Getting Back on the Wagon

I would love to know what your advice would be for getting back on the homeschool wagon. I have five children and my oldest two are pretty self sufficient. But I really feel as though I’ve let down my youngest three. Ages six, four, and two. My 10-year-old really could use more direction as well.


I’m feeling so bad about my failures that I’m having a hard time figuring out where to start.
Thanks!


-Rain



Dear Rain-

What is keeping you from really digging in with your younger kids?  Sometimes if we assess what the main roadblocks are, we can eliminate them from our end before we even set about getting the kids involved.

In the past, several things have derailed me: pregnancy/morning sickness, burn-out, over-busyness, unrealistic expectations, and laziness.  You may have entirely different reasons, but as I go through each one of these, perhaps you'll read something that strikes a chord.

Pregnancy/Morning Sickness- The most difficult thing for me to remember when I am in the throes of nausea and fatigue is that it will not last the entire nine months.  If we've fallen off the wagon during my morning sickness, well then we can get right back on when I am feeling better.

Burn-Out- If you are experiencing burn-out, then you need to take a good, hard look at what you are trying to accomplish in a day.  This topic is a post in itself, but start by making a list of your top three non-negotiable activities and assess whether everything else you're trying to do is really essential.

Over-Busyness- Ditto.

Unrealistic Expectations- Are your expectations meeting the reality that God has given you?  If I expect a child who really doesn't "get" math to be at a certain level or in a particular book, then my expectations are not the same as my reality.  That's not to say we don't set goals or try to reach higher standards.  But it does mean we keep our eyes on God and our ears open to what He wants for our families, not what the state says is "normal" for a grade level or not what we were doing when we were in school, etc.  Every child and family is unique, and the beauty of homeschooling is that we can grow at a suitable pace rather than making everyone conform to "one size fits all".

Laziness- I cannot improve upon what the book of Proverbs has to say about Laziness.  Begin there and ask God to speak to you through His Word.

I'm sorry if I haven't touched upon any of the reasons you are struggling to get back at it.  If you have anything else to add, please comment and I'll try to help you troubleshoot some more.

Oh.  And like Nike says, Just Do It. Purpose to get back on the wagon. Pray!