The ups and downs of my homeschooling year

I’ve been at this homeschooling gig for 15 plus years.  After a few turns around the sun our years started taking a very predictable course. Maybe you can relate.

August – I get caught up in the school supply sales (love me some paper products! LOL) and rah-rah of a new school year about to start. I buy 43 more notebooks than we actually need, because hey, they are 17 cents each!  Dreaming about the year ahead, I tell myself *this* is the year I will get my act together. How can I fail? I have 50 notebooks and a bunch of shiny new homeschooling curriculum.

September – My school kids head back to school and our homeschooling gets down to business. By business, I mean denial. We do a very slow crawl into the book work, children (and one adult, ahem) struggle to get back into the swing of things, and beautiful weather beckons.  I waffle between saying “We have ALL year to learn all this, go enjoy what little good weather we get” and “Get your butts in here have you seen how blank my planner is??” (I use my planner to record what we have done, not plan out what we are going to do.)

October – The shine of the new year has worn off a little but we are actually used to getting up and getting something accomplished, so this is usually a month I can count on to plow through some work.  I plow through because I start to panic about how much there is to learn in the world and how few short months there are before summer comes again. The to-be-read book stack is not shrinking fast enough in my mind.  It takes my ever patient husband to show me just how much we have done.  “Um, Amy, James T finished an entire year of Life of Fred math already. I think you will be fine.”   Yeah, I hope you are right (Please be right, please be right…)

November – The doldrums hit. Just when I should be hitting my groove because we’ve gotten deep into everything, the days get shorter, the moods get touchier, and we are all recovering from sugar and food dye overload, which takes more weeks than you might believe to purge from.  We are all getting bored of the subjects we are studying and the books we chose to use. We see most of the year still looming before us.  Send help.

December – Can I count shopping and cookie baking as math for a middle schooler? 😉 No? Well, I’m definitely counting snow shoveling as P.E.  Luckily religion is a required subject for us and I get a lot of it in this month.  Block scheduling is my friend.

January – Most people don’t like January, but for some reason I’m happy when the holiday stress is over and life can get back to normal.  We take a lot of time off of formal schooling in December,  so even what we were using before looks newer to us.  I do take this time to switch up what we don’t like if I didn’t do that impulsively during the November doldrums.  It is cold and my kids are happy to stay inside much of the time, which makes it easier to find them and shove a book in their hands and say, “Math.”  When their choices are math or shoveling the driveway I’m happy whichever they choose.

February – This is another big doldrum month for homeschoolers, although we narrowly escape the depression by having two birthdays to celebrate, including my own.  I take this chance to look back and decide, “Hey, we accomplished a ton already if you really think about it.”  I also typically realize about now that I completely forgot about something we are required to teach, like spelling, health, or art.  Type B homeschoolers, represent! 😀

March – As soon as I start patting myself on the back for not succumbing to February doldrums, March hits, we all get sick, and I have no flippin’ idea how we are going to finish out the year, the end of which now seems both in sight and infinitely far away.  In desperation I buy hundreds of dollars of new homeschooling curriculum.  This inspires my kids for all of eight days.

April – I give up. I realize that I have been holding on to sanity by the slightest of hairs all year and it all comes crashing down on me in April. I convince myself that no one in school finishes textbooks, and that we’ve done at least as much as them, and consider it all good.  I call ourselves unschoolers now and get my yearly review done and.just.quit.

May and June – bliss.

July – I fear all the learning has leaked out of my kids brains in the night. They are itching for more structure although they would never in a million years admit it. It’s also hot as an oven outside with high humidity so it’s like walking through lava to go outside.  I tell myself we are going to do math and writing e.v.e.r.y day from now on (Did you hear me? Every day!) but really it’s like five times.  Which brings us back to…

August – Oooh look Staples is having a sale! 😀

Tell me about your year. Does this sound familiar? Drop a line in the comments or on Facebook!

2 thoughts on “The ups and downs of my homeschooling year

  1. First time to your blog, but I feel like a kindred spirit! Our school year is very similar to yours! We often “unofficially” start school in July or August round here, because it gets too hot and sticky to enjoy playing outside most of that time. However, I then have less guilt about taking “fun days” at the park during beautiful October days! And we always like to finish up our school year “early” by the first of May or so.

    • Welcome! We used to start back in July/August for years until I had a child (or three) that went to school outside the home. Now I just can’t bear to make some work while others enjoy summer. So the guilt for taking off sunny days is in full force now, LOL! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

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