I promise this isn’t a whine post. Nope. More of a statement of fact. When you are homeschooling a gifted child (or living with one) there are no school breaks. No ditch-the-books-and-go-play moments. And it’s catching up to me bigtime.
I think I have a bad case of the homeschooling blues. Either that or Gifted Fatigue. Probably a combination of both. You see, we homeschool year round. Most people who do this have a schedule: three weeks on, one week off or something similar. Not us. It’s partially due to my health issues, and it’s partially due to the Engineer never taking a day off even when I do.
Granted, we’re not doing pages of curriculum or worksheets, so that’s a little easier. No, we’re diving into his current interests one after the other. Fast paced.
I’ve come to realize that my son is a lot like me. I flit from hobby to hobby, from interest to interest. As soon as I get good at it I’ll drop it and move on to the next thing. I probably have craft supplies for practically every genre hidden in a closet somewhere – and I’ll revisit it when I need it. For example, I made a big set of bean bags for the kids one Christmas. Then I did it the next year, and a few more here and there. I can still do it – I just don’t ONLY do that. Want to see? Here’s a sample:
It’s fine if I’m the one doing this flit-about thing, but it’s completely different if I’m the one trying to teach the flitter!
So I’m tired. Worn out. Ready for summer break – except we don’t have a summer break. Despite having a good set of coping skills and strategies, I’m having to come up with new ideas. New directions to gently nudge the Engineer while I regroup and get set up for the next big run.
For now, that strategy is basically plopping him in front of The Kid Should See This videos. Of course, that backfired on me, because he watched one on carnivorous plants. And we all know how that’s turning out so far.
It’s spring here in our area, so I’m focusing on that. We’re housing a lot of critters, and he’s been drawing, painting, and coloring various pictures of critters in different stages of development. I looked at the growing stack of papers today and had a vague, nebulous idea of making a book out of them. We’ll see.
My go-to strategy of Go Outside! is failing me too, due to sunlight-induced migraines. Fun stuff.
Sometimes I think this whole gifted homeschooling thing would be a lot easier if I didn’t feel like I was flailing and treading water all the freaking time! For example: I bought the Destroyer a new puzzle today. A harder puzzle – he’s been doing the library ones quite easily and I wanted a challenge. He sat down with it, quickly plopped the pieces in the correct places, and then looked at me and said “Ta Da!” and ran off to go play. So much for harder. Clearly I need to challenge him a little more!
I don’t often have those “I can’t DO THIS!” moments, but I’m getting there.
So if you’re dealing with the same thing and grasping at the forlorn hope of a summer break, I’m there with you. If you’re tired and frustrated with the challenges of teaching a gifted kid, know that you’re not alone. We’re all in this together – we’re all tired and worn out.
Sometimes people have such a rosy, wonderful view of homeschooling. No one wants to break that – to confess that it’s not working well for them. No one wants to admit the struggles and the battles involved in teaching a gifted kid. Well, I’ll say it: it’s not easy. It’s tough. It’s wonderful. It’s draining. It’s fun. It’s … gifted.
And the tree image? Yeah, that’s thanks to the Engineer. We counted tree rings on our last nature walk, and he lost count and announced that it had to be as “old as mommy!” In front of our entire homeschool group. I wanted to strangle the little beast but I was too tired to do it. Maybe next time.