I comfort myself only with the thought that I knew this day was coming. I anticipated this. It happens every year: Teachers and students start with fresh enthusiasm, every school activity is novel and interesting, behavior is checked and attitudes bright. This is what we call “The Honeymoon Phase”. It is true of public school, private school, and home school.
It wears off.
Kids (and teachers) get tired, and cranky, and bored, and overwhelmed. It’s a bit of a crash landing, but if you hold on through the bumpy deceleration of your high-flying start things will smooth out into a comfortable rhythm (with a few bumps and sharp turns ahead of course!).
After last week, I wanted to let go. Throw in the towel. It’s only preschool after all!
It all began with a busy weekend. I didn’t have time to plan for the school week or switch the work on the shelves. My focus was on other things:
- Grocery shopping
- 24 boneless, skinless chicken breasts to cut, par boil, and can.
- Going back to church for the first time in 4 years.
- Meeting with the new teacher I am mentoring ( with the start of our preschool I’ve neglected her over the past couple weeks).
I started out the week lacking in two crucial areas:
- I was not mentally prepared.
- The school environment (work) was not prepared.
These two things are enough to upset the delicate balance of what makes school work, but it wasn’t the thing that killed me.
Precious, sweet, cuddly, helpful, 17 month old Haleigh.
I don’t know what happened to that little girl!
She screamed bloody murder through nap times that are usually peaceful and quiet, she whined and flopped on the floor during school time, she clung to me, threw things on the floor, begged for food then refused the food.
Getting any real work done was impossible, keeping my sanity was questionable.
Something was going on for her. Maybe she was teething, maybe her nap schedule is evolving again?! It was a guessing game and a very frustrating one because I seemed to be on the losing team.
Thankfully the 22nd was the first day of Fall, so our school day consisted of decorating and making apple sauce.Whew!
We made it through the week. Barely.
Saturday I couldn’t motivate myself to do a single thing of importance. I’ve learned in those times to just embrace it. I watched a couple of movies (in 4 or 5 segments of course because sitting down and watching an entire movie is a thing of the past now that I have a preschooler and toddler). On Sunday I had recovered. I felt motivated again. I gained inspiration as I looked at my lesson sequence and filled in my planner. The new work went on the shelves quickly.
We’ve started a new week with fresh enthusiasm again. Not quite the breathless, high excitement of the first week of school, but a second wind for sure. I also take comfort in knowing we’ve made it past that first jolt of reality. Now I am focused on getting us into the smooth groove of routine. We will have more days and weeks like this I have no doubt. We will press on though because its worth it to spend time together learning and playing! I have come back to my words of intention and focus: Relaxed, fun, hands-on, child-led, and discovery.
Haleigh is still a little off. I’m a little more patient this week though (or at least today!). I’m mentally prepared, the school environment is prepared with new and interesting work, and I’m adjusting (somewhat) to whatever Haleigh is going through while she herself has improved greatly from last week.
How do you push through the tough, discouraging days and weeks homeschooling?