15 Simple Ways You Too Can Experience Homeschool Burnout!
During a planning and ‘dreaming big’ session for the upcoming LifeSchooling Conference, the founders and I had a discussion about the martyrdom of homeschool burnout. Especially how this is played to new homeschoolers.
I have felt this myself. Almost to the point of expecting it. Now, I am not talking about the normal frustrations day to day we experience as we learn how to homeschool, or getting excited about summer coming, being tired, or facing difficult life adversities such as death, sickness, and major change. We are only human. And I am not heartless.
I am talking about the mentality that homeschooling will end in drudgery. I am talking about how this “burnout” is expected, and ‘sold’, almost required as a rite of passage or badge of honor for a homeschool mom. You are seen as weird if you don’t experience this burnout. It is taught and subscribed to as a part of the experience.
I have bought into this philosophy. I struggle too. After 16 years of homeschooling, I am discovering the freedom in being intentional about joy. And how we truly can’t make demarkations between life and learning in our homes. The spirit of homeschooling is built in the relationships we forge with our kids. When death or sickness occurs, that is a part of your homeschooling.
Danielle even went so far as to say that if you experience burn out perhaps you are doing it wrong.
It is a different mindset to think this way. But it is a far better, more peaceful existence for you, your family, and your homeschool. For just a couple minutes consider, this is not how God intended it.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:30
So in a light hearted spirit, Here are 15 simple ways you too can experience homeschool burnout.
- Read everything you can on homeschool burnout. Go to conferences on the subject and wait with gripped hands until it comes. Believe homeschool burnout is inevitable and expect it. He will not disappoint.
- Fill your school days with more workbooks and textbooks than story books. Make your routine as dreary as possible until your children, and you, lose the spark of curiosity and sparkle in your eyes.
- Don’t surround yourself with beauty. Stay away from works of art in sight and sound. Stick to the scope and sequence and don’t trust your gut. Stay inside your house and do “school at home” like your local public school. Don’t serve others.
- Pressure yourself to keep a perfect looking house, body, husband, and family.
- Don’t laugh at yourself or stop to notice the funny things our kids do. Teach your child to be serious about everything.
- Don’t spend time in God’s word for a battery re-charge. Rely solely on your own strength. Forget to pray.
- Hold yourself responsible if your child is not reading by 1st grade.
- Rely heavily on standardized testing to determine if your child will be OK and use it as a measure of your own self worth. Believe your children are a product of you.
- Don’t take well needed breaks during the day and school year. Keep your hand to the grindstone all the way. Believe you have to finish every lesson in your math book and every problem in a lesson. Don’t keep academic lessons short.
- Have guilt over unused homeschool curriculum that is still sitting on your shelf. Believe that mistakes and trial and error are not a part of homeschooling.
- Question the socialization of your kids. Sign your kids up for so many extra curricular activities that here is no time for learning and you are constantly rushing and screaming at your kids to “hurry!”. Fill your days so much that planning meals is a struggle.
- Compare your children with your friends’ kids, your local homeschool support group, and other kids you don’t even know. Believe no one else struggles.
- Don’t expect interruptions during your day such as unexpected phone calls, adversity, death, sickness, and other life altering trials.
- Believe in quality time, not quantity time. Blind yourself to being grateful in the ordinary, the mundane.
- Forget why you are homeschooling in the first place.
If you are interested in developing a new mind set of homeschooling, experiencing lifeschooling that takes the stress out of learning at home, and relying on the one who blessed you with this opportunity to learn with your children as you do life, check out Lifeschooling Conference in Charlotte, NC this summer.