This summer I reached the point in our homeschooling journey where I realized I needed an extended reset. I thought about just pushing through the last two years and keeping to our summer homeschooling plan. But I decided the next two years would probably be much better if I took a step back and gave myself room to breathe.
So I decided maybe I should listen to myself.
We changed our summer plans a bit and are taking more weeks off than we had anticipated. I need it. I think Caroline needs it as well.
The artwork I chose for this post is a good illustration of what it means to be a homeschooling mom. The child is delighted to have her own little watering can so she can participate in real life. The mother willingly shares her water with her child. But the mother can only fill her child’s watering can if her own can is full. She cannot pour what she doesn’t have.
Likewise a mother can only give to her child if she stops to replenish her own spiritual, physical, and emotional resources.
My watering can has been running low. I’ve documented our homeschooling journey quite thoroughly so I’m not going to retell it here. Between our own family’s life and the world around us, it feels like nothing ever ends or is resolved. It feels like there are so many partially finished tasks in my life. There are many open tabs that need to be closed. At the same time, I’ve recently seen how helpful it has been to reset our kitchen work zones. Changes like that can make a big difference. But overall it seems there is never time to simply focus for extended periods of time and deal with many of the things that hang over me.
One would think with a year round homeschooling approach there would be more opportunities to attend to other aspects of life. However, I’ve learned that one of the pitfalls of this approach to homeschooling is you fill up the “off” weeks with things you don’t want disrupting your “homeschool” weeks. So your “off” weeks really aren’t “down” weeks or “free” weeks. They are simply filled in other ways with appointments and other things you’ve put off. There is never time to simply be.
We’ve been off the past three weeks and I plan on taking next week off as well. I’m to the point where I think one more week without the responsibility of homeschooling will get me to where I need to be. I’ve spent a good portion of the last three weeks working on the final pivot. Next week I’ll tie up the loose ends with that. The bulk of the time will be doing some decluttering around the house and extended homeschool planning. I have allowed myself the freedom of not thinking about homeschooling the past three weeks other than as it came up working on this website. I did not realize how badly I needed that mental break until I took it. Today and next week I’ll begin thinking about those responsibilities again.
I never want to be a hypocrite so I’m endeavoring to practice what I preach this summer.
Have you ever done a homeschool mom reset? What helped you the most? I think it’s one of those things we convince ourselves we don’t have the time to do, but that’s when we probably need it the most.
P.S. One of the things I did was go back and tag all the posts with artwork. If you go to the Tags page, you can see them. The posts are all tagged at the end of each post as well. I might have missed a few and I’ll add them as I come across them. Was it necessary to do this? No. Did it matter to me? Yes. I hope you enjoy the beautiful art.
Artwork: “The Young Gardener” by George Dunlop Leslie