SummaryAfter five years of homeschooling her four children, Heather has ideas and strategies to banish homeschool burnout and keep the joy of your journey alive.
Now that the homeschool year is well under way, many of us may begin to feel overwhelmed with the responsibilities of educating our children.
We can become fatigued, and serious doubts can begin to creep in. This can steal the joy from our homeschool.
Instead of giving into the fears or throwing in the towel, I have used these six strategies I have learned in my 5 years of homeschooling to help me recharge and stay the course.
1. Take a night out away from the kids.
This can be anything from an evening walk with your spouse to a full-out date night. We all need to step away from our beautiful children every once in a while. As much as we love them, they take a lot of focus and energy.
If you don’t give yourself some time away, it can easily lead to burnout. If there is no sitter available, you can have your spouse watch the kids while you go to the library for some quiet time or a nice night out with your girlfriends.
Whatever it is that will work for your family, take the time to recharge!
2. Have a mission statement at the ready.
There had to be a reason you began the homeschool journey. Did you think it was a better learning environment for your child, or did you want to be closer as a family? The reasons for homeschooling are as varied as each family.
Write down your reasons, so when you start doubting yourself, you can see it written down and remember why you took on this challenge in the first place.
You can also keep a list of the achievements you and your family have accomplished because of homeschooling and be reminded of the fruit it has produced.
3. Make time for prayer.
If you find yourself running out of steam or losing focus, it is always a good idea to check your prayer life. I know, from my own experience, if I don’t spend enough time in prayer, or I don’t make sure my day is about doing God’s will instead of my own, I will begin to falter.
I will get frazzled and impatient with the kids and myself. Prayer and cultivating our relationship with God is an important way to strengthen our resolve to do His will.
If you know He has called you to this mission, then also know He will provide you with the graces you need to succeed.
4. Adjust the workload to fit your family.
In my perfectionism, I tend to want the kids to complete every assignment. But if time is running out, or worse, patience for learning is waning, then adjusting your expectations and workload is much better than just quitting.
Seton is very flexible, so don’t get stuck in the mentality that you must complete everything 100%. I have learned to skip handwriting practice with my child who writes beautifully or have my child do half a page of math if they have mastered the skill.
Seton provides you with assignments that are optional to enter the grade. These are highlighted in yellow on your MySeton page for each child’s assignments. You know your child best, and you know what subjects they may be able to skip a bit to make room for a subject they may be struggling with.
Homeschooling should be flexible, so use this advantage to keep homeschooling the right fit for you and your child.
5. Make time for fun!
If everyone is feeling sluggish and worn out from all the hard work or dreary weather, then maybe a little fun is needed. We like to plan a trip to somewhere close, so it won’t become a burden, instead of some good family fun. Some things we have done include going to an indoor play place or a nearby kid friendly museum.
Getting out for a nature walk can be a great way to get some outdoor time and a change of scenery. If the weather is too harsh, we have had indoor picnics that are a lot of fun.
Also, spending time with extended family or friends that uplift and encourage you can be just what is needed when you are feeling the need for some fun!
6. Seton Counselors are there to help.
One of the attractive aspects of enrolling in Seton is, when you aren’t sure if you are “doing things right” or if you’re just feeling in over your head, you don’t have to slog through it alone. You can call the Seton counselors for advice, tips, and encouragement.
When I have called in the past, they have been kind, patient, and helpful. They have the experience to walk you through whatever homeschooling problem you may be facing.
May God bless you on your homeschooling journey. Be assured it is well worth the effort and sacrifices. I have questioned myself many times along the way, but what is always apparent is that God is pleased with our choice to educate our children at home, and it has been a blessing to our family in countless, beautiful ways.
Every year, my list grows longer, showing me the fruit of our labor of love.
I hope these ideas will help you to banish homeschool burnout and keep the joy of your journey alive.