Monday, August 31, 2009

Burned out

The past year of homeschooling – my first year homeschooling all three children! – was rough. Really rough. By June, I was completely burned out.

Partly it was difficult because my children are older – two were in high school, and one in middle school – and the subjects are harder. I had to jump in with advanced classes, like Chemistry, which I taught myself.

Partly it was trying because for the majority of the school year, I was not well. I still struggled with fatigue and chest pains, symptoms of lupus.

The other thing that made teaching challenging is that I work full-time. Granted, due to illness and God’s hand in the illness and work, I ended up working from home for the most part, and only part-time (30 hours per week) for the first half year of school. But work time is time that I can’t be doing homeschooling. Thus all my planning and grading was done in the evenings, often after everyone went to bed. Even after grading assignments and printing out detailed daily schedules for the next day’s studies, I would lie down in bed and read for an hour or so. Sometimes I read Chemistry; other times I pre-read literature. I read a lot in the last year! And I always turned in well after midnight.

I was so worn out by teaching this past school year that I did no schoolwork over the summer. None. I had hoped to get materials ready, books ordered, more literature pre-read, and IHIPs written. But I did absolutely nothing. I read for pleasure. I dug in my garden. I procrastinated.

Now I have to hit the ground running.

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What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
— Albert Pike, Scottish Rite Freemason (1809-1891)