It’s no small task to take on educating your children at home. In fact, when i first started, the thoughts scared me half to death! But what happens when you feel like you can’t do it anymore?
Maybe the kids have just been getting to you or you feel like you can’t keep up with the endless cycle of laundry and dishes and meals. Add the load of teaching your kids to the rest of the responsibilities that you carry and sometimes it seems like more than you can bear. I have been there and I understand. DON’T PANIC!! There are some EASY things that you can do to take a load off of yourself and help to ease the feeling of burnout! I want to teach you how to OVERCOME HOMESCHOOL BURNOUT!
Take a Break
When you are overwhelmed and feeling like you just can’t homeschool anymore, the first thing you need to do is give yourself a day off.
As in a COMPLETE day off.
Sometimes you just need a break and that is totally okay. Remember that in public school teachers have ‘in-service’ days where they are able to do things without the kids.
It is totally okay to have an ’emotional health day,’ as I like to call it!
And do you know what?? Your kids will be sure to thank you! I’ve never seen a kid complain for having a day off of school!
Re-Evaluate Your Curriculum
Sometimes burnout can come because you are way too overwhelmed with your curriculum.
As an enthusiastic homeschooling mother, I have been guilty of scheduling WAY too much into our homeschool day.
I love curriculum and I love to teach, so naturally I like to shove way more into a school day than is even feasible.
If you start to get overwhelmed and feel like you are ready to burn out, then it may be a good time to take a step back and reevaluate your curriculum. Remember we want to AVOID homeschool burnout!
Sometimes it is as simple as taking an unnecessary part of your curriculum out of your daily schedule. Or maybe its not pressuring yourself to do EVERYTHING that is suggested in your curriculum! (Sometimes I think the people who design curriculum add in everything they possibly can as an idea for an extra curricular just to make us moms feel guilty! 🙂 No not really, but it feels that way at times!)
After you’ve evaluated, and you feel like you might need to remove some things from your schedule, try pairing down to an alternating schedule. Only do certain subjects on certain days of the week. You might find that just by changing that one thing, your days run smoother and you feel more relaxed. That can definitely help you avoid homeschool burnout.
Talk to Someone About Your Situation
This is one of the single most important things you can do.
Talking it out with someone always makes you feel better! (For that matter, I would love to chat with you if you would like to send me an email!)
It helps to talk to someone because you can get a different perspective and see things in a different light. Someone else may have ideas that you can’t see that would help you make some changes to your homeschool schedule.
You also might find that the person you talk to has been right where you are at. And sometimes that is ALL the encouragement you need.
Knowing you’re not alone makes all the difference sometimes!
Don’t Feel Guilty
Whatever you do, please DO NOT FEEL GUILTY!!
Homeschooling is a HUGE task.
If you’re like most moms, you don’t have a live-in nanny and you are trying to balance family, school, and relationships outside of the home. That can get to be a lot!
Take the pressure off and remember that what you are doing is a worthy task!
For some reason, we moms are very good at making ourselves feel guilty! But I am giving you permission not to!
At the end of the day there is ALWAYS more that could be done then you will be able to do.
Feeling overwhelmed is something most homeschooling moms face so please try not to add the feeling of guilt on top of it!
You can NEVER be all things to ALL people. You just can’t. And that’s OK.
(Of course, it is a good idea to evaluate and make sure that you are really giving it your all. It is tempting to let other things get in the way and let homeschooling slip by. But if you know that you are doing your absolute best, then try not to let guilt creep in and steal your joy!)
Do Something for Yourself
When you homeschool, it takes up most of your time. It’s easy to constantly be giving to everyone else’s needs and forgetting that you also need time to yourself.
Now I’m not an advocate of indulging yourself, but I know that sometimes just a quiet bath or a nice long walk is enough to refresh my soul.
Sometimes you just need to be able to think without somebody needing you. And that’s totally okay!
Do you have a long lost hobby that you used to do before you started homeschooling? Maybe something that has been sitting in the corner collecting dust? Definitely take the time to revisit your old hobbies and spend some time on yourself!
I am also a fan of just taking a minute and doing nothing. That happens so rarely when you are a homeschooling mom. It’s amazing how taking a 15 minute quiet time ALL to yourself is enough to rejuvenate you!
Don’t Compare Yourself
Or your kids, for that matter!
Your kids are unique and come with their own special set of skills and levels. Don’t look at someone else’s kids and think that yours don’t measure up!
Don’t compare yourself to someone else’s middle!
We are all at different paths in our life and it is tempting to look at someone else and think that you don’t measure up. Try to avoid the temptation to think that just because you aren’t doing something that someone else is, you are not doing it right.
Be uniquely you and let your family be who they are as well. By avoiding the comparison trap, you can help yourself not become overwhelmed and hopefully avoid homeschool burnout.
Evaluate Your Schedule
Do you have things in your schedule that could be let go? Are you finding yourself constantly running from homeschool Co-ops to Sports Groups to church events?
If this is the case it will be VERY difficult for you to get much homeschooling done and it will be easy to start feeling like you have homeschool burnout.
Make some adjustments in your schedule.
As I said before, you CANNOT be all things to all people and you may need to graciously bow out of some things that are taking up bits and pieces of your time.
It is much better to be 100% focused on homeschooling than spread yourself so thin over all of your responsibilities and not do anything well.
Also worthy to note is your time spent on social media. For example, it is very tempting to spend time checking into Facebook or pinning on Pinterest and not getting your homeschool responsibilities done. This can cause burn out as well!
Consider a Good Planner
There’s just something about writing things down that helps you feel less burnt out. For some reason, when I’m completely overwhelmed, if I can write things down into a planner, it helps so much.
It’s especially important to plan when you are trying to homeschool. All the ‘hats’ that a homeschool mom wears can easily cause burnout if they aren’t handled correctly.
The Ultimate Homeschool Planner is a great option! Having a good planner will definitely help you avoid homeschool burnout!
Remember to Be a Mom
Your first responsibility is to be a mom! It is very easy to forget that point. (Do you ever find yourself correcting your child’s grammar at the dinner table? 🙂 )
Sometimes you just need to shut the teacher in you off and remember to be a mom again.
Play a game with your kids. Play outside! Do something fun and remember that you are not just a teacher but also their mom!
Find Some Good Educational Things to Watch
There are days when it just warrants putting something good on TV for your kids to watch! And I am giving you permission to not feel guilty! As long as the content is good, it’s okay to put your kids in front of the TV for a bit. You will not ruin them! I promise!
If you have Netflix, then you can find so many good educational documentaries that your kids will enjoy and even learn from.
If you don’t have Neflix, don’t worry! Youtube is also a great resource. If online options aren’t your cup of tea, then check out your local library. Many libraries have TONS of educational DVDs you can check out.
This will give you time either to sit and relax with them or to catch up on some house work that you haven’t been able to get to.
There may be a time when it feels easier to quit than to just keep going. Resist the urge and try some of the practical tips that I have given you to overcome homeschool burnout.
Anything worthwhile is going to be a challenge and challenges can sometimes make you feel like you want to quit.
It will be worth it to keep going!
Remember – This Too, Shall Pass
The season of parenting, although hard, really isn’t for very long.
I know the days get long and hard. There will be a time when you are no longer teaching your kids and you may even find yourself wishing they were back to tug you in every direction! It won’t last forever, so try to enjoy the time that you DO have to teach your kids!
Have you felt homeschool burnout? What have you done to get over it? Are you in need of some encouragement? Comment below and I’d love to help you!