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Homeschooling Burnout

Advice to a Grieving Homeschooling Mom

One of our HomeschoolChristian.com participants asked for support after a death in the family and her mother's health problems kept her family from being as productive as she felt they should be with schoolwork. Her daughter was a senior at this time. The mom felt that they had wasted the year and asked, "What do you do when grief, stress, hardships, and obligations at church begin to take over your life, pushing formal schooling out the window?"

Laurajean: It is hard to do away with grief and hardship, but my advice would be to eliminate everything else that is not necessary for your family. That means saying "no" to good things, like church activities. Right now, your family needs peace and healing. Sometimes extra activities get in the way of the healing process. Your daughter can take some extra time and do some "catching up" if that would make both of you feel better. Sometimes, we are not nearly as "behind" as we think we are. You and your family are in the middle of Life Lessons right now. And those are some very hard courses! I think you all need some rest.

Mary Leggewie: Don't think she has to "graduate" on time in one more year. Why don't you just scrap the year and not hold the guilt for what didn't happen. See what your daughter wants to do. Does she want to double up next year and really work hard, or just plan on 2 years left of school? Or just keep going and see what what she's capable at the end of next year. I suspect she may be fine! Life lessons sometimes take the place of formal academic lessons. She may have learned a LOT more than you think!

Sherry Bowlsby: This is not your typical hs burnout. It sounds to me more like a time of grieving and caretaking. Your dd may not have done TONS of bookwork, but it sounds like she may have had some focused life lessons in another direction: one of the heart. My grandfather died my freshman year of high school. He lived w/us and I was very close to him. Considered him my best friend. I stayed home from school for several months and did my work at home. I remember just doing "bare minimum". It didn't hurt me at all academically and I feel I gave myself plenty of time to heal. Also, during heavy times of family obligation, I have tried my best to finish obligations at church. In such a severe case as yours, I would consider going to others whom you are serving with and tell them that you need a release from your responsibilites. I think everyone will understand.

Karla B.: Some things you have no control over. Death, long term illness, hardships are a few of them. These bends in the road you have accomodate. My pastor once said, "when the road ahead curves, you either steer to go with the curve or you go off the road and wreck". Life is full of curves and the best that any of us can do is let the Lord carry us through them. Let the Lord carry you through; trust in Him and He will not let you down.

Some things you can do something about; church schedule, stress, grief. Sometimes we must say no to outside obligations to bring balance to our lives. If church obligations our out of balance, you need to adjust them. We all have stress in some form or fashion. Do things that help deminish it; excercise, good diet, prayer and Bible study, rest and relaxation. Grief is also a part of life; don't fight it. Delaying grief will only cause it to be worse later. You might even want to consider some counseling with the appropriate person at church.

You are not alone in your life struggles. Many of us have alot of balls we are juggling. The only way that I know of doing all that we are called to do without completely burning out or stressing out is to rely on God. Don't neglect your relationship with the Lord; it has to come first. He knows exactly where you are and what you are going through.

As a side note, the first year I hs'd my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. So I spent that first year making a three hour drive three days a week to care for her. She died at the end of the school year. Needless to say, we did not get much "schooling" done that year. But you know what, the kids are fine. They tested fine that year. What I've come to realize is that what we all learned that year is far more valuable than any school education.

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