Our family has been homeschooling for three, short years, but even in that amount of time, I have found myself staring at a wall, wondering if I was doing something wrong or if the tug-o-war was worth it.
Homeschool burnout happens to all of us at some time or another. For me, the angry beast reared its head more at the beginning of our homeschool journey while I was trying to figure everything out. I would call Bill at work and ask him to remind me WHY we were homeschooling. Now, as time has passed and I have found my groove, homeschool burnout is less of a problem, but I am completely aware that my mind could turn that way at any time if I am not on guard.
How do I keep homeschool burnout away?
- Defend my mind – Rebuke negative thoughts immediately. Don’t let them take root and fester. Focus on God’s Word. Memorize new Scriptures and place them on index cards on mirrors, the refrigerator, and other strategic locations.
- Defend my schedule – Do not overbook the calendar. Be picky about activities. We stay home more than anyone I know but that is fine with us.
- Grasp reality – Say outloud: I cannot do it all and it is okay. Focus on what needs to be done… REALLY needs to be done… and let the optional activities slip away. Know the different between necessary and not.
What do other homeschooling mothers think about avoiding homeschool burnout?
Advice from the Veterans
Always remember that your identity, purpose, value, significance, and worth come from one place alone — Jesus. When we try to gain those things from anything else, including homeschooling, we’ll burn out fast and find ourselves far from the gospel, struggling to find peace and fulfillment in things that are less than Christ.
Kendra, Preschoolers and Peace
Homeschooling Mom for 16 years
Honestly, you are going to burn out at some point. The key is not to stay there and not to get there often. Know your “why”, dig deeper in the Word, change the scenery, or take a break. Then get back up and start all over again.
Maureen, Spell Outloud
Homeschooling Mom for 10 years
Know when it’s time to take a break. When you start feeling like you’re on the road to burnout, it’s time to stop. Pack a picnic lunch, go to the park or on a local field trip, take a nature walk. The kids need a break as much as you do!
Jennifer, Jennifer A. Janes
Homeschooling mom for 6 years
In some cases it might not be avoidable. But it can be remedied. Keep your focus on the priorities, emphasize relationships over academics, and examine your motives for what you are doing.
Aadel, These Temporary Tents
Homeschooling Mom for 8 years
Regular breaks and routines. Taking impromptu breaks when you can see you need one, not getting caught up in the “have to get this done right now” mentality. Not comparing the way and when you do school to the way others do it. Finding your strength in God’s word!
Amber, Classic Housewife
Homeschooling Mom for 9 years
Whenever I’m starting to feel this way, I choose some very good read alouds and just spend several days reading to my kids while they play, color, etc… It is the best therapy for us — especially reading at the park, Starbucks, or other fun places!
Mary, Homegrown Learners
My biggest tip would be: Know when you need to take a step back and take a break and when you’re approaching burn-out because you’re being lazy and should shoulder on. You have to know which is which for you.
Ticia, Adventures in Mommydom
Advice from the Readers
Mini-trips. Without them I would be going nuts. Also, if something can’t be learned or can be learned more easily by putting the books away, do it. Many children find it easier to learn a concept when they are using it. Not just reading about it.
~ Darlene K
Take a day off once and a while, unplanned! And refresh your self and your children!
Take breaks when needed. If I have errands to run or take the kids to the library then I don’t do book-work/curriculum that day too. I will put on an educational CD or something while we are driving and that is school for the day.
~ Luba V
Tell yourself: “It’s OK if we don’t get it all finished, we can finish it during the summer.” Take a day (or week!) off to discover each other again. Do fun stuff, take picnics, whatever. Watch them play, hug them a lot, play games, rediscover what they enjoy doing.
~ Eunice B
- Overcoming Homeschool Mom Burnout, an article by Kris from Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers (Homeschooling Mom of 10 years)
- Just Take a Nap, an article from Tricia at HodgePodge (Homeschooling Mom of 13 years)
- Just Step Outside, an article from Tricia at Habits for a Happy Home
- Help! I’m Married to a Homeschooling Mom: Showing Dads How to Meet the Needs of Their Homeschooling Wivesby Todd Wilson
- Homeschooling for the Rest of Us by Sonya Haskins
- Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe by Todd Wilson
One of my friends recently said this and I loved it. Just can’t remember who it was…
Relax! Homeschooling is a journey, not a marathon. Take your days one at a time. Cut out the curriculum and just explore together. You will be amazed at how much learning happens from just living and loving together as a family.