What to do with homeschool burnout when you think “I hate homeschooling!”? We’re talking homeschool burnout causes and coping strategies, how to be happy in homeschool, and time to quit homeschooling.
So, you’re feeling homeschool mom burnout (or homeschool dad burnout)?
Are you tired of homeschooling?
Do you feel like a homeschooling failure?
Maybe you’re exhausted?
You’ve just . . .
. . . lost the spark to homeschool.
(Any of these sounding familiar?)
What is homeschool burnout?
Homeschool burnout is when you feel tired of homeschooling. It stops being fun and becomes a difficult task. Homeschooling burnout can manifest as stress, exhaustion, depression, anger, anxiety and more.
According to PsychologyToday.com:
Burnout—a state of emotional, mental, and often physical exhaustion brought on by prolonged or repeated stress—is not simply a result of working long hours.
The cynicism, depression, and lethargy that are characteristic of burnout most often occur when a person is not in control of how a job is carried out, at work or at home, or is asked to complete tasks that conflict with their sense of self.
There is a difference between burnout and plain stress, but sometimes, it can be hard to know what one is dealing with.
12 Warning Symptoms and Signs of Homeschool Burnout
Homeschool burnout can manifest in any (or all) of the following ways:
- You dread getting up in the morning and facing the day.
- The thought of homeschooling makes you feel anxious.
- You have no motivation.
- You feel completely overwhelmed by the thought of homeschooling.
- You regularly feel depressed.
- You’re beginning to resent being with your kids all day.
- You’re falling behind in homeschool and you really don’t care.
- You always feel like you’re never doing enough.
- You’re often tired and irritable.
- You feel hopeless.
- You’ve become extremely impatient.
- You’re not happy homeschooling and the joy is gone.
Is homeschooling stressful?
The responsibility and commitment of homeschooling can be stressful, especially if we are trying to emulate the public (or private) school education system. For many homeschool parents, once they realize they need to let go of preconceived notions of school and implement learning that is tailored to their children it becomes less stressful.
How do I stop homeschool burnout?
Here are 9 ways to stop homeschool burnout and reverse those warning signs:
- Revisit why you’re homeschooling
- Change up the way you’re learning
- Take field trips
- Ask the kids what they want to study
- Don’t forget about documentaries and audiobooks
- Take a break and get some R&R (rest and relaxation!), especially for yourself!
- Travel / roadschool
- Change up your homeschool classroom / space
Don’t miss our effective tips for homeschool burnout later in the post. KEEP SCROLLING!
Everyone feels homeschool burnout at some point…
What if I told you that it’s OK to feel like you’re in a homeschool depression?
Talk to any parent who has been homeschooling for a while and — if they’re being completely honest — those parents will tell you that they’ve felt homeschool burnout at one point or another during their homeschooling journey.
They may even say that they hate homeschooling and have been wondering when to stop homeschooling.
For me, that point came in 2017.
Within the span of seven 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 and work and run my own household.
(You can probably imagine how that all 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 public school . . .”
Homeschooling became too stressful for me on top of everything else.
I loathed finding lessons and staying on track and helping with learning and finding time to take my kid to different classes.
I was completely burned out . . . not just from homeschooling, but from life.
Homeschooling was just one more thing pulling me in another direction and I didn’t appreciate that.
I was an exhausted homeschooling mom and I couldn’t decide if I was starting to regret homeschooling or if I was just . . . overwhelmed.
After things started to settle, and I rested, and I was able to re-prioritize for better balance, and I realized I didn’t need to know how to combat homeschool burnout.
What I really needed was just rest.
And, time for myself.
After that . . .
I found a new spark for homeschooling.
Before acting on the thoughts of “I don’t want to homeschool anymore,” check out the next section.
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 RIGHT NOW.
And, be sure to do it before you fall down the rabbit hole of homeschool depression and homeschool burnout!
HOW TO GET PAST YOUR HOMESCHOOL BURNOUT (OR KNOWING WHEN TO STOP HOMESCHOOLING)
9 Ways to Recover From Homeschool Burnout and Homeschool Depression
Here are some things to try when everything is hard, things to help with combatting homeschool burnout!
Coping with Homeschool Burnout #1: Revisit why you are 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!
What can you do to get yourself back there?
What was working back then?
Coping with Homeschool Burnout #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.
Coping with Homeschool Burnout #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?
Coping with Homeschool Burnout #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 (and a flexible homeschool schedule is one of the biggest benefits of homeschooling!).
Try a period of unschooling where you just let your child “be” and direct their learning.
You’ll probably be shocked at how much they learn on their own.
It’s a fun way to learn, but it seems like you’re getting a “break” from school.
Coping with Homeschool Burnout #5: Travel or roadschool.
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.
Coping with Homeschool Burnout #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?
How many homeschool meetups or playdates are you attending?
It might be time to give up some stuff and lead a more slow-paced life (at least for a little while).
Coping with Homeschool Burnout #7: Organize and declutter.
You know how sometimes when you shower or you get a haircut or put on a new outfit it can entirely change your mood?
Well, that can happen with a space, too.
Your homeschool burnout might be because it’s time to give your homeschool space a “facelift.”
And, it doesn’t have to be a big and expensive room change and you don’t need a huge space.
A new coat of paint, decluttering, cool learning rugs, 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.
It sounds simple, but it really does work!
(Seriously. I’ve tried it.)
GET A FREE DECLUTTERING CHECKLIST!
Coping with Homeschool Burnout #8: Get support.
You really need a trustworthy homeschool support group (in person or online) so that you can speak frankly and not be judged or have it held against you.
Talk to your group about how you’re feeling and get some feedback and support from them.
(If you’re looking for a great group, join us. We’d love to have you!)
Coping with Homeschool Burnout #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 practice some of the previous tips listed here.
And, if it’s time to move to a different style of schooling, then that’s OK.
Be sure to check with your local school system and see what you need to reintegrate your child back into a private or public school system.
It doesn’t make you a homeschool failure. It just means that you’re choosing the best education for your child and family.
IF YOU’RE SUFFERING FROM SOMETHING MORE SERIOUS AND NEED HELP, PLEASE CALL 1-800-273-8255. YOU ARE NOT ALONE AND CAN GET HELP FOR FREE!
(CLICK HERE if you are outside of the United States.)