Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The one where Mum loses it...

Ahh, well. It had to happen, didn't it?

The homeschool area is moved. The rumpus is neat and organised within an inch of it's life. I've re-discovered all our resources and have lots of good things to do.

So of course, our homeschooling days have turned into a big pile of poo. As the rain pelts down or drizzles down, so have our tears.  See - I told you I wasn't perfect, didn't I? Beth at Shut Up and Run (one of my favourite blogs - you have to read it, even if you don't run) isn't either - it's overrated. Just as well.

My push to get some persuasive writing completed, even if I was ever so supportive, knowing it is not our favourite thing to work on, resulted in tears (first Video Boy, then Wombat Girl because I was helping him too much), anxiety, stress, flinging oneself onto the reading couch in despair, and me running to the loo to have a quiet cry in despair. Maybe the constant rain around here hasn't helped. But I lost it this week. Lost my temper and my mojo.

I know, deep down inside, that despite being gifted, both kids have some level of weakness in their executive functioning - you know, the higher order skills in being able to sort through thoughts, hold them in their heads, organise them and put them on paper. On being organised enough to not run late every week for swimming. To know how to tidy up their room. I know that they struggle with these things. Whether or not they are severe enough to count as the inattentive type of ADHD we are waiting until May (which is how long you have to wait to get to see a specialist).

I thought I had scaffolded well. Broke the task down into bite-sized chunks. Provided kind, supportive words. But DAMN!!! How hard could it be??????? Deep breath. Hard, apparently. And it doesn't help that Video Boy seems to have developed some kind of a cold (he fell asleep during Peter Pan - I swear I read aloud much more interestingly than that statement makes it sound!).

What is a homeschooling mum to do? Dream of sending them back to school again? (well, maybe, just for a millisecond!). But that is not the answer.

I need to take a step back. Find some joy in learning again. At least for a few days, avoid the source of stress. Be available to answer their questions. Say "yes" to art, and cooking, and music, and science experiments. Don't stress that because we didn't do much academic work last week because of the big rearrange/tidy up and know that it will come in good time?

And question what sort of education do we want. Need. Can we incorporate our persuasive writing in a more natural way - when the need for it pops up in real life? As a letter to the editor of our local paper. Am I only pushing this because of a case of the "shoulds" - because they have said they want to do NAPLAN exams, I am stressing because the writing component (their weakest link) is persuasive writing? I mean, really, who cares?

I need to look at the bigger picture. Are they learning (some stuff) - yes. Are they happy - well, most of the time, except when their mum is making them do stuff that is really hard for them. Will they grow up to be well adjusted young adults - one can only hope and I think there is more chance of that if we homeschool, than if I packed them off to high school.

So breath. Cuddle. Say "yes". Keep reading books and inspiring words on other blogs. And keep on going. Because that's what we all do, isn't it??


  1. Oh Ingi. I have been there, and I wouldn't discount the effect weather and sickness has on everyone. Oddly enough my daughter has a cold and fell asleep last night while I was reading Peter Pan :), but today the sun is shining here and we all seem to have come out of a funk. I am wishing you sunshine!

    I love the pic by the way, you look frazzled but cute (I hope you don't hate to be called cute, like my 8 yo does :)

    1. Oh, maybe it wasn't my reading - it was obviously the book! (LOL!). I am wishing for a bit of sunshine here too. The endless rain is depressing. Frazzled but cute - I can live with that

  2. Yup. Right there with ya.
    I feel like I've been playing ping-pong inside my brain for several weeks now - push this? drop that? relax? push harder? let go?

    We have 8 months of rain. It's hard. But I think definitely more cuddling and reading in the rainy season helps maintain sanity.

    Hope you get some sun soon!

  3. I've burst a blood vessel in the past...or two...or ten. And I've said, "How hard can it be?" also, many times. This is a constant personal battle. Does EVERYTHING have to be fun? Does there have to be a love of learning component to every single project? Sometimes, "because I said so!" should be enough reason to do what I ask. *sigh* But on the other hand, I don't want to just be a drill sargeant. I'd love to find the happy medium.

  4. Hang in there! You are so totally right that school is not the answer, especially if you have the slightest feeling that add and executive functioning issues are in play... we spent least year dealing with that exact situation and the schools are just NOT set up to help our kids. Mr Frodo is learning more in the few hours of school time we do a day than he did in 2 full days at school. And he's happier :)

    But... there are still days where I'm losing it right along with ya lol

  5. Mum losing it over here this week too...but I always find the half-way point in the term hard.
    Exhaustion is catching. Months of rain and strange weather take its toll. Apparently even children who go to school have tanties and are tired too - (I've heard a rumour : )
    Cups of tea, docos on the tv, games, yummy food, and a huge dose of reading for everyone (while sleeping or not!)...Autumn has got to be dry and warm -surely???

  6. I swear to God you will just love my work colleagues (who are an *endless* source of frustration for me) - but then again, I only have to spend a 7-8 hour shift with them; the worst thing about it, is it is not just one or two frustrating persons, but many :P


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