Something dawned on me just this week. I don’t ever really take a break from homeschooling. And, honestly, it’s starting to show.
In January, I will start my eleventh year of homeschooling. It’s really not that long, if you think about it. So many people have been at it for so much longer. But right now it feels like it’s been forever.
For many years, we went year round, taking a week-long break after every six weeks of school, plus some additional time at Christmas or in the summer or during moves. A couple of years ago, the year-round schedule had to stop, as our summers just got too full. Learning was so sporadic that it was better to just go ahead and take six to eight weeks off than try to jump in and out.
What I have realized is that, even during those break times, I never really took a break from school. Oh, there have been stretches where I didn’t do school stuff, but that was because I was filling other obligations or we were travelling. Most of my at-home “no school” days have been filled with preparing for a new school year, semester, month, or week.
We intended to take two weeks off for Christmas this year, just like the local schools. But, last week we realized just how much everyone was dealing with burn-out. So, we snagged an additional week.
I fully intended to use the time to do prep work. A little every day to stretch it out.
I’ve changed my mind.
You see, I’m not enjoying homeschooling right now. I still like the idea of it. I still like that we do it as a family. But, I’m struggling with the day-in, day-out process. I just don’t want to do it anymore. I have been praying for a while – and asking trusted friends to pray with me – about this problem, especially since I have had no sense that God is redirecting us from homeschooling. My prayer has been for God to grant me wisdom and endurance and a submissive heart to continue walking in obedience to Him in this area – and to be able to do it joyfully. And last week, He spoke to my heart through my husband, urging a break.
So, I’m taking a break! Not my typically “get caught up while we’re not doing school” kind of break. A real break.
I have no school related work planned until after Christmas! I won’t touch it. No grading. No scheduling. No thinking about prepping orders for next fall. Nothing.
And, strangely enough, I’m already starting to feel more excited about the new semester than I have felt in a while. It’s almost as if the decision to take a break is as refreshing as the break itself.
I still intend to be productive. But, my productivity will be focused on writing and editing and actually enjoying the process of finishing Christmas gifts instead of cramming that task into corners left behind after my homeschool job. (Because that’s what it is – one of my jobs. One that I pretty much don’t take a vacation from.)
So, here’s to two weeks!