Homeschool Burnout is a very real companion to many homeschooling Mothers. The constant fatigue coupled with thoughts of doubt cut many a successful homeschool parents journey short. Does it need to be this way? In short the answer is no it does not. What is the secret to successfully homeschooling and staying strong?
What is burnout?
Burnout is defined as ruining one’s health by becoming completely exhausted through overwork and social pressure.
Symptoms you’re burned out:
- Long term exhaustion
- Diminished interest in your family, homeschooling and or daily life
- A compulsion to prove yourself
- Inner Emptiness
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Feeling as though you are in survival mode
How do you combat or avoid burnout as a homeschooling parent?
- Spend Daily time in the Word of God and in Prayer
Read your Bible daily (Matthew 4:4 “It is written: ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’” ) and pray. (1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Be unceasing in prayer.”)
- Find your own rhythm and follow it. One of the hardest things for homeschooling mom’s to do is to discover their own rhythm and style of home educating. We are surrounded by an abundance of successful home educating families on the internet with their picture perfect days and then we join homeschool support groups where we are watching one another and secretly comparing notes of how our children measure up. In one word, Dear Mom: STOP the comparison game. Your family was chosen for you and you were chosen for your family. Find what works for you and do it well. Adding in someone else’s perfect is the perfect recipe for disaster. It is better for you and your family for you to do ten things with excellence than fifty things halfheartedly and become burnt out.
- Practice Mother Culture daily. You can not give out if you are not filling up because eventually you WILL become an empty vessel. I love this piece of wisdom from Karen Andreola, – “Think seasonally. One interest per season, coupled with thirty minutes of reading a day, may be all that is needed to keep up the Mother Culture and regain any lost enthusiasm for living.”
- Read worthy books to support you as a home school mom. It doesn’t matter if you read a page a day or a book a day. Charlotte Mason advised the teacher to replenish her soul with a continual supply of ideas. Ones that stimulate your educational thought in many directions and keep from drifting into mere routine. Do not think this is a selfish thing to do, because the advantage does not end with yourself.
- Examine your personal expectations. Ask yourself some questions. Why do I have these homeschool expectations? Are they realistic? Is my perfectionist tendencies stealing my joy? Why am I doing what I am doing?
- Get enough sleep. This one seems obvious until you are honest with yourself. Take a look at how much sleep you are actually getting. A good night’s sleep does wonders to fulling your energy tanks and adding patience to emotions. A tired Mom is not capable of seeing to the ways of her family well. Wasting time worrying about the minor things does you and your family no good at all other than to cause you stress.
- Gentle exercise is a wonderful tonic for you and the whole family. Take a walk around the block in the fresh air once a day. It loads your cells with life giving oxygen and clears away toxins.
- Find like minded support. Examine your friendships and make sure they are uplifting and inspiring. Friendships that inspire and encourage are what will help you homeschool for the long haul. Choose the sorts of friendships that will keep you accountable and make sure that you are caring for yourself.
- Schedule in daily time spent alone. Train each member of your family to spend an hour alone each afternoon. You can read more on the practical aspects of it here: How Important is Alone Time and Home Schooling ?
- Simplify your weekly schedule to include a minimum of two consecutive days a week at home. Being out and about is exhausting and robs you and your children of vital energy needed to complete the task at hand of homeschooling.
Last but not least in the whole journey Dear Mom I would like to encourage you to always remain True to YOURSELF and who you are. Remind yourself weekly that true rest is found in being whom God has created you to be.
Be blessed and refreshed!
Chareen is a veteran homeschool mum of 17 years. She is currently living in beautiful Victoria Australia with her husband Paul and their three children Timothy, Jane and Nathaniel. She has home educated her first two children to graduation and is currently on the homeschool journey with her youngest son. Chareen is passionate about supporting and encouraging homeschool Mom’s on their journey, is an avid lover of good books, great read alouds and enjoys scrapbooking, card making and the Word of the Lord. She blogs about her journey over at Every Bed of Roses.