Friday, August 29, 2008

Still Fighting the School Blues

Am I the only one who suffers from Back-to-School blues? I'm not talking about homeschooling my kids, I'm talking about my own past creeping up on me. The same way a Snow Day can elicit a euphoria that my own children will never understand, Labor Day weekend has always depressed me. I get easily annoyed and melancholy. I feel panicky. I suffer from the I-Don't-Wanna Syndrome. Funny, isn't it. Here I am, 39 and quickly sliding toward 40, yet I still feel so affected by my early school career.

Yesterday I attended a homeschooling information meeting. Our newsletter coordinator has been setting these up to encourage new homeschoolers and fence straddlers in our area. I've gone to about four or five of these meetings as a "veteran" homeschooler. I'm supposed to be there to help answer questions and allay fears about this life-altering path. What I find is that it helps me to remember how far I've come. There were at least 19 new families and other veterans at the meeting sharing stories and learning from each other.

I always enjoy seeing the "homeschooling graduates" at these meetings. Some of them are college bound, some are still figuring out where they are going, but one thing they all have in common is a peaceful air. I remember by the time I finished high school (a school I did love), I was so burnt out from the stress of tests and deadlines I did not want to think about continuing on to college. I decided to take a year off to breathe. In contrast, some of these homeschooled teens have been happily taking college courses since they were 14 or 15. They are at ease with adults and have no problem discussing their education, explaining unschooling, and offering advice to newcomers.

I wasn't sure I would go to this meeting, especially after Marina and Sierra came down with fevers and Chase and I were suffering from allergies (ragweed in our area is six feet high this year.) But I'm glad I went, because it gave me a chance to set aside my own Back-to-School blues and offer hope to newcomers as well as recharge my batteries and renew my commitment to homeschooling. My own advice for all of them: Keep your sense of humor about everything. Laughter helps me stay sane.

On that note, the music video of Natalie Criss' "I Will Survive" is making the rounds. I don't feel the need to post it since you can see it at many other blogs, including Why Homeschool, The Homeschool Cafe, Commotion from the Ocean of Life and Alasandra's.


ComfyDenim said...

Tell them to get better quick. :-)

I liked reading this. I don't have the problem of this -- I only went through 4th grade in PS. So...and I don't exactly remember the euphoria of summers - we always played outside. If you want to reminisce about something, can I ruminate over the loss of the old fashioned YARD?? *Sigh*

I enjoyed your post.

TheMFamily said...

Sorry your kiddos are sick. We have been fighting some lovely allergy/colds over here for weeks now too. I have to say that even has a homeschooler I hated the back to school time. Summer was so relaxing and I got to avoid the incessant questions, when the school year started everyone else was so stressed about it. But I absolutely loved that I wasn't burned out. I was excited to go to college and every day I was happy to go to class. I miss it now even. My poor husband is still in school and hates it because of the 12 years he spent sitting at a desk.

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