Need a shot in the arm for your homeschool?

Get Thrive Together, a monthly email that brings you:

  • the best of the homeschool blogosphere,
  • current happenings in education-land,
  • and great quotes that will refresh your homeschool mama mind.

Yes, I want Thrive Together!

* indicates required



Recent Posts

Some links on this site are affiliate links. A percentage of qualifying purchases support this site. 

HFC is powered by SiteGround.

Subscribe to our Mailing List

Get the news right in your inbox!

Privacy Policy

How to Relax in a World of Overwhelmed Homeschoolers

How to Relax in a World of Overwhelmed Homeschoolers

As early as a month ago, a lot of moms in my local homeschooling group began talking about feeling overwhelmed and discussing strategies of how to do everything that needs to get done in a day.  Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear non-homeschooling moms have a similar conversation.  Some things struck me during this conversation that I wanted to share with you, especially if you’re dealing with feeling overwhelmed as the semester comes to a close and Christmas is only a few days away.

We’re All In This Together

Though we work and live in separate houses, it feels like we’re super-isolated sometimes.  The truth is, every homeschooling mom has the same daily struggle of trying to do school lessons, keep the house clean, get kids to activities, and put some healthy food on the table.  All of this without becoming Dictator Mamma.

None of the moms in our group were judgmental toward our more overwhelmed moms.  They’d offer suggestions on how to manage their time, or what kind of chore schedule their household used in order to keep the laundry from overflowing the laundry room.  They’d share apps for grocery shopping or meal planning.  And then they’d say something like, “But then again, if you looked at the stack of dished in my kitchen right now, you wouldn’t take my advice at all.”

It’s Not Forever

The truth is, feelings of overwhelm are cyclical.  There are just simply times when it’s going to happen, so get used to that.  And know that it won’t last forever.

I have practice at that since hubs is in the Navy.  It’s easy for me to say, “Well if we move to a place that sucks, it’s okay because we’ll move again in three years.”  You can handle anything for three years, especially if you know there’s an end date.  The problem with homeschooling ruts is that we don’t automatically know there’s an end date.  But everything on this side of eternity is temporary isn’t it?  Nothing lasts forever, good or bad.  So we have to learn to savor the good, and just let the bad come (because it will go too).

Don’t Compare Yourself

Here’s the other problem, we look at our friends’ Facebook or Instagram feeds and wonder why our lives don’t look like that.

As Bubba and I have been reading through Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Farmer Boy, I sit in amazement after every chapter wondering just how on God’s green earth those people did all they did in a day.  Then I realize that I didn’t grow up on a farm.  If my family attempted to sustain ourselves through farming, we’d die in a few weeks.  The knowledge of how to harvest crops, slaughter livestock, or even make candles was learned through the apprenticeship of a lifetime.  Kids were surrounded by these skills.  They started learning as toddlers, first by watching, then helping, and finally by doing.

I have this mom friend who can can anything: make her own wine, knit anything, grow a garden that feeds her family, and on and on.  Yet I didn’t grow up learning the same things she did.  Sure, I have no doubt I could learn to do all that she does, but should I feel the pressure to do all that she does in a day?  No.  My skills and experience are different.  She posted these super-fun pictures of her family making homemade gingerbread houses for Christmas.  My kids and I will be decorating our store-bought gingerbread train today.  And you know what?  It’s all good.  Both our families will have great memories from the experience, no matter how many hours we did or didn’t put into baking our gingerbread!  And that’s the real point.

As for the supportive atmosphere of our homeschooling group, I know that if I ever do want to learn how to can vegetables, make wine, knit, grow a great garden, or whatever, I have the resources.  I know that if my kids ever want to learn these things, we have the resources.  All the moms in our group would love to share their skills and knowledge.  And if any of them feel like I have something to offer them or their kids, I’d be more than happy to share.

Using a crib as a laundry basket works!Homeschooling isn’t supposed to happen in a vacuum.  The smartest homeschooling moms know when to outsource things.  Hire a tutor for Latin, ask the outdoorsy neighbor to take your kid hiking, join a co-op so someone else can teach your kids physics.

Instead of comparing yourself to other homeschooling families, use them.  Partner with them.  Encourage one another, and work together.

And don’t be afraid to admit when you’re in the overwhelmed stage because right now, in your town, there is another homeschooling mom who has finally figured out a system that works.  She’s giddy and itching to share with you what’s working for her.

But maybe you shouldn’t take my advice.  Anyway, I’ve got to go deal with consequences of getting behind on laundry. (Luckily the crib makes a great XL laundry basket.)

Rhiannon Kutzer

All posts

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Nice to meet you!

I’m Rhiannon.

You can call me Rhi for short (as in “rejoice”). I’m a fiercely independent homeschooling mom of five, a Navy wife of 13 years, and a creator of various things: articles, a semi-regular newsletter, quilts, furniture, and the occasional knitted scarf. This is the site where I write about our homeschool journey and news and happenings in the homeschool world. more about me.

Rhiannon

Subscribe & Follow

Popular Links

Let’s Thrive Together!

Need a shot in the arm for your homeschool? Get Thrive Together, a monthly email that brings you:

--the best of the homeschool blogosphere,
--current homeschool news,
--and great quotes that will refresh your homeschool mama mind.

Latest Posts

Instagram

  • One of the things I most love about #homeschooling is the freedom it allows us to love books. It is 9:30am. We just finished breakfast after getting up late because last night we had troop meetings for our scouting groups. The kids are all well-fed and well-rested. But before we start on reading the books I’ve assigned them, we’re taking some time to read our own choices.
.
When I was a kid, we had plenty of books in the house, but I never really read for pleasure. It didn’t matter that my mom was a librarian and teacher. I wanted to be outside. I thought reading was for school hours and school work.
.
I carried these thoughts through high school and college, where I read a lot of really great books, but not many that I chose for myself.
.
My kids will have a totally different experience. Not saying mine was bad, but I am saying that I missed out on worlds or great books and thoughts from great authors in my younger years that I am only discovering now as an adult: the middle books of Narnia, Anne of Green Gables, Arthur Conan Doyle, Winnie the Pooh, Beatrix Potter, Harry Potter, and many more.
.
My kids have the TIME FREEDOM to get to know the thoughts of authors they CHOOSE. I don’t care how you school, all kids deserve this opportunity. All kids DESERVE to believe that books can be FUN and INTERESTING and MYSTERIOUS and LOVELY.
.
What can you do today as a homeschooling/private schooling/public schooling parent to help your kids love reading? Make no mistake: if ALL our kids take from their educations is a habit of reading widely and enjoying it, they will stand a great chance of becoming great adult humans.
.
#amreading #readaloudrevival #bravewriterlifestyle #homeschool #schoolchoice #charlottemasonirl
  • FINALLY! Everyone is well (enough) that we are back to school. No one is in bed with a fever #winning . Instead, we get to spend our morning with the Scottish Play. I 💛 me some Shakespeare and #MorningTime !
.
#homeschool #homeschooling #family #amreading #shakespeare #bravewriterlifestyle
  • Fact: The #Navy wife life will kill you if you don’t find support somehow.
.
Fact: That support will almost 100% of the time be the females around you.
.
Fact: Our whole family got the flu literally THE DAY Jake’s boat pulled out.
.
Fact: This little @theglorioustable ditty about crashing our proverbial banana trucks posted the same day. God has a sense of humor. Link also in profile. (https://theglorioustable.com/2020/01/banana-truck-out-of-control-devotional/)
.
The fact that I am just now getting around to posting about it tells you the extent to which the flu knocked me on my ass. I was in bed for three days straight. I am NEVER this sick.
.
Fact: If it weren’t for strong, kind, generous WOMEN around me, I probably would have ended up in the hospital and my kids may or may not be alive. The menfolk care too, they just weren’t here. Couldn’t support. Had their own work to do. The mission does not stop for sick families.
.
Find yourself a tribe if you want to survive. You HAVE to have someone to call. Even if, like me, it’s your mom (who will--wisely--tell you to ask for local help even though you don’t want to be a bother.) I needed prayers, sure, but more than that, I needed local people to literally come to my house and feed my kids and put food in my fridge, be here while I went to the doctor, and put my kids to bed when I was too sick to stay awake a minute longer. A virtual community CANNOT do those things. It can try, but a local community has power a virtual community will never have.
.
Another post on this topic here: (https://theglorioustable.com/2019/05/how-to-build-a-tangible-community/)
#community #Navywifelife #momlife #sisterhood
  • Happy New Year and all, but more importantly, today we got to watch our @wyo_football win the Arizona Bowl. (With a freshman QB starting for the 1st time ever, btw 😮😮😮💪🏻) Way to go Pokes! #theWorldNeedsMoreCowboys #OneWyoming #GoWyo
  • We always have so much fun doing projects from @artforkidshub #homeschool #trynewthings #watercolor
  • Morning Time Details! E. (12), S. (almost 8), and L. (6). Our Morning Time morphs as the kids grow and change. It usually includes a combination of memory work and reading aloud. We try to cover a WHOLE LOT of things: Shakespeare, Bible, poetry, catechism, hymns, timeline, art study, composer study, and Ambleside selections for nature study, tales, and church history. This term I’m adding Plutarch.
.
The hard part is figuring out where I want to aim, with the 5-year gap between E. and S., and then L. being a newbie to full-on school. Having moved twice in 2019, I nixed MT and just focused on individual work. That came with costs. Shakespeare, Plutarch, art study, and composer study suffered. Memory work barely happened at all. I was BUSY. We missed out on discussing things together. Now that we’re settled, it’s time to restart MT.
.
This term I’ve decided to aim Shakespeare and Plutarch at the oldest, while the girls listen in and do handwriting/drawing/fine motor. I won’t ask them for much narration. Our reading schedule for these is AMBITIOUS. Maybe crazy. Then we’ll do all the memory & read aloud stuff that suits everyone. These lessons are SHORT. Then E. will go do his individual work while I read aloud w/ just the girls.
.
Also, “Morning Time” is a misnomer, considering we break it up throughout the day. It should really be called Morning/Lunch/Nap Time. I need a new name. Circle Time? Except we don’t sit in a circle. Together school? Except we’re together doing school all day. I don’t think English has the word I’m looking for. Maybe Tertulia or Salon?
.
Our actual coursework is: the Scottish Play, Plutarch is Alexander the Great’s life, our artist is Gustave Courbet, composer is Paganini, Bible memory is Psalm 46, Hymn is Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me, read alouds will rotate from Burgess Bird Book, Trial and Triumph, Blue Fairy Book, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Vanderbeekers, & picture books. Timeline is from Classical Conversations. Poems are Charge of the Light Brigade, Winter Night by Teasdale, and The Land of Nod.
.
Whew! It’s gonna be a fun term! What do you guys do for Morning Time?

Follow @rhikutzer

Twitter

Find me elsewhere:

×