31 Days of Homeschool How-To: Avoid Burnout

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Welcome to our October “31 Days” series at NextGen Homeschool: 31 Days of Homeschool How-To Tips! As NextGen Homeschoolers, we remember what it was like to be homeschooled ourselves, and our experiences as students have helped shape many of our best systems and strategies today. In the next 31 days, we’ll be sharing with you what’s working for us, answering the most common questions we get from today’s first-generation homeschooling moms.

31 Days of Homeschool How-To Tips

How to Avoid Homeschool Burnout

When I’m feeling homeschool burnout, I take it outside: We pack up the schoolwork and go somewhere else to do it. If it’s nice outside, you can hit the park — or even just your yard. Enjoy the birds chirping, do some earth science. If it’s cold, find a library. I’ve even taken the girls and my laptop to McDonalds on a rainy day, that way my youngest could play and the girls could do their workbooks while I got things done online.

Minority woman with her children fighting in the background

Here are a few other suggestions for avoiding homeschool burnout:

  • Take a teacher’s day off — they do this in public school, and we should too. Take this time to read up and plan out new ideas.
  • Plan and take a fun field trip.
  • Read homeschool blogs and/or call other homeschooling parents that you are friends with and tell them how you’re feeling. They can uplift you and give you new ideas.
  • Spend extra time in prayer for motivation.
  • Go to a homeschool conference if possible. If not, buy some CDs or podcasts from a conference on topics that you need help in.
  • Revise your goals: I get new ideas from looking at my past goals and setting new ones.
  • Block out negative feeds, like comparing to that “one kid” who is doing so strangely well in public school.
  • If you’re like me and have parents that homeschooled, or you know veteran homeschooling parents who did this without all the helpful tools we have today, take a moment to ask them for some burnout advice.

Not every family homeschools on a traditional school year schedule (we happen to do math and science through the summer), but whether you follow a traditional calendar or not, make sure you take strategically planned homeschool breaks. You don’t have to wait for the local kids to be out of school to take a week off so you can re-energize and regroup. Take advantage of the flexibility of homeschooling to create a schedule and pace that works for your family.

How do you cope with burnout? What changes do you make to breathe life back into your days? How often do you take homeschool breaks? We’d love to know what works for you — share in the comments below.

Elizabeth Thomas is a blessed wife and mom of five girls: Stormie, Rachael, Faith, Cadence (who are all homeschooled), and toddler Melody. She was homeschooled all through her school years and has been homeschooling since 2009. She lives in Sapulpa, Oklahoma.