In most schooling situations, whether brick and mortar classroom of some kind or your own kitchen table, February seems to be known as the slump month. It’s dark. It’s cold. It’s usually wet and sloppy outside. You’ve been schooling for six solid months. It feels like you can’t go another day. That unit study just won’t quit. The shiny curriculum has lost its luster. The pencils are all stubby and eraser-less. Teacher, you need a break.
We all know the February slump. But what happens when it shows up in November? This isn’t supposed to happen. But hey, it’s 2020. Anything is possible. Right? Schooling our children, whether a veteran or a noobie, is a seriously tough gig. I am nobody special, but I give you permission to call it hard.
It isn’t easy managing a high schooler, a middle school who should be a high schooler, an elementary schooler, various pets, and the innumerable other responsibilities homeschool parents juggle. No matter who says the opposite, listening to piano practice isn’t soothing. Drilling math facts while the student flops in an orbit around you isn’t relaxing. Yes, it’s an absolute blessing to be afforded the opportunity to educate your kids, but it isn’t restful or easy. Anyone who says differently is lying.
So, what we are to do with the November February Slump? We take a nap if we can. We go to bed a bit early if we can. We get a babysitter for a few hours to go sit in a quiet car and silently eat a hamburger without interruption. We buy a fresh pack of pencils and maybe a fancy pen or two. And, we cling on until Thanksgiving and tell ourselves that there is only a few weeks between feasting and a Christmas break.
The November February Slump is no joke. And, perhaps it hits you at a different point in the year, but don’t let yourself believe that it’s just you. You aren’t the only one feeling the effects of a hard year and a tough job of educating children. Call a friend with a good listening ear and share the struggle. Give yourself space to be human and grace to have a bad day. Remind yourself to get lost in a story with the kids, participate in the art lesson, savor the science discovery as if it’s the first time you have heard of it, and know that it will all get checked off.
You can do it.
HomeschoolFacts.com has a complete list of support groups to help support you in your homeschooling endeavors and connect with homeschoolers near you. You can search the list of support groups here: https://www.homeschoolfacts.com/homeschool-support-groups.html
Lindsay Banton is a caffeinated mother to three great kids. She never expected to homeschool, but has found that it is a wonderful addition to their lifestyle and wouldn’t change it for the world. In addition to homeschooling, Lindsay works alongside her husband in campus ministry at a large university in Connecticut. She grew up in Virginia but has settled into life in New England, learning to love the long winters, cool springs, green summers and gorgeous autumns- and has built a boot collection to meet all the demands. She is currently blogging at www.lindsaybanton.com.