I was in a marketing focus group at The Great Homeschool Convention and the first question we were asked was: What excites you most about homeschooling? My answer? Summer vacation! We laughed, but by the end of the school year feeling burned out is something homeschoolers agree on. What about during the rest of the year? Are you on the edge of burnout? Is there anything you can do about it?
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed with life in general and that also applies to your role as a homeschool parent. But there might be signs you are ignoring or accepting too readily.
Are you feeling down or discouraged a majority of the time? I know if I am becoming exhausted or overwhelmed regularly, I start feeling depressed and my exhaustion feels harder to manage.
Tuning Out Life
Are you busy doing work around the house but not taking time to see what your kids are doing with their time? Are you curling up with your favorite social media and tuning out everything around you for longer and longer periods of time?
When we feel burned out, it’s harder to keep up with life in general. Getting behind in your homeschooling could be a real sign of burnout. You might think your kids are slowing down or wasting time when in reality you may be the one slowing down from burning the candle on both ends.
Stop and Consider
If any of these signs sound familiar, take a few minutes and consider what may be wearing you out in your homeschooling. For me the past couple of weeks, it’s been driving the kids to a lot of different places. We started soccer on Saturdays and we have to get up early and then be out the door by 8:15. I’m feeling tired out. Getting back into a routine after time off from school is tiring for me personally. Add into that everything I have to do to get my kids back into their routines, and my blood pressure rises just thinking about it.
Instead of dragging my feet around the house all week moaning about how burned out I am, I need to do something to deal with that homeschool- life fatigue. If I can pin point one area that is draining me (like soccer on the weekend) then maybe I can do something about it.
List of Ideas
Take out a piece of paper or your notes app on your phone and make a list of practical ideas to combat your own burnout. Here are a few things I like to do: go for extra walks or bike rides, leave the house on my own, take a closer look at my kids’ homeschool work to see how they are progressing, maximize the time outside of the home taking the kids to activities by checking off a few errands, slow down and rest more for a day, write in my journal, establish a routine to follow each day in homeschooling.
Remember YOU are what is making your homeschooling happen. Without YOU the kids will have to be educated elsewhere. Take care of yourself. Refresh yourself regularly to make sure you can keep meeting your goal to educate your children at home. As always, if you find that practical ideas are not helping, talk with your doctor to rule out any physical or mental health issues. Find another homeschooling parent and check in with each other to make sure you’re both still hanging in there. Rise from the ashes!
Looking for more inspiration to fight burnout? Check out: https://celebratekids.com/blog
There are also great resources for homeschool support groups at Homeschool Facts.
Sarah Brutovski is a homeschool mom of three children. She grew up just down the street from where she and her husband are raising their family now in rural Upstate New York. When she is not teaching her kids, grocery shopping, or drinking coffee you might find her training for a half marathon, escaping for a morning at the beach, or chatting on the phone with one of her four siblings. Sarah loves writing on her blog sarahswritingcafe.blogspot.com and currently teaches creative writing at her kids’ weekly co-op.