Homeschooling With No Support
In our weekly Homeschool Q & A, Marnie from Nevada writes, “I’m ready to quit homeschooling. I have no support. My husband doesn’t disapprove of homeschooling, but does nothing to help. No one helps with housework, everything feels inconsiderate, my kids don’t listen, and I’m just done. I keep quiet about everything because it doesn’t do any good anyway. Help! Homeschooling with no support is for the birds!”
Marnie, we coudn’t agree more!
Whoo boy Marnie! It may be time to pour some wine, and lock that bedroom door. That’s a whole lot to deal with. Let me say, we’ve all had days that have looked similar to this. When life is feeling craptastic, homeschooling, and everything else feels overwhelming too.
It’s Not a Homeschooling Problem
All of my homeschool clients at some point, get a little tough love from me. Sometimes working through the hard problems, reveals insight at the heart of the matter. What’s the heart issue going on here? You are having difficulty getting your needs heard, and your family is having difficulty HEARING those needs. This isn’t really a homeschooling problem. It’s a communication problem. But, both issues still need resolution, since each affects the other.
Where to Begin
When there is so much weighing on a mom’s shoulders, where do you begin?
1| Go out. Just leave. Spouses need to recognize when their partner needs a break. You don’t need permission to clear your head, or take a break.
2| There is no guilt about practicing good self-care. Mom’s don’t need to be martyrs. We sacrifice it all, often at the expense of good self-care.
3| Kids don’t come with an instruction manual. Believe me-I asked for one and everyone just smiled at me. If you are stuck-ask for help. Hire a parenting coach if you need to. Hire a homeschool coach if you need to. Go see a marriage counselor. You can be stuck, or you can be pro-active about your needs.
Communication is Key
Your voice is important and needs to be heard like every other person in your family. From your comment, that hasn’t gone well in the past, so it’s understandable that speaking out is scary. Communication takes practice and dedication before changes are seen. Check out this post, for tips on effective family communication.
Here Are Some Things You Can do to Help the Situation.
1| Buy one of those big graph paper thingies that teacher’s use, or a dry erase board and write out your needs. Label it “Help Required,” and add a due date. Don’t call it “Help Wanted,” that suggests it’s voluntary. Put chores here. If you need quiet time from 12-1pm, list it here. If you need time to attend your meditation group or hobby class, put it on this board. Put the extra stuff too; holiday preparations, house cleaning, meal prep. With your newly found voice, it’s time to speak up!!!
2| No school work begins until morning chores are done. I’m not talking about the deep cleaning, but a quick tidy up in the morning can save everyone’s sanity. Help them to start, show them how you want it done, then let them take over. Often times, we expect kids (and spouses) to know something before we’ve taught them how to do it.
3| Don’t expect change overnight. Significant changes in communication and effort put forth, takes days, weeks and months to see significant changes. Be patient.
4| If you are struggling with communication with your spouse, get another dry erase board. Label it “I NEED.” Tell him you’ve tried to communicate this in the past, but writing helps you keep your thoughts organized. Include datenight once a month, help with homeschool, the kids, doing housework, intimacy needs. Whatever you are not getting speak up! Have him/her help brainstorm ideas so everyone feels heard.
Hand Over Control
Yep. Just hand it over. Sometimes as moms, we take on everyone else’s problems, drama, and work to be done. In the big scheme of things, does it matter if the dishes don’t get done, or if those last ten problems in math took 2 hours? Be sure you are recognizing all the things your family is doing for you, instead of focusing on all that is going wrong.
At the end of the day, effective communication is paramount to every family member’s needs being heard. Yours included!