Homeschooling During Overwhelming Times


Ever had “one of those” days? weeks? months? years? You know – things just seem… tough. Not impossible. Not horrible. Not even difficult.

You know you can handle everything God throws your way, but you really wish He’d just give you a moment to catch your breath between volleys. I’ve been there.

I am there.

tough times


Over the last few months, I’ve posted erratically. A series here, a giveaway there, an activity or project occasionally… I’m sorry. I haven’t answered all my emails and comments. I post on Facebook – and then I don’t. I play around on Twitter – and then disappear for a week.

It seems that, just as I dig myself out of one hole and begin to catch up and feel steady, I fall into another:

  • temper tantrums {the kids’ and my own}
  • morning sickness that.just.wouldn’t.quit.
  • moving
  • potty training
  • new schedules and routines
  • presentations
  • 5 year olds attempting to assert their will
  • workshops
  • kids that
  • co-op classes
  • email
  • 2E issues that threaten to bring the house down
  • deadlines
  • homeschooling
  • and now… gestational diabetes

I’m getting the hang of keeping my blood glucose level down, but often find myself sleepy and irritable as it drops too low. This balance has been tough, though the kids are enjoying the show as they watch me “sting” a finger four times a day to draw blood to test. A lesson, right?

I know I need to cut myself some slack, pull in, stay home, and cuddle with my kids right now. But it’s hard for a person who is always on top of things to let them slide for so long. I feel like I’ve been buried for 6 months – and probably have been.

Have you ever felt that way? Like you haven’t been pulling your weight…as a wife, mother, friend… Like you’ve dropped all the balls and they keep rolling just out of reach, and you’ll never be able to pick them up, let alone juggle them again?

It’s okay.

We have all been there, too.

You {I} feel alone in that place, but the reality is that once you start talking to other homeschool moms – in person and online – you’ll realize that what you are feeling is universal. And happens. There are seasons in every mother’s life – whether homeschooling or not – and overwhelming times are just one example.

We live by faith, not by sight. – 2 Corinthians 5:7

It really is alright to take a bit of time to pull back. Shelve the curriculum, print some fun games and puzzles, download some science and history cartoons or videos {our current favorites are The Magic School Bus, Man vs. Wild, and Animated Hero Classics}, and pull out some inexpensive science kits. Then, curl up on the couch and read. Read to your kiddos all together, one at a time, and let them read to you and each other. Talk about your reading.

You can come back to the structure another time. The wonder and beauty of homeschooling is that you can always squeeze some learning in.

Today was one of those days. I started my day by checking my blood sugar, eating breakfast, making breakfast for the kids, cleaning up the kitchen, and then checking my sugar again. By 9:30, I was wiped out. I set two Animated Hero Classics and a Magic School Bus in the queue on my Discovery Education Streaming account, gave the kids an easily vacuumed snack, and fell asleep for an hour and a half.

While I made lunch, the kids each worked on a workbook page of their choice, Trevor did some math, and then Molly practiced handwriting. Then we read a lesson in our Mystery of History book. Throughout it all, they peppered me with cool things they discovered about Thomas Edison, Abraham Lincoln, and the digestive system.

There was a lot of informal learning going on. It always amazes me that the kids can watch the same show and each learn something different. When they talk about their learning, everyone revisits the show and picks up more.

When you {or I} feel overwhelmed, we need to remember that homeschooling during these times is a blessing – and maybe one of the very reasons we’ve been called into it. You’re under no obligation to go anywhere, see anyone, or do anything but hang out in your pajamas and catch up. Let yourself.

I know – believe me – that it’s hard to let go of all the things that are supposed to get done. But if you don’t take the time to get yourself back on even keel, nothing will get done. You’ll be like me last week – staring at the blinking cursor on the laptop screen, unable to write about anything, and thinking about everything else.

You’ll get there faster, I’ll get there faster, if we all allow ourselves time when it’s needed. Remembering that we’re not alone in this journey helps keep things in perspective.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. –2 Corinthians 2:9

What do you do when everything catches up with you, and you feel like you’ll never dig yourself back out? Share in the comments or hop over to the Facebook page to join in a conversation and share ideas. {And if you’ve liked Raising Lifelong Learners, but aren’t getting any notifications, know that Facebook recently changed their algorithm and will not share blog pages like they once did. You have to opt in to get a notification that I posted or shared something. My friend Tabitha at Meet Penny wrote up a great post about how to do this. Check it out.}

I can’t wait to hear how you survive when overwhelmed. I need some fresh ideas because with this baby due in less than 2 months, I’m sure I’ll be feeling this way for awhile yet.