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Imminent burn out

In two weeks the school year officially ends. This homeschool teacher (me) is emotionally stretched and haggardly tired. I usually start the day with high ambitions and my scribbled planner shows all the cool learning stuff we could do: gardening, nature walks, identifying flowers, new fish, cooking, outings. But playing that out in reality is slow motion in slow motion; add a medically fragile child who throws up at random into the equation and the day gets tense with overvigilance.

I’ll spare you the details, but my two kiddos have always been highly sensitive to emotions. They constantly ask existential questions, ponder spiritual issues, and are wary of new experiences which require constant reassurances, verbal processing of experiences, relating examples, etc. It’s spontaneous and difficult.

My little one chatters all day: I need extra ears. I am worn to a frazzle.

It’s understandable that feeling complex emotions are overwhelming and scary, especially for young kids. Knowing that, I’m trying my best to help them consider other’s perspective, discern thoughts as relevant or irrelevant, suggest replacing bad thoughts with helpful thoughts, articulate their thoughts and feelings, etc. I’m no expert and these are issues I’m working on too.

Hopefully my labor will eventually produce good fruits in our lives. It’s like building skills that they can draw upon in life as grown ups.

I’m trying not to lose my temper and tear down what we’ve so gingerly built together though it’s feeling rocky!

Dear other homeschooling teachers, mamas, and school teachers, hang in there! We’re doing special work although this time of year is when it feels like the days are long and arduous.

God help our tired and weary spirits!!

“So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”

1 Corinthians 15:58

Categories: Homeschool Adventures learning with kids Mom lIfe

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Welcome to my blog! My name is Esther and I'm so happy you are here. I'm an avid nature photographer and a daydreaming thinker. My posts revolve around photos of nature's beauty, homeschooling adventures with my 2 kids, sporadic reflections on my child's heart condition, Bible reading reflections, gardening feats, and other mish mash things. Hopefully you'll leave encouraged, pensive, or smiling at the simple things of life. Thank you for stopping by and hope you'll find some interesting posts to read!

15 replies

  1. Perhaps you need to think about being kind to yourself. I rather imagine that one of the hardest things about homeschooling is that you don’t have any break from it. As hard as it is to be a classroom teacher, the kids do leave at 3:30 or 4:00 PM! It may not be the best model to expect perfection from yourself because it leads your children to imagine that you are invulnerable. They seem fragile, but they are probably more resilient than you fear. Developing resilience requires some opportunity to practice–so bear that in mind next time you’re tempted to beat yourself up over making mistakes. It is appropriate to try to avoid losing your temper, but when you do, direct your anger at situations and behavior rather than at the child. It is appropriate to be fed up and give yourself some time out. Of course you know all of this, not only because you are intuitively a really good Mom and teacher, but because you are a highly skilled, educated teacher. But it is really, really hard to apply it in the press of things, especially when we hold ourselves to a high standard. In God’s good grace, even our mistakes can be blessed. Love sent your way.Fran


    1. Thank you Fran for your encouragement and kind words! Your example of a school teacher versus homeschooling teacher made an excellent point. Kids are with me 24/7 and there’s little differentiation between mom and teacher. It’s a blended role and they know how to work me! I feel blessed that they feel comfortable enough to be themselves, but when it’s a hard day for me and we got a bunch of things to do, their mischief feels like the wend of the world.
      It means to lot to hear you say that I’m a good mom and a educated teacher…beaming with pride here. I’ll try my best again. Prayers have helped immensely and I’m reminding myself that it’s a process. I’m still learning what I thought I learned years ago in school, so it’s unrealistic to expect that from small kids. I agree…thank goodness for God’s good grace! Hugs to you.


  2. Ps. I didn’t read this post as you being unkind to yourself. Then again, I feel like I’m right there in the trenches with ya. I mostly just nodded along to everything you said and thought “Yep”, “Yep”, “yup”. I feel the same way! 😊 We can do this!


    1. Thanks friend! It’s good to know that you could relate as a homeschooling mama. This is the time of year when we assess ourselves as teachers and that can be a brutal process. We are in the midst of IReady for the end of the year, and that’s kind of put a halt on our regular activities. Ready for the summer break.
      We can do this lady! We need to ask God to join us in our daily homeschooling. Only way.
      Hugs to you, and yes, we can do this WELL!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve got lots on your plate Esther and staying upbeat and continuing to teach daily with a smile on your face takes a lot of fortitude. A couple more weeks – you’ve got this!


    1. Thank you for your affirmation! I feel my smile gets crooked and gets that pasted-on look very early in the day.
      Burn out seems to happen around this time of year every year. We all need a good break.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes and after the procedure, you’ve got the Summer to relax and explore a little. Thank goodness for your nature trips because, as COVID cases ramp up again, you’ve got to be ever-diligent. I’ve not left the house without a face mask for over two years now – even in the Park. None of the walkers wear masks and want to talk to you up close … I take no chances.


      2. Same here. Best to stay safe. I don’t know how it is in your area, but COVID cases are on the rise again in northern CA. So indoor mask mandate is back in place. I wonder when we’ll ever leave the house without masks?!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Same here – on the rise and today heard that a single case of monkeypox had been confirmed in the U.S. – apparently something else we ned to worry about. I don’t mind the mask, except for Winter when my glasses fog up.


      4. I don’t know anymore…a picture of monkeypox infection showed up on my google feed, and it did not look pleasant at all! Measles was a thing in San Jose a few years ago and we had to live in our bubble during that one too. Anything virus and we retreat. Kind of good the kids are used to this and won’t nag about being bored and wanting to go places. These guys are used to staying home so much.
        Covid numbers are on the rise here too. Keep doing what you’ve been doing and stay safe.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Yes, you too Esther … more monkeypox cases discovered today. Covid cases are still going up. I made an appointment for the part one of the Shingles shot. Have you had it? You might want to consider this two-part regimen if your doctor okays it – you have a lot of stress in your life. You get part one and part two you need to get two to six months later. Stay masked up – I have never taken off my mask, even for walking.


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