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So you’re tired of homeschooling? You’re exhausted. You’ve lost the spark. You no longer have that . . . je ne sais quoi.
It’s OK. Talk to any parent who has been homeschooling for a while and, if they’re being completely honest, they’ll tell you that they’ve felt this way at one point or another during their homeschooling journey.
For me, that point came last year.
Within the span of nine months, my dad spent 40 days in the hospital and then passed away, my closest aunt died, and then my mom had brain surgery and moved in with us for 3 months. In between all of that, I had to find time to homeschool. (You can probably imagine how that went.) At one point I thought, “Why am I doing this? I’m actually killing myself trying to homeschool with everything else going on. It would be so easy just to send her to traditional school . . .”
Homeschooling had become a burden and I started to hate it. I loathed finding lessons and staying on track and helping and trying to find time to take my kid to different classes. I was completely burned out . . . not just from homeschooling, but from life.
ALSO CHECK OUT : DEAR HOMESCHOOL GROUP
After things started to settle, and I got to rest, and I was able to reprioritize, I found a new spark for homeschooling. And, this year, I feel we’re on a pretty good journey so far.
You see, most of the time, it isn’t the process of homeschooling that gives you burn out. It’s a curriculum that you hate, or being too rigid, or having a child who is struggling. Or, like in my case, it might be outside forces that put so much stress on you that you start to hate anything that needs more of your time, including homeschooling. When you’re feeling the homeschool burnout, there are ways to combat it and coping strategies to put in place. And, be sure to do it before you fall down the rabbit hole of homeschool burnout depression!
How to Recover From Homeschool Burnout
1. Revisit why you’re homeschooling.
When you start to feel like, “Why am I homeschooling, anyway?” it’s time to slow down and think back to a time when you started homeschooling. Why did you want to homeschool in the first place? How did you feel when you first started homeschooling? Remember that excitement (and terror) of starting a new journey that got your adrenaline pumping? That’s where you want to be again!
2. Talk to your kids.
How are your kids feeling about homeschooling? Have you asked them lately? Maybe you’re feeling the burnout because your kids just aren’t interested in homeschooling any longer? Or, maybe your kids hate their curriculum and they’re just afraid to tell you so it’s creating some tension? Finding out where everyone is on the homeschooling scale can help clear the air and could, surprisingly, put you back on track.
3. Switch it up.
Maybe it’s time to switch it up and follow another method of homeschooling? If you’ve been following a specific curriculum, try out a child-led unit study method. Or, maybe you’ll enjoy joining a co-op and sharing some of the responsibilities with other homeschool parents?
4. Take a break.
Maybe it’s just time to take a break? Life and school can be extremely hectic, so taking a break from homeschooling for a little while can be refreshing. Try a period of unschooling where you just let your child “be.” You’ll probably be shocked at how much they learn on their own. Also, spend this time doing field trips and visiting festivals and museums. It’s a fun way to learn, but it seems like you’re getting a “break” from school.
Maybe you just need to get out of dodge for a while and gain a new perspective? Traveling doesn’t have to mean a big vacation or even real travel. (Although those things are great for homeschooling because kids learn so much during travel.) Travel can be a day trip or a staycation in your own area. Also, consider roadschooling if your work schedule and budget can handle it. You can spend an extended period of time traveling while also homeschooling.
6. Give up some things.
You may be feeling the homeschool burnout because you’re being pulled in too many directions. Are your kids in too many activities outside of the home? Are you a regularly overcommitting to other activities? It might be time to give up some stuff and lead a more slow-paced life (at least for a little while).
7. Facelift your space.
You know how sometimes if you get a hair cut or put on a new outfit it can entirely change your mood? Well, that can happen with a space, too. It might be time to give your homeschool space a “facelift.” And, it doesn’t have to be expensive and you don’t need a huge space. A new coat of paint, decluttering, or even something as simple as moving furniture around can give you a new outlook on things and might give you (and the kids!) a new excitement about homeschooling.
8. Get support.
You really need a trustworthy homeschool tribe (in person or online) so that you can speak frankly and not be judged or have it held against you. Talk to your tribe about how you’re feeling and get some feedback and support from them. You may even be surprised at how your homeschool friends may be going through the same thing!
If you’re looking for a great group, join us. We’d love to have you!
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9. Stop homeschooling.
Maybe you really are just . . . done.
So, now what? Maybe you are wondering when to stop homeschooling? It might be your time if you just aren’t interested in getting back on track. Give it some thoughtful consideration and time before making any decisions. And, if it’s time to move to a different style of schooling, then that’s OK.
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