April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain. – T. S. Eliot
It’s that time of year again. Everything is springing flowers, days are getting longer and we’re all eager to get outside and enjoy the weather. Homeschooling should finally get easier than it was in the winter, right?
When I wrote this post, it seemed to resonate with many of you. I wrote it in February, the most dreary month of the year. But, believe it or not, spring can sometimes be harder on you than winter.
Spring is Hard
While you may not be clinically depressed, I think there is something worth paying attention to at play here. Psychologists have found links between allergy season and depression. It seems the cytokines in pollen cause inflammation in your body and the result looks very similar to depression.
Of course it doesn’t help that everywhere around you people are more active. Chances are also good that your social life is picking up as well after the winter doldrums.
If you follow the school year model, you’re also perhaps thinking the end of the year is so close you can touch it, but not quite yet. Besides, you may be rushing to get done with the curriculum.
April sure can be cruel.
What’s the Solution?
The solution is the same as it always was and always will be. Have a plan, stick with it and above all, know yourself. Of course, this can be hard when you’re first starting out, but after the first year seeing some repetition in patterns certainly helps.
Another thing that might help is establishing your goals differently from that of public schools. For us, with all children born later in the year, we begin our new year in January. It makes zero sense for me to begin in August or September, especially in the younger years when they are just not developmentally ready and then feeling like I have to hurry them along.
But then we tend to follow the classical unschooling model anyway, so the pressure to conform to grade levels is fairly low.
So if you think you’re getting burnt out, remember to take a break, but also know that it might not be anything you’re doing wrong. This, too, shall pass.