Encouragement - End of year burnout

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
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Feeling totally discouraged.

Unread post by gratitude »

MelissaM wrote:3 weeks of school left, and all the kids are sick, so of course we're getting nothing done. I am really needing a summer break this year, and it feels like we are going to be doing school forever because of all the days we have to take off.

I have too many balls in the air - even though I don't think I'm busier than anyone else, actually - it's FEELING like too much right now - and I'm not doing anything well. Not school, not the house, not parenting, not volunteer work...just, nothing.

My convention is next week, and I'm supposed to be purchasing RtR, and I can't even get excited about it. (I have attempted this time period twice before, with 2 different curricula, and not made it through the whole thing either time.) I'm nervous about trying it again, even though I KNOW MFW works better for us than anything else. I'm just having a day when I feel like sending them all to public school and getting my house clean - am I a terrible mom?

Tired of battling my 7yo every second of every day over every little school thing. If I'm not giving him permission to go outside and build a fort, he's giving me grief. I don't blame him, I'd rather build forts too - but come on, he should be able to sit through at least one lesson without whining by week 32 of the school year, right? 15 minutes of his life, is all I want.

I'm just...tired. Sorry - just whining. I'm super emotional - found out a few weeks ago that we are expecting another baby, which I am VERY excited about, but also just feeling overwhelmed. I'm exhausted and nauseous and hormonal and I really feel like I am failing on all fronts. Don't know what I'm asking for here - A swift kick in the pants? Thanks for putting up with me, I really needed to get this all out.
You are awesome Melissa. So many of your posts have helped me this year when I have felt exactly like you do today. (((Hugs))). I think I am discovering that home schooling is actually a marathon (I was thinking more of a walk when I started), so give yourself a break while they are sick and then it will feel better again. Mine were sick the past 3 weeks, and I really was ready to throw the towel in. Then they recovered, we cleaned the house, we got to the park & beach and my out-look turned around again & my desire to home school came back at a higher level then I have had all school year.

I noticed that your oldest is a dd. My theory on boys is they really aren't ready for school until 8 or 9. It is only a theory, but so it seems to be to me. They can learn and do math and learn to read before 8 or 9, but it takes awhile for their energy to settle to a level that sitting and doing work becomes habit instead of a strain against their moving bodies and brains that are going, all at once, in a completely opposite direction than the pencil. I don't know if that helps, but my oldest became a lot easier to teach once he turned 8. Some part of him physically and mentally started to settle down. My second born, at just turned 7, is difficult to teach. So I focus a lot on short lessons (a few times a day) with him and training him to focus for 10 - 15 minutes at a time to help later; he much rather be outside with a shovel.

I hope you feel better soon.
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Re: Feeling totally discouraged.

Unread post by Ohmomjacquie »

Hugs and congratulations on the pregnancy

My 8 yo sounds like your son, constantly trying to get out of work! A few things that helped my daughter is to have a strict schedule for lessons . The other thing is time out.8 minutes in a corner usually straightens her out fast. Or some other punishment, whatever works for your family. Complaining drivers me crazy lol

We've all had rough times with school. You are great and can do it!
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Re: Feeling totally discouraged.

Unread post by Poohbee »

Oh, Melissa! First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on the new baby! How exciting!

Now, to the meat of it...Hang in there! I absolutely know how you are feeling. Two or three weeks ago, I could have written your post. I, too, was feeling completely overwhelmed. I often woke up with the thought "I'm drowning." We have multiple therapies going for my son, who has autism, and we have either someone coming into our house or we travel to therapy almost every day of the week. I didn't feel like I was devoting enough time to teaching my girls, and they were giving me attitude everyday, with every assignment. I was doing a terrible job at planning and preparing healthy meals for my family. And clean the house? When was I supposed to do that? Minister to others or help out at church? When was there time for that? I felt like everything was suffering and I wasn't doing anything well.

Yes, things have changed. It's gotten better. No, everything's not perfect, but things are better. What has helped? Well, I cried several times to my mom, once to my husband, and once to my sister. I just needed to get everything off my chest and let them encourage me. I have given the whole situation to the Lord and received encouragement and confirmation from Him that I am right where he wants me, doing just what he wants me to be doing, and he will strengthen me to do it. I finally had a day at home where we didn't have someone coming in or we didn't have to go anywhere. I was able to do school with the girls, clean the house, and make a good supper that day, as well as getting some time outside with the kids. That day was such a gift from God, and it really helped to rejuvenate me and my outlook. I'm able to give myself some grace, knowing that I can't do it all. I just do my best and let the rest go. So, we cut out science or art or some other subject for a few days and never get back to it. That's okay. So, we eat cereal for supper one night, or several nights...that's okay. So, my house is dusty and my floors are a bit sticky...that's okay.

I had a good talk with my girls and told them what was expected of them and told them I wanted to see a change in their attitudes. It's gotten better...not perfect, but better. They still give me some attitude some days, but I remind them what is expected of them, tell them to go straighten out their attitudes, and they come back ready to work.

We, too, have had things come up, and we won't finish CtG until June 14. That's the latest a school year has ever gone for me. I usually start the next school year about mid-August, but I decided to give us a nice long summer break and not start RtR and our next school year until after Labor Day.

So, Melissa, all I can say is "Hang in there!" I've been where you are and it does get better. Give yourself a day or two to regroup, finish out your year, and then give yourselves a nice, long summer break! I will be praying for you!
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Re: Feeling totally discouraged.

Unread post by cherona »

(((Hugs))) to you!

Not really sure a tip is what you're looking for...but just in case it will help, how about doing a lesson outside? Maybe IN the fort? My 8 yr old DD sounds a lot like your son, though it has been easier with her this year. She absolutely LOvES doing school outside. I really think she can think better in wide open spaces and fresh air. Her favorite place to read to me when it's her school reading time...the swing! Yes, she does actually swing while she reads. And I've found she reads better while moving. Not sure you could tackle that in your delicate condition (Congratulations!). I even get dizzy trying to swing next to her so I can read over her shoulder. Lol! But it's so worth it to have happily learning kids! :)

Praying your week turns around for you! :)

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Re: Feeling totally discouraged.

Unread post by rjsmomma »

Do you *need* to finish up in the next 3 weeks? What I mean is do you need to be done by a certain time? Could you take a few weeks off, rest, clean house, spend some time outside with the children and just have some fun. Try to get through the sickies for both the children and yourself and then take some time to finish up during the hottest summer months? Maybe even at a slower pace. I had been trying to talk my dd (13) into year round schooling and she resisted until she figured out she could take more brakes during the year (like her 3 week spring break during some very lovely weather we were having). She is also very active and would rather be outside running than inside sitting:) Not sure if this would help you, but maybe it would be worth a try.

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Re: Feeling totally discouraged.

Unread post by MelissaM »

Hey all,

Thank you, thank you, thank you so very, very much. I know this will pass, I'm just so, so tired and I feel like it's all out of control right now. Getting ready to take everyone to the dr, so I only have a second.

I have 3 weeks left of CtG material, AND 3 more weeks to get us to our "suggested" number of days. Well, 3 weeks will get us close, and that's good enough for me. Both kids have lots of math to do - 7yo is "behind" (? I'm not even sure what I mean, but my failure to properly teach the 1st grade program is another whole thread) in reading as well.

I'm afraid if I take an extended break now, I just won't start up again, and we'll leave everything unfinished. I haven't completely decided not to do that anyway, but it's really not the way I'd like to end the year.

We tried year-round schooling this year - starting in July, and taking a short break every few weeks. I thought it would work out better, but I'm feeling really burned out. Maybe we'll do a more traditional calendar for next year again - I just don't know.

Anyway, I really and truly appreciate everyone's taking the time to reply, and I am going to re-read all of your encouragement a few hundred more times. ;) I am truly very grateful for the new baby, and honestly my post yesterday was not the way I had hoped to make the announcement. I just feel at the end of my rope these days, so I thank you for listening and for all of your suggestions!

Re: Feeling totally discouraged.

Unread post by cbollin »

I don't know if this works for others.... usually during the last 3 weeks of school, we do block scheduling style or we just can't finish a day.... we're tired...

get a few lessons of history/science done all bunched up together. Work on math. and clean together. So I pick a subject. focus on it for the day for several days. don't worry if he don't pick up every detail....
then get some math done too.
and then yes... if hit a sick day, we get a little bit of something or other done on weekend. We're not the weekend party/weekend busy/fun kind of people, so may as well..

or if it comes down to doing something this summer... and you're in the last weeks of CTG... condense some of ancient Greek and watch some of the summer Olympics. couldn't be at a better time for it all huh?

depending on how sick everyone is.... story time could be Bible reading (don't worry on the memory work and all of that language arts unit study), put in the aesop fable cd. math will be from cooking soup and taking temperatures....

for the ages they are... you're ok to get creative like that.

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Re: Feeling totally discouraged.

Unread post by gratitude »

MelissaM wrote:I'm afraid if I take an extended break now, I just won't start up again, and we'll leave everything unfinished. I haven't completely decided not to do that anyway, but it's really not the way I'd like to end the year.
I understand. If I took a break right now I think we would be done until September. We have 4 weeks left. Could you stretch the 3 to 4 or 5, through mid-June, to loosen it up a little and make the days shorter? Would it help? If it helps any my ds7 is behind for MFW1 too. I haven't done as well pulling my second child on board as I thought I would. For now I am just trying to finish out the school year strong, which for us for MFW1 means completing around day 90~ my new definition of strong for MFW1 this year, not strong in terms of finishing ~ but strong for what we can do for where we are at and for how I have done for 1st grade for him; and then start off in September with more intentional teaching for his second grade year (we will be finishing MFW1 in the fall).
MelissaM wrote:We tried year-round schooling this year - starting in July, and taking a short break every few weeks. I thought it would work out better, but I'm feeling really burned out. Maybe we'll do a more traditional calendar for next year again - I just don't know.
I have mostly done year round schooling too. We schooled last June and July, and the June and August before that, and the July and August before that. I admit it, I am now on a traditional school schedule starting this June. I need a break, and so do the kids. They also need a break when swim lessons are easily available and when some of their friends are not in school. So two months ago I put June 14th as our last day of school on the calendar. It is amazing what it did for me mentally. I was really burning out. It made me focused again and has pushed me through this spring. We had some illness this month, and I have kept the day the same because we need the break; I am just wrapping up what I can (ADV), and finishing what I can of MFW1 and what I can of the math and English. We can pick this up in the fall with re-newed strength and energy. This month I am really falling in-love with home schooling again; a feeling I had completely lost this year (I was ready to quit). I think the end day, and God, has helped rejuvenate me. So I don't know if this helps, but I am very glad about being on a traditional school calendar for the first time. I know there are some difficult parts to it, from teaching piano for years, but over all I think it is what our family needs; especially with the climate we live in (traditional).
MelissaM wrote:Anyway, I really and truly appreciate everyone's taking the time to reply, and I am going to re-read all of your encouragement a few hundred more times. ;) I am truly very grateful for the new baby (I had a miscarriage in Nov, and I didn't think this was going to happen), and honestly my post yesterday was not the way I had hoped to make the announcement. I just feel at the end of my rope these days, so I thank you for listening and for all of your suggestions!
Congratulations on the pregnancy!!! Prayers for a beautiful and healthy baby and easy pregnancy. Prayers too that God will give you the strength and energy that you need for the last few weeks.
Last edited by gratitude on Wed May 16, 2012 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Feeling totally discouraged.

Unread post by sewgirlie »



I don't know if this helps, but I felt this way this Fall. We had purchased CTG and I ended up not using it, because I just couldn't handle it. I was pregnant with our 4th child and having a hard time.

We did Math and LA as written, but we did history and science via book basket. We cozied on the couch and read, then the kids drew or wrote about what we read. My 12 yo dd did Bible study books for preteens. None of which is ideal, but it worked. We made it through and the kids really learned a lot. Now we're really excited to do CTG this year.

I guess I'm just saying it'll be okay. Even if you decide to cut out some things...

I'll be praying for you.
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Re: Feeling totally discouraged.

Unread post by Jesus_is_King »

I'm totally new here .. and one of my first posts is going to make me sound like the crazy lady ... :-)

Why do you NEED to finish those 3 weeks(other than showing you schooled for a certain amount of days)? And who decided your child was behind? Would it be awesome to finish off those 3 weeks in the next 2 and say "I'm done!" YES! Would it be awesome to say "My 7yo boy reads at a 3rd grade level!" YES! Would the world end if you said ... "Hey, guess what! We are going to read this book about "X" and then ... we're done!!!"??? Or maybe you pick and choose a few lessons for them to do and tell them as soon as those lessons are done ... they are done for summer break. Whatever you choose ... YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE!!!! Oh man ... DO NOT listen to those lies!!! I'm just going to say that if you didn't do *any* kind of formal/traditional/etc schooling ALL year ... you still wouldn't be a failure! You can't be a failure ... You're the King's Daughter ... so no matter what ... you're still perfect!!! (Uhm, you should probably copy that and save it so you can repeat it to me at some point in time ... tee hee)

If you are really desperate to "finish" ... then pick and choose some things. Pick and choose a time limit ... or a page ... or a chapter ... and then, when you're done ... allow yourself to be DONE!

As for the 7yo ... I guess you need to decipher whether he's being rebellious or being a boy :) If you give him a simple goal to finish and be done for the year and he comes back in the fall ready and excited ... wouldn't that be better than pushing it for another 4-5 weeks and having him hate and dread school? BUT ... if he's just being rebellious because he knows you're tired and don't want to fight with him ... then his attitude needs dealt with ... find what motivates him, remind him how important being respectful is, give him a goal he can easily tackle ... and let him succeed :)

I'm praying for you today ... I actually totally understand and have been there. I tell my hubby A LOT that I can get 2 of 3 things done everyday ... 1) school 2) dinner 3) clean the house ... but no matter how hard I try ... I almost never get all 3 done in one day. I'm just learning to be ok with it. Some days I am, some days I'm not ;) I hope the dr has some good, relieving answers for you today!
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Re: Feeling totally discouraged.

Unread post by MelissaM »

Whoever has been praying for us - I KNOW someone is, I can feel it - thank you! I am feeling so much better today, it's amazing. I've decided to take the rest of this week off - nobody (including me) can concentrate. I'm cleaning the house and getting my head together so we can get back to it next week.

All of your ideas and suggestions and encouragement are just awesome, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. I'm so grateful for this forum!

I want to say so much more, but I'm just not clear-headed right now. I will say that something has happened to a very dear, wonderful friend of mine this week that has put a lot of my nonsense into perspective.

Thank you again and again! I think I am going to print out this thread so I can keep rereading everyone's great ideas and kind words.

Posted Mon May 28, 2012 8:51 pm by MelissaM
Who's going to be doing RtR next year? I got my stuff at convention this weekend and I am shocked to find myself actually getting excited about it. (Shocked because I'm just so tired and mentally "done" with school this year that I sort of felt I'd never be excited again - amazing how conventions can help with that! Also, because I have tried to do this time period twice before and not made it through either time.)

Anyway - RtR looks amazing, just wondering who was going to be going through it "with" me.

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I'm done, but we aren't

Unread post by afelton »

Mom2theteam wrote:I'm just done. We are finishing up K, our first official year. We are on unit 23. So, almost there. Days we do school, we do more than one day. I have 5 kids 6 and under including 2 year old twins and I'm 20wks pregnant. Things just get in the way and we don't do school everyday. Anyway, so we still have this unit and 3 more to do, but I'm just done. I'm not feeling the least bit motivated to keep going. :~ We have taken a fairly relaxed approach to getting school done because I planned to do year round schooling specifically so we could be flexible and not feel "pressured" to get it done. We just took off a little less than 2wks for vacation. I feel like I should be fine after having a break. But, I'm just dragging my heals. We skip more than do school. My son even asks and I put it off. I just don't feel like it.

I know I need to just grin and bear it and keep going, but does anyone else hit this wall toward the end of the year? Maybe we aren't cut out for year round schooling. :( I was planning to take a couple weeks off when we finish this and then move on to 1st. We *should* be done with K in 2wks if we just keep going. *sigh* Anyone have tips or go through this? Thanks!!

ETA - Probably part of the reason is that it feels like my son is beyond this curriculum at this point. I totally see the value in finishing to get the phonics practice and last few science units, but he isn't interested in the units that aren't animals :~ and the phonics is review. (He does need the practice!)
Ok....I am giving you permission to take a break. You obviously have a lot on your plate right now. Your oldest is just in K. Give yourself some credit that you got this far. I say stop with the regular school schedule and just practice reading with readers that your son is interested in. Starfall.com is a great website for reading practice. As far as math goes, practice skills in everyday life. Counting and adding or subtracting toys. Sorting and matching common household items. Spend time relaxing and playing with the kids for a while. When you feel you are up to it, start with 1st grade. I just finished with 1st with my 6 yr. old. It does include math in the manual. I didn't do it with my son but I wish that I had. It is very hands on and seems a very fun way to learn math. MFW suggests starting Singapore in 2nd grade. I hope this helps.

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Re: I'm done, but we aren't

Unread post by cbollin »

When I did Kindy the most recent time, I got to unit 23 and it was similar to what you are describing. Normal end of year burn out....
I did what was important to give new information... didn't worry on the unit material. Make a few badges all at once. hang them up for you to draw encouragement and give thanks. get rest. and in my case, I packed a house and moved to a new state...


((hugs)) this has been one of those emotional years with this pregnancy. (((hugs)))

Today is a holiday.... have a picnic today...... you might be feeling a little bit of "just had 2 weeks off and I'm in a fog". Start up tuesday or wednesday... do a little something to get back in some routines with school and life. (and I'm giving you permission to ignore me of course)... even if you do just 30 minutes a day of "school" try to get a time of day that works for a little bit to have some structure. break through some fog. don't make it about doing everything.... set something down from school time (math... ) play outside until it's too hot. read a book together at bed time.

If you don't finish everything in those last units, it is ok as long as he gets some exposure to those letters and sounds if he doesn't know them. math will be real life for a bit (set the table, pair up your laundry... )

If you hadn't just had a 2 week time off, I'd say take 2 weeks off or 1 week off and shake the fog. But I'd like to encourage you to try a little each day for a few things.... have it be wrap up time... post your badges as decorations on the wall. call it good enough for now. if it is post vacation fog at this point in the year, try to get back into some routine.... you don't have to finish every page in a workbook to finish a time of learning....

I know for me.... not finishing with that little to go, would make me easily get down on myself. I'd rather make it to the finish line...even if it isn't getting it all done. that's just my personality. I was that way this year in EX1850..... let's finish that state report.... took a week off... got to feeling better... and when that last piece of the puzzle was in place... I felt better. and then, I could take the rest of this month off from school. but everyone has different take on that. but that's why I thought.... do a little something if finishing is important to helping you feel better about it...... if not.. then eh?

get the rest you need and all of that.
and ignore me if you have a reaction of "eek!" no way!

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Re: I'm done, but we aren't

Unread post by kw4blessings »

My opinion would also be to take a break. We are not using MFW this year for K (wish we did, but...) But, I understand the "I'm done" thing. I kind of hit that point in February :-) Since then, we've been reading in readers, doing an occasional math workbook page from something I found in the Target dollar section..... really laid back. I may be on the opposite side of some people who are super scheduled with preschool and K, but IMO, let them play. I still feel confident that my DD is ready to begin MFW1. Relax, put your feet up. He'll be fine! Amanda's ideas sound really good. Blessings to you in this busy season of your life. Hugs!
Kelly, blessed mama to
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Re: I'm done, but we aren't

Unread post by gratitude »

A few thoughts:

I am not sure if my ds7 completely finished MFWK or not. I sort of remember a similar experience towards the end of it. I do remember him at one point reading the rest of the 3 letter word stories easily, tying up loose ends, and finishing. I think it was probably around week 23. LOL. The first 3 weeks of MFW1 review MFWK. This was plenty of continued phonics practice for him too, as it sounds like it would be for your son. He was ready to move on, and the review for MFW1 reinforced the phonics that he really did become very proficient in during MFWK. Does this help?

Another thought is that we have more or less done year round school. I did take off 6 weeks our first summer in 2010. I took off around 7 weeks last August and September during a move for 2011. This year I am more than a little excited about our June 14th finish date. I need the break and so do my kids. The question is how will we feel 3 weeks later? :) My plan though is not to even think about starting until September. I really need the break this year. With our traditional weather summer off makes alot of sense for us. Another factor is my kids love to learn and be read to and read. So they are always learning. It is just far less structured and without writing or math on the breaks. Does this make sense?

You have done GREAT!!! I remember home schooling with 4 ages 6 and under and it was a CHALLENGE!!! My hat off to you doing it with 5.

Rest, rejuvenate, and before you know it you will WANT to start again.

Blessings for the pregnancy.
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Re: I'm done, but we aren't

Unread post by MelissaM »

I'll tell you, we did more of a year-round type schedule this year than we have in a while - started last July, just so that we could take breaks when we wanted to throughout the year; I don't know if it was the schedule or just the season of life, but I feel more wiped out this year than I think I ever have at the end of a school year.

I think I do agree with Crystal - try to do a little something each day till you're finished - which doesn't mean you have to do every single worksheet or whatever. If we can help you streamline your days, please let us know! (It'd be ok if your ds was only reading the short stories, rather than doing all the reading activities, for instance - if they are very easy for him, and he can read the stories without all the leading-up help.)

That being said, if YOU feel that stopping now for however long you need to is the right thing, by all means DO IT. :) I, personally, would be bothered no end by leaving those last 3 units unfinished, LOL - but don't let my OCD issues affect your decision. :-)

You're doing a GREAT job - your kids are going to be JUST FINE whichever way you go. Pray about it, and do whatever gives you peace. (Which, I imagine is a precious commodity in your lively houseful of little people. :) )
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Re: I'm done, but we aren't

Unread post by Mom2theteam »

Thanks everyone! I really appreciate your thoughts. It's really nice to hear other moms say they have had the same experience. It is also nice to hear people "give me permission" so to speak to drop it if that is what I feel is best.

Carin - I really appreciate you reminding me that first will start with a review. That makes me feel better about flying through the rest of the phonics. :)
cbollin wrote:I know for me.... not finishing with that little to go, would make me easily get down on myself. I'd rather make it to the finish line...even if it isn't getting it all done. that's just my personality. I was that way this year in EX1850..... let's finish that state report.... took a week off... got to feeling better... and when that last piece of the puzzle was in place... I felt better. and then, I could take the rest of this month off from school. but everyone has different take on that. but that's why I thought.... do a little something if finishing is important to helping you feel better about it...... if not.. then eh?
Crystal, I know exactly what you mean and I really appreciate you encouraging me to stick it out and finish. I think it would bother me if I didn't do anything for those units.

When I read your reply about possibly being out of routine and struggling to get back into it, that really resonated with me. I think you may be right. I have a tough time keeping us in a good routine anyway. So, now that we are out of it, I am struggling to get back to it.

My house is also overwhelming me right now. I'm not a great housekeeper and with 5 littles, it can get out of hand. It drives me batty and I wish I was better at keeping it neat. (Of course, that's another thread for a different board. ;) ) Sometimes the house gets overwhelming and I feel like I can't do anything until I can pull it back together. It's silly, but ever since we got back from our camping trip a little over a week ago, I've been so utterly exhausted. It's like camping just sucked all the energy out of me. :~ Because of that, I'm struggling to get my house in order right now, which is adding to my struggle of getting school done.

So, I think my tentative plan is to get my house back in order for the rest of this week and then pick back up with school next week. We will focus on just the basics and fly through it as fast as we can. That way, it will be done and I won't feel like I left it undone, which would bother me. I really don't want to take the whole summer off since I'm sure to be taking off at least a month when the new baby comes and I'm possibly looking at bed rest by Sept too. But, I'm thinking we will take more than I intended. I think I need the break.

Thanks again! I really appreciate you all taking the time to reassure me and let me know I'm normal. :-)
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Re: I'm done, but we aren't

Unread post by amelasky »

Postby amelasky » Wed May 30, 2012 2:02 pm
I have to chime in and add that when I allow my home to become a disaster zone and we get really off schedule, it so affects our school. I had to take an hour yesterday and get a section of our schoolroom in order so that I could function better! I would second the opinion of getting home in order, then focus on schedule and returning to K. The lessons are so wonderful, and they make such an impact on the character development of both student and parent that I couldn't ever recommend totally skipping them. :) Tailor them to fit your child, speed through sections that your child is excelling in, and enjoy the time spent together. Allow yourself grace and enjoy each day spent learning with your child!
Married to my best friend and high school sweetheart for 18years. Blessed momma to my princess (14) and little warrior (10).
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Still working on MFW1 but DS is very anti-school right n

Unread post by cbollin »

IntoTheirHearts wrote:We are on day 92. We have been doing MFW all year at half pace or so and he has done great all year. As of right now my son just does NOT want to do school anymore. If he sees me bring it out then he starts complaining. And he really does not want to do much. Does not want to read from the Bible reader anymore (which used to be his favorite!)

I don't want to totally stop. So I was going to fast track through some of the phonics blends as there are not many left. And then later just take time to finish the Bible reader and notebook on his own time through this summer or even next school year. I feel like we need a break. Focus on some more fun things. Work on some character issues. But I want to make sure we finish the phonics work - but he is just so anti-school right now. Thoughts?
more than likely, at this time of year... he needs a summer break.. have you met the legal requirements for number of days for the year? or are you down to counting VBS and field trips and outdoor field days as school time for a 6-7 y.o

how old is he by the way?

PS, I should mention that my youngest (who has autism) has to school and therapy year round and has since she was 2. she's 10 now....... we get to take small breaks such that she has to do "formal" stuff one day a week during certain months.... I get burn out.... I get it..... she gets it too.....
IntoTheirHearts wrote:We don't have a certain number of days required here. He is 6. And we did take some breaks throughout the year. Spring break we took like 3 weeks off. And a couple of weeks off for Christmas. A week off for Thanksgiving. I am ready to just be all done with MFW1 except that I want to finish out the phonics. We can worry about completing the Bible reader and notebook later. I just want to get the phonics done and be done. He reads well! He is just resisting everything right now. I am ready to just go on to summertime fun (though it is too HOT in FL!) but nonetheless, I am ready for summer fun and more fun science activities and reading. But...I want us to finish the phonics so our phonics program is complete.
I understand the want/need to finish lessons...... HOWEVER,.... you're talking about finishing 1st grade with a 6 y.o.
given his age and that he is at minimum a semester ahead of his age.... set it down for now. I do think it will pay off in the long run and not get a hatred of finishing things just to "be done with it".

it's like knowing when to set down a book and go to bed and finish later..............
IntoTheirHearts wrote:So any ideas on how I can "finish" the year in an exciting way with him? Without making it too obvious that we are "quitting" early. Time wise he won't realize that we stopped months earlier then planned. But I don't want him to think that complaining=stopping school. I want to end with a bang and a celebration and feeling of accomplishment. Ending in August was going to be at the end of the Old Testament part of MFW1 but without having even the Old Testament portion of the Bible reader and notebook completed then there really isn't any ending accomplishment of something that seems complete. But that is how I wanted to finish the year with an accomplishment and celebration.
I understand that balance... complaining doesn't mean you get to always get to stop..
I'm still thinking it was a symptom of needing to stop though versus just venting steam for a few minutes. It's like yesterday morning when there was no way at all I could do high impact on an exercise routine. I couldn't stop class (I'm the instructor), but I had to change something or it was going to be major injury. I changed it from skip to march and got the rest on my leg that was needed.

compare this to 3 weeks ago, when I twisted my foot, it hurt. and I mean hurt.... I had to stop. (thankfully it was the last song. I literally crawled off stage) didn't know whether to laugh or cry...

so.. I'm working under assumption it is burn out and a true sign of "needing rest" vs "discipline issue"... (and working on assumption you're in northern hemisphere where it is now summer temperatures suitable for being outside for school work)

If it were me, planning to finish the year for my family.... I would set a date for "this is the last day of school for the year". May 31 or June 1 or June 8. Let him know that's the last day of school for the season. There is a finish line in sight.
Do review lessons, or new lessons. Perhaps do them outside instead of inside. Instead of all pencil and paper work.... fingerpaint outside on sidewalk or in a dish or something.... same thing.. new surroundings.
Plan for last day to be a field day or something. Do the order of things backwards from usual. let him know it is still school. I'd make it very matter of fact when telling him the stopping day. nothing wrong with making it obvious that you made a decision to stop for the year based on a day on the calendar.

another idea? make it about "slugs and snails"... if you've followed a cute little story in the last day about a 6 year old genius child... she's in the National Spelling Bee and was so smart the private school for gifted said "homeschool this child, she's too smart".... well.. the little girl just wants to play in the rivers and streams and hunt for bugs and slugs and snails right now.. she doesn't want to talk to reports for long...

so... get some nature walks done.

go back and play the Peter and the Wolf CD -- and get into the drama of the story and instruments.... walk around and be the different animals and Peter and all of that....

go do those kinds of school things for several days. Let him know that those are part of school too.

find a way to make ice cream together. stuff like that...
read together... dress up and be the characters...

it's all about balance.... look at why they are complaining... are they tired, hungry, needing to catch their breath, too much in their brains and it needs to settle, or are they just venting to vent.... and adjust accordingly. You might start back up in July and still get that break in September. been there, done that too....
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Re: Still working on MFW1 but DS is very anti-school right n

Unread post by IntoTheirHearts »

Thanks for the ideas. Maybe we can take phonics outside with chalk and paint. Oh, I wish we could do Peter and the Wolf....we have not done that because I can not find it anywhere! So frustrating. I thought I knew right where it is and now it is nowhere to be found.

And yes, we are in the northern hemisphere. But as I mentioned in a previous post that we are in FL so it is SO hot. Which is why I was going to school through summer and then take a break in September. You can really only enjoyably play here in the early morning and late evening hours right now.
Julie in MN
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Re: Still working on MFW1 but DS is very anti-school right n

Unread post by Julie in MN »

IntoTheirHearts wrote:Thanks for the ideas. Maybe we can take phonics outside with chalk and paint.
I love that idea!

Agreeing fully with you two having the conversation about a 6yo letting go of the end of 1st. I know sometimes my son (age 16 now) just acts like his brain is going to explode, and a while later things seem to have percolated down into his skull and he's fine.

When he came home to school in 3rd grade, he told me that nothing and no one could ever make him like math. So for at least 6 weeks or so, math every day was games. In other words, we didn't drop the school schedule, we just dropped what we were doing inside that time frame. Would that help prevent "complaining=stopping school"? Another thing he liked to do back then, being as how he was a boy, was menu planning. We made a grid and decided what school lunch would be each day - main dish, side dish, beverage, treat. We did a simple weather chart. There are things that can be fun, and still be "school" at the end of the year. Sidewalk chalk is a great idea, and there are even window markers :)

IntoTheirHearts wrote:We have window markers!
cbollin wrote:oh, my youngest loves those window markers on mirrors too...
shaving cream on bathtub wall
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Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
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I think we are done...is it horrible to be done now??

Unread post by jhagberg »

Mom2theteam wrote:We are on day 139 of 1st. So, 21 days left. We are just done. We really loved the program, but we are over it now. Maybe it is the time of year...maybe it is a phase caused by my 3 year olds really going through a rough time right now... Originally, we wanted to finish by the end of April. Then, I conceded to mid-May. Now, we are barely on track to finish by the end of May. And, I'm feel very discouraged.

HS'ing with so many little kids around is SO hard and I'm tired of it. If you can't see my siggy, my oldest is 7 and finishing up 1st. I also have twins who are 5 and are in unit 6 of K, twins who turned 3 a month ago and a 6 month old.

This morning I've been trying for 2 hrs. We should be done and instead it feels like we are just beginning. So far, one of my 3 year olds peed and pooped on the floor while I was trying to do math with my oldest. My other 3 year old did the same...but in the potty! Woo hoo...but still an interruption. I've nursed the baby. My boy 5 year old is playing with some gears and trying to make a robot. Every couple of minutes he starts yelling that it's too hard and he starts to break what he has made...of course, when I suggest he put it away and wait for dad, he gets really upset at that idea. My girl 5 year old is sitting next to us saying, "When can I do school???" every minute or two. If I send her away, she'll cry. Now, my 3 year olds got into my older son's room, even though they aren't supposed to be able to get in, and dumped his legos and messed up his room tossing things about. So, my older son discovered it and now can't focus because he is so upset and wants to fix his room. It's just chaos trying to get school done here. This is a typical day.

Believe me, I know the "tricks" and I've heard the "keeping toddlers occupied" CD. I've tried it all. Feel free to make suggestions, but I promise, I've tried it. Yes, I tend to the little first most days...yes, I give them their own stuff to do...yes, at the table with us...yes, I've tried strapping them into their boosters at the table...yes, I have a gated playroom and I use it...yes, I use naptime as much as I can. Life is crazy with 6 children who are all little and one who is...well....more of a challenge the the other 5 put together. Nothing works for more than a few minutes and everything still requires my attention which means constant interruptions.

I give up trying to finish 1st. He has made amazing progress reading. I'm so thrilled. But, I need a break from trying to finish. I give up. We will do school as we can and try to finish up before Aug 1. If we haven't finished by then, we will stop 1st and just start Adv. We have our evaluation for our state in early June and I just don't care anymore. He's made enough progress.

Now, having typed that out and it truly being how I feel...I don't think I can give up. It isn't in me. I NEED to get 1st done and NOW. We've been doing it since mid-July 2012. I am so ready to be done and move on. If I stop trying, we lose our routine and that is BAD. We've only been doing this for 2 years, but we are year round schoolers because it gives us more flexibility (to get constantly derailed) and to keep our routine going. I don't want to give up. I can't take the summer off. But, I'm so discouraged and so tired fighting my life to get school done.

What if I stopped 1st now? Would it be the end of the world as I know it? What if I focused on doing K with my youngers and let 1st go for now? Can anyone just tell me it will be okay? Remind me this is just a season of life and all that encouraging jazz.

Side note: Yes, I am doing K with my 5 year old twins. My daughter begs and begs and begs to do school. No matter how much I give her, she wants more, more, MORE. I can't keep her busy enough. I do often do K first because I know you are "supposed" to work with the youngers first. But, in our house, whatever gets done first...gets done. So, many days, I have to do 1st first or he won't get done. His is more important than theirs because they aren't technically supposed to start K till fall. I would have waited if she wasn't begging. I already put her off quite a bit, giving her R&S workbooks and such. So, I do K with them as I can, but not daily. 1st is supposed to be daily.....

I just feel like crying today......

(BTW-There is not even the smallest fleeting thought of giving up HS'ing. We are in this for the long haul. God has called us to this and He will see us through.)
Oh, my dear, I feel your pain! There are days when I spin my wheels all morning and by the time I get the baby down for a nap I think, "Now we can read," but then more interruptions happen...Aargh! (Take a deep breath.)

It's okay. Sometimes I just count the day as a "sick day" or "school improvement" or whatever. My life isn't nearly as busy as yours (no twins, no longer nursing), but I have an idea that might help. First, I like your idea of trying to finish by August. Nice far away date so you can relax a little. :) Next, leave the date blank on the weekly schedule until you have completed the activities. I find that if I write the date in advance, then I feel stressed out trying to get done on time. When I leave it blank, then I feel good about writing the "date completed". I can have several really bad days where nothing gets done followed by a few good days where I am pleasantly surprised at our progress. Just do what you can, and don't punish yourself.

Your #1 full-time job is MOMMY, your other part-time job is TEACHER. I can't tell you how many times I've said, "I Quit!" Don't worry, you can come back to work when you're ready. ;)
Last edited by jhagberg on Mon May 06, 2013 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: I think we are done...is it horrible to be done now??

Unread post by TriciaMR »

Awww {Hugs}... I only have one set of twins... and a 4 year gap between them and the oldest... so I had more padding...

If you want to be done, be done... It's okay. Or, a different thought: do K on one day, and 1st the next. Maybe do 1st M-W-F, and K on T-Th... The little girl will just have to understand... (I don't have any *that* motivated, so that's a huge blessing.)
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Re: I think we are done...is it horrible to be done now??

Unread post by kugoi »

When I had all littles, I dont' think we finished the first couple years for the same reason. In fact, I dont' think anyone has actually finished 1st grade, or K, now that I think about it. Did we even finish the last two weeks of Adv or ECC? I'm thinking no. Oh well, I guess it happens. I dont think we'll finish CtoG this year either. We still need to do about 9wks worth of school to get our state required 180 days (we took a new baby break), but we've got 11wks of CtoG left. Oops
Mom of 7, ages 14, 10, 8, 6, 4, 1 and new baby.
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Re: I think we are done...is it horrible to be done now??

Unread post by hsm »

I don't really have any advice here, but just want to say hang in there! You have a lot on your plate. I feel the same every day with distractions, interruptions, and lack of cooperation with my preschooler and a 2 year old I babysit. It is so frustrating and I don't have as many littles as you so I feel you. I, like you, have tried all of the tricks and it doesn't work. :~ I keep hoping with time and continual character training it will improve.

I am sure you are doing much more than you think. I came across this quote from The Old Schoolhouse magazine... When the Lord calls you to homeschool, He'll equip you with what you need to accomplish the task. Take heart in that and rest in Him. So, no advice here, but just prayers and hugs. :)
K/ECC, CtG/Learning God's Story
dd-12, dd-9, ds-6
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