You’ve been homeschooling for several years now. Things seemed to have taken off like a rocket blasting into space but now the thrusters aren’t working. The tank has ran out of gas. And now you’re struggling to make this homeschooling thing work. I get it. I’ve been there.
Before getting into the five ways I suggest to prevent burnout, I first want to let you know that the process I call Operation Homeschool Recharge is one that every homeschool should go through more frequently than you may think. Hiccups, hurdles, and burnouts are bound to happen in anything. The biggest takeaway is in what we do to prevent them from taking over to the point of making irrational and/or drastic decisions that we’ll later regret.
I recommend doing a recap and recharge every two to three years, especially if you’re in it for the long haul. Once you get the hang of it, it’ll be natural for you to do and you’ll thank yourself for it!
# 1: Check Your Emotion Meter
Anyone that’s been homeschooling for any amount of time will testify that there can be a wave of emotions that we have to juggle. I believe we naturally handle emotions in ways that look a lot like sweeping stuff under a rug. Although we may do that mixed with a little bit of compartmentalizing – it’s not such a good thing when they build up and turn into behaviors that can jeopardize our journey.
Checking the emotional meter may be something that is done quite more often than the others ways of preventing burnout that I’m going to suggest. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, frustrated, agitated, short-tempered, insecure, etc., take a moment to really focus on the root on those emotions. Ask yourself where they are coming from, what’s triggering them, and how you can prevent the same situations from happening again.
# 2: Take an Unexpected Day Off
Unexpected days off are amazing! Whether you choose to take a short-notice field trip or spend a couple hours at a park, these types of days can really alleviate any tension that may have built up over time. I think we can get so caught up in our schedules, to-do lists, and charts that we forget to relax. We can tend to forget that unexpected days off doesn’t mean that our children aren’t learning. It just means they are learning in a different environment.
I always tell my homeschooling community, friends, and clients that homeschooling doesn’t have to only take place in the home. Nope. Your kiddo can learn at the park, riding around town, or even while grocery shopping. The learning possibilities are endless once we take homeschooling out of the box!
# 3: Adjust Your Focus
Speaking of taking homeschooling out of the box… sometimes we need to simply adjust our focus. I believe this is one of the top ways to prevent burnout. It may be difficult for the Mom who has to stick to a set schedule, teach from a particular perspective, and would feel out of whack to change anything – but trust me, try it.
Perhaps adjusting your focus looks like not going strictly by the calendar you set in stone five months ago. Maybe it looks like giving your early learner some cushion room when it comes to learning a new concept. It can even look like revisiting your homeschool style and switching it up a bit. Regardless, sometimes our journey’s can greatly benefit by a simple adjustment to our focus. Are we heck bent on setting things in stone with no resistance, or will we keep the pressure level down by allowing accommodation when necessary?
# 4: Conduct a Support System Check
Some homeschooling moms don’t have a support system to begin with and that alone can be dangerous. First and foremost, I recommend having some type of support in place – be it your husband, another relative, or a few other homeschooling mama friends. Having a support system for this journey can sometimes make or break a person’s resolve to continue moving forth.
I love that we have communities available at the touch of a button. We live in a day and age that pretty much accommodates any and everyone. If you are an in-person kind of mom, there are homeschool groups for you. If you prefer to meet virtually, Facebook alone has hundreds of groups. One thing I don’t recommend is going at this alone. Even if you tell yourself that you want to for whatever reason, I still beg to differ. Basically, I recommend checking your support system, make changes where necessary (adding to or taking away), and make sure its doing your journey some good.
# 5: Make Necessary Changes without Regret
I say make necessary changes without regret because we can do a good number on beating ourselves up for the whatever choices we make. I’ve done it myself. I broke up with a homeschool group that I had been a member of for four years and instantly started to question my decision. Before it was all said and done, I had convinced myself that I made the wrong choice and maybe should go back. After snapping out of it and revisiting why I made the decision in the first place, I knew it was the right choice.
There will be times when we have to make choices that may go against the grain, against the “norm”, or against what others think we should do… but no matter what – don’t let it turn into regret. Be thorough and authentic. You can’t go wrong with those two things when making necessary changes!
I didn’t put this as a main way to prevent burnout, but if push comes to shove, don’t hesitate to take some time off – and don’t regret it! Just do what you can when you can and keep it moving. Don’t worry about how behind you may get, or what your kiddos may be missing out on… it is okay mama. Take time to recharge, then finish up strong!
CHIME IN: What are some ways you recharge your homeschool journey? Share in the comments below. I love hearing from you!
If you would like more details about and personal support for recharging your homeschool journey, consider partnering with me as your personal Homeschool Lifestyle Consultant. Schedule a discovery call and let’s chat about the various options of homeschool coaching I have available to meet your unique needs.
Until next time, happy homeschooling!