Be Positively Overwhelmed! : A Reminder Against Homeschool BurnOut

Previously posted on June 2, 2017

Said in the same fashion as “Confidently beautiful with a heart, “(Remember, Miss Universe 2016? Filipina Pia Wurzbach?”, I sort of coined this phrase during the recent homeschooling workshop on Multilevel Homeschooling as I wrapped up. Yes, homeschooling on its own is overwhelming. What more Multilevel Homeschooling?

However, after sharing success stories, “pick up and stand up again from failure” moments and tried and tested strategies for homeschooling several kids that differ in so many facets, I said, “Yes, be positively overwhelmed. “

Stress we all know may be positive, negative or even neutral. So, in a sense, the key, in multilevel homeschooling, is to face stress as inevitable but taking all the possible positives from it.  Veteran homeschooler and my “ate” Felichi Buizon says that “Life in general is a series of interruptions.” And since homeschooling is life, then expect, embrace and roll with them. Don’t get us wrong. It isn’t having a pessimistic, bleak outlook or having a new mantra ala Murphy’s law, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Rather, it is expecting, stress, interruptions, and a whole gamut of things that are out of our control as teachers/ parents and find ways to positively turn these experiences to benefit most, if not all.

One example in Multilevel Homeschooling I shared concerns the fear of learning gaps. Fearing that we won’t be able to teach everything since we have several children to focus on. Wait, who said, we have to teach everything? Do we know everything there is to know? Even let’s say, we do KNOW (if there is such a state) everything, can our children absorb everything?

The fear of learning gaps for Multilevel set ups may arise from the reality that every single homeschool day, the teacher has several students to monitor. Don’t regular schools have one teacher monitoring 50 kids in a 40-minute period or 200 kids in a batch?  I will never forget Debra Bell’s line many years back when she visited Manila, (just the gist and not verbatim), “Don’t be afraid of learning gaps. For as long as your children have that passion to learn, they will learn some things you missed when they need it. ” 

And what is wrong with having a child wait while you handle a sibling who needs help?  Though I shared tips on how to maximize the homeschool period with a battery of worksheets, video tutorials, games, puzzles, and other activities that can encourage independent work, there are times, that kids just have to “do nothing” and wait. More than ever, kids in this digital age need how to “do nothing” and wait. Experts on creativity say that many ideas may come out of these times anyway.

I then shared success stories of many children (graduating with honors, receiving academic and character awards) raised in the many times messy, many times chaotic, many times crazy world of multilevel homeschooling!

I also realized as we did this workshop that I have to remind all parents that homeschooling is a process with a lot of trial and error. Apart from the academic learning, it is character and relationship building. It is a process therefore with a beginning where those who have gone ahead like me were once just as or even more overwhelmed.

It is my desire that workshops, blog posts or even FB posts of homeschoolers do not ever negatively overwhelm anyone who wants to venture into homeschooling. So, if a beginning homeschooler ever starts feeling more discouraged in posts or activities that he or she thinks she will never be able to creatively think about or implement, this is a friendly and gentle reminder, be positively overwhelmed. Those who have posted these are not boasting or desiring to make you feel inadequate. Simply, these are shared as ideas and many who have great ideas, have had bad ideas too (they just don’t post it of course) or they may have learned through years and years of homeschooling and have learned what works!

So here is a shot of fellow homeschoolers who will venture into Multilevel Homeschooling this school year. And we followed the hand gesture of my bitmoji app (you should make own soon) “I can’t even!”. (June 1, 2017, Multilevel Homeschooling Workshop at Boogi Furniture Store in Makati.

So, for, first timer homeschoolers, it is okay to feel overwhelmed. You would be quite a rare one if you did not feel this way. You are not alone in this! I have cried buckets, lost sleep, and have become physically ill with stress related conditions through 15 years of homeschooling but I would do it all over again and again. It’s just where AMAZING happens. So, from my homeschooling heart and mind to yours, “Be positively overwhelmed. And if you’d like to know the secret of ‘flourishing in the last 15 years of homeschooling?’ ” Read the verse below.

7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7

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