Even homeschooling supermoms have times when they don’t love homeschooling. There are days when everything seems to be going wrong. There’s little joy and little fun in your day. We’ve all been there. I’ve definitely experienced homeschool burnout, and might have even felt that way today! It seems when homeschool burnout starts to happen, it goes downhill really fast. So how can you avoid it? And how can you get out when you’re deep in the midst of homeschool burnout?
1- Take a Break.
One of the great thing about homeschooling is that you don’t have a strict schedule. Even if you’re doing hybrid homeschooling like we are, there’s more space for flexibility. We often have light days on Friday, or are able to shift some things around in order to take a break on Fridays. Sometimes, even if we do have a light day on Fridays, we still do all our regular chores, and extra items like piano and reading. However, it’s sometimes best to just take the day completely off. Head to the beach, go to a park, or even have a tv day! If you feel like you’re in the midst of homeschool burnout or that you’re close, treat yourself with a complete day off.
This is something that’s not easy for me. I like to feel like every day is productive. But with that mindset, it’s hard to really enjoy relaxing. As with most things, the more you do it, the easier it will be. Taking a day off will help avoid homeschool burnout and help you recover from it.
2- Switch up some curriculum.
In addition to the required and core subjects like math and reading, I add in some other curriculum like handwriting and spelling in various grades that don’t require it. We also do test prep, music lessons, and art history. When that homeschool slump is setting in, making some minor changes in curriculum can really add some new life into your home.
Even if you don’t want to change your curriculum entirely, you can add in some other elements for new vitality. What about physical education in the backyard? You could start a soccer lesson where you play that sport for a few hours a week. Or how about a new art lesson? There are so many free videos on YouTube where you can practice a painting and learn some great new techniques!
3- Let some things go.
We all have things that we want to be perfectionists at. Some of us have many, many things, or maybe even all the things. If you’re a Type A personality, this might be you. But when you’re a homeschooling Mom, and particularly if you have a lot of kids, there will be some things you just can’t do perfectly all the time. Maybe it’s your oldest’s handwriting that just doesn’t seem to improve. Perhaps your middle child just really hates the violin lessons you keep forcing. Maybe your youngest just won’t seem to give up sucking her thumb. In the words of Elsa, just let it go!
We can’t be perfect at everything, and neither can our kids. When we are homeschooling Moms, it seems like we need to be on top of every part of our children’s lives all at once. How’s their social life going? Academics? Sports? Arts? But when homeschool burnout is creeping in, you need to step back and think about which of these can go. Not every child needs to excel at music, or even math. We are all gifted differently. Figure out what’s not necessary, and just let. it. go.
4- Call in reinforcements.
Homeschooling moms, and dads as well, have a feeling that they need to do it all on their own. They need to be perfect educators, chefs, coaches, and social directors. Many homeschooling parents also work outside the home, or work from home as well. During the midst of homeschooling, many women have more babies and go through major medical events. Through all of this, we still often feel like we need to do it all on our own. But when you really think of all the different jobs you have in your home, doesn’t that seem crazy?
What are some areas where you can get some help? Have you ever considered a house cleaning service? What about tutoring for that child who’s just stuck on a certain math topic? Is there another parent you could carpool with for the theater lessons or dance lessons? If you really think about it, there are some ways you can enlist help for every budget. This is really key in avoiding homeschool burnout.
5- Find your community.
Sometimes I feel like I’m just too busy to hang out with friends. I feel like I just have too much to do to meet someone for coffee or go to that get together. But nearly 99% of the time, I feel so much better and happier when I do. Even when I do have a really busy day and I get less done than I hoped because I spent time with friends, it’s a better day.
When you’re feeling homeschool burnout, find your community! No matter what type of homeschool Mom you are, you can find your people. If you have a church home, this is a great place to start. Reach out to others and see if anyone else is homeschooling. You might be surprised with what you find! Check out local science or art classes at museums during the day. These are geared for homeschoolers and you might find some great new friends as well!
Community is important for all of us. Homeschooling is no different. It can be lonely and it can be difficult. The days are long and the years are short. Homeschool burnout happens to all of us. We move forward, find new sources of energy, and connect with others. Happy homeschooling!