It’s that time of year again. That time in our school year where we have reached homeschool burnout and everyone is on strike.
Ok, not really. But we are all feeling the weight of the school year and are ready to be done!
But that isn’t an option and there is still more to do. So we power through.
A few years ago, it was the middle of February and our homeschool day was not going well. I was frustrated, the girls were frustrated, and I was thinking “what am I even doing, maybe I am not cut out for this homeschool life?”
When I mentioned it on Instagram, a sweet friend who has homeschooled for many years, commented “February is the worst homeschool month. It’s normal.”
I had never been able to put my finger on it before that day, but she was so right. Every year in February, I start questioning my ability to do this job.
There are definitely homeschool seasons you have to go through as parents and I always seem to go through those seasons the hard way.
Now every homeschool year I have been able to recognize when this is coming and have learned a few tricks to help overcome that homeschool burnout we all feel in February and March.
The most important thing to remember is, are these struggles and feelings happening around this time of year only but overall your schedules, curriculum, and school time is going well? If the answer to that is “no, it’s all year” then there may be more to look at.
It could be a schedule issue or a curriculum issue. You may have to look into a new curriculum or your daily routine if that’s the case.
Now let’s get to my best 4 tips to overcome homeschool burnout.
Pray over your homeschool day and through your homeschool day.
I am going to put this one first because it is probably the most important thing you can do for your homeschool throughout the year but especially during these months where homeschool burnout is strong.
In fact, I would say it IS the most important thing you can do all year long for your homeschool.
As mom, start your day with the Lord in a quiet time.
During the first hour of my day, I do a quiet time. I will sit down with a hot cup of coffee, before anyone wakes, to read scripture and pray. What I am praying about is different every day, but during this time of year I am always covering my homeschool day in prayer.
I highly recommend incorporating this quiet time at the start of the day. It will change the course of your days, I promise.
Asking Him for guidance with each child, to change the desires of our heart, and to help us show love above all else are some of the things I am lifting up in prayer to Him. I am definitely a much better mom when I start my day this way.
You are probably thinking, this step seems too simple to be the most important one, but I really feel it is. I find that I stop and pray right in the middle of our schedule when things are starting to go array. Make sure to do this before you hit your breaking point.
I’ll stop and ask whoever is having the bad day, if they need to pray. Sometimes I don’t even ask them, I just pray over them right then and there.
Taking the load off your shoulders and putting it onto Him is both freeing and helps to reset. The great thing about prayer is He meets you right where you are at. You don’t need to do anything, but stop and talk to the One who is waiting to help you every step of the way.
I don’t believe it’s possible to get through without lots of prayer!
If you have family members who pray, ask them to cover your days in prayer too. Prayer changes thing.
Schedule more hands on activities, play dates, or field trips.
I usually do really good at the beginning of the year with this, when we are fresh and excited about school again. Then somewhere around November I fall off and just go through the mundane of bookwork. Alas to reach February and everyone is done and we need to spice up our homeschool days again.
You would think I would learn year after year to not fall off on this but I never do. Changing up your days and plugging in something different is a great way to help yourself and your children stay motivated.
The best thing is it doesn’t need to be anything elaborate, it can be simple and cost nothing.
Simple ways to add fun activities that cost nothing.
Some great ideas would be going to the library, take a bike ride, or have a picnic somewhere. Scheduling in activities that everyone looks forward to, is a very simple way to keep everyone motivated.
I try and plan at least 1 playdate a week, if possible, and maybe once a month go somewhere fun with other homeschool families. We also go to our local library every single week on our way to sewing lessons.
Getting together with other families and spending time outside of the book work is so very important. Not to mention having another homeschooling mom to chat with will help you as well! I feel I need these times just as much as my girls do.
The good news is, you will be surprised how excited your children get with just the littlest activity. It may not seem like much to you but they look forward to these little treats.
Such simple activities can lead to major rewards when it comes to overcoming homeschool burnout.
Map out how many more lessons you have and how many more days it will take you to do them.
This is the perfect solution for anyone who likes goals and to see the end result. Get a calendar or a make a paper chain of how many more lessons you have. Then check off or rip off a chain as you complete the lesson.
This is a great way to see the light at the end of the tunnel and watch as it gets less and less with each passing day.
There’s nothing worse then feeling like there is no end in site. This will give you and your child(ren) a new perspective and helps you and your children to see that there isn’t much more to go. Spending a little time to make this to-do list will help a ton when you are feeling burnt out.
Just the other day my oldest took her language arts and math curriculum and counted how many more lessons she had in each. She then took a calendar and mapped out how many more days she had to do school and what date she would be done with both books.
Now she has a tentative date in her head. If she follows her plan, then she should be done right on time.
Goal setting or making a plan helps so much in staying focused and it all doesn’t feel quite so overwhelming.
When working on book work, change it up!
Now is the time when the weather is changing! Take advantage of it and change it up to beat that homeschool burnout we are all feeling.
Here are some wonderful ways to change it up. If the weather is nice do your book work outside. Or instead of dictating words on paper use sidewalk chalk.
I find I am much happier when I am outside and seeing a change of scenery.
Take those favorite subjects and dive deeper into them. Let your children pick a topic they are really interested in and research that and do a writing assignment on it.
Let your child’s interest be the core subject.
For instance, one of the papers my 6th grader had to write was on Australian animals in Language Arts. She didn’t really like the topic and asked if she could do it on the Korean War instead. I let her as long as she was following all the guidelines of what her Language arts book was telling her to do in her paper.
She was completely engaged and motivated to do it!
Doing simple things like this helps so much with staying on track. It’s not just for the children either.
Typically, I start to feel unmotivated when it comes to the season change because I can’t wait to be outside and in the garden. So what better way to combat this feeling then doing our school work outside!
Taking a nature walk is also a good way to get outside and reset when feeling burnt out.
Remembering your why.
The important things to remember during this time of year is you are not alone in these feelings. For years I would question myself, but now I just know what these feelings are and we always get through.
When the school days are long, it is easy to get discouraged and want to just throw in the towel. During this time of the school year it is important to remember your why of homeschooling.
Whether you have set a definite reason or not, deep down everyone has a why. This may be something the whole family has agreed on or just you as the parent/teacher.
Whatever your why is, write it down and remember it. Then when the burnout feelings are flooding in, you can pull those out and remember the whole reason why you are homeschooling in the first place.
If you have to, do the things that align with your why. For example, a big why for us is our girls getting to see their dad everyday all day and to be apart of the ranch. If they went to school, they wouldn’t have near the experiences on the ranch as they do now.
So on the days that are crazy, we can go out onto the ranch and ride horses, ride 4wheelers, or just be apart of our day to day operations.
The beauty of homeschooling is you can adjust as you need to!
If you don’t find these tips help, it just may be time to take a homeschool break for a week or so. Sometimes that helps to reset. It will add on a little bit of time to the end of your school year but it can help.
Just remember there is a finish line in all this crazy homeschooling. Don’t let the months of February and March get you down and keep plugging away.
You can reverse homeschool mom burnout and I believe using some of these tips will help you accomplish that.