Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Own Pressure

I find it difficult to find the line between applying too much pressure to achieve unattainable goals for our kids' education and not enough to keep us moving along consistently towards our goals. More often than I slack, I push too hard - not allowing a lesson to get skipped due to 1 or more bad moods at the table and therefore causing undue stress to the student, who in reality is progressing more than well enough.

This brings me to think that I need to reassess our goals for this year.... or maybe not. Maybe I just need to keep them somewhere more visible to me so that I don't feel so easily frustrated or freaked out by missing or repeating a lesson. How else can I remind myself that my kids are doing just fine? I know logically that they are, but don't want to be so overly flexible with our lessons that we fall behind anywhere - especially since these foundational years are so crucial.

Maybe the pressure I place on myself and my kids is from a fear of failure. I surely can't blame another teacher if my child doesn't progress well enough. Or other kids if they pick up bad habits (such as my tendency to holler or inability to focus - yikes!). Since I know that my kids are doing well (I'm reading enough to know where they should be and seeing enough other students also) and I have well thought out goals for them, I'm afraid that this fear is simply a symptom of a lack of faith! After all, dh and I are making this time-consuming, against the grain educational choice for our kids because we feel that God wants us too do so. Why then would He not be faithful to provide wisdom and guidance to get our children where they need to be?

So my plan is to take the Thanksgiving weekend coming up to pray and refocus on our priorities around this little academy. I'll print out the year's goals as well as something physical (computer software provides this) to show how we've progressed and a list of to-do's along with re-do's. I need more sleep, less junkfood, and less tv. But above all, I must become more and more consistent in my prayer for this school. I know that I must give all that I am doing completely to the Lord so that He can carry the load and relieve me of this pressure that I bring upon myself.


Jennifer@DoingTheNextThing said...

I'm with ya here! I had to reassess our goals back in early Oct for the same reasons. And you know what? I realized, like you, that my kids are doing fine in spite of missed lessons and what seems like agonizingly slow progress at times. But we've recently re-stated our focus as being equally on study, work, and service. Like you said, we feel led to choose a path that is educationally against the grain, but in the end, I think, produces a complete human being and hopefully a great lover of the Lord and His people.
I hope and pray your Thanksgiving time is productive. He who lacks wisdom, let him ask...

MomAtHome said...

I tried to homeschool my first, only lasted for a couple years, then I sent her to school. I was too impatient. kudos to you

Mrs. Taft said...

I think it's important to be flexible, and I've found I've had to reassess some things already this year too. :) One of the brilliant bits about homeschooling is being able to ditch what doesn't work or change things that need changin' :)

Teacher/Mom said...

Wow, and I don't know that I can say I have any specific goals even written out - beyond getting through a year's worth of curriculum. I agree with what Jennifer said that it needs to be divided between study, work and service. My kids seem to think that they never get any free time because all they do is chores and school work. (Part of this has to do with their ADD tendancies - they make any job or assignment take ten times longer than it should.) But, I want them to learn certain skills as well as the value of hard work. That can only happen if they are actually doing hard work. And I, too, tend to suffer from the lack of faith in the process. I wish that I could just pray my kids to have the character traits I want them to possess and the knowledge they will need to get them through life. But, just as I have had to learn through life's struggles - so do they! Great post - it made me think. Blessings.

Sharon said...

You've come up with a great plan in praying through your goals. It might also be a good idea to take your Bible along and re-read some of those verses which have given you direction and purpose in the past. Perhaps a read through of Proverbs is in order?

It might also help if you rank your goals. Which are essentials? Which are necessary before you will be able to do the others with any success? Are there any things you are doing just to make sure there are no (gasp!) "gaps"? Is there something you are doing just to "keep up with the Joneses" or the latest home-ed fad? You don't need to do everything, and you DO need to have enough energy (physical and emotional) to be able to do the vital things really well.

God bless. I will be praying for you, Andrea.

~ Sharon

Momma Roar said...

That sounds like a great plan!!

I'm a little more lax, and I think I can quickly justify skipping a lesson because Quintin is only in 1st, and the others are awake! LOL! But, then I get to a point where I get frustrated that we aren't doing enough. I was actually thinking yesterday, of doing a progress report to see exactly where we are. So, maybe I will follow your lead for the week! I'll keep up with some basics this week, but push everything else off til next week! I hope you'll post your findings!!

And thanks, too, for the reminder to be praying over our schools - I know this, but sometimes I do forget :(

Momma Roar said...


Do you want to hold one another accountable to pray for our own schools as well as praying for one another's?

Jennefer said...

I will be lifting you up in prayer as you seek the Lord in making these decisions about school! I will look forward to coming back after our trip and seeing what decisions you have come to!

I need to seriously get us back on track after a wacky fall with the hurricane and all else that transpired. This year has been tough to say the least.

I also wanted to let you know that I *finally* updated my blogroll and added you on there. I've been meaning to do that for months!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Girl, I hope you will share what God leads you to list or do. I have struggled with this same frustration over and over as well.

After reading, When you Rise up, recommended by Jennifer@doingthenextthing - which I reviewed on the homeschool blog - it really freed me up to release myself from so many of the "world's goals" for my kids. Yet, we continue to accomplish academics in the midst of working on character.

Continue to give it to God so He can guide you as He achieves His work in each of your kids.