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Feb 17 2014

Our homeschool motivation is just out of reach…because reasons

homeschool motivationBecause reasons.

Because reasons is now my go-to explanation for when life goes pear-shaped sideways and things don’t get done. It’s shorthand for “I am in so far over my head that it would take a couple hours plus at least one bottle of wine to even give you the backstory and frankly I am sick of myself and any kind of explanation would either sound like whining or pathetically weak excuses and more than likely I had a stress-induced memory brain fart so yeah let’s just go with…because reasons.”

Because reasons is why I have a post for today’s GHF blog hop on staying motivated while homeschooling but am actually not participating in it. Please see the “stress-induced memory brain fart” portion of the above definition. The irony is that Tom and I are in the thick of trying to figure out homeschooling here at the House of Chaos, mainly because motivation is lacking in the main teacher and student. While I’m sure a lot of the motivation dip has to do with the Winter That Just Won’t Quit, there are other issues at play here as well.

We’ve just begun our third year of homeschooling. Year One could have been described as I Can’t Believe We’re Doing This. Year Two’s description was easily WooHoo We’re Actually Doing This! And that leaves Year Three as What The Hell Were We Smoking Thinking We Could Do This? A is struggling with getting lessons done, I’m struggling with getting him to do lessons (as well as balancing a new part-time job and flute teaching and writing and household running and parenting and volunteering and yes I know it’s too much and I’m working on that), and we’re all just a bit miserable. Add in some health issues and behavioral concerns and the pit of vipers that is puberty and we’re at the edge of a Vortex of Fucking Doom that will make the previous ten years look like a tea party. Finger sandwiches optional.

What we’re doing isn’t working, and so yet again I have to shake things up. I know the only constant in life is change, but if things could just stay the same for awhile I’d rejoice in ways big and small, with much singing and dancing and tearful speechmaking be much appreciative. Grimly marching through the day is not what we wanted when we made the decision to homeschool The Most Complex Child on the Planet™. We had enough of that when he was struggling in school.

Analogy time. Last winter, in a misguided attempt to just get through the season I grimly marched through the days, doing my best to ignore how cold and miserable I was. For my efforts I earned a severe flare-up of TMJ and cracked teeth, not to mention a seriously depressed personality. This year I’m wearing layers upon layers and focusing on anything and everything positive about this winter, the worst I’ve seen since I was a child. Jaw is good, no new cracked teeth (that I know of), and while I may bitch about this winter I am a metric crapton happier this year. If we continue to grimly march through our homeschool days as we have been it’s going to be a lot worse than the inability to move a major joint and some expensive dental work. The fallout is a lot larger.

So Tom and I are taking a step back and giving a good, hard look at what we want homeschooling to be for our family. We are finally, finally, coming to grips with the fact that we have an unusual family and thus need an unusual homeschooling setup. One of those “to hell with the rest of the world” realizations. I have no idea what it’s going to be or how it’s going to look or how we’ll make it work, I just hope it motivates a certain tween in this house. The current situation is just not sustainable for any of us.

Because reasons.

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1016245_10203173576045844_622541423_nI may not be participating in today’s GHF blog hop, but I recommend checking out the other writers who are. They have much more to say about staying motivated while homeschooling.

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  1. misty

    We all have our because reasons! I don’t homeschool but I do advocate for my 3 rd grade 2e son for nearly as many hours a day as it would probably take just to stay home and school! And then there’s my kindergartener who is an angel at school and nothing short of a demon at home. Not sure if he’s ADHD, ODD, gifted or all of the above. And another, yes that’s 3, son who has just started those terrible two’s….

  2. Pamela

    YAY! “Because reasons” is now like an official THING with its own post. YAY!

    1. Jen

      If I were to start a new blog I’d title it Because Reasons. ;)

  3. BeckyG

    I said a prayer for you that you’ll find something that works for your family, no matter how unusual it seems. One of my favorite phrases is “against the forceful tide.” There is something so comforting in doing things the way they’ve always been done, but like one of my social work professors told me, “If it’s not working, STOP doing it.” I admire you for that. I wish things were easy with our kids. I hope you find a path through that keeps you all sane. I’m years away from puberty still (thankfully!) but at least your son can read. I’m not even sure I’m going to be able to teach my son to read when we start our home school adventures considering that he already doesn’t want me to show him anything.

    1. Jen

      Thanks Becky. Sometimes I really feel like I’m standing between a tidal wave and utter chaos; one of my favorite sayings is “we can’t control the wave, but we can learn to surf.” I’m still learning to surf. Most days I fall off and get hit by the board. :p

  4. Jen Charboneau

    I laughed out loud at your descriptions of year 1, year 2 and year 3. And ‘to hell with the rest of the world’ is kind of where we have to get to I think, with these unique kids, because…reasons. ;)

    1. Jen

      We have to. We’re getting better at it, but when society is so hellbent on GET INTO THE BOX it’s hard to move away from that.

  5. Celeste Hill

    It’s great to have you around Jen. So many similar feelings. So many ups & downs & hardly anyone who has an inkling.
    Rainbow farting unicorns indeed. I really wish there was a word besides ‘gifted’ that came near to the reality.
    Keep up the venting. It’s not only therapeutic for yourself ;)

    1. Jen

      If I could come up with a word other than gifted I’d scream it loud and proud.

  6. Lisa in Ontario

    Oh good — it’s not just us living this life. My struggles have been so great this year that I have (repeatedly) come close to throwing in the towel and letting them fend for themselves in school. Living with all of this intensity 24/7 (my own included, although I didn’t notice it was a problem when it was just me) is seriously sending me around the bend. It’s not just a question of motivation — I’m perfectly motivated. I just can’t get the kids to do what I’m motivated for them to do. And left to their own devices, they would just play Minecraft all day. (Or is that just my irrational fear??)

    I’ve added in work, volunteering, managing a team, and community activism, which has all served to stretch me rather thin this year.

    We’ve got puberty issues roiling in the mix with DS13, and DS11 has been a full-blown teenager since he was 3, added to my own questionable hormonal balance, topped off with over-excitabilities (all of them, in all of us) and it just makes me want to get in my car and drive a long, long. long way. Alone, of course.

    Then, in the next minute, they’re sweet and loving and impressing the heck out of me with their knowledge on whatever subject, and I think that maybe I can make it through one more year.

    1. Jen

      Lisa, at least once a week I’ve strongly considered just dropping him off at the local middle school. :( That would be bad on just so many levels, but I really don’t care to see how far I can stretch before I snap back and everyone gets smacked. :p Gotta figure it out, but damn I don’t know how.

  7. jofreitag

    Because reasons – I need a tee shirt which says that!
    Jen, I love your humour and your honesty and I really love your writing!

    1. Jen

      Thank you Jo! :)

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