For those who remember my stress-filled e-mail a few weeks ago, teary, at the end of my rope, trying to figure out whether I could continue homeschooling and still... ya know... survive?...
The biggest issues was, I needed regular breaks. Being Mommy, Teacher, Therapist, and Warden 24/5 with no support was pushing me over the edge. Sometimes, no matter how much you love them, you just need a break. Babysitters these days are cost-prohibitive, I wasn't willing to put them in school, and faking my death and running away (while tempting), didn't seem the best solution, long-term.
So for now... I'm following in the footsteps of a friend of mine. She doesn't homeschool, but has some very difficult children with similar issues to mine. She's found relief (and fun for the kids) by enrolling them at the local boys and girls club. They do a myriad of activities there - sports, art, table games, board games, computers, reading, homework help. For a VERY small yearly fee, the kids can go every afternoon for a few hours, have a great time with friends (Hallie ran into several people she knew from her brief stint in public school), and I get to go shopping, alone... take a bath, alone... clean the house, alone... read, alone. Meet a friend for a hike or movie or coffee... without the kids sabotaging or interrupting. It's been exactly what we needed, for right now. (Bonus, the club serves both a snack and a hot meal each day - saving me on that effort and expense, too!)
It's been a huge help for my outlook.
In other news, the kids did round one of their required standardized testing for homeschooling today. It was actually pretty painless! 2 more subjects to go!