There is a point usually found in the dark of the mid-winter when homeschool moms finally run out of steam. Homeschool burnout can hit any time of the year.
It happens to every homeschool mom at some point. Discover how to prepare and overcome when you hit a wall and experience homeschooling burnout.
The days are cold and dark, and everyone has been cooped up in the house for too long. The fun of the winter holidays have passed, and we are ready for spring. The school days seem long with no end in sight.
The mid-winter homeschool blues strike and you have a case of homeschool burn-out. As a veteran homeschool mom, let me share with you how to overcome homeschool burnout.
#1 Homeschool Burn Out is Normal
When it hits you, you might feel all alone. You might be ashamed to admit that you are fed up with your cherubs and dream of sending them off to public school. Even great homeschool moms struggle with homeschool burnout from time to time.
You may have worked so hard to convince your husband to homeschool, that you are afraid to admit your fears and doubts to him. You might wonder why you decided to homeschool in the first place.
You are not alone. Just about every homeschool mom I know has hit a wall homeschooling and has wondered about quitting.
Homeschooling is hard – it confronts your children’s sins and your sin. Satan wants you to stop homeschooling and wants you to doubt.
Homeschool burnout can hit at any time, but it seems like February is a prime month. Being prepared can help you make it through.
#2 Combat Homeschooling Burnout with Sabbath Time
Homeschooling moms are busy. We are usually schooling more than one student, involved in church, running our household, and possibly even leading and volunteering for other organizations.
Homeschooling moms are the ones that are willing to go against cultural norms because they are passionate about making a difference. Sometimes our plates are just too full with all of the good things that we are doing.
We need Sabbath. We need to rest. Not just a few minutes here or there or an evening off. You need to rest.
When you hit a wall, it is okay to take a week off – even two weeks off – and spend some time resting. Stay in bed and indulge in television for the day.
Most homeschoolers I know have created a lifestyle of learning so missing a few days or weeks in the winter – will still have your kids out of school before the public school kids.
#3 Beat Homeschool Burnout with Fun
All work and no play makes Jack and a dull boy. Guess what? All work and no play makes our life dull as well.
- Are you getting play in your day? Your kids need it and so do you.
- Take time to stop and play a game with your child.
- Bundle up and go outside for a walk.
- Do something silly and laugh.
- Play hooky for the day and watch a silly movie or show.
Think about ways that you can bring more fun into your school day. Can a board game be the reward for school work getting done?
Can some silliness be added to one of the subjects? What fun homeschool recess ideas could you add?
#4 Best Homeschool Stress by Practicing Self-Care
Homeschool burnout seems to hit the hardest in the depths of winter. I do not like the cold and dark of winter. Dealing with a third-quarter slump in motivation for you, and your kids, is normal.
Last year, I treated myself with a SAD light. Amazing! The light just makes me feel happier and more energetic.
Also, I make sure that I am getting adequate vitamin D and magnesium. Research natural ways to increase your mood and make sure that you are nurturing your body.
Invest in some quality lotion for your dry feet and hands. Warm up in a warm bath.
These are not indulgences but investments in keeping your school’s star teacher at the top of her game. Your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health have a profound impact on the culture of your home.
Taking the measures necessary to nurture each one of these aspects of your health not only blesses you but your entire family.
#5 Too Much Homeschool Stess, Draw Near to God
When we feel alone, when we feel lost, when we have lost sight of our call – we need to draw near to God. Let the kids gorge on the television for the day, and allow yourself to get lost in studying God’s word.
Speak freely to God about your fears and doubts. Ask Him to renew your calling. Ultimately it is in God that our hearts find true rest and renewal.
Ask God to remind you of why you were called to homeschooling. Then, write it down. Create your homeschooling mission statement.
When the blues come back to visit again, you will be prepared with a reminder of your purpose and calling. It can be easy to focus on the things that are going wrong, instead take the time to list all of the blessings that you and your family have experienced because of homeschooling.
Count your blessings. Name them.
#6 Beat Homeschool Stress with Music
Did you start to sing the line of that hymn? Break the silence of winter with some music.
Turn on the worship music and sing to God. Turn on Christian music that inspires you and lifts your spirit.
I also like to add some summer music to our listening line-up. Some music that makes me think of the Caribbean or the beach.
Who doesn’t need a beach party in the middle of winter? Dance with your children and have some fun.
There is actually scientific reasons for why this changes your stress level. Movement like dancing and singing stimulate our vagus nerve and help us regain emotional equilibrium when we are overwhelmed.
So when the stress of homeschooling has you overwhelmed and ready to quit, turn on some music and have a praise session or a dance party.
#7 Minimalist Homeschooling
Sometimes we suffer from homeschool burnout and homeschool stress because we are trying to DO ALL THE THINGS.
As homeschool moms, we want to do the best that we can for our children. We struggle with trying to measure up to what we think that the public school offers our children?
Are you trying to fit in a dozen subjects a day? Are you trying to keep the house spotless at all times? Are you trying to come up with the best activities to do each day?
Some days you just need to do the essentials things. On your list of a dozen things that need to be done, what has to be done?
For us, on tough days, perhaps a math lesson and some free reading are all that get accomplished on our traditional school checklist. If that is all we can muster for the day, it is still a homeschooling win.
A wonderful secret of homeschooling is that it is a lifestyle and a long-game. We aren’t just checking off the hours, we are trying to cultivate a lifestyle learning.
If you cultivate a learning environment, then on days that you don’t feel like teaching, your kids will learn on their own. Learning doesn’t have to come from a textbook.
It can come from observing nature. It can come from making lunch. It can come from being bored.
When you have a serious case of homeschool mom burnout, let the kids teach themselves. Kids learn best when the interest is self-led anyway!
Push Past Homeschool Burnout
Homeschooling is hard. Some seasons will be easier, and some will be harder. Stick it out through all the seasons.
Reach out to other homeschooling mamas for strength and encouragement on the journey. You are not alone.
Finally, don’t make any big decision in February. It is a short month and will pass. Spring will come, and you will be glad you stuck it out.
Homeschool mama, you are answering a call from God. God gave you the stewardship of your children.
You don’t have to be the perfect mom. You don’t have to be the smartest or most creative mom.
You don’t have to be the perfect homeschool mom. You just need to be a faithful mom.
The voice behind FaithfulMotherhood.com is Jyn. She is a veteran homeschool mom of three. More than just a pastor’s wife, she holds a Master of Divinity degree and has served in church leadership for over 20 years. Her passion is equipping parents to live out their calling as the number one faith influencer for their children. She longs to see moms empowered by God’s Word and transferring that love to their children through daily Bible study and family devotions.