of “burnout” among homeschool parents. Not only are we concerned about
the academic progress of our students,
but we also are concerned with our own
performance as educators. Of course, we
of planning and teaching. In the end,
that really wears us out.
This was certainly true for Missy and
me as we taught our oldest son Ian from
kindergarten through high school. We
felt challenged at every turn to prove our
worth as teachers and parents by giving
him the perfect education. A well-designed, well-executed homeschool cur-riculum;could;make;Ian;an;exemplary
young man and in the process prove that
we were good teachers, good parents,
and good people.
challenge. We spent countless hours developing and delivering a top-notch curriculum. We gave our whole lives to the
for ourselves as homeschooling parents
par excellence using our son as Exhibit A.
First, Ian could sense what was happening, and he rebelled against it. He
He resisted our teaching, sniffed hypocrisy in our pleas for good behavior,
resented our insistence on conformity
and high achievement, and styled himself a rebel—the very opposite of what we
intended him to be.
On our part, the harder he pushed
or not it validated our efforts became an
obsession with both of us. The harder we
tried to coerce his performance, the hard-
exhausted. The homeschooling project,
about which we had been so enthusiastic,
lost all of its luster. We saw ourselves as
years and receiving nothing but rebellion
in return. The results on which we had
hung our hopes were nowhere to be
found and seemed to recede further
into the distance the harder we tried to
conjure them. We gave up in our hearts,
threw up our hands, and despaired.
It was burnout all right, and it overwhelmed us both.
God as homeschoolers, we were actually
worshiping ourselves. All of our efforts
had been aimed at self-preservation and
by working really, really hard—to become gods.
up our own son on the altar of self: his
interests in exchange for our own glory.
What finally saved us is a well-kept
secret known to only a few fortunate
homeschoolers, but I am pleased to share
We gave up in our
hearts, threw up our
hands, and despaired.
Math help that
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