Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Burn Out

Is it possible?? Burn out in home schooling?

I don't know 

What I do know is........ yesterday when the lil one's school added her french teacher link to our list for homeschooling - my stomach knotted.  I picked up the assignment - an in house scavenger hunt....... 
I looked at the playing card - cause that's what it was .... there were 12 squares with french words in each square along with an icon.  The print was so damn small I could barely make it out......... and each square was in a different colour -- two squares were in yellow!!!   My head started to hurt.... it didn't help that the lil one had NO idea what the words were ...... and couldn't pronounce them...... 

I sat there with the voices in my head yelling "this is toooo bloody much!!!  I am doing the math assignments!  I am doing the grammar assignments!! I am doing the reading assignments!!!!  I am doing art and gym and even throwing some dancing in cause she misses her dance classes... and NOW I have to do french too!!!!!!!!!!"

I fought back tears of desperation

Then I sent the mother a message (she speaks french) and sent her the link for the french assignments...... I told her I would not be doing french but thought IF she found time maybe she could do them over the weekend.  She said ' yeah ok ' (sounds enthusiastic doesn't it??!!) 

Then I wrote the french teacher and the home room teacher and told them the french was over the top for us..... I told them I had asked the mother to do the french work. 

I wanted to say "I quit" but I didn't and I won't.  The improvement in the lil one's work is mind boggling after only one week.  I asked her this morning if she thought she was 'getting it' better at home and she said yes because there was no one to talk to and no noise. 

I am going to try to be a little easier on myself..... 

I am going to try and see the fun in this (like the lil one does)

I am only going to do what I can.......... 

Life is good - even when the teacher has a wee melt down


  1. I think we are all hitting that point of burnout, even those of us self described "introverts." It sounds blissful, being ordered to stay inside, but in reality, what it did was take away the ability to boot out to the store for a quick minute whenever we wanted. Where we still had interactions with people in a limited way that we chose.

    And home schooling? Little ones? OMG! I know you were a teacher, but you didn't sign on for this. Before it was what you chose to do and now they took that choice from you. Powerful verb "choose"... and you chose not to do the french. See? a choice there, just maybe not the choice you wanted.

    Hugs, be kind to yourself. Remember, you WERE a teacher and while you have that capability and skill set, you are not lil one's teacher. Do what you can and screw the rest.


  2. I no longer have little ones at home but I keep seeing posts exactly like yours and I wonder what on earth these educators are thinking (having been one myself)!

    This should be a time for enriching and making education fun. This should be a time to distract the little ones from the reality they are in and create a loving, safe, new reality for them. This should be a time for reading books, and following recipes, and running outside (safely distancing of course), and creating and communicating.

    French is NOT essential. I cannot imagine that most parents would be capable/interested in "teaching" a French lesson. Please please please do not stress over this.

    Sending you hugs, mama to mama!

  3. This made me think of when I would be out and had to get a sub. I left lots of work, because I wanted the kids busy and not bugging the sub. But I would always leave the sub a note saying I didn't care if they did any of the assignments as long as she kept them from running and screaming in the hallway. My daughter tells me they are required to give assignment since teachers are still being paid. Some kids will do them, some won't and none will be graded. For better or worse reading and math are all that matter and everyone in her grade will start at the same point when school starts back. Just do what you both enjoy and screw the rest.

  4. I'm with the others ladies, MS, you have to be so kind to yourself. Enjoy the lil' one because this is a blessing to have this time with her. Schooling is way more than books and assignments. It's the enjoyment of learning something new together. Remember that she loves having you as her teacher! That's awesome. So many, too many, families are not doing anything to use this special time to bond at a different level. Way to go that you are!

  5. I too am with the others Morningstar, be kind to yourself. You are doing such an amazing job with the lil one and she loves you being her teacher and is she says she is learning more, and getting it better at home what could be better?

    School holidays were meant to start here just after Easter but were brought forward to co-incide with the beginning of our lockdown. School now starts again next week. Yesterday our Govt announced an education plan including online lessons, hardcopy work books and delivering tech to some kids whose families don't have it. It also includes a couple of dedicated learning tv chanels. When this was announced our PM urged parents not to feel pressured or feel they had to do it all.


  6. one of my grandmothers was a schoolteacher. When I was small (6-9?) I used to go stay with them for a couple weeks during the summer holidays - gave my parents a break from me, I guess - but I looked forward to it every year. Gran, being a teacher, set me homework. We'd go out to a stately home for the day, and made me write about it that evening or the following day. I hated that (and the maths lessons she taught, cos I sucked at maths), but I have to admit it did improve my knowledge and capabilities. More importantly, those weeks taught me other things. History, which has shaped my life. An appreciation for art and crafting, which is how I relax. Simple things like how to arrange flowers (which pleases my husband no end, when he buys flowers for me and I can arrange them in a beautiful way for us both to appreciate). Appreciation of the quiet life, of amusing and entertaining oneself, of joy in books and reading. One of your other commentators said that there is more to learning than books and assignments and they're right - the things I really remember from those annual holidays at my grandparents' home had nothing to do with assignments or books (well, not schoolbooks anyway!) and everything to do with LIFE. I'm willing to bet that the lil one will look back on this time with you and cherish it as life-changing... life-making. :)

  7. I echo the others - be good to yourself. Some grandparents are having to care for and home-school their little ones, and an article in yesterday's Globe and Mail addressed exactly this issue. These are exceptional times. Just do your best.

    As a side note, I wouldn't have thought that French would be a challenge since you were from Montreal. I left Quebec many years ago, when I could get by speaking only English, but just assumed that nowadays French is de rigeur there :)



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