Friday, August 24, 2007

Feeling Back To School Pressure (From Myself Not Others)

I had made a plan that after Labor Day we’d start homeschooling. And with that I imagined that when we woke up that day, we’d have a schedule laid out, plans for what we’d learn in each subject, and measurable goals set up. The books we’d read for that year would be out in the main part of the house (not in boxes in closets). The house would be clean and uncluttered, like a ‘clean slate’.

I hatched this plan back at the beginning of this summer. Back then, summer seemed very long and that it would be full of endless time for having fun and finishing projects. I made a point to do lots of fun summer outdoor activities with my children. And time raced by.

Nailing down the plans for homeschooling got pushed off farther and farther. Moving the books we’re done with out and moving the books we will use in this upcoming homeschool year needs to get done.

In my head there was a lot of open time to do these tasks. However things like meal prep, eating, and doing ongoing laundry and basic housekeeping encroached on days when we had no appointments.

I planned a couple of ‘switch off’ days with some friends of mine who have children that my children are friends with. I took her kids all day one day and she took mine another day. In my mind in that free time I’d get a ton done. I did get some stuff done but not all that I thought I would. It was hard keeping myself from taking breaks, and on the breaks I’d check email or write about something that was on my mind that I figured I’d publish later on my blog. Sometimes I got “sucked into the computer” and had a hard time getting back off my butt to get back to work.

I just realized that two tickets for admission to an amusement park that I won in a silent auction will expire in a week. And with our plans to travel and do various activities (family reunion etc.), there is no time to use these unless I clear the schedule for tomorrow and just go and do it. That means one full day of house decluttering and homeschooling planning won’t get done that day. I just can’t believe that the end of August is coming.

And once we go away then come back, it will be the time when I said we’d start homeschooling. And then I will face the fact that I didn’t accomplish all the tasks that I thought I would have.

I am being really hard on myself about this today. It is to the point where I don’t even want to go away on another trip. I just want time to be home and get these not fun tasks over so that when September arrives I will be able to just smoothly do what we have to do.

Then I realized that it is me putting these deadlines on myself. How about if I relax and just enjoy the trip next week? How about if I push our start date for homeschooling forward by a week or two? I could use the time when my kids are not involved in outside activities to finish the book moving and the homeschooling organization.

Update, written the next day: Last night I went out with a friend to hang out at a coffee shop. We talked about this and we had a good laugh and I calmed down about this. We can't do everything we want for fun activities, but what we do choose to do we should enjoy. I'll try to take time to smell the roses and if that means starting homeschooling more gradually rather than starting everything at once, or starting one week later, so be it.

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Christina said...

(((((((Christine))))))) Except for the fact that I'm a Christin-A, I am in your shoes! We're heading to LA to see family today, and I'll be bringing a file box of homeschool prep that I just haven't managed to work my way through. I've been making steady progress, but the kids have been in theater camps and there's been a lot of shuttling and I too want to get the house decluttered and organized and there's the toddler to chase around and when naptime comes most days all I want to do is curl up with a book in the peace and quiet but what about the laundry and the dishes...

Good luck! This too shall pass :-)

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

In July I had thought to "start school" about when school starts here but that didn't happen because of our California trip.

Then we thought to "start school" this past Monday, but we were wiped out from the trip and I had to start classes again at the University. Now we are planning to "start school" Monday.

Since N. and I have been evolving toward unschooling, though, "starting school" just means getting out the supplies we ordered together and me guiding him when he asks.

I have gone through the "maybe I should be prepping more thouroughly" stuff, too. But I keep reminding myself that one of the reasons we are homeschooling is to get away from the sense that learning can only happen in a completely artificial environment.

Hmmm. I think I feel a blog entry coming on.