This is the first year that I haven’t been caught up in the back to homeschool excitement. For the first time I’m actually dreading a new school year. I’ve asked myself why…….this year we didn’t move over the summer. This year I’m not having a new baby. This year my husband isn’t starting a new job. We have such consistency and stability right now. Why would I not be ready and excited for a new school year?
I’m not really sure what the answer is. I’m just simply not prepared to begin another year. I think I feel terribly overwhelmed with the thought of balancing 3rd, 1st, K, and preschool kids throughout the year. I’m anxious about trying to school while one of my two toddlers throws a tantrum. I’m weary of cooking, cleaning, laundry, dishes, and I can’t imagine adding school on top of my regular chores right now. I feel completely burned out even though we have not yet begun our year.
I know I can’t be the first homeschool mom who is absolutely dreading the start of a fresh year. Yet, it makes me feel terribly guilty!
Have you been there too? Have you dreaded the beginning of a new school year? Have you felt tired and overwhelmed?
That’s exactly how I’m feeling!
So what do you do when you don’t want to go back to homeschool?
Put on a smiling face
Even though I don’t think I’m ready for this, I’ve tried to encourage and excite my children for a new school year by participating in our traditions and talking about homeschooling in a positive way. They are actually excited and looking forward to our new year and I keep trying to cultivate their excitement.
Find at least one curriculum or extra that you are excited about
Overall, I’m not excited about our year but I chose a few extras that I am excited about. I feel that I do have a few things to look forward to – a Bible curricula that I want to try, adding in circle time, creating new sensory tubs, an AWANA program, and a Bible study for me. I’m focusing on the good things that I can look forward to in our year.
Share your struggle
I’ve shared my trepidations with my husband and a few friends. They have poured encouragement into me and shared their own struggles. I’m not ready to conquer the world but I think I can start my year with a smile, knowing that they are cheering for me. And I can lose the guilt knowing that my other homeschool friends have felt this way at times.
Give yourself grace
Discouragement, anxiety, and weariness happen. This homeschool thing is not an easy job. I’m trying to give myself grace to feel less than excited. I’m not going to feel guilty that sometimes I don’t feel that I want to homeschool. This year we will homeschool whether or not I’m thrilled about it. My kids will still learn and I will be swept up in their discoveries once we begin our year.
Dive right in
No I don’t want to start our year. I don’t feel like I’ll ever be ready to tackle the new challenges. I feel unprepared and overwhelmed. I’m not going to put it off. I’ve set a start date and we are going to begin. I’ll have to make adjustments and changes along the way but I’m just going to start without expecting perfection. Once we have an established routine I know I’ll feel less overwhelmed.
So, even though this year I’m feeling rather overwhelmed and just too tired to begin, I’m going to find a starting point and just jump into our year. And then I’ll just do the next thing and the next. Eventually we’ll find our rhythm and I’ll be encouraged by the progress I see. And I’ve told myself that it’s ok to feel this way. There will be more years like this. But here’s to a great year, whether I’m ready or not!