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Homeschooling Moms Homeschooling Moms

do you ever get "burnt out" on homeschooling?

Posted by on Mar. 26, 2013 at 4:09 PM
  • 22 Replies

one of my biggest hangups on homeschooling is that as exciting as it sounds right now im scared to death if i go for it that i'll be into it for like 2 months or so and then be "so over it". what if i lose my motivation and then my kids have to suffer because "mommy can't get on the ball with things" ? does that kind of stuff happen? 

CafeMom Tickers
by on Mar. 26, 2013 at 4:09 PM
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hipmomto3
by Bronze Member on Mar. 26, 2013 at 4:15 PM
2 moms liked this
I'm fizzling out. I need to get my gung ho back!

Sometimes you have to take a week off, clean out the clutter (mental and real!), and start fresh.
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oredeb
by on Mar. 26, 2013 at 4:46 PM

 dont let that stop you mrs lovett!! go for it!

ive not been burnt out on homeschooling yet, hope to never be, but i guess if you get that way you can homeschool all year and take off a week every month or something like that? or school for 4 days a week?

motheroffour186
by Bronze Member on Mar. 26, 2013 at 4:55 PM
We did so we had a week off of school
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kirbymom
by Sonja on Mar. 26, 2013 at 5:40 PM
3 moms liked this

Here is an article that I thought does a great job of answering the question of Homeschool burnout.......

   Avoiding Homeschool Burnout

Mother Overload 
Yes, there is one downside to homeschooling. Does it happen to everyone? Are some moms more prone to burnout than others? How can you cope, and more importantly, how can you prevent it? To find out, I asked my team of experts -- dozens of homeschooling moms -- if they experience burnout, and how they deal with it. Their answers may surprise you.

Nearly every homeschooling mom interviewed has, at one time or another, found herself "at the end of her rope." Homeschool organizer Nancy Plent (Unschoolers Network) said it best: "Most of us are the authors of our own stress. We want everything to be perfect and go according to schedule, everyone in the family to be happy all the time...well, life just doesn't run that smoothly." Even so, for homeschooling moms it's essential things at home "run smoothly." Home is both our work place and family place. When something disrupts that environment, trouble can arise.

Symptoms of Burnout
The moms I spoke with discussed a variety of symptoms:
· Crying easily
· Lack of patience
· Overeating or no appetite
· Overreacting to minor issues
· Making irrational decisions

Often you have no sense of priority, and what usually does not phase you, suddenly does -- in a big way. One mom described her burnout: "I just wanted everyone (in my family) to go away!"

Causes
Homeschooling moms report being hit particularly hard by the "non-negotiables" -- those situations in life over which we have no control:
· Illness
· New baby
· Added responsibility
· New job
· Moving
· Change in routine

Then there are stressful circumstances you can control: Over-scheduling activities, unrealistic expectations, rigid adherence to a curriculum, lack of support, and too many commitments. In short, trying to be a homeschool "Super Mom." Surprisingly, the solutions to stress factors that are either in or out of our control are very similar.

What You Can Do 
Most moms agreed that burnout, while unpleasant and difficult, was not necessarily a bad thing. It's a signal that something needs to be changed, and changed quickly. Homeschooling author Micki Colfax (Homeschooling for Excellence) advises parents about burnout: "If you're feeling stressed, you're doing too much. Cut back. Lighten up. Time is on your side." Along with that advice, try these tips:

1. Lower your expectations. My 82-year-old mother broke her pelvis earlier this year and moved in with us. It was very stressful maintaining our routine and caring for an elderly parent. Organized learning was just about impossible. Fortunately, I saw "burnout" on the horizon and let go of any ideas of formal learning. For over two months we did nothing that resembled schoolwork. Watching my two girls learn to care for their grandmother and seeing the love grow between the generations was a far more valuable lesson than anything I could have taught them.

Lowered expectations apply to all of those non-negotiable situations that arise. Housework really can wait; sandwiches are fine for dinner. Children learn from watching their parents. As they see you cope with difficult situations, they learn to draw from their own inner strength. Whatever organized learning the kids skip this month they can make up next month, or even next year, if necessary.

2. Be flexible. If something isn't working, be willing to try something different. Remember: There should be no tears on either side. If tensions rise, put aside whatever work you're doing (or thinking about doing) and head for the park or the skating rink, or go for a bike ride. Try playing a board game or reading a funny book together. Remember why you're homeschooling: You have the freedom to choose what, when, and where your children will learn. Today's cranky child will be tomorrow's eager learner if you allow some space when conflicts arise as you homeschool.

3. Change your teaching style. Dr. Raymond Moore, author of Home School Burnout, believes: "The most frequent cause (of burnout) is the use of conventional 'packaged' curricula, keeping the mother and children tied to books for hours a day." Re-creating school at home is a mistake many homeschoolers make. When dealing with younger children, this can spell disaster.

Mary Pride (The Big Book of Home Learning) suggests asking yourself: "Am I overdoing it? Am I making simple subjects too fancy? What can I eliminate? Do I need to be doing this at all? Is my child too young for this subject? Should I give it a rest? Are there other worthwhile things we would like to study or do and come back to this later?" Then read anything by John Holt. Start with Teach Your Own or How Children Learn.

4. Limit scheduled activities. Homeschool moms schedule too many activities under the guise of "socializing" their kids. This ultimately produces grouchy kids and a worn-out mom. Debra Newby wrote about the Super Mom phenomenon and decided: "My new philosophy is to say no to the good things, and yes to the great things." Other moms suggested allowing kids to pick two activities and drop the rest.

5. Get support. Homeschool dads play a big role in alleviating or eliminating homeschool burnout, with one caveat: They need to be told to do it! Just about every mom agreed -- dads didn't pick up on the extent of the mom's difficulties. This, in itself, was often the cause of additional stress. So don't hold your breath waiting for your mate to lift the burden -- tell him exactly what you're feeling and what you want or need him to do. My group of moms reported that dad helped by taking the kids for the day (out of the house, of course!) and by assuming a little more responsibility while mom recovered.

Dad working extra hours or not available? Join a homeschool support group. I also found help and support by joining homeschool email groups -- there are groups for every interest imaginable.

Final Suggestions
Remember to schedule time for yourself, paying someone to stay with your kids, if necessary. I try to get up at 6 a.m. to have some quiet time. Sometimes I read, exercise, go through my mail, or write a friend. This helps clear my mind before our busy day begins.

Learn to distinguish between what is essential, and what can be put aside for the time being. Know what your priorities are and try to stay focused on them. As your children grow and become more independent, homechooling becomes easier. (Trust me on that one!) Most importantly, remember that those "rough" times are just temporary.

Success will come when the realization finally sets in that the direction of this homeschooling adventure is up to you. It's not about what the school-kids are doing or what your mother-in-law says your kids should be learning, but what you and your family have decided will be your path of education. That is learning in freedom. And when you're there (it took me several years), "mother overload" will be just a memory.

Read more on FamilyEducation: http://school.familyeducation.com/home-schooling/stress/38363.html#ixzz2OgUbie2I
bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Mar. 26, 2013 at 5:42 PM
1 mom liked this

 We're human. We get burned out.  We deal with it.  We change curriculum, take a break, change direction, go on a field trip, watch a documentary, find a resource, or read a book.  Right now, we have 11 inches of new snow.  We are so sick of wintr.  We have such cabin fever, but it will end soon. Until it does, we started planting seeds.  Some way to look forward to warm weathr. Same goes with school, when we get stir crazy, we change the game.

kirbymom
by Sonja on Mar. 26, 2013 at 5:55 PM

I so agree with you. I have learned to "deal" with it, by taking it in stride when I realize that things are getting out of hand or already have gotten out of hand and changing what is going on by doing something different. Just like you do. :)  

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 We're human. We get burned out.  We deal with it.  We change curriculum, take a break, change direction, go on a field trip, watch a documentary, find a resource, or read a book.  Right now, we have 11 inches of new snow.  We are so sick of wintr.  We have such cabin fever, but it will end soon. Until it does, we started planting seeds.  Some way to look forward to warm weathr. Same goes with school, when we get stir crazy, we change the game.


bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Mar. 26, 2013 at 6:07 PM
1 mom liked this

 So many people worry about burn out with homeschooling, but homeschooling is life (life is homeschooling) so the same things we do to alleviate stress in our homelife works on our homeschooling stresses too.  Few people decide not to have kids because they wonder what they will do if they "burn out." So IMO this "burn out" worry has to be coming from our culture.  We need to trust ourselves to teach our children math and reading the same way we trust ourselves to teach them to walk, talk, and eat.  Reminding ourselves of the ways we handle life burnout and applying it to school burnout because they are one and the same.

Quoting kirbymom:

I so agree with you. I have learned to "deal" with it, by taking it in stride when I realize that things are getting out of hand or already have gotten out of hand and changing what is going on by doing something different. Just like you do. :)  

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 We're human. We get burned out.  We deal with it.  We change curriculum, take a break, change direction, go on a field trip, watch a documentary, find a resource, or read a book.  Right now, we have 11 inches of new snow.  We are so sick of wintr.  We have such cabin fever, but it will end soon. Until it does, we started planting seeds.  Some way to look forward to warm weathr. Same goes with school, when we get stir crazy, we change the game.


 

kirbymom
by Sonja on Mar. 26, 2013 at 6:47 PM
1 mom liked this

So true!  You said it so accurately. :)  

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 So many people worry about burn out with homeschooling, but homeschooling is life (life is homeschooling) so the same things we do to alleviate stress in our homelife works on our homeschooling stresses too.  Few people decide not to have kids because they wonder what they will do if they "burn out." So IMO  

this "burn out" worry has to be coming from our culture. 

We need to trust ourselves to teach our children math and reading the same way we trust ourselves to teach them to walk, talk, and eat.  Reminding ourselves of the ways we handle life burnout and applying it to school burnout because they are one and the same.

Quoting kirbymom:

I so agree with you. I have learned to "deal" with it, by taking it in stride when I realize that things are getting out of hand or already have gotten out of hand and changing what is going on by doing something different. Just like you do. :)  

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 We're human. We get burned out.  We deal with it.  We change curriculum, take a break, change direction, go on a field trip, watch a documentary, find a resource, or read a book.  Right now, we have 11 inches of new snow.  We are so sick of wintr.  We have such cabin fever, but it will end soon. Until it does, we started planting seeds.  Some way to look forward to warm weathr. Same goes with school, when we get stir crazy, we change the game.


 


QueenCreole313
by on Mar. 26, 2013 at 6:57 PM

YES! I've learned to take more breaks. That's what I love about homeschooling, the flexibility to take breaks when we need to and mix thems up when we get bored. 

RockEducation
by on Mar. 26, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Burn out is the reason that we are starting earlier next year. We weren't willing to give up our one week off a month. LOL

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