Burnout is undeniably a growing concern among homeschool parents. The unrelenting prolonged stress of managing so many responsibilities can begin to negatively affect lives. One thing that many of us don’t realize is that burnout is different from stress. Stress is the overwhelming pressure of “too much.” Too much responsibility, too many tasks, too many expectations all contribute to adding stress to our lives. However, burnout is the opposite. When a person is feeling burned out there is a feeling of “not enough.” Emotional burnout can cause feelings of disengagement, lack of motivation, or even resignation to what is perceived as a failure. But that’s the key… if you begin to notice these warning signs in your life, it’s so important to make changes! Burnout can affect your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Take these seven things to heart when you feel the overwhelm begin to overtake you!
Combat Homeschool Burnout
- Just stop. Take a break. Your mental health is more important than covering the day’s homeschool content. There’s nothing at all wrong with taking some time off from homeschooling – especially if it gives you a much clearer mental image!
- Take a trip. A field trip that is! Getting out of the house is usually good for everyone. But taking a field trip keeps it relevant to things your kids have been learning at home!
- Have a silly day. Laughter is the best medicine, so do something dedicated to making everyone laugh or at least smile! For instance, you can have a “100th day of school party” or a “stay in your pajamas” day! In addition, try to do school with “movies.” Honestly, Netflix has a huge variety of movies and documentaries you can watch with your kids!
- Simplify your routine. Take out all the unnecessaries. While it may seem like a good idea to include topics like art, music, drama, etc. these things are definitely not necessary. So, if you’re truly on the verge of burnout, scale back on the things you’re doing each day. Focus on the old fashion readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmetic.
- Grab a book day. Reading is a great way to learn… spend the whole day learning with a book! If you want to continue learning this way, look into ways you can make your homeschool literacy-rich.
- Unschool! If you’ve never tried unschooling, now may be a great time to see just why so many people love it. Basically, it means tossing out any lesson plans, curriculum, or unit studies that your child didn’t specifically request. The whole idea of unschooling is to follow your child’s lead for homeschooling. Try it – you may like it!
- Stay Positive. In a world full of social media “perfect families,” it’s easy to feel like a failure. But don’t compare your life to others. Stay positive, make your own goals that fit your family and lifestyle. Remember: people don’t post/share the bad and ugly things going on! Of course, their lives look perfect because they only share the positive and happy times! Don’t compare yourself to this image because it’s not realistic.
Your child may be experiencing burnout as well, for more help in that area listen to our podcast on Dealing with Anxiety in Children.