Avoiding Homeschool Cabin Fever
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By Beverly S. Krueger
Twenty years ago, our first permanent duty station was far north
in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. A place we didnít know
existed until the Air Force sent us there. We were there three years.
During that time we actually watched 4th of July fireworks as it
snowed and one winter had over 200 inches of snow. That would be
the year my husband decided we could handle clearing the drive ourselves
without the assistance of a plow.
Arriving at KI Sawyer AFB in the middle of the summer along with
many others in the annual summer base swap, we listened to veteranís
advice to get involved in some type of activities outside our homes.
Most wives took the advice to heart. Others didnít. When winter
came far too early and stayed far too long, the realities of cabin
fever became starkly clear when one of the newbies required hospitalization.
Sheíd not felt like she fit in with the other wives primarily
for socioeconomic reasons. Not that any of the other butter bar
lieutenantís wives were economically better off, she just thought
of herself as coming from a different social milieu, and by choice,
segregated herself from many of the other routine get-togethers.
Homeschoolers, especially those just starting out, can find themselves
removed from their normal routines. No more short chats while waiting
to pick up kids at school. Those who quit work to stay home with
their kids find their routines even more dramatically changed. Often
in the beginning, thereís a tendency to put your familyís
nose to the grind stone only to find after several weeks that everyone
is emotionally exhausted.
Reaching out and finding support from other homeschoolers is important
for beginners and veterans. Beginners need to hear that what they
are experiencing is very normal, if itís not, then they need
to know there is a place they can get help. Veterans need to be
available to help others, just as they received help when they first
started. One year of homeschooling kindergarten makes you a homeschool
kindergarten veteran. Donít be fooled into thinking that you
wonít have something to offer if you only have one or two years
of experience. Itís amazing how helping answer someone elseís
questions can help you reaffirm your own reasons for homeschooling.
Even veterans need help from time to time. Itís easy to lose
perspective when you are right on top of a difficult situation.
Sharing with others may bring new ideas or remind you of old ideas
lost in the struggle. The Word says of our Christian walk that we
are not to forsake our assembling together. Homeschooling is an
extension of our walk with Christ if we are called by Him to teach
our children at home. Donít forego the wonderful fellowship
available in your local support group.
To look for a support group in your area, visit our EHO Support
section. By following the links listed for your state, you can
find many additional groups that are not listed at EHO
Copyright © 2001 Eclectic Homeschool Association