Homeschool burnout is sometimes inevitable. And it’s not just part of the mid-year slump. It can hit at any time.
I tend to burnout just a few weeks into the school year after our schedule has changed and we are getting back into a routine.
January is generally a difficult time as most are recuperating from the holidays and battling “cabin fever” with colder days and less sunlight.
And then there’s May, and you can literally smell the ocean and feel the sand in your toes. Is it just me or does it seem like May has 63 days?
But here is what I want to tell you: take a deep breath. You can do this.
Homeschool burnout can be conquered!
There are many ways to deal with these feelings, but today I am going to focus on just three concepts: simplifying, focusing, and incorporating.
Simplifying Your Homeschool
Burnout can be used when referring to physical aspects. Your body can be tired. But it’s often also used in a mental or emotional sense. Either way, it needs to be addressed by letting your body, mind and heart rest.
I have a confession: I am in the trenches of homeschool burnout. So this post is just as much for me and you! And how we are dealing with is by narrowing down and focusing on just a few subjects a day, and getting back to the basics. For example, by this time in the year our routines are all over the place (as well as our bedtimes and wake up times) and I’ve seen the need to get back to basic habits. By focusing on the fundamentals you can once again build on a firm, sturdy foundation.
Can you simplify your curriculum? Can you shorten your homeschool days?
Sometimes we’ve been so busy with projects and units that things become complicated and we forget the beauty in “the basic”. Maybe for a few weeks you can simplify things to the necessary and use your extra time and energy for something inspiring or rejuvenating (which we will discuss soon!)
One mom shared with me this week that she’s been choosing just 2 to 3 things to focus on accomplishing each week, and working around those. This way she doesn’t feel like a failure for checking off six things a day, five days a week but can rejoice over the milestones she’s reaching.
And this really helps when you battle an “all or nothing” approach, like I myself have. I can find myself throwing in the towel completely when facing a “giant” day. But if I could tell myself to focus on the two most important things I needed to get done that day, progress would be coming along.
Focusing on Your Homeschool Mission
One thing I’ve noticed is that as time goes on we can sometimes start to follow so many rabbit trails, or take on more and more in our daily routine.
Focusing on your homeschool mission statement can help you to weed out anything unnecessary that isn’t helping you reach your final goals. It’s also a way of simplifying itself.
My mission is not a list of academics or curriculum to check off. It’s a list of principles and qualities I want my children to have. So recently I’ve had to switch up our curriculum and our routines to better reflect where I want us to be by June.
Incorporate Exciting Things
Just yesterday I was speaking with a homeschooling mother who mentioned that she’s been going through burnout really bad. But instead of giving up and giving in she’s recreated a pretty fun routine that made me rethink my lesson plans as well. So along with simplifying here’s what she’s been up to:
- Field trips
- Educational Documentaries and Movies
- Art Projects
Seems simple, right? Because it is!
Ignite a love of learning again. Focus on experiences. Focus on relationship building.
Perhaps your burnout can be because you’ve spent so much time focusing on teaching the curriculum rather than teaching the child. Finding enjoyable activities and spending time together can be just what you need to remind yourself of why you started homeschooling in the first place.
Well, my friends, those are just three things that I am planning on using myself to “rev our engines” again.
But homeschool burnout can sometimes stem from a variety of issues and complications.
If you find that you need more advice than in this post, we have just the thing for you.
iHomeschool Network has published a new book: Homeschooling When You Want To Quit
This book has over 250 pages and 56 chapter of uplifting, but not sugar coated, practical help for many different reasons you might want to quit homeschooling. To see the full list of chapters, see the Table of Contents here.