After 5 years of being a stay-at-home mom, I found the wonder of mothering slowly starting to get crowded out by the mundane feeling. I realized our world seems to surround people with the negative, and complaining about blessings seems totally acceptable. So I decided to fight against that "normalcy" and focus only on the positive. I look back to my first year as a mom when everything was new and keeping house was fun and I aim to have that attitude again. This blog is my outlet to showcase the daily miracles that surround me in my blessed life as a stay-at-home mom so that I will never forget the wonder of it all.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Another bad day of homeschooling.  Today, even Logan was discouraged.  I'm angry, he cried, I feel ready to throw in the towel. 

I decided to throw aside the heavy curriculum which made us sit side by side at the table for HOURS yesterday, SLOWLY walking through each tiny step.  I have two other kids.  I can't sit at a table for HOURS.  And I don't want Logan to either.  He's six!  So, today I asked he and Lissy what they'd like to learn about.  Butterflies, dragons, and owls were the choices.  So I had Logan write down each of the choices (which was like pulling teeth), and we put them in a basket.  We drew a card and it was "butterfly".  So we started to learn about butterflies.  Things were good then (other than the pulling teeth incident), and the kids were excited.  We did an art project and then I decided to teach them how to draw a butterfly in the simple form of drawing two B's, one correctly and one backwards, and putting them together to make a butterfly.  I asked Logan to put his pencil at the top of the B, he froze.  He just couldn't do it.  ????!!!!  This is common.  And it frustrates me to no end.  How am I supposed to teach him how to read if he can't follow the simple instruction, "put your pencil at the top of the B"?  I feel so lost with this.  I hate the thought of him in public school but I refuse to homeschool if it means me ending in wanting to get out of the house for a break, and he in tears.  So far, this year is getting off to a horrible start.


  1. Oh Jenny, be easy on yourself! I have been here, and in my experience if it is this tough you've got to back down, as you did today with the letter B. Don't worry about Logan freezing up, 6 years is so very young. Try revisiting it again later. He may just not be ready yet. Also, you could try a different approach, using no pencils, but have him make letters out of clay or bread dough, or write it in the dirt with a stick.
    You may need to plan to spend more time than you think on each individual letter.
    This is my humble opinion, but I think that several hours of seat work is an awful lot for grade 1. In our house we do no more than an hour of actual seat work. Of course, we are also unschoolers at heart and the seat work we do is the stuff that can't really be unschooled so easily- written math, grammar, essays (for Ella) etc.
    Jenny, one of the huge things I've had to learn about home school through the years is to not worry about "keeping up" with the kids who go to school, you're on a totally different schedule, the luxury of home school! Seriously though, where a home schooled kid might be behind a schooled kid in one area, he may be way ahead in others.
    We became "unschoolers" when we realized it is how our own children learn best, and how they continue to love learning and not grow to resent it. When I used to try to drill things into Ella years back, she got more and more stubborn, and literally could not do what I asked. It was too much pressure. When I learned to just let go, things went better.
    I hope this is coherent- if you want to email me I'd be happy to discuss home school with you- give you support or ideas! Seriously!

  2. Oh- sorry to hear that it was a rough day. I can only imagine that homeschooling is probably full of very challenging days. But, for every challenge that you stumble across I am sure that there are many, many successes.

  3. i don't have much experience with homeschooling so can't really give advice. (talk to Melanie :-), but i did read this article the other day.

    i know it's not burnout you're experiencing but the article may still be helpful.

  4. I just want to tell you how much I admire you. All you can do is your best with what you have. I love your heart and dedication to your children. You're the best! Don't be so hard on yourself. I know what you mean about not wanting your kids in public school, but if you feel as though that's something you want to try out, it doesn't make your less of a mom, and it's not forever. You can always change your mind and switch it up. That's my humble opinion. Love you friend!

  5. i'm sorry you are so frustrated and overwhelmed.
    wish i could just knock on the door and give you a hug.

  6. Jenny, I am not the one to join in this discussion but perhaps some more research is necessary for you. here is a place to find some unschool blogs. Hope you find some answers to your frustrations. The great thing is that you recognize the different learning styles of your kids and caught this early. The big adjustment maybe more for you than them; although reading your blog about your "country" life, you are already parenting to your own drummer. Just figure out how to school that way. "Raise a child in the way they shall go"..Prov 22:6 means raise them according to their "bent" or personalities. So take a deep breath and say With Christ all things are possible...and give you and the kids time to figure it out. You are a magnificent mother and the perfect mother for Logan, Lissy, Kian, baby, and the others who will follow.

  7. Jenny, I've had the hardest time with my first when it comes to school and especially reading. It's hard not to compare yourself with others and feel like your failing sometimes but one of the great advantages of homeschool is you can go at your child's pace. This is something I have had to remind myself of daily for years.
    When it comes to science and history I am so with you.I don't worry about what we are studying because I don't see why we need to study the exact same thing as the school kids.Seriously, why does it need to be the Penguin in the first grade and not the American Robin, or butterfly or whatever.If you stick with Math U See you will find that your kids will not be on the same topics in the upper grades unless they go through the lessons quickly and move through more then one book a year. That could happen but if it doesn't you will have to remind yourself your kids will learn all the same math just at a different time.

    When I have a really bad day or even weeks sometimes, I sit down and ask why am I doing this? It is so important to remind yourself why you homeshool. And as others said take a break from seat work, head outside, go on a feild trip, have an art day, whatever it takes for everyone to destress.

    If you have moms around who homeschool get together for some fun time for the kids and talking time for moms. I have personally found this helpful since my family is not supportive of our homeschool adventure. Not suggesting yours isn't, but having others to sound off with that won't judge you is so important.

    After reading your last two posts I read a post on the blog Owlet and it is about Unschooling. I think you might enjoy it too so here is the link.

    I wrote a post a month or two ago where I pondered the why I homeschool question.

    I'll say a prayer for you.

  8. Oh, this gives me flashbacks of sitting at the dining table with my mom... the teeth pulling definitely going on when she had to teach me. I think you are on the right track letting them lead the way with what they're ready to learn.
    And Melanie is absolutely right about about going at their (and your) own pace. You're homeschoolers, there is no no set in stone time table and they will get there. Hugs to you!