The day seemed long. I felt drained and it was only 11 am. School had been pushed back to due deadlines with work. My boy was whining so I did what I knew would work, turned on some educational TV. I sent the girls to the table to work on History. Throughout the half hour I checked my phone at least 4 times. I was waiting on an important email. It was project day, but my energy level was nonexistent, not to mention it was time to start lunch. I sent the kids outside to play, and sat on the couch.
What had happened to our homeschool? Why was this no longer fun? And what in the world was wrong with me?
This is the mood I was in when I headed off to the Great Homeschool Convention. THIS was how our days had been for at least a month or two. I don’t know about you, but to me this is not okay. I knew I was drowning, but the way to fix it was unclear.
Until I realized, that I was homeschooling out of negligence.Sarah Mackenzie from Amongst Lovely Things shared the meaning behind this in a workshop at GHC. Here is a brief summary that can help you determine if you are:
- Using screens too much (CHECK)
- Lacking consistency (CHECK)
- Longtime between books or projects (CHECK)
The reasons why I was homeschooling out of negligence at this point are clear to me now, however at the time I just felt burnt out. I felt out of control and like I had no idea how to fix it. Luckily Sarah had tips for this as well. I am going to share two, and I encourage you if these stand out to you to check out her blog and podcast. She knocked my socks off. Seriously!
Planning is Guessing
I had NEVER looked at it like this before. I have shared before that I am not much of a planner; however I am a little OCD when it comes to our school schedule. So, when life happens (like an unexpected work deadline, sickness, doctor appointments, etc) it threw off my whole routine. I immediately would then feel behind, and like we needed to make the work up. I also had a plan for my whole work week. Each blog scheduled perfectly. I made no account for sick kids. Or bottle fed goats (really-who knew?!), or internet problems. When life messed with my plan, I got grumpy, I got negligent, and that affected our homeschool.
In reality, life happens. It messes with our plans, and we as moms need to realize that a schedule does NOT control us. Our people, they are bigger than any plan that we may have. And for me, right now, my people need me. More than I have realized, and more than I had planned. So, some of my work needs to be put on the back burner, and that is OK! Because (as Sarah shared) “whatever makes your plan mess up, is God’s way of saying no”
Curriculum is a Tool
I shared last week about our homeschool disaster and how I had I ditched our curriculum. All of it (pretty much). Why? Because the tool just wasn’t working in this season of life. Now, many of you have messaged me and asked why, and seem worried that because Heart of Dakota isn’t working for me, that it won’t work for you. PLEASE don’t think that.
Curriculum is a tool, and that means that it will work for different people in different ways. A hammer won’t work for a screw. Why? It’s the wrong tool. Does that mean the hammer is bad? No, it is the perfect tool for a nail. Unfortunately for us at this time, HOD is a hammer and my kids are the screws 😉
The key here is to remember that when the tool isn’t working, you may need a new one. When you try to work with the wrong tool, you may become negligent. That is where we were. I wanted it to work so BAD, but it just wasn’t. Chances are you will be there at some point too. And, you know what? That is okay! God designed each of our kids differently, and we need to consider THEIR truth and what THEY need. When we do that, we will find the perfect tool that was created just for them <3
So, moms if you are realizing that you are homeschooling out of negligence can I encourage you today that you are not alone? I have been there. At some time in your homeschooling journey you may be there too. But, there is hope.
We can dig our way out of it. We can find the right tools for our life, and we can find joy in the unexpected moments that wreck our plans.
We can overcome homeschooling out of negligence, and we can find joy in our homeschool journey.
For more from Sarah Mackenzie check out her book 🙂 I have a copy on the way and can’t wait to read it!