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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Overwhelmed by Your Homeschool?! You’re Not Alone!

I’m looking at all I need to do to get ready to start the year a couple of weeks…

Overwhelmed by your homeschool plans?  You're not alone!  Homeschooling Hearts & Minds…and I’m thinking about hiding under the bed.

Or maybe in a good book?

Getting ready to homeschool my kids for the year is a lot of work.  I’ve already spent a tremendous amount of time and mental energy to decide upon what we’ll learn and how we’ll learn it (and I’m still not totally decided a couple of things)…now to plan the logistics.  Oi!

My husband can relate---he teaches at a small University and is getting ready for the semester to start in a couple of weeks.  For each new course he teaches, he selects the books, writes a course syllabus, creates study guides, brainstorms lectures and points of discussion, writes assignments…he typically has 2-3 preps (that means 2-3 different classes that he teaches in a given semester---any additional sections will be repeats of those).  He will have to tweak some as he goes if he’s never taught the course before, but when he teaches it again in the future, he can reuse his previous prep with some modifications.

The local school teachers will either have a classroom of kids they will see most of the day or a set number of periods each day in which they see a different sea of faces.  Most of them will be teaching the same thing they taught last year, just to different kids.

And here I am…

…preparing to teach 4 kids who are all at completely different levels…

…embarking on a journey through the high school years for the very first time with the oldest… 

Although I’ve taught all the elementary grades before, I’m tailoring our course of study as much as I can to my kids as individuals and the reality is this means all new preps this year.

I don’t even want to think about how many preps that is.

Because the writing program I’m going to use with Mary didn’t even exist when David was a 5th grader. 

Because he didn’t need a formal spelling program and she does

And the writing program I’m using with Peter didn’t exist when David or Mary were 3rd/4th graders (and the kid is straddling 2 grades, anyway).

Because Peter is…totally brilliant, but also challenged, and teeters between being bored to tears and overwhelmed beyond his abilities.

Because Emma is a lefty, and yes, that does affect writing instruction. 

The list of whys for how it has to be this way goes on and on---there’s no getting around it, I can’t teach this child the same way I taught that child.  Not if I want to give them each the very best education I’m capable of providing.

But I’d being lying if I didn’t admit that, yes, it is all more than a little overwhelming.

I’m not complaining.  I’m just being real about it.

There’s a tendency in the homeschooling community to underplay the work involved in educating our kids.  Anyone can homeschool is the mantra.

I think anyone really can---provided they are committed.  Not just in mind, but in actual works.

Now, that can look really different from one homeschool to another. 

In one, that might mean getting a private tutor for each subject.  In another, it might mean that a child with a particularly strong drive just needs the parents to make things possible and stand out of the way.

Some will use virtual school for some subjects.  Some will use a preplanned, boxed curriculum that covers every minute of every “school” day.

Every homeschool looks different from the next.  They all have their own strengths and weaknesses.  Some are harder than others.

I just wanted to let you know that if you’re looking at the next year and feeling overwhelmed---it’s ok.  You are not alone. 

Perhaps it should be overwhelming. 

Perhaps it’s good to feel slightly inadequate rather than to be completely sure of ourselves. 

We’re taking responsibility for our kids’ education and that can directly impact their future.

That’s an awesome responsibility, not to be taken lightly.

So, have you got all your planning done?  Or are you feeling a little overwhelmed?

You might also like my post from yesterday over at The Homeschool Post:



  1. Good luck!

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  2. I wholeheartedly agree with you! We have five children (ages 7, 8, 11, 14, and 17) and they are all alike in many ways, yet different. I have been praying, researching different curricula, checking out others' homeschooling experiences for encouragement, creating tentative plans, putting friends & outside activities on a sabbatical, and organizing space. I am having a ball doing it, but must admit I feel pressured and overwhelmed even though I have been doing this for almost 12 years! We have tried different schedules and curricula, but every year is a commitment and concern for me. Thanks for your post.

    1. I'm glad this post spoke to you----every year is a new adventure. ;)


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