Some days, I feel like we can’t get anything done. We have appointments, or I have a meeting somewhere. Bug masters something really quickly, and I realize I am way off base, or he finds it impossible to grasp a concept and we get stuck on something. Sometimes the experiment takes longer than expected, the paint spills on the table and needs scrubbed, or we get lost on the way home from a field trip. Our day never seems to work out the same way I planned it on paper.
I get frustrated feeling like my “to do” list will never get done. I get grumpy with the kids, and lose my patience. Sometimes I get really annoyed at myself for not doing “better”. When I get really overwhelmed, I turn to the other Homeschooling Mommas in my life; they offered me this sage advice over the years on how to deal with homeschool scheduling woes and the frustrated feelings that come with them:
Take a break
Take a “time out” with a cup of coffee or tea and go to your room for a minute. Sometimes we need that peace to regroup our emotions and thoughts. Sometimes I call a trusted friend and vent. After that, I can let go of my frustrations and move on to the next thing that needs to be done. It’s not easy to let go, but if I don’t , then I’m stressed for the rest of the day and everyone is miserable because of it.
Take note of what you DID get done
I record what we actually get done instead of what I think we should get done. I was starting to feel like we weren’t getting as much done as we should and when I started recording it “backward” like that I was amazed at all that we ARE getting done. I didn’t realize how much fluff I’d added over time. Sometimes I can’t believe how much they’ve accomplished and other times we have to buckle down for the evening and focus (like when the weather is nice). So, be sure and give yourself credit for what you DID get done!
Try to be flexible if you don’t get things done. Maybe make a plan that as long as the kids finish the morning subjects (Math, Reading, Handwriting, Composition, Spelling), then for that day, you can call it good enough.
Remember nothing is perfect
I get incredibly frustrated for a few minutes, but then figure nothing is ever perfect, so, whatever. We work as hard as we can and check off all the stuff we’re supposed to do, even if it takes until 5pm. Find the grace that you deserve and allow yourself some imperfect days!
Know when to throw in the towel for the day
When things don’t go as planned we just walk away and do something else. If I’m being fought every step of the way I try a different subject or sometimes I just say “Forget it, let’s go get ice cream!” I always remind myself that even if I spend 5 minutes on something, it’s still more 1:1 time than he was getting at school. Small progress is still progress!
Catch up when you can and stay flexible
I know we all have a schedule and we try to get all of it done, but if it doesn’t, let’s all agree to try not to stress too much. Things have been crazy since we moved here. Sometimes I make a real effort to make it all up in the same week, and sometimes I just catch up when/where we can. We just plan on going all year through and that way we can take breaks when things come up.
Roll with the punches
Life still happens while we’re trying to do school. Things come up, errands have to be run, my husband get deployed, etc. You just do the best you can. There are days when I feel overwhelmed, but mostly I just look at it as something everyone deals with. No one’s life is perfect. No homeschooled child gets everything done with a smile on their face and no mom always has a pristine house unless she has a maid (don’t I wish!). Life happens. You can choose to be overwhelmed and fight it, or you can choose to accept it and roll along.
Remember why you’re Homeschooling
Your kids are getting a CULTURAL education, which is just as important. You’re not ruining them for life. There are times when I freak out when I see what public schooled kids have covered and we haven’t, but then I think about all the things we cover that they never will. They know a little about a lot of things but never get to study things in depth. We have the time to explore.