Sunday, July 30, 2006

Confessions of a Bad Year

I am very active in my homeschool community. One of my ministries to moms for the past several years has been to help those who are just starting to homeschool. I have really loved talking to them and guiding them through their first year. I love the excitement in their voices when they tell me about a really good day they had & how surprised they were when their kids actually wanted to "do school".

This past year was hard for me though. I continued to mentor and teach the moms, when deep inside I have felt that I had no business telling them anything. I guess I felt a lot like a hypocrite. I had to try extra hard to get excited about curriculum and why this works for some & that doesn't work for others. Our school year, I felt, was horrible. We weren't getting much of anything done it seemed. It was my 10th year & really felt like I had no idea what I was doing!! My oldest is high school age and yet she was falling between the cracks in a really big way, at least that is how I feel. She is dyslexic and needed a lot of my attention that I did not give her. I needed her to do some of her work on her own and she didn't. She is the oldest of 9 and I am expecting the next one anytime now. Everyone kept telling me, "Wait until they get older then they are more independant." Not her!! I feel guilty for getting frustrated with her, but I still do. "Just do the work!" I want to tell her. I try really hard not to compare her with her younger siblings that are more on target, but I know I still do. I also have a son who is almost 13 & still can't read very well. His younger brothers help him read stuff. This is driving me crazy, because he just really doesn't seem to care. He has missed many opportunities of service at our church because he can't read. I have heard from many moms who have sons who really didn't learn to read until they were close to 14 years old. I didn't want my son to be one of those. He is behind in everything else because he can't read.

I really wish I could just erase this past year. This week is our last week of school. Since I am about to have a baby we just kept going through the summer so that we could take a nice break after I had the baby. I'm afraid to let them stop though. My 2 older ones are going to keep doing math a few times a week so they don't fall to far behind, but will my dyslexic daughter do it with out me reminding her constantly? I don't know. I'm afraid if we stop school then we may never get it started again. Mainly because I don't want to. I need the break. I know that, it is obvious since I am writing like this. If any other mom came to me & told me this stuff I would tell her that she was burned out & needed a break. I know that I am not totally alone in this, I just have never admitted it. I'm the one that helps those who are feeling this a way to pull out of it. The stresses of mommyhood are huge right now and adding teacher to it is just too much. I guess this teacher needs to take her well deserved break & just be mommy. I have noticed in the past that my kids have actully learned a lot during our breaks. Several mastered reading, one began writing stories on her own & still writes without ever being told. Another proudly memorized poetry and scripture. I just had to get out of the way & let the relaxed schooling happen. Another copied the Shakespeare play, "The Tempest" and is now a huge fan of Shakespeare. I guess that is what we are in need to get out of the way.

Thanks, I feel better!!

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