Thursday, May 9, 2013

Homeschool Burnout

Examining the piano mechanics rather than practicing for his lesson

I remember being a kid sitting in school during the month of May wondering if the school year would ever end.  The second half of May and the first week of June were always pure torture.  Don't even get me started on the years when multiple snow days resulted in the school year being extended.

Upon receiving my college diploma, I thought my days of "end of the school year" burnout were over.  But that was before homeschooling entered my world.

I have a horrible, mind-numbing, uninspired case of homeschool burnout.  I am ready for this school year to be done.  Done, I tell you.  Every year I have these grand plans to school year round; but by mid-May, there is nothing left in me to make it happen.  I just want to pack up the school books, end the feuds (wars) over math and other unfavored school subjects, and kick the kids outside while I get to work digging out my very neglected house.

Sitting and watching the river

I want to get out into the sunshine--working on my garden, going to the park, vacationing to the lake house, swimming, taking walks in the woods.

I have read a lot of studies about the necessity for children to get lots of time out in nature both for their cognitive and developmental growth.  I fully support those studies and regularly let my children loose on the woods behind our house.

But where is the study about adults needing lots of time out in nature?  Extended time to think about nothing beyond what that fluffy cloud looks like.  No one talks about the effects of a 40 hour work week stuck in a cubicle under artificial light.  Or of being stuck inside the house all day schooling your kids and cleaning the house.  About the mind numbing effects of year round work.  Because I am done.  I need a mental health break.  And I'm pretty sure my Hubby would love one, too, if only his work was more cooperative.

Learning just how long a giraffe tongue is

If I ruled the world, I would institute summer vacation for everyone, not just kids.  The whole country would go on holiday for at least three weeks, staggered of course to allow for businesses to keep running.  It could be real vacations or just stay-cations.  But a mandatory, extended break from the daily grind.

Watching worms in the gutter

So if you have heard me say that we will be continuing school through the summer, you can just disregard that message.  School is ending the first week of June and I will not be picking the books back up until the middle of August, possibly not until after Labor Day.  I might not even require my kids to do math at all this summer like I normally do.  Just lots of lots of free reading--in their beds, in the living room, on a blanket outside in the sun, up in a tree.  Wherever they want to sit with a fun, non-educational, non-required, fluffier than marshmallow fluff book.  Because that's what I'm going to be doing this summer.

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