So this past week of school was supposed to be the "calm before the storm." It wasn't the crazy busy first week that we had (that was a ton of fun, but was still crazy). And our dance classes and outside classes begin this coming week. So it was going to be perfect, right? Calm. Lots of work getting done. Right?
I'm not exactly sure what went wrong but everything fell apart last week. Monday was busy with dance open house and a baby shower for the girls' dance teacher, but after that it just went kapput. I can't pinpoint what started it, but I suspect it was the fact that we had nonstop busy-ness from Thursday until Monday and though I thought Tuesday-Friday would be relaxing, it ended up being a mental meltdown.
I can't even say it was the kids' fault, though they have had a hard time getting back into the groove of lessons. It was mostly on me. I fell apart last week, completely. I am having such a hard time keeping up with everyone's work. And our lessons are taking all day long, which isn't surprising when you have older kids. What is different for our circumstance is that Austin has learning disabilities, and for him to be able to complete as close to a high school level curriculum as possible requires me to be available to work one-on-one with him. And that is less time available for the girls, or their work gets pushed back until I'm done with him. And before we know it, it's dinner time - or this week - dance class time. And then I still have to read/prepare lessons for the next day. And quite frankly, by that point, the last thing I want to do is more school work.
I am considering making some curriculum changes to relieve some of my work load. Each of the kids reads an average 8 books per term - 22 books (since Austin and Riley read the same history and biography books) is a lot to keep up with, in addition to relearning high school math so I can teach it. This is so hard for me and I'm trying to delay the decision a little while to pray about it, and not make a knee-jerk reaction while I'm under stress.
The main point behind this need to relieve my stress is directly related to the age of the kids. And not just for academic reasons. But mostly because on Wednesday, Riley texted my mom and told her that she was worried about me because I was so upset. And Reece told me that it upset her that I was crying. I do NOT want that to be their memories of their mother when they grow up! Homeschooling for us is as much about living as a family and making memories and building character and growing young people into adults who love the Lord and each other as it is about preparing them academically for their futures.
Please pray for us this coming week as we work to find our balance while our schedule gets crazier. Austin begins his first outside class and he already has an assignment to finish. We have a couple of dentist appointments as well. The "calm before the storm" wasn't so calm. But I pray that we will be able to find the calm within the storm of busy-ness.