Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.



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St. Anne's Tearoom: Growing in Wisdom over 40
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Chari
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Posted: Aug 22 2007 at 12:53am | IP Logged Quote Chari

....and I am tired of homeschooling.

**************************************

Seriously, I do not want anyone who is new to feel discouraged. I think I am just tired.   

I was chatting with a good friend of mine today. You may know her......her name is Willa.

We discussed this two weeks ago.......looking to motivate each other. No luck, as we discussed it again today.........only today, I admitted to Willa that last night, I thought: I am tired of homeschooling.

If you count Anne's K year (though we ALWAYS "school" from birth), I am starting our 15 year of homeschooling. Wow, that is a long time at the same job

The dynamics of our homeschools are always in flux......new baby one year; pregnant another; one older, lots of youngers, and a baby...........well, this year, I have five olders, and a Ker/1st grader. No babies. Should be easy, right? New dynamics, throwing me off balance, I think. Not sure.

I will admit, that I spent four months planning a cross-country trip, two months on the trip, immediately home to a 4RL campout, and the start of play rehearsals for three plays for six kids, just finished two weeks of "tech" for the plays, which included a week of ALL of us, from 5yrs to the mom, not getting to bed before 1am ..........eight nights of performances over, eight more still to go.

I usually spend May and June prepping for the next school year, and finishing up plans in July, starting in early to mid August...........this year, I obviously have done nothing but THINK about what we might do.

Maybe that is the REAL problem?

Either way, Willa and I were wondering if it is our "old" age that brings this on?? Is it all of the changing hormones? We are 43 and 44 yrs.......one of us is older....and it is not me ...oh, actually, maybe we are both 43 for now, until October.........not sure.

Anyone having similar feelings? Anyone have any thoughts to add?

A clarification: while I AM tired of homeschooling, I am not intending to STOP homeschooling. Not a desire or an option worth considering. I LOVE homeschooling, in fact. Just to tired to do it, I guess.

I also wonder if looking at doing the "same old" stuff to do is just not motivating........though, I am adding new stuff, too.....maybe THAT is overwhelming.

Maybe I can't win

Just verbalizing my feelings, not really looking for anything, except to know if any of you long-termers have experienced this, too.........Might be a new "syndrome"    We can find a new label.

Blessings,

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Posted: Aug 22 2007 at 5:20am | IP Logged Quote Erin

Chari
I hope you will forgive my intrusion here when I don't yet 'qualify' for this group. But although I haven't yet been hsing as long as you (my oldest is 14) I wanted to let you know you're not alone as the number of responses to my thread indicated.



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Posted: Aug 22 2007 at 5:59am | IP Logged Quote guitarnan

Chari,

With your breakneck summer schedule, I believe you deserve to be tired. You make me look sedentary! (And my summer has been packed with houseguests, road trips, writing projects, etc.)

I am older than both you and Willa (not combined, LOL) and I get tired more easily than I used to. I get the same amount of sleep as a nursing mother, because my boy kitty thinks 4:20 a. m. is daytime and wants his mommy to play with him. Some days I am so sleepy I just can't think.

This Sunday's homily was about God breaking us down (through life experiences) in order to build us up again in accordance with His plans. Father talked about listening to God and remembering that He uses us for His good, a greater good.

These are things I need to remember, especially right now, when I am waiting for the dreaded geometry books, struggling with tons of writing work that may or may not earn us some money, and try to clean up for yet more houseguests. (Note that school prep has not even made it onto the list...)

You're not alone, truly. It's easy and fun to homeschool when we're full of energy, but we're also called to bring our children up in the faith when we're tired. I've never met a mommy (or a woman over 40) who wasn't tired at least part of the time.



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Posted: Aug 22 2007 at 6:31am | IP Logged Quote Bridget

Chari, we're old. We want to be done with our work each day so we can sit on the porch, drinking tea and gossiping with each other.

But here, I found bunches of nifty quotes on perseverance for us!

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Posted: Aug 22 2007 at 7:38am | IP Logged Quote Elizabeth


Chari,
I had a monster summer, too. And I'm not used to it the way you are. I'm not tired of homeschooling, but I am tired. Period. Way tired. I think the reason I'm not tired of homeschooling is that I spent a good bit of my monster summer THINKING about my future of homeschooling. I have a baby you don't have and I think that has taken a pivotal event common to both of us (the graduation of our first) and given it a twist. I want to look at what went right and replicate it. One thing I've noticed (and I was talking to Kim while you were talking to Willa--maybe the four of us should talk) is the tendency to forget those ideals which got us here in the first place--pedagogically speaking--and to slide into expediency. Kim wrote about it here and I was writing at the same time here.
Why did you walk this path in the first place? Remember the idealistic young woman you were? Now, wouldn't that young woman benefit from living day to day with the woman of wisdom you are now? Wouldn't the wise woman benefit from the enthusiasm and idealism of the youthful you? You have a whole bunch of children still left at home for whom this educational journey is just beginning. They get both women! But first, you need to go dust off the idealistic, enthusiastic you. She's still there, y'know.

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Posted: Aug 22 2007 at 4:21pm | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

Chari, the trip you took, plus all of that stuff afterwards, tires me out just reading about it!
Oh, I do feel old some days, for sure. More and more often, I'm afraid. (And Nancy, if my cat wakes me up at 4 am one more time I think I am going to strangle him!)
Give yourself permission to be tired, to take it easy, and to recover. Find something that makes your heart happy and do it, even if it is just sitting on the porch after dinner with a cup of tea and a good book.

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Posted: Aug 22 2007 at 5:56pm | IP Logged Quote Leonie

I think sometimes it is both a physical and mental tiredness.

I know that, when I have been in that tired state, I have taken time to recuperate - a vacation of sorts at home, if at all possible . Do something new, drop a few have tos, pray, have fun!

I have looked at my physical health   - am I getting enough rest, good food, exercise?

I have looked at my pegs and routine and seen where I could/should change things - a change is sometimes good. Sometimes necessary.

And I have looked at rekindling my passion - perhaps for a new hobby that I can share with the kids or re-organizing some clutter and some rooms, perhaps adding more beauty to our every day lives, or a new, fresh look at homeschooling ( once, for me, it was reading everything I could on unschooling ~ and here I am! ).

Here is a good post from Julie Bogart on re-kindling passion.

Sometimes, too, it has just been being faithful every day, just doing it ( whatever may *it* may be), working with prayer and faithfulness, and this has pulled me through dry spells in homeschooling ( and in life!).

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Posted: Aug 22 2007 at 7:03pm | IP Logged Quote Nina Murphy

Chari, girlfriend, me too. Same # of years.

God knows what we are carrying and deeply comprehends what our YESes have meant over these years. I really believe that.

We are not weak for admitting the overwhelming fatigue and feeling faint at the sheer number of tasks on our shoulders every single day as Catholic women willing to live authentic Catholic lives.   

You inspire me with your charity and your honesty. And I love you for it!

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Posted: Aug 22 2007 at 7:32pm | IP Logged Quote joann10

How wonderfully said, Nina.

We all need to remember that God knows our weariness and low points. I have had many recently, but realizing and remembering the God is with me and knows my struggles can help me carry my daily burdens.
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Posted: Aug 22 2007 at 8:14pm | IP Logged Quote chicken lady

I am praying for you Chari, I LOVE what Elizabeth shared, very inspiring. I know tired, a different tired than yours but fatigue just the same. Thanks for sharing your feelings, I am certain you have blessed many with your openess and honesty.
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Posted: Aug 22 2007 at 8:21pm | IP Logged Quote Willa

Chari wrote:
Either way, Willa and I were wondering if it is our "old" age that brings this on?? Is it all of the changing hormones? We are 43 and 44 yrs.......one of us is older....and it is not me ...oh, actually, maybe we are both 43 for now, until October.........not sure.


Hi Chari -- ah, hate to say it, but I've qualified for this board for almost 5 years now -- junior

Chari was thinking of posting this on More the Merrier but I don't remember feeling quite this way when I was right in the midst of raising a bunch of littlies.   We've both been tired before, and burned out before, but this seems a bit more of a mid-life feeling, at least for me.

Homeschool's going OK, life's going OK, health is OK -- but I'm tired, and I don't really even have Chari's excuse of lots of activity going on.   We've actually had a quiet summer. ... except for the chickenpox, but that wasn't really busy ... just preoccupying.   

So I was wondering if it is something that happens towards the mid-40's -- ? a waking up and realizing that the job isn't over, and some of the freshness is wearing off?   Is there something that gets you through this new season?    

I suppose it IS partly a mom-of-many phenomenon, because I am aware that when my own mother was at this season of life, she was going back to school and starting in a new line of work; when I was in Ireland I became aware that my sisters-in-law who have children roughly corresponding in age to my oldest ones are moving on into a new stage of life.

Other women my age are having babies -- most of you I know only online -- but perhaps when our oldests are moving out and our youngests are in preschool or early-school-age limbo, it's hard to feel like either crowd.   I know I've been battling an ongoing sense of loss that my youngest is almost 5 and there are no new blessings... perhaps (not speaking for Chari necessarily) this is part of my blue, unmotivated feeling.   

I am reading through all the replies -- thank you, Chari, for speaking for both of us. My name is Willa and um, Chari already said it.   Actually, being tired of homeschooling is only a symptom, I think....

I wrote a bit about it on my blog: cloud of witnesses.

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Posted: Aug 22 2007 at 8:25pm | IP Logged Quote Willa

Bridget wrote:
Chari, we're old. We want to be done with our work each day so we can sit on the porch, drinking tea and gossiping with each other.



I think it's probably true! and is that OK? Maybe that's the problem -- I am aware of so much that still needs to be done -- transitioning five or six more kids out into the world!!   but I just want to sit and relax with my other grey-haired friends and let the world keep pushing forward without me.   

Maybe this longing is to prepare us for the days when we'll have no choice but to take life easy.

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Posted: Aug 23 2007 at 6:42am | IP Logged Quote Paula in MN

WJFR wrote:
So I was wondering if it is something that happens towards the mid-40's -- ? a waking up and realizing that the job isn't over, and some of the freshness is wearing off?


I think you're right. I'm 45, and I'm just starting my 3rd year of homeschooling. I only have 3 kids, and one has been out of the house for a few years. There are many days lately when I get up in the morning and I'm tired. I'm tired all day, and I'm tired when I go to bed at night. I talk to my oldest (24), and just listening to everything she does in one day makes me feel like I'm running a marathon!

Maybe we are all just settled...in our life, our love, and our faith. Not so much that the freshness and newness is wearing off, just that we are approaching a more relaxed way of viewing everything around us.



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Posted: Aug 23 2007 at 10:33am | IP Logged Quote Nina Murphy

Ohmygosh, perfectly expressed, Willa. "I am aware of so much that still needs to be done..." I think it's a sort of malaise, or ennui.....

Anyway, I am tired. I am always tired. There is not a day. So I've learned to try not to fight it....to not be so agitated by it---to live in the tired--- and not looooong for a different state.   And as my husband and I always remind each other: Someday we'll have our REST. It's not now. !!!!

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Posted: Aug 23 2007 at 11:58pm | IP Logged Quote teachingmom

Chari,
Were you listening in on the phone conversation I had with dh the other day???

Seriously, I told him that for the first time, I am not looking forward to this year of homeschooling. That I am tired of it. Like you said, I wouldn't consider for a moment giving it up, but am just having a hard time embracing the cross right now. My oldest is beginning 8th grade in a week, and I've always homeschooled. I was wondering if I am just facing burnout before the year has even started. (A rather scary thought!)

I feel overwhelmed thinking about meeting the academic needs of everyone. Somehow it all feels like drudgery - both to me and the kids. The only fun in our homeschool is found in our extracurriculars. I'd like to change that, to make our time together interesting and joyful, but I'm too unmotivated and tired of it all to figure out how.

I feel like my summer was a complete loss, as far as meeting my goals for household projects. No pictures were labeled or put in albums. No sewing was done. My checkbook has not been balanced in months. And my basement, which I longed to put in order this summer, is still a complete wreck!

Oh, and I turned 43 earlier this month, so maybe it IS the age.

On the up side, the kids had a great swim team season, we had a fun beach vacation and another camping trip, and we all spent a ton of time enjoying our littlest darling, who makes us laugh and constantly amazes us with her newest accomplishments. (She began walking yesterday! )



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Posted: Aug 24 2007 at 12:59pm | IP Logged Quote lilac hill

Chari,
I read of your tiredness, not discouragement or burn out, with recognition.
I am relucant to post beacuse I have 3 children, only one who will be hs'ing this , our 8th year.I do not a large family with a great age spans and a long homeschooling tenure.

At 46, I wake up tired, sometimes and achy too.

With one in college and one starting her senior year I have a range of concerns, yet not the same range of so many 4 real forum members.

And like so many here I have interests, hobbies, the task of keeping our home runnng at ths same time as I try to create a beautiful haven for us.

We had a great summer with its regular ups and downs, yet I do not feel rested. More farm animals, yard and bulding upkeep and trying hard to "have a wonderful summer" seems to be more tiring than our more rigid "school" year.

Maybe its our Mom age, duration of hs'ing, sending our olders out , crisis/non-crisi in our homes, or any number of other things but sometimes I just take a "fake it until I feel it" point of view.
I love hs'ing, I love my children and my family,it is all such a beautiful gift, yet sometimes I just have to keep moving and pray that I get a few sparks to light my fire soon.

I know I have read of dry spiritual periods, can't there be "dry" mothering/homeschooling times? I don't believe it means a lack of conviction or appreciation, just a phase.?

There seem to be helps, but no cure.
Routines help, but they are not a miracle (after all-how do you schedule a vet's visit after the pony played with a porcupine this AM?!)
Plodding forward reading,cleaning, fresh peaches (yes I know it is odd, but they are so delicious) praying, even if its only my rosary CD on one of my Mom taxi runs all seem to help.
Exercise, chocolate, rest, a glass of wine shared help too.

Thank you all who have posted on this topic, I have felt a bit lonely in my malaise and know I think it might just be a normal stage.

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Posted: Aug 24 2007 at 1:19pm | IP Logged Quote Willa

lilac hill wrote:
I love hs'ing, I love my children and my family,it is all such a beautiful gift, yet sometimes I just have to keep moving and pray that I get a few sparks to light my fire soon.

I know I have read of dry spiritual periods, can't there be "dry" mothering/homeschooling times? I don't believe it means a lack of conviction or appreciation, just a phase.?

There seem to be helps, but no cure.


I loved this, Viv.   Thank you!

Dryness -- perhaps that's what's going on.   It doesn't change the fact that we are so blessed and that we love our life and feel privileged to be doing this homeschooling and mom of several type thing.   It is just something that gains on you once in a while.

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Posted: Aug 24 2007 at 1:52pm | IP Logged Quote Meredith

Would it be helpful to think of the *dryness* like Lissa's *low tide* times and call it the Arid Desert

I am 42 and I am actually more excited about our home schooling journey this year than maybe all the rest

BUT, I've only hs'd for half the time of you dear Chari (and others) and I don't have the older kids yet, nor a graduate. I DO have a toddler who counts for about three children right now as he is QUITE high maintenance compared to the other three at his age

I DO think it totally ok to be tired and not excited, and it doesn't really sound like burnout to me, just a new leaf turning. You had a KILLER schedule, I can't even imagine, and with all your travel it's fully exhausting! I can really sympathize as we've got that looming move ahead of us....again, so in that regard I could definately say I'm a bit tired, certainly of the limbo

Prayers for you all in this *middle-of-the-road* time. I think you've gotten so much great advice here, but I just wanted to say HI and let you know I really missed camping with you this year

Let us know how the desert winds blow...

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Posted: Aug 24 2007 at 9:17pm | IP Logged Quote StephanieA

I am 43 and have been homeschooling for 15 years. With a newborn, I have at least 18 more years to go.

I have discovered that if I lose the "love of learning", then I soon get tired of homeschooling. This means that even if a particular program is technically working with my kids, but I am sick of it , I will find something to light MY fire. I don't mean that I am fickle, per se, but I need to keep myself mentally fresh to do this year after year. I may do one thing each semester that I really want to do with the kids, because "I" want to do it. This could be Teaching Company tapes, learning Spanish, etc.

Also I have to keep a decent book around for just ME to read....not about homeschooling, not about curriculum choices, just me as a woman. My latest read was "Huck Finn". I started it years ago and never finished it.
I also have subscribed to a different magazine each for several years now. Last year was "Gilbert" (Chesterton), the year before was "Latin Mass", this year is "Faith and Family". It keeps my ideas somewhat fresh and well, a different perspective on life in general.

This tireness is real. I have never before had the need for an occasional nap, but it is real need occasionally.

I saw my Mom get tired of homeshooling, and it rather scares me. She didn't want to admit it. So my latter siblings barely were schooled. She ended up hiring a tutor for math to get one high schooler through to Algebra 1, because she didn't want to admit that she didn't like math and didn't want to teach it. She sent the youngest (at 15) for early college credit. He barely tested into Basic Math, 2 classes below College algebra (the general math class that most kids start with). She was so tired of it all and really wanted to quit. The two girls she sent to high school.

I also don't get out to compare notes too much with "my friends". Most think I am crazy to have given up my career for 8 kids and then to HOMESCHOOL. Gee! It's not helpful to have to be on the defense more than I have to. I am not that strong.

Blessings,
Stephanie
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Posted: Aug 24 2007 at 10:01pm | IP Logged Quote Nina Murphy

Yeah....it was *different* pre-High School. It WAS. I didn't have the same concerns or anxieties, the number of children, any special need children (besides "high-need" ) and span of ages and levels, and I didn't feel as much *pressure*....okay: maybe a little. The getting them to read pressure has always been real for me.

But now: having 8 different "levels" (one finally going into college this year), and like you said, Stephanie: at LEAST 18 years left and who knows? Maybe many, many more. (I have several friends who have had babies in their LATE forties recently. ) It does get me weary at the thought of hanging in there and staying the course. But I just won't allow myself to go there. I try so hard to stay in the now. We may not even get a chance. Who knows how long God has planned for each of us and our children? I try to do the best I can today---it's not always what I think it ought to be---but I can only decide and discern for today (or this year)....

I think part of the malaise/ennui (for me) at this juncture is that I don't have enough actual physical energy for EVERYTHING (sump'n gotta give---and everyone that counsels me differs on what that is! ) and also the age old vexation for me: I have higher standards than perhaps God does and it is hard for me to accept that.

I pray for all of you; please pray for us.

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