Sometimes, perhaps often, homeschool parents are tired. Exhausted. Worn-out. Then you get some rest, a break through happens, and you are sailing on the sea of delightful education again. And then there are the times you just want to quit. Those are the times that you question why you are bothering. Those are when the frustrating moments become sort of permanent. Many do quit. That despair has a name. It is homeschool burnout. And it doesn’t have to happen to you.
Homeschool burnout, or any sort of burnout really, can occur when you no longer know the motivating reason you are doing the task. You are burnt out when the “why” is not fueling your “what”. You see, homeschooling is such a monumental task that you must be motivated by an equally gargantuan reason for it. And the scales can tip the other way. If you know the incredible importance of why and fail to act, you might have a problem with priorities or laziness.
Homeschooling takes up so much time and energy that it is easy to forget why you are doing it, in the busyness and mayhem of getting it done. But regularly visiting those reasons is the key to success in the home education endeavour. Going back to the basics of why you homeschool is the key to avoiding or fixing burnout.
I made a list of my own reasons in my Why I Homeschool post. My reasons are personal to me and my family dynamics and situation. You must list your own reasons. And list them in detail, if you can. My planning worksheet emphasizes this, too. These are the reasons that will sustain you when teaching your own children is difficult. Those reasons also create more efficiency in your school day. Reasons keep you from being side tracked. If you know your “why” you won’t hop off down a rabbit trail only to realize you are hopelessly wasting time. You can blissfully choose to explore a side track, if you desire, without losing your way, when you examine your reasons for homeschooling on a regular schedule. Put it on your calendar! Believe me, it is refreshing. It is self-care.
Checking your reasons for homeschooling against what your homeschool looks like on a daily basis then allows you to employ guilt free creativity. You see how a field trip, a day off, an art project, or a baking day fit in with your overall, long-term homeschool goals and dreams. At that point these fun times aren’t even rabbit trails. They are likely part of your greater vision – for me that is real relationships with my kids.
With your reasons artfully taped or tacked in a place you can see them, perhaps decorated, and maybe laminated, you can explore the creative ideas to relieve burnout, including this lovely article from Charlotte Mason Help . Summer break, if you take one, is the perfect time to look over and tweak your goals, if necessary. This time of home education really is short and so precious. It is too brief to spend any time wishing you were doing something else. There is nothing else you could be doing that would make more impact than thoroughly educating each blessing you have been gifted for such a short time.
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