Homeschool burnout hit’s us all, and drain’s us of energy and motivation.
You know the drill as well as I do. The days when your feet hit the floor and everything goes wrong!
You knew there was too much to do today, even before you went to bed last night. But somehow you thought you would survive it and stayed up late watching your favorite YouTube channel because everyone needs some downtime. Now you can barely drag your feet out of bed as the snooze goes off for the 3rd time.
Frenetic Crazy Days = Homeschool Burnout
You need to get the kids going on their school work but you have 50 million things running through your head. Rushing through breakfast you throw on a load of laundry and get little Jonny started on math practice while Suzy does her reading.
You are barely through the manipulative math exercises when the phone rings and Mrs. Siller is asking if you would be willing to decorate the church for the upcoming Mother’s Day banquet. Of course, you agree as any good church member should ( sarcasm dripping, sorry). You get off the phone as quickly as possible to get back to schooling.
In the meantime, Jonny has gone outside to play on the swings and Suzie, done her reading, got distracted by the video games on your i-pad as Lauren and Sammy your toddlers decided to do some unsupervised baking!
You round the kids up again and give Suzie her reading comprehension worksheet while you quickly finish up math with Jonny. You give Susan her spelling test and remember that you promised to bring a casserole over for Marissa’s family as she just got back from the hospital with a brand new baby. And so the day goes until it’s barely over and you are left feeling frazzled, overwhelmed and ready to quit.
Homeschool burnout has begun:(
It’s time to take a step back. Breathe. This frenetic pace can’t go on. It will cost you health and relationships. It’s not sustainable!
But there is so much to do . . . it’s overwhelming! How do we get it all done and keep people happy if we don’t keep up with the pace?
Simple answer: We don’t get it all done. We can’t!
You are one person with 24 hours in your day. Homeschooling Moms are working Moms. It’s true. As a homeschooling mother, you have a lot on your plate. There is much to organize, plan and do.
Pace yourself. It’s the only way to avoid homeschool burnout!
5 Steps to Avoid Homeschool Burnout:
Step 1: A well-rested person is a more productive person
Go to Bed Early! Don’t stay up late watching your favorite shows or researching for your next lesson block. If you know your baby needs to be fed in the middle of the night or your toddlers will be waking you up at 6:00 am then do yourself a favor and go to bed early!
It’s impossible to function at full capacity over time with less and less sleep!
Change your Bedtime Routine:
Make sleep a priority and you’ll get more done. Turn off the screens after 9:00 pm. Spend some time relaxing; how about a hot bath, a cup of serenity tea, a leisurely read or a good talk with your husband:)
Be in bed by 10:00 pm or even earlier if you have young children and babies who interrupt your sleep.
Believe me, mama, just this one step alone will transform your homeschool. I promise!
Step 2: Goal setting brings focus and clarity to your days
Take some time every three months to sit down and set goals for your homeschool. Follow these guidelines. Most goal setting starts out strong and ends up being a big fat waste of time as our goals wind up forgotten and half started.
Here’s how you can avoid that.
- Pick 3 goals for your homeschool for the next three months. Only three, less is more here.
- Make sure your goals are specific and actionable.( eg Help Suzan get better at Math. – not actionable Spend ten minutes daily working with Susan on her 3, 6 and 9 times tables. – very specific and actionable.)
- Think of 2-3 action steps you need to take in order to accomplish those three goals.
- Write them down.
- Print out your goals, with their action steps, in large letters on cardstock.
- Pin where you will see them every day. Remember out of sight is out of mind. You don’t want them out of sight!
- Focus on one or two at a time.
Goal setting will bring clarity and razor sharp focus to your homeschool, enabling you to get more done.
Step 3: Learn to say “no” and get more done:)
There are people who will think because you’re at home all day you must have free time in truck loads. The truth is you don’t and if you do you’re probably not treating homeschool like a job. Your homeschool is a job mama, and you’re a working mother. You have permission to say “no”.
If you struggle to say “no” and end up overloaded and stressed, you are in danger of ruining not only your homeschool but also your relationships with your kids and your husband.
How many of us are super sweet when we feel stressed? Not very many, right:)
You must train yourself to say no. Goal setting can be a big help with this. It gives us the clarity we need to say no to the things that don’t line up with our focus. That doesn’t mean we never help others out. It just means we narrow the scope of what we say yes to.
Step 4: Simplify your Schedule
I prefer the term rhythm. I have a certain order that things get done every day, but we don’t set times and time limits for those items. Some things will be accomplished more quickly one day and take much longer the next. The problem with rigid schedules is that it doesn’t allow for the reality of homeschool life. A schedule is inflexible.
- Take an honest look at your daily rhythm. Is it overwhelming for you or your child?
- Write down everything you need to do on a school day. Be sure to include the action for your goals.
- Is it too much, or is it just right. Have you left room for downtime? Time to just let the kids play, time for walks, talks and family games? If your day is back to back activity it’s too much.
- Look at your goals again and cut out the unnecessary. Cut out the things that do not align with your purpose and values.
Step 5: If you are overwhelmed, get help!
Help can come in many different forms. It doesn’t all have to be on Mama.
- Do you have a subject that you are weak in? Can you get a good tutor?
- How about a mother’s helper? Someone who comes in for maybe an hour to read, play with the toddlers and gets a snack together, while you work with the older ones?
If you are on a tight budget and these are not an option there are some other things you can do.
- If you have toddlers and struggle to get the schoolwork done, click here to sign up to get my free 5 tools to Homeschool Success with Toddlers.
- Let your beginner reader read a page or two to Daddy in the evenings, or to an older child or grandparent while you get supper. Nobody around to hear your child read? Have you tried phone schooling? We don’t live close to family so there have been times when my children have phoned Grandma to read to her over the phone. She has also read them stories. What about Skype. Think outside the box a bit here.
- Involve your kids in chores! Start training them to help out from a young age and do not pay them for this! Paying them to help around the house simply trains them not to do anything without compensation. They are and should be contributing members of the family, it’s healthy for them as well as for the whole family!
Start implementing these ideas into your life and I know you will see a huge difference as your stress levels go down. Just focus on the things in this list that you can start implementing today. Then come back, read this post again and add some more steps to your life. It’ll be absolutely worth it!
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