Battling Homeschool Burnout

If you’ve experienced one or more of these symptoms, you may be battling Homeschool Burnout!

  1. It’s nighttime and you’re finally laying your head down to sleep. You find this is the first opportunity you’ve had all day to wipe the sleep from your eyes. From the previous night.
  2. Within the last week you have, at least once, blurted out a threat to send your children to school.
  3. Your house is starting to feel like Alcatraz; “Let me outta here!” feelings are bubbling up.
  4. After three or more days of not brushing your hair, you realize that dreads are forming.

As May creeps into June, homeschoolers all over are probably feeling many of the same pressures of school teachers. The school year is almost out and I still need to teach this, this and that and my kids just want to be outside. I have been thinking about this a lot the last few weeks as I’ve faced my own burnout. I will share with you my thoughts and some tips I have thought of to help.

Turn it to the kids. Sit down and have a discussion. We have six more weeks left of school, what would you like to accomplish? Then hope and pray it’s not ‘dissect a hissing cockroach’.

Go outside. We all know now that movement enhances learning. Kids and parents in Northern areas, having been cooped up much of the winter, need to get outside and play. If my kids run outside after breakfast and start playing a game they made up with tennis balls, a tape measure and lacrosse sticks, I would have to be an insane person to make them come in and do math at the table. They need this. I need this. While they are playing, I start planting and they later join to help. What about planting seeds ¼ inch thick, 2 inches apart, in rows 3 feet apart does NOT involve math?

Search for what brings you joy and do it. Even if it’s 10 minutes a day, do what you love. Be it dancing, playing a musical instrument, meditating, or whatever, you must find the time to make your heart sing.

Try theOne Small Thing Rulewhen it comes to housework. Obviously, when you have a houseful of children, who do not leave for school every day, housework can be a pretty overwhelming prospect. Just getting the basics done is often challenging. So when spring rolls around and all these projects you want to get done come to mind, frustration can often set in when reality hits – there is only so much time in the day. So I like to try and do “one small thing” each day. Not including the bare basics you have to do. It’s more like something a little special. Even if it’s just cleaning out the crack in the kitchen table, a 45-second, extremely satisfying experience. It may not seem like much, but you took a little effort and made your home a little nicer. That’s a good feeling.

Take a break from improving. Parents are notorious for this and homeschoolers are just as guilty. Every day, week to week, most of us are asking, “What can I do to improve my parenting and teaching skills? ” or “What can I do to make the homeschool better?” Try to relax a bit; know that you’ve worked hard and will continue to do so, but that you don’t need to keep up with the latest and greatest next new thing, and your kids will be fine. In a TED Talks video here, titled “For Parents, Happiness is a Very High Bar”, there is a compelling argument for parents to lighten up a bit and go easy on themselves.

Have you ever experienced Homeschool Burnout? What helped you get through?

 

Mary Thibodeau-Gagnon

About Mary Thibodeau-Gagnon

Mary homeschools her two sons in a rural area of Maine, while her daughter goes to school. She strives to meet the needs of all her kids while maintaining her sanity.