Monday, January 24, 2011

Blog Cruise: Keeping Sane While Homeschooling

I've seriously been slacking this year on participating in the TOS Crew Blog Cruise. Let me just quickly give a reminder about what this is before I jump in to this week's topic. Basically it's a blog carnival for members of the TOS Homeschool Crew. Each week a question is posed and members answer it on their blog. On Tuesday there is a post made on the TOS Crew blog with links to all the blogs participating. 

Okay so this week I'm going to share how I stay sane while homeschooling. In other words, how do I avoid getting burned out. 

Thanks to good old Wikipedia I have a definition: Burnout is a psychological term for the experience of long-term exhaustion and diminished interest.

Anyone who has ever stayed home with children 24/7 know this happens quite frequently. Add in the teaching of said children and sometimes it happens much faster and far more often. 

I know that I have definitely experienced homeschool burnout a time or two in the past eight years of me beginning this journey. Okay, who am I kidding. This typically hits me every year at this time so how do I stay sane and keep going?

{One} Know that you can't avoid it. Burn out is really an inevitable result of doing the same thing over and over again. Your days start to blend together. You wonder if you are making a difference. You are tired of battling the same battles with your children day in and day out as to their schoolwork. It just gets hard.

{Two} Plan for it. Since you know it's going to happen anyway. Have a plan in mind. Figure out what you need to recharge your batteries. Do you need to do some "Fun School" for a few weeks? What about going on some field trips? Taking outside classes? Buying new books? Whatever works, keep it in mind and when you feel the stress of burnout starting, implement your plan.

{Three} Re-evaluate. Look at what you've been doing - closely. Start to really evaluate if it's truly working. Don't forget that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If you aren't seeing the results you want, then look at trying something new. This time of year is typically when burnout occurs. This is when a lot of homeschoolers begin looking at buying next year's curriculum. It helps to get excited about new products and how they will work in your homeschool.

{Four} Take a break. Maybe it's just a day that you need. Maybe it's a week. Maybe it's a month. However long you need to recharge and regroup - take it. 

{Five} Pray. This should really be the first thing you should do. Pray for wisdom and guidance. God will never fail you or let you down. 

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." 

{Six} Write out your mission statement. This should be the reasons you chose homeschooling. Why did you decide to go this route? What were your thought processes and what do you hope to accomplish? What were you hoping to avoid with other educational methods? Reading this again and again when times are tough really help me stay the course.

{Seven} Find support. Find other homeschoolers you can talk to either online or in person. Knowing that you aren't alone and that others are struggling as well really helps to let you know you aren't alone. There are many times where I've thought I'm completely failing my children only to have someone tell me how well they are doing. It's enough to get me through that tough time.

Overall know that almost all homeschooling moms (and dads) feel burnout at some point. It really is just part of being engaged with your children. Be sure to take the time to take care of yourself and it will benefit everyone in the end.


  1. We have had a lot happen in our home this school year and it has led to me feeling burnout! Thanks for the tips. Praying that I can get my zeal back!

  2. I love your 7 step approach. Like you, I know it will hit, and it is always good to have a plan to get through it. Thanks for sharing.

  3. You hit everything that it took me years to learn! I think that you need to slap this one to the forehead of every new homeschooler. With duct tape. They can choose the color. :) Great post... and btw because of posts like this I slapped you with a blog award (though I didn't use duct tape!)
    Hugs my bloggy fb friend.


Oh thank goodness! I'm not here all alone. Thanks for leaving me a comment. It helps that I'm not always talking to myself. Right? Hello?