Tuesday, March 24, 2015

My patience is a myth

When people hear that I homeschool, one of the most common comments I get is that I must have a lot of patience.

I assure you that this is not true.  I see why they would say this, but I just handle things differently is all.  I am blessed that I have been given ways to deal with what I need to deal with.

All parents must have *some* level of patience.  Unless they are candidates for the world's worst parent, that is.  So I do have this small reserve.  It's not enough to carry me through without special measures, however.

It is ironic that I started college intending to become an elementary teacher.  I am wholly unsuited to such an endeavor.  Shhh, but I honestly don't love other people's kids.  And, the politics and methods of school teaching would drive me bonkers.  Oh, it would.  I would be a candidate for the world's worst teacher.  Not that I can't teach or wouldn't have good ideas, but my patience is no where up to the task for the amount of love I would actually have for the career (which would be little).

It was my first choice in school because...I wanted something practical and I had no practical interests, lol.  (This is still almost true.)

Yet here I am, teaching my own children.  It's not the same, of course, thank goodness.  But I do have that patience issue.

One of the ways I cope is through selfishness.  I need time to myself and I need to pursue my own interests.  I have to take that time.  I have to.  So some days it might seem like I manage to do a lot, but it is just one of my coping methods.  I either do these things, or I will turn to...less productive means to deal.

Another way I cope is through organization.  Not that this works ideally, not by any means. But it helps.  I spend a lot of time in this, and I am lucky enough that I enjoy at least this aspect of keeping house...well, to a point.  And on those days I don't enjoy it, I can at least enjoy the product and I know it is necessary.  The more organized things are, the easier they are to clean, and this is my absolute life line.

It helps that I just love boxes and shelves and containers....

Another thing about my methods is that my children are expected to do much themselves.  I still get inundated with needs and arguments, but I must often shut down from them...parents are never as consistent as they think they are, anyway, so this does not harm them.

As for school work...I admit, I get bored.  I get reeeally bored with it.  Bored, bored, bored.  Much more than kids do, and kids can get really bored!  So in this, I cope by being eclectic.  We change methods, we change schedules, we change things around all the time.  I can't handle curriculums for long.  They are always the same thing.  The kids don't like it and I like the repetition even less.  We can use them, but not as they were intended.

It is difficult balancing this.  I need flexibility, but I also need to be sure that I am covering everything.  We've managed well so far, but this year I have needed to find some new ideas that I really hope can stick for longer because I am currently even less able than usual.  I am excited because I think I finally have, and I also feel a little dumb because it is so simple, lol.  But we are all in our little boxes and things are not always obvious to us; things need to be brought to us, and it helps when we are open, seeking.

So, I'm excited...New methods and I think I have finally adjusted our school room in such a way that it is finally ultimately workable for us.  (Fifth time reorganizing the room in the six months that we have been here!)  I still get mad when kids can't seem to manage the simplest things, but my role is not, in fact, control--it is guidance.  So I can let go of some things.  And there is much I need to release.


Rolina said...

Home-schooling sounds like a lot of hard work, I am glad you are finding ways to make it pleasant for you as well as your pupils!

Jessica P said...

Oh, selfishness...I have a lot to say on that. It's a blog post. Thanx for the topic, I need blog post ideas.

You are NOT selfish for taking care of yourself!!!

~!Carey said...

Well, there's selfishness, and then there is *selfishness*.

Kind of like there are stupid cats, and *stupid* cats.

Jessica P said...


i don't like the word selfish in relation to things that are healthy because it has negative connotations. I wrote a blog post for Friday about it! :)

Cats are just stupid no matter what. Actually, they are pretty selfish too. :p