Where The Rubber Meets The Road, Avoiding Fall Burnout!
I am a mom of boys and with boys, inevitably comes fast cars and competition.
Have you ever been to a drag race? It’s an experience unlike anything I can describe. Car after car, truck after truck line up side by side. They wait with anticipation, inching forward to the bleach box.
Upon entering the box, they spin the rear wheels in bleach to heat, clean and soften them. The hotter the tire the better the traction, thus the better the start. After careful preparation, lots of smoke and noise through the burnout, the driver is backed up directly over the rubber trail he just laid down.
Watching the “light tree” carefully for the que to start, it’s then time for the rubber to meet the road. Red, yellow, green and go! They’re off! Smooth, steady and fast!
Do you ever feel like you are in a drag race to get to the end of the semester? Sizing everything up, preparing lessons and carefully gathering a schedule, only to get choked out in all the smoke? Let’s see how your fall preparations compare to life at the dragstrip.
BLUE PRINTING is bringing an engine to the exact tolerance for racing. Isn’t this what we do with our children? We find their temperament and teach to their learning style so we can enjoy a smooth, successful year. If we don’t have the exact tolerance, adjustments must be made.
It’s a continual journey of learning and adjusting, not failing and correcting. The semester’s blueprint must be designed for the season…designed for each student specifically.
DIALING IT IN is the process of tuning and adjusting the car for the track conditions. When we plan our semester, we plan according to our current situation.
Sometimes life brings unexpected changes. We may run into a difficult concept that requires extra tutorials or a family member may become ill. Perhaps you have an unexpected move due to a job change or transfer. Understanding that it’s ok to “dial it in” when the unexpected happens will allow you the freedom to reevaluate and begin again without guilt or feelings of failure.
POLISHED refers to polishing the tunnels and the combustion chambers in order to prevent hot spots and to improve air-flow. Where are the hot spots in your homeschool? Are you able to prevent them? Watching for ways to improve your school day and then implementing them is key to preventing burnout.
Ask your students what makes their day feel unproductive. What challenges do they seem to face consistently, then work together to rid them of those challenges.
SMOKING THE TIRES is a term used when a car begins to lose traction during a race. As a result the tires start to spin and create smoke. If you are like 98% of other home educating families, you will experience a little smoke now and then.
You will lose traction and feel as if the semester will drag on forever. Don’t lose heart. Sometimes the only way to regain your traction is to let off the gas and regain control before accelerating once again. Consider taking a teacher work day.
It’s ok to even schedule work days into your semester. Giving yourself an opportunity to breathe, catch up on grading, and reevaluate your student’s assignments doesn’t have to be reserved for the weekend.
Everyone experiences challenging, frustrating times and unexpected variations to a well thought out plan. By allowing yourself the grace to pause and regroup you will find the finish line is much easier to cross.
Who knows, you may find yourself taking a field trip to the local drag strip!