Wednesday, January 18, 2012

for when you want to throw in the towel-saying goodbye to homeschooling, part one

I’ve had those days.  You’ve had those days.  We’ve all had those days.
You know the ones.  The times when you want to surrender, wave the white flag, retreat, run, hide.  Or just give it all up and quit.  Those days come.  Sometimes they are simply just days.  And sometimes they feel as though they begin as weeks that stretch into months, long seasons of overwhelming.
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As a mother, homemaker, home school teacher I feel those days.  I feel the long pull on my soul.  The crushing weight of burdens and lists and chores and getting things done.  And then there’s the students who are not always so enthusiastic about learning, there’s the ever mounting pile of laundry and dishes and the upcoming state required tests to prepare for.  And you wonder “how oh how will I get this all done?”  And “why oh why are we doing this in the first place?”
There are days that feel like they will suck the joy right out of you.  Suck the life right from your spirit.  And the burden leaves you feeling alone and tired and all wrung out. 
And that my friends is where grace finds you.  At least that is where grace has found me.  On the heels of Christmas break, I discovered a time when I found myself actually enjoying being with kids.  I was startled by the realization.  I had not enjoyed, I mean truly enjoyed, their company in a long long time.  That is very tough to admit.  Now, it’s not that they are terrors, quite the contrary, they are wonderful children.  I do adore them, love them.  I just found myself not liking them.  And if you’re a parent you might probably know that feeling.  When feeling this way some parents can kiss their kids and send them off to school and then take a much deserved breath.  I however throw them their breakfasts and drag them upstairs to the school room. 
It’s a tough cycle to be in.
But God’s grace was revealed to me in the middle of it.
And it’s found me piecing together a strategy of what to do when do you feel like giving up, changing gears or abandoning ship. 
That is where we are right now, doing some major praying and evaluating.  Yes, we are looking at ending this homeschooling journey.  And I’m finding it’s a tough one to quit.  I’m finding tough to talk about, to write about, to even think about.  Numb might be a good description for me right now. 
I’ve been wondering how to do this well.  So, a quick Google search led me to tons of articles and blog posts about beginning your homeschool journey, with tips on how to pick curriculum, plan your day, notify your state and much, much more.  Not one single thing could be found on how to end your homeschool journey well.  So I’m stretching that out in my mind, trying to figure out how to end the year well when I really feel like I’m done now.  I’ll be sharing my journey here as I hash it out simply because it helps me to sort through my emotions over this whole thing.  Feel free to join in the conversation here, because I think the principals of ending well can be applied to many more situations than simply homeschooling.  Obviously, I’ve got more to say about this.  Just not today, honestly I’ve cringed at the thought of hitting publish on this thing.  But then I read what Scooper had to say yesterday, and was greatly encouraged that I’m not alone.  If she feels what she’s feeling and I’m feeling what I’m feeling, then I bet there are others who might be feeling the same way too. 
So bear with me friends, we’ll get through this hump and this season and I bet in a while things will be looking up over here in my little world.

10 comments:

  1. hmmm. thanks so much for sharing where you at so vulnerably. even though many of us may not be in the same homeschooling boat, your courage is evident, and we all need to see THAT. i'm so proud of you for seeking God's best for your family instead of just going along with the current of life. it is comforting to know that His best is just that. no matter where your kids end up going or not going to school, it will be for their best. His definition of it, anyway :)

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    1. Thanks Leslie, I know God does want what's best, and I know he'll show us how it's supposed to look as we go. We're drawing closer to him in new ways during this season and for that I'm grateful, really grateful!

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  2. Gina, I agree with you that there is something said to ending well. It's scary to embark on the unknowns, but I am sure that God reveals Himself in great ways when we enter the unknowns. I'll pray that God will soften the rough edges of this change and that He'd put you and your family right where they need to be. Thank you for showing yourself faithful when seasons come to a (sometimes painful) end. I'm excited for this new season. Will you continue to stay at home when the kids are in school? Do you plan on working? Have you thought that far ahead yet? :) Praying for you, friend. :)

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    1. Thanks Rachel. It is scary, and we don't really know what's next but we know that God wants what's best for our kids even more than we do. I don't know what it'll look like and how it will all work, but I'm sure we'll figure out that out really soon! :) Thanks for your prayers!

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  3. I hardly ever leave comments, but felt lead to say that sometimes we think certain things are "wrong" when really they are not. What's good for one is not good for another. I'm sure you know this, but I say it to ease any sneers or 'how dare you!!'s that may come if you do send your children to public school. (sometimes mothers can be so judgemental of each other) You certainly have to pray and ask God what's best for YOUR children and you as a mom. I read something the other day about how our children would rather us be secure, calm and unstressed more than anything else, so if it means taking things off your plate to make things lighter, that's what you have to consider (what things?). I believe when we do, we are more at peace and our kids feel/see that and they don't have to be stuck with our left-overs at the end of the day. We may do a lot of "good" things as mothers, but to what and who's expense are we doing them? Hope that helps. I love your blog and I visit here often. :)

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  4. You are so right! And it is true that we can't base our decisions on how things feel, prayer and time spent reflecting on things is so important. I appreciate your feedback, and love what you say about taking things off my plate. I've been feeding my kids emotional leftovers for too long. Thankyou for sharing!

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  5. Bless you for your courage. Send them to the local school and do not feel guilty. You can focus on all the things that make a family joyous and faithful and you can still support them in their studies, but let go of all that responsibility. As a parent, you will always be your kids' teacher, but now you will have other trained adults supporting you and your family. Good luck with your transition!

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement! I'm so surprised at how hard this is, but I'm eager to focus on the joyful family things.

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  6. first, this post could have been mine more times than i can count. what an ache and longing we feel when we don't like our kids. how many times have i said to my husband "i just miss them, and i miss me, who we use to be before the home schooling." like you i missed enjoying them.
    last year we sent noah to school. first time. 7th grade! God told us to. i was struggling so much with him at home. removing that teacher's hat, and just wearing the mom hat with him was WONDERFUL! i got our relationship back. he is back to h.s this year, until next when he is off to high school (AHH!). i know him going to school last year, improved our relationship; made it possible for me to finish my home schooling journey with him well.
    May God lead YOU and your husband to do what i best for your family.
    i pray you see Him leading, providing emotionally and academically, and showing how he is being glorified through this and in this decision (he did all this with us, and it gave me peace i needed). peace in Christ!

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    1. Yes, I am so excited to just wear the mom hat and get my relationship with my kids back. It is very clear that we are hearing God and doing the right thing as we plan to send them to school...it's huge and not very easy but I know that it's going to be good. And I know that the peace we'll have at home will make it worth it. Even though it's hard. Thank you for your prayers, I know you pray and I appreciate you going to the throne for me and with me.

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