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Catholic Homeschool Articles, Advice & Resources

Homeschoolers: Use These Simple Remedies if You Feel Overwhelmed


Seton Guidance Counselor Nick Marmalejo has this homeschool advice. When a problem arises, it’s okay to ask for help but especially when you’re overwhelmed.

On HGTV several years ago, there was a show called “Over Your Head” with contractor Eric Stromer.

The show detailed the lives of ambitious homeowners who took on difficult do-it-yourself projects only to find themselves overwhelmed and the work more than they could bear. In the case of a couple, one or both spouses would call Mr. Stromer to the rescue. He would show up, jovially inspect the work, and then complete the project correctly, leaving the homeowners happy and the home in glistening condition.

When it comes to homeschooling, the above scenario may sound disturbingly familiar. Many of us are excited to begin our homeschooling year, but part of the way in, we start to think, “I’m in over my head!”

Our efforts may seem small or endlessly beleaguered by the vagaries of life, while the work ahead looks daunting. In such moments, there is no Mr. Stromer to remedy the situation, but if you are a Seton homeschooler, reinforcements are available.

Seton has the “Overwhelmed” Solution

One primary advantage of being in Seton Home Study School is the support system that is built into the program. When you encounter a problem, you simply need to call or email for help. You are not putting us out—we are not too busy to assist you with your problem. Seton is here to help you every day, every step of the way, even if the phones are ringing off the hook.

Yet it is up to us as individuals to make progress in homeschooling. When encountering what I often call, the “sense of overwhelm,” here is one strategy that will help keep your school year moving forward.

Remember that so often it is slow—not fast—that wins the race. It is frequently better to make small but continual steps and finish than try to make giant leaps with no progress at all. Frankly, giant leaps are hard to sustain, and zero progress is demoralizing.

Just yesterday, I was reminded of this lesson when faced with the formidable task of moving a stack of gigantic wood slabs across my property. A large chunk of my Elm tree had fallen, and I had it sawn into lumber for future projects.

I sat, staring gloomily at the pile while listening to thunder approaching in the distance. No help is coming, I thought. I remembered the words of an old carpenter, who talked about how he moved logs by himself:

“Inch by inch, a little a time. With great patience, you can accomplish much more than you thought possible.”

After a considerable amount of effort, I did indeed move those log slabs. It was hard work, but took much less time than I thought, even though I had taken the inch-by-inch approach.

The same is true of homeschooling. When a problem arises, it is not the end of our success, but the beginning of a solution. We can work through and overcome obstacles, even if it means making only slow but gradual progress.

On the homestead or in the homeschool, great strides can be made if we can remember that sometimes it’s okay to go slow.

About Nick Marmalejo

Nick Marmalejo
Nick Marmalejo, a history major, graduated from Christendom College in 2001. He holds a Virginia Teacher Certification and lives in the Shenandoah Valley with his wife and three children.

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