Encouragement - End of year burnout

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Julie in MN
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Encouragement - End of year burnout

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:33 am

melissamomof3girls wrote:just plain needing to change curriculum?

This past year has been exhausting because our new son needed so much of me day and night and I really slacked off doing all the extras of science, art, and music. So I don't know if it'd have been a more enjoyable year if I'd have done those or not.

We did Adv with my 8 yodd this year and 1st with my 6 yodd.

I've read a lot on the boards how ECC was just so totally different from anything before it that I feel like I at least need to try it! I think I'm just tired and we're so close to the end this year... Any advice?
I do think that at the end of the school year, I just get tired. My ds gets into school once we get going but he never "wants" to start school so that doesn't really change; it's me that changes.

I also think that if I stop to notice, I find I've been skipping all the fun. Sometimes during the elementary years, I had to tell myself that kids learn through the fun even more than the bookwork, so I should skip the bookwork if I'm going to skip anything, and do the fun and just talk about what we're learning. (And if you have a big family, those are the things that can be done together rather than each working on his own.)

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

purepraisemom
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:37 pm

Re: How do you distinguish between end of year burnout and .

Unread post by purepraisemom » Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:26 pm

agreeing with Julie - keeping the balance tipped towards enjoyment really helps get through the doldrums

We should write a checklist on how to tell if it's the curriculum that's an issue or if it's something else - that would be fun & helpful! Should we do that here or start a new thread?

I only know a couple of people who pick curriculum and don't change or doubt. They are the very task-oriented, to-do list motivated ones that never seem to get burned out - ever. They don't seem to be susceptible to the "curriculum switching" and "grass might be greener" moments that I often have either.

Personally, I get burnt out if we don't take breaks regularly because homeschooling does require mental and emotional energy that needs to be replenished. I need to go full force for a few weeks and then schedule a day or two where nobody has any school work or chores for me to check on and that has really worked around here.

There's the analogy that on an airplane, you put the oxygen mask on yourself first and then help your children put theirs on. Sooo, are you getting time to replenish yourself? I occasionally need a nap or need an afternoon of just reading a book or go out to our local coffee spot to do my planning and those things are energizing to me. I am also energized by visiting with other adults so I try to make sure and do that a few times a month as well. Getting on the forums is also helpful when I can't connect with adults IRL for whatever reason so thanks to everyone for being here.
new to MFW 2011
homeschooling since 1999

Jenn (MD)
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Re: How do you distinguish between end of year burnout and .

Unread post by Jenn (MD) » Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:14 pm

I just want to add that I have a 10 year old daughter who has been in public school since K. I remember when I dropped her off one morning having a talk with her teacher about how she was acting (and it was right around this time of year) end of school year. I remember her telling me "every year around this time the kids are ready for the school year to be over" and so are the teachers! Every one is ready to be finished.

She is still in public school (as this is her last year). I am SO busy with school events going on almost every week and it's TIRING! There is not a break even though she is in school I still feel like a chicken with my head cut off trying to keep up with events and activities and volunteering.

So ....... My opinion is that you just need a break. The school year is coming to an end, the weather is warming up and like that K teacher told me several years ago "it's that time of the year". Everyone is ready for a break. Just my opinion :-)

Can't wait to start ECC in the fall!!

Blessings ~ Jenn

schoolmom2
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:50 pm

Re: How do you distinguish between end of year burnout and .

Unread post by schoolmom2 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:48 pm

I talked with a homeschooling mom of 30+ years the other day. I mentioned something about my boy's attitudes towards school lately, and she simply said, "It's May." She then referred me to Diana Waring's book Beyond Survival. It has been a really quick read, and I have learned so much. It has a checklist (in question form) that helps you confirm whether you are using a curriculum that helps your family want to learn or hinders. I am sure now that ECC (with one tweak - we're not doing any more of POE - we'll get books from the library instead) is helping us, we just need to power through the last few weeks.

melissamomof3girls
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:47 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: How do you distinguish between end of year burnout and .

Unread post by melissamomof3girls » Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:55 pm

Thank you ladies!

schoolmom2 thank you for the book recommendation, I will search the library for it!

As I have spent hours and hours reflecting and searching these past few days, I really think the problem isn't the curriculum...it's me and my fatigue and burnout from my crazy year!
Melissa
DD1 ~14
DD2 ~ 12
DD3 ~ 10
DS1 ~ 7
DD4 ~ 3

Looking forward to Exp to 1850 this fall :)

1974girl
Posts: 78
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Re: How do you distinguish between end of year burnout and .

Unread post by 1974girl » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:17 pm

We have enjoyed ECC a lot more than we did Adventures! And if it helps any....we all have the burn-out here too. I may just be done! I have only 2 weeks left in ECC. I may save it for July when it is so hot we can't do anything! I think I need a break.
LeAnn-married to dh 17 yrs
Mama to Leah (14) and Annalise (11)
Used from Adventures on and finishing final year (1850-modern) this year
"When you teach your children...you teach your children's children."

far above rubies
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:31 pm

Re: How do you distinguish between end of year burnout and .

Unread post by far above rubies » Sun May 01, 2011 5:55 pm

We usually get burnout this time of year too, and when we switched to a July to April schedule, it seemed to help quite a bit. We were done by mid-April, but we were starting up in mid-July, when it was simply so hot outside that we really just didn't feel like being outside anyway.

Then we were able to take a nice, long break from Thanksgiving all the way to New Years! That's a very good break and we're ready to get started again in January.

Another way we've done it is 6 weeks on, 2 weeks off, which has also been good too, and then we take off something like 6 to 8 weeks in the summer, starting back up in July. :)

Our worst year was the time we attempted a traditional year of last August to late May.
K (2007-2008, 2011-2012), ADV (2010-2011), ECC (2011-2012)
2012-2013: CtG [dd (5th), ds (3rd), dd (1st), ds (3), and ds (1) ]

Amy C.
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:12 am

Re: How do you distinguish between end of year burnout and .

Unread post by Amy C. » Sun May 01, 2011 6:41 pm

I have been contemplating this topic since I read this thread. I was thinking about how I knew it was time to switch to MFW 2 years ago. We were using a totally different approach in curriculum. It worked well for our K and 1st years and then went down hill from there. It got to the point where there was absolutely no joy or excitement in our days - ever - not at the beginning of the year when everything is supposed to be new and fresh - not after taking a break for a few days - never. It was tears and frustration (both on my sons' part and mine) every day. I was getting frustrated and yelling every day. At first, I thought it was just me and my oldest ds. We are very much alike, and I thought that, plus the fact that he could be a complainer, was the problem. Then my 2nd ds, who is very easy going and compliant, began the complaining, frustration, tears, etc. Then I started really taking a closer look at what we were doing. The curriculum we were using was a "Christian" curriculum, but while there were verses to read and memorize in every subject, the Bible itself was a totally separate, and "extra" subject. It was not even considered one of the core subjects. I began to see that this was our major problem. There most certainly were other problems, but this, I saw as our major problem. Bible was not at our homeschooling core, our center. It was an add-on. An add-on we never got around to because we were so busy with the "core" subjects that at that point we were not even finishing. I began really seeking God in prayer, and He led me to MFW. I believe He put it in my path a year before I switched, but I was too stubborn to listen, until I was at my very wit's end and desperate.

Now we have our "burnout" days, but we can take a break, a breather, and come back refreshed. There certainly is a lot of excitement when we get our new year's curriculum. The kids' devour it all when we get it. Before, they did not even want to look at the curriculum when it came in. There was absolutely NO joy of learning, no hunger to learn. Also, I was seeing my kids turn away from me, anger and bitterness in them, and really the life sucked out of them. Homeschooling is supposed to bring us closer together as a family not divide us. It was a big eye opener for me. I could see myself losing them right before my eyes. I am so thankful God led us to MFW. I just wished I would have switched to it earlier, but I am here now.

Anyway, I would really spend time in prayer, asking God to show you from His perspective, what is going on. I know even now when we are beginning to drudge along and get draggy or having a bad attitude, I can usually diagnose the problem: We are not starting our day with prayer. I am really seeing how prayer is so pivotal in our homeschool. There have been many days that our day has been one battle after another. My eyes are being open to the fact that the enemy really is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. He does not want us spending this time with our children pointing them to Christ and leading them to God's word. Many days it is a huge battle to get through our Bible reading, not because of the issues I described with the other curriculum, but just the oppression and one thing after another. This can wear me down, but when we turn to God in prayer (and many days, I stop right in the middle and say, "We need to pray") and then persevere, I see that we have such good discussion about it and that it is something that my boys need to hear and learn how to apply to their lives. This has always been a desire in my heart, that my children learn and know God's word and learn how to apply it to their lives today. MFW is really helping us do that.

Anyway, that is how I knew it was time for us to switch. I hate it got to that point, but it sure has made the change sweeter, and makes us all appreciate MFW so much more. When my dss are tempted to complain, sometimes (not every time, but sometimes) I remind them from whence we came, and it helps put it back in perspective. They both agree that this is soooooo much better.

1974girl wrote:I have only 2 weeks left in ECC. I may save it for July when it is so hot we can't do anything! I think I need a break.
I just wanted to say that we condensed the last 2 weeks of ECC. We checked out library books and read those and did a few hands-on things and called it done. We needed a break by that point as well.

HTH in some way.

Amy C.

melissamomof3girls
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:47 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: How do you distinguish between end of year burnout and .

Unread post by melissamomof3girls » Sun May 01, 2011 7:06 pm

Thank you Amy, that was very nice to read. I needed to hear that :)
Melissa
DD1 ~14
DD2 ~ 12
DD3 ~ 10
DS1 ~ 7
DD4 ~ 3

Looking forward to Exp to 1850 this fall :)

jasntas
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:10 pm

Re: How do you distinguish between end of year burnout and .

Unread post by jasntas » Sun May 01, 2011 7:31 pm

I have been struggling since the beginning of April to get school done. That's one of the reasons I started a blog so that I feel sort of accountable to whomever in cyberspace is interested in what we have going on. ;)

We have also been extremely busy and it's not over for me yet. I've been counting up the days and, if we stay on schedule, we will be finished with ECC by May 27th but I am still going to need about 7 or 8 more school days to make it to the required 180 if nothing unexpected pops up. By the last full week of May we are all so ready to be done with school that I don't even want to think about those extra days. We are definitely starting the beginning of August this coming school year.

Another mistake I think I made was getting next year's curriculum early. I have not been able to keep my nose out of it and we are not even finished with this year yet. Last year I waited until the week we were done to order. I think that was a better plan for me. We have thoroughly enjoyed ECC so I don't believe that to be my problem. Just end of year burn out. :~

On top of all that I suddenly became extremely ill the last couple of days which hasn't helped my stress level. I am just now starting to feel better. Hopefully I'll be prepared and feeling better for school tomorrow.
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
http://tammiestime.blogspot.com/
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.

purepraisemom
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:37 pm

Re: How do you distinguish between end of year burnout and .

Unread post by purepraisemom » Sun May 01, 2011 9:03 pm

schoolmom2 wrote: She then referred me to Diana Waring's book Beyond Survival. It has been a really quick read, and I have learned so much. It has a checklist (in question form) that helps you confirm whether you are using a curriculum that helps your family want to learn or hinders.
Wow! Thanks for sharing, I had no idea this has already been done.
new to MFW 2011
homeschooling since 1999

TNLisa
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2007 7:05 am
Location: Maine

Re: How do you distinguish between end of year burnout and .

Unread post by TNLisa » Mon May 02, 2011 7:34 am

Julie wrote:
I also think that if I stop to notice, I find I've been skipping all the fun.
thankful for this thread today...what a gentle reminder just for me. His mercies are new every morning!
Lisa
Homeschooling since 2005!

gratitude
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

I need someone to smack me, please?

Unread post by gratitude » Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:11 pm

far above rubies wrote:I feel embarrassed to even write this, but thought I might not be the only one and I'm pretty sure I'm feeling the typical end-of-year burnout.

Today I had the thought, "Why am I doing this? We should go back to Independent work."

But, it's mid-late March (this is also why we start in July to finish by mid-April) and I'm sure it's just that end-of-year slump. This time last year, I was just deciding that we weren't moving ahead with the 5 year cycle, so wouldn't do ECC. And now can't imagine not doing it. Here we are with less than 4 weeks to the finish line! It's been a great year and we've seen it through.

I already have CtG and First and really looking forward to it! But right now, in this moment, I don't want to even look at 'em.

Can anyone relate? If not, can ya fake some sympathy burnout? ;)
Thank you Elizabeth for your post. I saw your title and thought oh dear, I can not do that. Instead I am here to thank you. I am REALLY struggling with burn-out this week, and have been struggling to admit it on-line. You just admitted it for me, so I will second it.

Lets see my reasons for present burn-out:
1. It is a cold March.
2. We didn't start until October, and started MFW1 later than that so I feel behind for my dear first grade son.
3. I love the outdoors, and by this time of year I just want us all to be outside for hours each day and do school early in the morning.
4. Needing some sunshine.
5. Maybe there is a reason schools take a spring break; maybe it is actually for the teachers. :)
6. A lack of exercise that needs to be inserted into my schedule.

I hope your burn-out ends soon; mine too. I love home schooling, I wouldn't trade this for the world. I am grateful that God called me to it, and took the time to help me over come my fears of home schooling. So very grateful. I am grateful that He gives me the strength to home school, when I didn't think I could do it. But... this week I have had the same questions. Why am I doing this? Wouldn't school be doing even a better job? How can I feel rested enough again to give it 100% again? How can I re-gain my patience so I can continue to teach instead of feeling like I have these slight indications that my patience is starting to fray as a teacher. A good dose of outdoor sunshine would do wonders for me; just some time in the park with my kids without a book in sight.

My guess is when you start your summer break in 4 weeks after a few days or a week you will be more than excited to look over CTG and MFW1.

I just put June 14th as our end date for this year and it did help A Lot; just to know I have an end day to begin long days outdoors. I usually go until July, but I thought the home school convention would be a wonderful way to start our summer break, and it is June 15th. Re-juvinate me from the start, and I am so looking forward to seeing and ordering the second edition of K and ECC when I get there. See... we just need a little boost of knowing we can rest and enjoy our kids without teaching them curriculum for awhile; while we teach them other things for a couple of months.

Prayers that your burn-out ends soon, and this was real sympathy instead of the fake kind. :)

far above rubies
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:31 pm

Re: I need someone to smack me, please?

Unread post by far above rubies » Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:47 pm

Carin, I was wondering the same thing. I try to push through this spring break time knowing that we only have a few weeks left. Maybe we should just take a break.

I am really looking forward to this year's convention.

LOL, I appreciate your honesty. :) I think I'm just flat out tired. And I'm sure the children are, too.
K (2007-2008, 2011-2012), ADV (2010-2011), ECC (2011-2012)
2012-2013: CtG [dd (5th), ds (3rd), dd (1st), ds (3), and ds (1) ]

Ohmomjacquie
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Re: I need someone to smack me, please?

Unread post by Ohmomjacquie » Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:09 pm

We aren't using mfw this year and I feel like I want to forget the next two months and start mfw ! Lol we will stick it out but.can't.wait.to start adventures next year.

as for burnout, I hate the feeling! I hoped to go to a year round schedule but my kids bff is in ps so they like to spend ps off days together as much as possible.but I do think a test round schedule would help.
Jacquie
2012-13 Adventures
2013-2014 ECC & K
Mom to:
Chelsea (9) Hunter (5) Natalie (4) & Alison July 2013
See MFW in action @ http://www.myblessingshomeschool.com

gratitude
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Re: I need someone to smack me, please?

Unread post by gratitude » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:27 pm

far above rubies wrote: I thought of going year-round. We started off doing that when we first started homeschooling and not sure why we stopped. We worked for 6 weeks and then took off 2. We may give it another shot. :)
Is it easier? How does one start it? Anytime during the year?

I have considered it so many times, and then summer comes.. and we feel the need for a break. It seems like it might be easier since it would just roll from one program to the next all year long. Start the next one, whenever, we finish the first. Our co-op does 4 weeks on and one week off. We are so new to it though, since we just started in January, I haven't figure out yet the benefits or draw-backs to it for that situation.

far above rubies
Posts: 75
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Re: I need someone to smack me, please?

Unread post by far above rubies » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:58 pm

I know a girl who does 3 weeks on, 1 week off. She starts her school year as usual, but after 3 weeks, takes off a week. Or some take 6 weeks on and then 2 weeks off and it's a total of 6, 6 week sessions, which is still a total of 36 weeks. Somehow it works out. :)
K (2007-2008, 2011-2012), ADV (2010-2011), ECC (2011-2012)
2012-2013: CtG [dd (5th), ds (3rd), dd (1st), ds (3), and ds (1) ]

mandolin
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Re: I need someone to smack me, please?

Unread post by mandolin » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:00 am

I decided to take one week off for Spring Break this week at the last minute! I needed it and so did the kids. And for me, I love to Spring Clean, so I am off to clean my whole house this week. It really needs it after the winter/basketball with 3 boys! &) So I am with the break idea!

Mandi
widow, remarried now 5 years to wonderful hubby
Loving MFW!
ECC with DSons 11 and 13, MFW 1st with DS, 8
homeschooling for 13 years

gratitude
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: I need someone to smack me, please?

Unread post by gratitude » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:08 am

Sometimes I wonder if there are people who read these threads and pray.
I hope what happened to me this morning Elizabeth, happened to you. I woke up and the burn-out was gone. I put all the books out with a glad heart.
Thank you for the thread. It helped me, and I hope it helped you.

far above rubies
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:31 pm

Re: I need someone to smack me, please?

Unread post by far above rubies » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:00 am

Ya know, Carin, I felt the same way this morning. I think I needed some sleep. This is also just a busy time of year for my husband and his company. I handle the HR stuff, so it was time for payroll reporting and such.

This morning I just feel rested and ready to move forward. I think we're just going to push forward today and have fun with it. :)
K (2007-2008, 2011-2012), ADV (2010-2011), ECC (2011-2012)
2012-2013: CtG [dd (5th), ds (3rd), dd (1st), ds (3), and ds (1) ]

meagabby
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 6:07 pm

Re: I need someone to smack me, please?

Unread post by meagabby » Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:47 pm

And sometimes just typing it all out to someone whom you think will understand is very beneficial.

May we always be here for each other and feel welcome enough to share our burdens, as they do help us know we are not alone in this journey and remind us that there is no single one way it works perfectly.

:-)
Last edited by meagabby on Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Loving learning with MFW!

far above rubies
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:31 pm

Re: I need someone to smack me, please?

Unread post by far above rubies » Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:05 pm

I really am feeling so much better right now. Just for kicks and giggles, I gave my children a little end-of-year test for math and they both passed. So, that helped--even if we didn't finish out the materials (which we will), they're fine. :)

Next month is the convention and I'm really looking forward to that. :)

We also have our science fair next week, so just focusing on getting the project together. :)

Postby far above rubies » Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:16 am
I just wanted to post another update. I really do think we needed to take a little extra break. This past week we only did book basket and worked on our science fair projects (fair was today! One child won 4th place and the other won 1st!)

We're still on schedule to finish by April 13th and I'm ready to finish strong! I think the excitement for next year is helping, too. So, from now on, we're taking these breaks. :) I never justified them before, since we try to finish mid-April anyway, but this little break before the last two weeks was well worth it!! And we still learned! Woohoo. :) ;) :-)

BTW, my son's science experiment was inspired by a project we did back in ADV!!! You can visit my blog for pics. :)
K (2007-2008, 2011-2012), ADV (2010-2011), ECC (2011-2012)
2012-2013: CtG [dd (5th), ds (3rd), dd (1st), ds (3), and ds (1) ]

IdahoGrown
Posts: 33
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Re: I need someone to smack me, please?

Unread post by IdahoGrown » Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:36 am

Don't feel embarrassed to post this. And you certainly don't need smacked. :)

I get that burnout feeling every.single.spring. This is our 8th year of hs'ing and I get tired. I want to go outside and play, smell the flowers, stick my hands in the dirt, play on the tire swing, ride bikes...do the dishes, make beds...anything but school. Lol!

If it makes you feel any better, we just started week 19 of Rome to the Reformation. We started July 1st. :-) We will finish the first week of June IF I double up most days. And yet, I don't feel pressured this year...it has been a big year. In the last 18 months we have moved long distance 2 times (2200 and 1200 miles respectively). We have moved 4 times technically...in and out of rentals in between houses. Whew! Now we are settled in our new home that we closed on on February 14th. Praise God!

The amazing thing is, I know that even with all that has gone on in our lives, my kids have learned. Sometimes it has been more book learning than life learning, and sometimes life learning more than book learning...but learning nonetheless. And I am glad because both kinds are important. :-)

BTW, congrats on the science fair!!!
Jean
Mom to dd 13 and ds 8
Hs'ing since 2004.
Using Adventures and RtR 2011-2012

Previous cores used: CtG 2010-2011

far above rubies
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:31 pm

Re: I need someone to smack me, please?

Unread post by far above rubies » Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:49 am

Thanks!

Yes, you're right! I can get caught up in details and stuff, but in reality, they're always learning. :) We didn't do any worksheets this week--just read from book basket and they were still able to tell me about Antarctica. LOL

And as for my Ker, we picked up a collection of BOB Books and she's read a book each day--perfect! Keeping up those skills and preparing for 1st grade. :)

Oh and the newest editions of GWN came in this week, so there's some current events right there. :)
K (2007-2008, 2011-2012), ADV (2010-2011), ECC (2011-2012)
2012-2013: CtG [dd (5th), ds (3rd), dd (1st), ds (3), and ds (1) ]

mlangley
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:41 pm

Re: I need someone to smack me, please?

Unread post by mlangley » Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:25 am

No smacking but I sure can relate and pray!!

I know that this too shall pass. It always does. :)
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Grace Christian Homeschool

Using CTG & AHL with 3 children

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