I’m always super excited for the start of the school year and my kids are too. But by the time the holiday season rolls around, we are all a little tired. The kids get grumpy and complain that they have So Much To Do! I get grumpy and do not have the patience that I had earlier in the year. We tend to do less fun activities and more of the daily grind. It gets boring and we are all a little worn out.
This is what I call end-of-semester burnout. But, if your schedule is anything like ours, you still have several weeks to go before winter break. School has to happen during this time unless we are all stricken with a plague-like illness.
When I’m feeling burned out or my kids are, we like to employ these creative ways to beat burnout:
Make School 3D
You know how 3D things are so much cooler than 2D things? It is that way in school as well. How can you make school 3D? It’s easy when you think outside the box. Maybe your kids can answer their spelling words while jump roping. Maybe you can allow your kids to shoot darts at the correct answers for their math test. Maybe instead of doing a textbook science lesson you allow your child to experiment with different rising agents in the kitchen. Maybe you go on a field trip to explore how a farm works or what a real scientist does in a day.
With a little creative thinking, it is easy to make school fun again by making it 3D.
Try A Different Schedule
If you always do school in the same order every day, switch it up for a week or two. Maybe just focus on one subject where your students are struggling the most for a week or so. This can help bring them back to the right level and will prevent them from feeling overwhelmed with too much work. A student who is near the end of a book may feel encouraged by finishing the book before the next holiday break. Maybe you can do all school lessons in three days and have the other two days for creative endeavors.
Switching things up can really help prevent burnout for all kids.
Get Enough Mom Time
If you are always in teacher mode, it can get exhausting. Allow yourself time to not only just be a parent, but also to be an adult. I feel so much more refreshed when I take the occasional trip out to the grocery store alone or hang out with a friend or my husband without kids. Some days, if I know my kids are feeling attention-starved, we focus on bonding and do minimal school, or some days even no school. Just today we had a “life lessons day” where we all worked together to clean up the house and switch out our summer clothes for fall clothes (it gets cool quite late in Texas).
It doesn’t take a lot to prevent seasonal burnout. A little creative thinking is all you need. If I’m feeling particularly stumped, I always know I can find something clever on Pinterest.
Need more ideas for beating burnout? Find 8 ways to defeat common reasons for burnout here!