How to Manage Homeschool Stress

Everyone dreams of a stress-free life. Yet we all know that there will always be some level of stress in our day-to-day life, especially in our homeschool life. Yet, I’m here to help you find practical ways to manage your homeschool stress.  In fact, over the years, I’ve discovered that one stress seems always to shadow us. Of course, you probably know what I’m talking about – the stress of being solely responsible for our children’s education. Indeed, we know parenting is not easy, and having your children with you 90% of the time is not easy. Once you add in homeschooling challenges, it can be a recipe for raised tempers.

However, my team and I have found with our own homeschooling endeavors that there are a few things we can do to help alleviate or at least manage the stress. First, as the main educator, please remember to look after yourself. What you do every day is draining! Try to remember my favorite words of encouragement: You can’t pour from an empty cup. You have to take care of yourself first.

Additionally, beyond self-care, here are the major topics we will be discussing for managing stress as homeschoolers.

  • Planning
  • Collaborating
  • Organizing

Reduce Homeschool Stress Through Simple Planning

Of course, it is not very likely or easy to reach a goal without a plan. In fact, it has been said that failing to plan is planning to fail. Success does not come without careful planning, self-discipline, and motivation. These ideas apply as much to your homeschool journey as they would to any other endeavor in life. Indeed, you can do a few things to make your day-to-day and week-to-week homeschool schedule slightly easier and reduce some homeschool stress.

Putting Too Much Pressure on Yourself

First, it’s important to loosen up the schedule a bit. Add in some buffer space, pace the assignments, and spread out the due dates. Create a flexible schedule so you and your kids can follow interests and discoveries wherever they lead without getting into major scheduling issues. Remember, one of the great benefits of homeschooling is flexibility! Don’t schedule yourself into a box and add undue stress.

Second, plan for those off days. Have a few ideas in mind for those days when homeschooling just isn’t going to happen. We keep a variety of informational shows and documentaries on our Netflix list and have several YouTube channels or educational websites bookmarked. These days might be a good time to incorporate gameschooling! Have these tools available at your command to reduce your stress when the day doesn’t go according to plan.

Third, and along the same lines, create backup plans. For example, if a child gets sick (or you get sick!) and you can’t proceed with your group learning, have a backup for other projects or assignments your other kids can work on. Science projects, lapbooking, and unit studies are great options for backup plans.

Fourth and finally, as mentioned in the previous point, consider unit studies. These are great for adapting to any learning style and automatically adding an element of curiosity and discovery to your day. With unit studies, you never know where you’ll end up, but you know you’ll study many subjects and resources in the process!

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Relieve Homeschool Stress Through Collaboration

Sometimes it can be very helpful to outsource certain classes or activities to someone else. Of course, this other person could be a certified tutor, family friend, family member, homeschooling parent, or even an online teacher. Certain subjects are just not in our expertise, and it takes a big person to recognize when your child’s experience would be improved by another teacher.

You do not have to do everything yourself!

Many new homeschool families feel they are not “allowed” to bring in other teachers. This is just not true! If your child needs help in catching up or understanding concepts and you feel overwhelmingly stressed with it, it is absolutely okay (and healthy!) to look elsewhere for teaching assistance.

Whether you are looking for in-person classes, co-ops, dual enrollment, or simply an online homeschool program, they are all good choices. The only thing that matters is if it helps your child learn and reach their goals.

Minimize Homeschool Stress Through Organization

Being organized is vital for managing stress. Especially if you have multiple children or you are a working or single parent, you need an organization system. With great organization tools, the goal is to keep a rotating system of assignments, tasks, chores, and grading. You will be working with your children to understand how the system works, and they will do their part as well.How to Manage Stress While Homeschooling

Additionally, there are a few tools you can use for your personal organizational needs, such as bullet journaling or planners. Creative people tend to prefer bullet journaling, which is a free-form version of a planner, while more Type-A people may prefer the structure of a ready-to-go planner. If you are creative and Type-A, you’ll probably love our free Sanity Saver planner, which is a combination of creativity and organization.

Beyond planning tools, starting on your homeschool records now will help reduce stress later. While it is something to add to your current task load (frightening, I know), it will save you so much stress and time later on. Instead of having to recall details or sort through boxes of curriculum, you will already have many of the important details recorded and merely have to polish them.

Is Homeschooling Less Stressful?

Considering that homeschooling may be less stressful than sending your children to a traditional school might seem a ridiculous notion to some, however, it’s quite the opposite. While homeschooling certainly brings its challenges, here are a few ways in which stress is minimized by choosing to homeschool your children:

11 Ways Homeschooling is Less Stressful for Parents and Children

  • Mornings are more relaxed. There’s no rushing, fussing, and running out the door.
  • There are fewer germs and less sickness that enter your home.
  • Much more time is spent enjoying your family rather than enduring homework, excess work, multiple projects, PTA meetings, fundraisers, etc.
  • You don’t have to wonder what your children are being taught behind closed doors. You know exactly what they’re learning and the worldview in which they are learning it from.
  • Consistent bullying is not an issue for your children.
  • You don’t have to worry about your child being a victim of school shootings or other school-related violence.
  • You’re able to teach your children with the curriculum that you choose and in the way that works best for them to learn.
  • Your schedule is not dependent upon the school calendar, weather, sicknesses, or anything else.
  • There’s no one to ask for permission to take a vacation, field trip, or visit a park. You can make whatever choices are best for your family and enjoy your children’s childhood together.
  • Your children can gain real-life experience through hands-on learning in subjects and topics that interest them.
  • As children get older and reach working age, they have more flexibility in what hours they can work and the jobs they can have.

    How to Make Homeschooling EasierHomeschooling and Mental Health

    While using the tips mentioned in the article above, here are some additional suggestions to reduce homeschool stress and make your life easier.

    9 Tips to Make Homeschooling Easier

    • Have a designated homeschool learning space.
    • Use curriculum as a guide, not the end all, be all for learning.
    • Embrace flexibility in your home and schedule.
    • Get outdoors as much as possible.
    • Play educational board games together.
    • Take advantage of available homeschool discounts.
    • Utilize your local library.
    • Download fun, educational apps for screen time.
    • Prioritize what’s truly important, and enjoy!

    At the end of the day, some stress in the home is unavoidable. However, it doesn’t have to become overwhelming…and your homeschooling doesn’t have to be a main source. Take a breath. Reevaluate your priorities. And implement some of the tips mentioned above. Let’s reduce that homeschool stress and make homeschooling fun again!