Homeschooling burnout

I haven’t written anything about homeschooling yet. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say on the subject, it’s that my days have been so full with it that I’ve needed other things to take my mind off of it.

I made the choice to home school my deaf daughter through Kindergarten (at least). I felt that placing in a public school with a teacher who knows nothing about working with a deaf child, and 20+ other kids with a sign language interpreter was not the best choice for her. It would be intimidating for 5 and 6 year old children to have to communicate through an adult interpreter, and would lead to so much isolation. I long for the years when our town had a centralized deaf and HoH education plan – when she would be around other kids like her, with teachers who knew what her needs and special learning style was and how to meet that. Now, we’ve become all about “mainstreaming”.

Our only other option would have been to send her to a residential school for the deaf – which for our state is nearly 4 hours away.I know that that’s an option that has worked for many families and deaf children, and I can certainly see the advantages. But I just couldn’t bring myself to send my 6 year old child to boarding school, and only see her on the weekends.

I am by no means fluent in ASL. I’m probably about at the equivalent of someone who’s taken ASL 1 in college. But I’m trying hard, I’m studying and working with a friend of mine who has a degree in sign language interpreting. I decided that I could do her justice at home.

Now, we’re about halfway through the standard school year. There are days that I feel good about working with her, and where she’s at. And then there are the days that I’ve been struggling with lately. The days that I feel it’s unfair to my other daughters, the days that she fights me on doing anything because she’d rather play. The days that I feel overwhelmed and not competent enough.

I’m having to come to terms with that. I’m having to deal with the feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and so forth. And in doing so, I’ve realized that it’s okay to take a week off if we need it. That’s the beauty of homeschooling. We can work through the summer, we can work on weekends. We are not bound so strictly by the school’s calendar.

So that’s what we’re doing now. We’re taking a breather. We’ll circle back around, and probably be all the better for it.


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