I shared parts of this article with out homeschool group and I will add the suggestions that other mom’s have made. Their suggestions will be in italics! I have edited it as the rest of the world does not knowÂ the people who might be mentioned!
BURNOUT, words that hit home schooling moms where it hurts. Burnout happens for a number of reasons. I think the biggest reason forÂ burnout isÂ homeschool moms are holding 2-4 full time jobs andÂ non-homeschool people doÂ not realize this.
I mean, really; if you were in a building (notÂ Â your home) and taught other people’s children for the amount of time you teach yours it would be a full time job! We as homeschool moms do that, work in our churches, keep our homes up and often nurture parents or children with health issues. Many times homeschool mom’s have a cottage industry that enables them to stay home in the first place. So it is no wonder that we burn out in the job that we have the most passion about! Then top this off with friends and family that think that because you stay home you have time for their special projects! Yes, we love to help our families and friends but we also need to practice saying one little word “no” topped off with “I am sorry, but I just can’t add anything to my plate right now”!
I have been really familiar with burnout. I hope that these things will help you, and it will remind me what I have learned through the on again off again homeschooling years.Â We have schooled our children through public, private, and homeschooling methods. I have been a stay home mom, a paycheck mom, a home school mom and just about everything in between!
I seem to hit burnout when the kids transition from the fun times of Elementary to the more strenuous Â curriculum of Middle and High school. When my students no longer think I am like the pied piper or the tooth fairy! When â€œMomâ€ is no longer the preferred person and becomes the person to question as â€œMomâ€ can and does make mistakes. Also guess what! She no longer knows all of the answers to all of their questions or even how to help them with their Math (yes, in my life Math gets a capital letter)!Â This is normal and a natural part of them fledging into secure adults. We really wouldn’t want them to not question everything someone tells them! So they have to practice with us. :0)
Â So here is my list.
GetÂ your rest! Get regular sleep.Â
Enlist the troops to help clean and maintain and cook.Â
Lighten the load and make them responsible for their school work. As they get older take that monkey off of your back and share it with your kids! :0)Â
Take Mental health days (that is what regular classroom teachers call a day off from teaching) otherwise known as time off for Mom.
Â Donâ€™t over schedule your time. Sure everything sounds great and looks great on paper but might not be good in real time.Â Plan for the car to break down and what about lunch times or traffic jams.
Â Do things for you! Read, take a Bible study class, exercise. In other words do something besides eat, breathe and think home school!Â
Shake things up! If you are normally a really scheduled person, then unscheduled yourself for a couple of days, IF you are a unscheduled person tighten up the schedule aÂ little. Do school somewhere else in the house, on the patio,Â at a park, or at the library! Have school in your pajamas or in yourÂ clothes if you normally do school in your pjâ€™s! lolÂ
If one subject is your struggle then delegate it to someone else, find a tutor, trade off babysitting and let someone else teach THAT class that you doesnâ€™t light your fire.Â
If all of the classes are an issue with one student or even several in your house then check for learning glitches. Hidden learning issues, like dysgraphia, ADD,Â dyslexia, discalcula, and other learning problems can cause serious problems in your homeschool. These learning problems can beÂ overcome or worked with to help your child succeed.Â
Â Get your kids eyes and ears checked!Â Â Â
Most of all Spend time with God and listen to your husband. They will tell you when you are over scheduling your life.Â
Before you toss your Bob Jones or Abeka curriculum for something less structured like Lap books or learning games. Remember that you can cut up the books and use the parts for your lap books and posters. There is good information in them!
Start a new curriculum right at the end of the year. (I do use this strategy. I find that it brings enough of the fun back to learning especially when co-op classes are finished but the other classes are not!)
Date your husband passionately! (Suggestion fromÂ L.S.Â Thanks L.S.)Â
I hope that this helps you. I know that writing it down has helped me greatly!
Now I just need to put this somewhere I can find it when I hit burnout! LOL
Have a great home school day and may the end of the year find you excited and interested in what you are doing!