It’s that feeling again. It’s a new school year, you spent the time to make your curriculum list, being sure everyone had lots of books and every subject was painstakingly covered. You brought your school supplies to begin, let’s see…pencils, markers, glue, paper, notebooks. But you feel yourself lagging. You’re anxious about starting…today, tomorrow? Feeling short tempered, you snapped at the kids today. You sadly retreat to your hiding spot, away from the kids, your husband. Door locked. What did I get myself into?

No time? Listen instead!

If you ever felt like this, in any way, or similar, if you ever wanted to send your kids to or back-to-school, you have officially experienced the dreaded homeschool burnout. Yes, homeschool burnout is a REAL thing. As homeschoolers, we ALL go through it at one point, but it doesn’t have to be the end of us. In this article, we will discuss what homeschool burnout is, its causes and how to prevent homeschool burnout.

What Is Homeschool burnout?

Homeschool burnout can be categorized as a lot of things. Usually starting with feelings of anxiety, as depicted in the introduction.

It’s a feeling of wanting to give up, not wanting to do homeschool anymore or not liking it anymore.

It’s a feeling of being drained and stressed out from everything homeschool, you feel like a failure, as if you are NOT enough for your child(ren).

The world is crashing down on you and your homeschool and you are not sure WHAT you got yourself into. Like am I qualified to really do this?

This is what homeschool burnout is. It’s the number one reason why some parents give up. They send their children back to compulsory schooling. Or they might give up after some years and figure it best to send them to school for the rest of their learning, you just can’t do it anymore past “this” grade level.

What Causes Homeschool Burnout?

Replication

One of the biggest causes of homeschool burnout is trying to replicate school. There is NOTHING wrong with making a learning center for your kids to have school in. NOTHING wrong with even having a small classroom, I did for five years, before we decided that the dining room table was enough. You can see that here. However, the replication spoken of here is trying to teach your children how you think the schools “teach,” then having a “recess,” and all these little things public schools do, that don’t really work out. This I know for a fact, after having been an aid for a few years. Trying to do this will drive you mad eventually. Which leads me to the next issue.

Refusing to DEVIATE

Another cause of homeschool burnout is refusal to deviate from a ridged curriculum or schedule. These are all things in your control. Just recently, a mother posted in the forum, that she was frustrated. She had been trying to teach her daughter short vowel sounds and then test her on them. Her daughter would learn it, only to forget after the test, but the curriculum required her to get a 100% before going to the next set, and it just wasn’t happening. She expressed how she kept going over and over the sets with her daughter until they both became frustrated. They both wanted to quit, and now her daughter hates the curriculum.

The problem with that is, it doesn’t matter what curriculum you use, you have the choice of how rigid you want to make it. This mother could have easily just relaxed and decided to do things at their own pace. Didn’t get 100%, that’s okay, let’s keep going and I will expose you to the things you missed in readings. The thing about kids is that they are always learning. Even if you didn’t teach, they are learning.

Homeschool parents with a ridged schedule, will soon end up burnt out too. We must realize that we can’t do everything in one day. Don’t even try to cover all the subjects in a day, unless it’s contained within a unit study.

Doing Too Many Things

A phone intervention @randomnestfamily.org

This is and has always been my problem and the reason why I felt burnt out. I am a work at home, homeschooling parent, and homemaker. When we have so much on our plates, we tend to become frustrated as the needs of our families and homeschools pile up on us. We even stop our self-care! This sets us up for failure.

Wanting Perfection

Nothing about homeschool will ever be perfect, nor for any kind of school, really. As parents and teachers, we can only do our best to educate our children.

Trying to Impress

The homeschool mom that needs to make grandma, the neighbor, or homeschool group, think that she is on top of everything, the most organized, has the “best” curriculum, she just has it all together. Homeschool has become a charade that’s now all about her. This too, will end in failure.

Feeling Lonely

Some parents have given up on homeschool because they felt or at least thought that their children felt lonely. I’ve heard so many parents say so and so is lonely, they are a “social butterfly” and need kids to talk and play with. So, they send them to or back-to-school. The problem lies in the type of “socialization” and the many influences that surround kids today, which is not the parents “idea” of “socialization.” A Christian child needs a Christian education. Think, why did you decide to homeschool?

woman sitting on chair while leaning on laptop

Life

Life happens, and it can make us feel burned out as we try to navigate homeschool and its many issues: sickness, new baby, new job, moving, changing your routine.

How To Prevent Homeschool Burnout

Take it SLOW.  First off, I love telling parents this, but you got this! There is no one more qualified to teach their children than you are. In fact, we were created to be able to rear our kids and educate them together.

When you feel that things seem out of whack and no one seems interested in homeschooling anymore, try these tips to stop or prevent burnout:

Unschooling

I’m not saying to stick with this method but try it for a few weeks or a month. Its just the notion that kids are always learning, so let them choose. Unschooling was first coined by author John Holt back in the 1970’s, as an alternative to schooling. Its described as delight-driven learning, child-led learning, interest-led learning, fun-schooling, life-experience learning, relaxed homeschooling, child-centered learning, and passion-driven learning.

Make it a movie day

Or week, or month! Watch movies, its considered language arts. Trust me, your students will get a lot from it. Give them a journal, and let them write away about what they learned, draw pictures, do art projects, etc. Then add in math. Science, social studies, history? There is a movie for that. The benefit of this method is discussed highly in the article Homeschool Late Start.

Family watching a movie @randomnestfamily

Invest in YouTube Premium here (using this code will get you a huge discounted rate and us a month off), and create a playlist of videos you choose that are commercial free. For each grade, the best part, you can be in bed and control what they watch from your phone when you connect it to the tv. Shuffle as needed mixing and matching to suit each student. Again, give that notebook!

If you don’t know about notebooking or journaling, check out this article Notebooking for The Summer.

Try Audio Books

I shared in a previous article, “How to Homeschool Practically Free,” some ways to save money and help your child learn while also giving yourself a break. I shared resources for audio learning. Enjoying another parent reading to your child, a book of your choice, is a great way to give yourself a break.

If you don’t know about audio books, Amazon has a subscription plan that hosts many books and resources, for a great price. They currently offer three options, all of which I personally love and use. They have Audio Plus and Audible Gift Memberships. Both a worthy subscription for you and as a gift to another homeschool parent.

Our homeschool enjoy the Tuttle Twins books and their audio versions. I recently invested in the complete package to expose them to economics. The package came with books, curriculum pdfs and the audio version of that book. When I have to work in the evening, just before heating dinner, since I meal prep, I have the kids sit down to hear a audio book and choose some things from the curriculum they want to do. It has drawing, writing assignments, mad libs (their top favorite) and more. You can get your own here (by the way, this is not sponsored, we really like the Tuttle Twins).

Have a Park Day

Get out and smell the fresh air. Let the kids explore the park and play.

Have a Game Day

Pull out the games! I just recently purchased quite a few for days I need a break from a yard sale. Cards, board games, chess, etc., all help your child to keep learning and develop other critical skills.

Plan a Field Trip

Depending on what season you are going into, plan a field trip with your kids. Our new interactive planner has a class field trip section, try it out. See what’s free in your area, hayrides, museums, fairs, etc. These get you all out of the house and having fun, a well-deserved break. Then have them notebook it, or write about it in their journal.

Try a Unit Study

This is especially important if you have more than one student with different grade levels of learning. It will lesson your homeschool time, get you outdoors faster and planning will be a snap! We are LOVERS of the good old unit study, check out our shop for some already planned ones. We often have sells and are usually creating more. Read more about the unit studies in the article “What Is a Unit Study? | How To Use a unit Study.

For other ideas, check out the article “How to Homeschool Practically Free.”

You Can Succeed!

This article contained so many tips, that we hope something was able to help you slow down and take a deep breath. Deviate from the schedule or curriculum you are using and try new things.

Get plugged in with other parents for support. Many parents flock to Facebook, but if that’s not your thing, try something new. Check with your city for any local homeschool groups if that’s what you are looking for. But do not overload your schedule with activities and outings.

Once you get your groove back, rethink new ideas  for the future. Its YOUR homeschool, you get to decide how you want to educate your kids.

Take breaks when you need too, remember that your kids are ALWAYS learning. Forget about what’s next. Give yourself grace and space.

Parents you CAN succeed, do not forget about your self-care. Take the time to take care of you, to enjoy time with your spouse, get your hair and nails done, whatever selfcare looks like to you.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help, involve dad if he isn’t already.

Finally, try sabbatical homeschooling. This is by far my favorite as you homeschool year-round. The only difference is you are doing it for six weeks and taking two-week breaks. I would say at least try this for a year, to see how your family likes it. There is no one size fits all.

I will end this article with Sam Sorbo’s quote:

“It took over a decade for me to finally realize, but my message to parents is: ‘you are enough… I could fail at homeschooling, and we’d still end up ahead of the game. We’d still be better off.”

From Our Shop to Your Homeschool:

Recent Homeschool Articles:

Cook With Randomnestfamily.org with our recipes.
Heat up the oven, its dinner time!

Shop through our affiliate links!

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
Thankfulness at Randomnestfamily

JoinOur Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest articles, devotions, and special offers from our team.

 

Check your inbox or spam folder to confirm your subscription. Once you click to confirm, you will be all set! Blessings, The Randomnestfamily Team