Unschooling: Living Without School; Living Free Range-Freedom to Learn What One Wants When One Wants

Thursday, October 3, 2013

When Homeschooling Becomes Stressful

Days like today are the not so good days. The days where I just want to lock myself in a room and cry. I Love that Sam and I get so much time together, and I would not trade it for anything. We wake up together. We spend all day together. And she even still sleeps in our bed. Most nights. We are always back and forth with it. She can go either way for the most part....

But from time to time there are those days, where all that time together just takes a toll on both of us. I used to go to the Center by myself so that I could have that one day a week kind of to myself. It was like working one day a week. It gave me a break and I had time to do something that I enjoy, aside from educating Samantha. Now I don't even have that because MIL doesn't watch her anymore. So I go to the Center and I have to do my "work" at the same time that I am saying, "Sweetie, we need to wait until after lunchtime to eat your snack. You just had breakfast." "Yes, Sam, you can play on the computer. Sure. Let me bring that website up for you while I am doing 30 other things.

And with all this more structured "schooling" happening, it is making things hard. I feel like she HAS to learn certain things by a certain time or people are going to start saying I don't teach her, so I know I am trying to over compensate, which I said I would never do because I know she is learning so many other things...But of course, it is hard to ignore that external pressures! And they are wearing me down. Which all that is causing Sam stress. And when she stresses, SHE STRESSES! (FOR EXAMPLE, DH was recently out of work for 2 weeks because he hurt is back at work. Just went back today. He got paid 2/3 of his pay check while he was off for workman's comp. which was barely enough to pay the bills. BUT, all the bills got paid. We just had to watch that we weren't spending. Samantha heard me mention ONE time that we couldn't go out to eat because of it, and she lost sleep for days! She cried in the car because she wanted to make sure the bills were paid and that we weren't going to lose the house-which was never even a concern for us, so I have no clue where that came from...She even tried to give us the money from her piggy bank!)

So with all that stress that she heaps upon herself, she hasn't been trying at all! She has been super dramatic about anything that takes even an ounce of effort. Especially with math and reading. She doesn't want to play games on the computer or read books. Which is extremely unusual for her. And I keep hearing, "Do we have to...?" She even asked me that when I told her we were taking her shopping with her birthday money. She had little interest at first in going to spend it the day after her party. She had fun when I took her, but she kept having moments where she was like, "Do I have to go look at the toys?" "I don't really want to pick. You tell me which I should get."

On the outside, I just keep smiling, trying to keep calm, and saying things like, "Yes, Sam. We need to read this book. The more you read, the better you will get." "Computer games are fun. I'm not sure why you wouldn't want to play. Let's try this new one." and "It's up to you, Sweetie. It's your money."

But inside my chest is hurting and my blood pressure is rising and I just want to yell, "Yes! And if you don't do your "work" or make up your mind or quit being lazy, or whatever else you are doing, I am going to enroll you in school where you will have a lot more work than you do here! And then we will see if you complain about what I want. I don't ask for much! I ask for you to read one independent book a week. I ask you to play a few math GAMES a week. We go over maps for like 15 minutes once a week. And then do FUN experiments, activities, and movies for a Science topic. That is all I ask! Why is that so hard?!!!!!"

I don't understand. I ask her the problem so that if I need to change something I can, and she just mumbles something about how she doesn't know. It's just "so and so" hurt her feelings last year. WHAT?! How can I level with that? I try to remember she is just 5, and maybe doesn't understand, and that is why I give her calm, understanding replies, but inside I am like, "???!!!!" What am I supposed to do? I know we will get over this hump, but until then, "URRRGGG!!!!"

Vent Over.

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