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 and especially in our homeschool life. Yet, I’m here to help you find practical ways to manage your homeschool stress.  However, over the years, I’ve discovered that there is one stress that seems to always shadow us. You probably know what I’m talking about, the stress of being solely responsible for our children’s education. We know parenting is not easy… and having your children with you 90% of the time is not easy…add in homeschooling challenges, and 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. But 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.

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

  • Planning
  • Organizing
  • Collaborating

Plan for Success

It is not very likely or easy to reach a goal without a plan. Success does not come without careful planning, self-discipline, and motivation. These ideas apply to your homeschool journey as they would to any other endeavor in life.

There are a few things you can do to make your day-to-day and week-to-week homeschool schedule slightly easier. 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.

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. Have these tools available at your command to reduce your stress when the day just doesn’t go to plan.

Third, and along the same lines, create backup plans. For example, if a child gets 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, just as we 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 a multitude of subjects and resources in the process!

To summarize, here are the main points to remember for reducing the stress of planning.

Think Beyond One-on-One Teaching

Sometimes, it can be very helpful to outsource certain classes or activities to someone else. 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 for 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 or simply an automated homeschool program, they are all good choices. The only thing that matters is if it helps your child learn and reach their goals.

Here are a few places you can find extra homeschooling assistance. 

Prioritize Organization

Organization 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 to do their part as well.

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.

Here are a few of our favorite tools and ideas for implementing homeschool organization!

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