s entire future rests solely on my shoulders?
Homeschooling: 3 years
Child’s Grade: 2nd
How do you know when to keep homeschooling and when to look for other educational options?
I do have tips for you, but first I want to address the issue of you feeling burned out, separate from your child’s education. Your mental health is critically important. If something is negatively affecting it, then sometimes you have hard choices to make. I am not a mental health expert, so I will not give any more advice than this: take the time to be in a calm mental state, then decide what you need to do to minimize your stress level. Your answer will likely have negatives and positives; but whatever it is, if it is right for your mental health, then it is right.
But do you have any advice for how to make it easier or how to not constantly feel like the weight of my child’s entire future rests solely on my shoulders?
You work full time, you’re a mom, you take care of the house, and you homeschool?! No wonder you are burned out! That is a lot! Couple that with no local friends or family, and it must get lonely sometimes. I do have some tips to help.
- Take some time this year to figure out how your child learns. Do not overcomplicate this. Just observe how they approach academic tasks and their modalities of choice. Do they prefer an approach that is:
- Reading and writing
- Watching someone
- Listening, or
- After gathering this information, use the SEA Homeschoolers Facebook Group strategically to help find and choose materials.
- Start by telling people how your child learns and that you think they have ADHD.
- Next, ask for suggestions from people who have homeschooled a child like yours.
- Once you think you have a sound choice, you can even explicitly ask for the pros and cons from those who have used the curriculum with a child who has ADHD. Don’t forget to ask about how time-consuming the curriculum is for parents, too.
- One benefit of asking these questions in the SEA Facebook group is that we have strict policies regarding non-secular materials. In the rare case where we do miss something, members are quick to alert us. The group also has a list of non-secular curricula listed in the files section. Check that over and don’t buy anything on the non-secular list.
- It is also okay not to do it all.
- Hands-on learning is important, but you do not have to do it for every subject or all the time, especially if it is overwhelming. Give yourself a break if you need one. In a science course with 20 labs, don’t do all 20. In a history course that has a project to complete every week, you don’t have to do them all. During a busy week, let your child orally tell you about the lesson and consider it finished.
- During a hectic week, let your child take a break or do work that doesn’t require a lot of your input.
- If you are a planner who gets stressed when you get off schedule, work on that. The world is never going to fit neatly into someone’s schedule all or even most of the time. However, if you do not use a plan at all, I recommend you make one. You are very busy, and it will help you to have a plan so that you do not need to constantly figure out your schedule.
- Choose a curriculum that has a plan already completed for you to work from throughout the week.
- If you need a day off from teaching, take one.
- Finally, ask in the SEA Homeschoolers group if there is anyone local to you with a child your daughter’s age. Who knows; maybe you will find someone near you to hang out with.
Hugs & Much Love, Blair!
Do you have a question for the fan-favorite column “Ask Blair” found in The SEA Homeschoolers Magazine? Please use this form to submit your homeschooling questions. The SEA team will select a few questions to be answered by SEA Homeschoolers Founder & Magazine Editor, Blair Lee, in each quarterly issue. Due to space, not all questions will be published in the magazine. Those that come in shortly after a magazine issue has been published will go on this page. These are important questions and we want to answer them for you in a timely way. Please be sure to include all pertinent information relevant to your question – examples: learner ages, grade levels, preferred resource format, topics of interest, preferred homeschool methodologies, state requirements you’re trying to meet, learning challenges, etc.
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