This is the third post in a series about homeschool burnout. Before you read this post, be sure to read the first two posts:
Depending on how fried or burned out you are, the recovery can be like scaling a mountain. It may seem utterly impossible to get the joy of homeschooling flowing again, but it isn’t.
Try any or all of the following ideas and see what happens.
- Fix the problem. Is a specific issue causing you to feel burned out? Maybe you’re using curriculum that isn’t right for your family or maybe you’re plagued by a health issue. If you can fix the problem, do fix the problem. Once the obstacle is fixed or at least improved, your perspective might change immensely.
- Change something. This sounds so simplistic, but if you’re burned out then it’s time to make a change or two or ten. Keeping everything the same won’t solve your problem. This might mean doing less outside activities, joining a co-op, or finding an ultra creative way to spice things up a bit.
- Take a break. And you’re probably thinking, “I don’t have time to take a break!” But if you’re running on an empty tank and hating what you do, isn’t it better to stop, breathe, think, and get a grip than to continue down a slippery, depressing slope?
- Vent. I’m not talking about gossiping or having a gripe session. I’m talking about finding a sympathetic homeschooling friend to share concerns with and glean wisdom from. Don’t forget to be that friend to someone too.
- Do less. If you can’t handle what’s currently on your plate then you need to clear something off of it or get a lot of extra help. Cover fewer subjects. Do less intricate planning. Cut out some activities that the kids are involved in. Hunker down and do the few things that really matter.
- Try something new. This goes along with changing something. I remember the year I was so burned out and we decided to send the kids to a university-model school. They took classes there a couple of times a week and the rest of the time we homeschooled. We only did it for one school year, but what a refreshment it was for all of us.
- Don’t make everything into a teachable moment. I’m all for a lifestyle of learning, but we have to draw the line when every single thing we do becomes a lesson. Some things are simply meant to be enjoyed without pressure. Life is one of those things.
- Regularly spend time with God. Resist the urge to do everything in your own strength. You can’t. You need God’s help. Invest time into prayer and studying the Bible. It will pay huge dividends in every area of life.
- Pay yourself. Ever thought about giving yourself some sort of paycheck for the full time job you do? I hadn’t really thought about this until I read my friend, Scooper’s post about paying yourself to homeschool. Eye-opening!
- Entertain the question, “Should I continue to homeschool?” Heaven help us, I’ve trampled holy ground! I know that die hard homeschoolers don’t want to even think in this direction, but if nothing is working well, then we should ask this question and explore the answer. Looking at all the possibilities doesn’t make us a traitor; it makes us wise. Whether the answer to the question is yes or no, we’ll know that we looked at all the options and not just the one we want so hard to believe is the right one. And sometimes just knowing that we have another option is enough to make us appreciate where we are right now.
What do you recommend to remedy burnout?
Whatever you do, don’t do nothing. Homeschool burnout won’t just go away on its own. YOU have to take action.
Image by earthkath on flickr