A Year in the Life of a Home-Schooling Family: Day 106

All day I’ve had a niggly horrible feeling that I’ve not done enough. I’ve not done enough to help Lillie succeed in her photography. I’ve not done enough to help Charlotte succeed in her GCSEs. I’ve not done enough to help Charlotte succeed in her maths which she finds so very difficult. I have an anxiety deep in the pit of my tummy which refuses to budge. The older children tell me I was exactly the same last year when Thomas was needing specific GCSEs and grades to get into college. That doesn’t help any. I have poured into their lives. But what if, despite my best efforts, I haven’t done enough.

Today it felt like I was a mouse on a wheel, running as if my life depended on it yet getting nowhere very quickly. In sharp contrast to yesterday, when I felt I had it all together, today has felt like anything but. I wonder if the children pick up on this (younger, not older). Becca has been very tearful today over her workbooks, which usually she breezes through. Abigail has needed more of me than usual. And I have had a multitude of phone calls today, dragging me away from my work with Charlotte. One of those phone calls was about her functional maths. It just brings it all down on me, as I wonder if she had gone to school would she enjoy maths more… If I had taught her differently… If I had found a curriculum which suited her… If I had just stuck with one curriculum, any curriculum and forced her to do it… If. If. If.

Sigh. Sometimes the responsibility of home schooling is exhausting.

Okay, enough moaning. We did achieve some stuff today, so I shall choose to focus on that, and maybe by the end of my post I’ll feel a little lighter, and a little more like I’ve achieved something worth talking about. Maybe.

School started as normal at 9. Lillie continued with her photography, researching about the links between illustration, photography and computer generated images. She also began an Art Lab with the littles on scratch art:

Charlotte went round to mum’s to be tested on Latin vocab, before returning to learn her Aeneid passages by heart. I tested her on these and lots of very unfamiliar Latin literary techniques applied to Virgil’s poetry (enjambment and tautology come to mind…)

I read out loud to the littles (Botany, Minimus (Latin) and Science in Ancient Times). We translated a simple Latin passage together and I tested them on their Latin vocab and multiplication tables. They did an art lesson with Lillie and their work books:

During their break, the older girls went for a walk around the park whilst the littles rode their bikes round our front lane:

They all had a quick snack of raisin bread and read their devotions for the day. After the break, Lillie got ready for work and finished off her photography, whilst Charlotte translated a passage of Latin with me and answered some comprehension questions and some grammar questions Latin GCSE style. Meanwhile, the littles finished off their work books, and then planted up some herbs with their daddy:

We picked some salad for lunch:

Then we went back inside to do an experiment from yesterday’s science about sound waves. This was really fascinating, and I’ll blog in more detail in another post, but basically we took the top and bottom off a tin and attached some cling film to one end. The girls covered the film with pepper:

One held the tin over the mouth of the other whilst she sang a low note:

and then a high note:

Both soft and loud. It was so interesting watching the sound waves do their job and make the pepper jump, sometimes manically:

The girls had great fun!

They also did a bit of work in their botanics journal, studying conifers and drawing then writing about them:

Lunch time arrived, and I felt exhausted. I wasn’t sure why, because I didn’t feel like I had been as productive as yesterday at all. And I had a nasty head ache. So after a lunch of salad from the garden and tomatoes and peppers, I went and had a lie down. Lillie went to work, Charlotte relaxed, and the littles went back outside to their bikes. Forty minutes later, I was feeling much better, without a head ache. I had promised myself I would try to organise Charlotte’s functional maths as it has been on my mind. So I quickly did that, and brought up some past papers to see if Charlotte would even have a chance at passing it. Big mistake. Maths anxiety hit me, and has not really gone away since. And I am very strong in maths. I should not be having maths anxiety. I tried out the paper. Hmm. Another mistake. Oh crumbs!

So I changed tack and Abigail prepared to do a MEL science experiment, making rocket fuel! I missed the actual rocket fuel being lit. I got just before and just after, but it was very cool:

Whilst we were busy with that, Becca made a simple trifle all by herself, thoroughly enjoying the squirty cream aspect of it:

Too much fun to be had with squirty cream! Here’s the final trifle:

Charlotte has just left for a tutoring job (she tutors her boss’ daughter in English), Lillie has just returned from work at the nursery, Thomas is on his way home and Gary and Abigail are working in the garden

I’m cooking a leg of lamb that mum bought for Gary and I for Easter (such a treat! I love lamb!), and will be adding all the trimmings of a roast dinner.

I shall be giving myself a good talking to. I do not want tomorrow to be like today anxiety wise. It’s unusual, and I don’t like it!

Have a great night everyone!


  1. This is the time of year for those kinds of anxieties. We all feel them. But out of all of us – I can assure you, you are doing enough. Your days inspire the rest of us to do more, be more, and enjoy more. And your children are beautiful and thriving in life and in the Lord – what more could any of us hope for?

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