Homeschool Burnout (Pt. 2)

Beating Homeschool Burnout

Yesterday, I posted about my total and utter lack of motivation to do homeschool with my preschooler. I mentioned it wasn’t just “burn out,” it was crash and burn out.

I have a little widget on the home screen of my (Android) phone called “Scripture of the Day.” I am constantly surprised at how often the chosen verse of the day seems to apply specifically to me and the help I need that day.
{Could that be because the scriptures do apply to me each day? ;)}
Yesterday, the scripture was something along the lines of the Lord holding our hand. Well, yesterday was a day off from {public} school and trust me–I needed a little hand holding. (I wish I could remember the exact reference, sorry!)
(Okay, I looked it up, because I’m awesome and remember that google exists.)

For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. –Isaiah 41:13.

That scripture was very much needed that day, and quite possibly the reason I made it through–barely–the day. The day we were sealed, the scripture was:

Behold, this I have given unto you as a parable, and it is even as I am. I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine. – D&C 38:27

There are a lot of interpretations to that scripture, but it seemed particularly fitting on the day that we were become as one–sealed together forever–and becoming an Eternal Family in God’s eyes.

So the day after I posted about burnout, I wasn’t at all surprised when the scripture for today was this:

Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great. –D&C 64:33

To me, it’s not just a perfect homeschooling scripture, it’s a perfect mothering scripture. How wearisome it can be to raise these little children of God. They test our patience to the extreme. Case in point: today, I was buying myself new scriptures (yay! a little sealing present to myself), and my own little Trials were running around the Distribution Center like they had never left the house before. The woman behind the counter, as she rung up my purchases, commented, “How hard, and wonderful, it is to be a mother!”

So as I’m homeschooling, I know it will be wearying. But I know I’m doing it to build the foundation of both worldly and spiritual knowledge. And out of small things–my sweet children–great things will come. What a promise! As we exhaust ourselves chasing after, cleaning up, educating, loving on, and cleaning up after again, we are promised that this work that we are doing, as mothers, is a great work! When the world sees us as “just a mom,” God is letting us know that what we are doing is important in His eyes.

From reading your comments on my post (Thank you! Thank you! THANK YOU!), I pinpointed the following things I could be doing or changing in my homeschooling. I hope this helps some of you as you approach (or fear!) burn out.

1. Mix it Up
If the going gets boring, get the boring going. Or something. If what you’re doing feels too repetitive, too much of the same-old, same-old, take a break! Commenters suggested parks, museums, or even a change in studies. You know how important my preschool curriculum is to me, but maybe taking a break to study a fun book for a week or so would help re-energize my homeschool batteries.

2. Schedule Breaks
Just because “real school” is 9 months on, 3 months off, doesn’t mean I have to be. I’ve been following the school schedule because that’s where my step children are, and it makes sense. But it is just preschool, so taking a *scheduled* week off here and there will help prevent unscheduled breaks when it starts to seem never ending!

3. Realize it’s NORMAL
Guess what? Turns out my “homeschool burnout” doesn’t mean I’ve failed. If anything, it means welcome to the club, because as far as I could tell, all homeschooling families have faced the burnout. It’s sort of like a weird initiation. Also, it seems to happen a lot in January! If I take it in stride, then maybe I won’t dig my head in the sand and start crying about how pathetic I am. Maybe I need to pick a day to “start,” and get things prepped again, as if we are starting over for the year. Until then, have some fun! And for crying out loud, I have got to get out of the house more.

Here is my plan:

  • I am going “back to school” January 23rd.
  • I’m going to get the school room organized–hopefully today.
  • I am going to print off a unit study on penguins. I chose penguins because
  • we are going to the aquarium this week. (Baby penguins people!)
  • We are going to spend a day in our PJ’s reading books. (Loved this suggestion from the comments!) Maybe this should follow a library day so we can get lots of new books, including books on things Nicole was excited about at the aquarium.
  • I’m going to spend evenings working on finishing up the entire preschool curriculum. I am really close.
  • I loved the idea of “rowing” a book of our choosing, just for the heck of it.
  • On Saturday, I’m going to spend the day printing and organizing so I will be ready for next Monday.
  • Find fellow homeschoolers in my area. (Any home preschoolers in Salt Lake?? Email me!)
  • I’m going to take deep breaths and relax.

I think I will start the penguin unit study next Monday. This will be a “fun” jump back into school, so I won’t be dragging my feet on Monday. (I hope.)

If you need a little inspiration to get back into homeschooling, or to beat the burnout, read this post from the fabulous Chocolate on my Cranium blog. Also, check out this article from the LDS Home Educators Association if you need a reminder on why you homeschool. 

Again, thank you to everyone who commented. I know some of you were looking for answers yourself: thank you for helping me feel more normal! :) I hope this helped anyone who is feeling the January Blahs.

Are you in the middle of the January Blahs? Have you ever experienced homeschool–or Mommy–burnout? What helps you beat the blues?

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13 Responses to Homeschool Burnout (Pt. 2)

  1. Kellie says:

    Thanks for your post. Those are great scriptures and I needed to hear them today. My husband goes to school and works full time, leaving me with the kids A LOT and I am mentally and physically exhausted today. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone. Now, to get these kids to bed and find me some chocolate!

    • Oh, Kellie, you are SO not alone. I would count how many hours my husband is gone a day but after watching hours of Elmo and Dora, I find I can only count to ten. BUT at least I can count to ten in Spanish and English!!

      Bed & chocolate. Some days, it’s all we have! (That and awesome scriptures!)

  2. HighDesertGal says:

    Thank you, I didn’t know about that android app and I could sure use it!

  3. Kim says:

    I appreciate your post. I just happened onto your blog through Pinterest and I appreciate your thoughts and scriptures today. Congrats on being sealed and getting new scriptures! You’re not alone! Though I don’t home school my children my sister does for her 6 kids and don’t know how she does it. I truly admire her and you for doing it! Sounds like you are getting ready for next week with gusto!

    • Well, gusto on one day… mild interest on the others. Lol. I need to get working on school things but I’m starting to feel more excited and less dread-ful. Full of dread? Whatever. And thanks for the congrats! I’m so glad you found me, and I literally don’t know what I did with my time before Pinterest. Lol.

  4. Thyme says:

    For me, the best way to beat burn out was to do school 6 weeks on, 1 week off. During the summer I also printed off, laminated and organized the ENTIRE curriculum. So that I only have to pull it out and go, even when I don’t feel like it. Which in the beginning happened often. I also get the next day ready while my daughter is doing school (I wish we had workboxes, instead we have “pick your pile until all the piles are done.” kind of like stations, but they are all on the table, lol.) otherwise I’m more likely to slack the next morning when I’m tired, 32 weeks pregnant and trying to keep the 18-month-old from hurting herself.

    Wish we were in the Salt Lake area. :( (I think that’s the only time I’ve ever thought that…besides when I wished there was a Deseret within walking distance.)

    • I like the idea of prepping the next day during school. That way I’m not like, “Oh my gosh this is so boring I’m so bored…” I have something to do. :D Thanks for the tip! Definitely using that.

      I don’t LOVE living in SLC, but there are definitely benefits. Lots of Deseret Books are a benefit… and… there are some other benefits too, I just can’t think of any at the moment. ;)

      • Thyme says:

        That’s exactly why I do it! Otherwise I’m mentally hitting myself in the head while watching Sydney color or cut out paper. Gives me something to do, and I’m still right there watching her. It also keeps me from saying the next morning, “I’m too tired to get things out of the file…” because it’s already done! Otherwise I totally loose motivation to pull things out, lame, right?

        My husband is from SLC, he moved to the Pacific NW when he was 16 (the year before I met him) and he doesn’t miss it one bit. He gets all grumpy if its suggested that we visit Utah, lol.

  5. Angela says:

    I’m a homeschooling mom of 4 (age 7, 2nd Grade, age 5, 1st grade, age 3 preschool and age 1). We live in South Jordan and have a great group of families that get together once a week at rotating houses. My older 2 love “Wednesday School” because it gets them out of the house with a group of friends their ages and doing a lot of fun projects. Tuesday afternoons the preschool age kids get together– there are just 3 of them. I love it because it gives my daughter her own special thing to do and I only have to worry about teaching every 3rd week (preschool) and every 5th week (older kids).

  6. Tanya says:

    I recently started homeschooling my 10 year old daughter and 5 year old son. All with a one year old. I so needed to read your comments today! Thanks a bunch for the encouragement. You rock!

    • I have a 4 year old and an almost 2 year old… and there are days when I just don’t GET how mothers with bigger families do it!! Best of luck to you. You’re being what your children need you to be for them! {I realize that sentence is weird. It looks weird. Hopefully my intent comes across cuz I’m kinda tired!}

    • Kaleem says:

      Blue Leaf,Each state has their own laws about education. A B.A/B.S. is uualsly required and state certification is also necessary. A criminal background check is required. English proficiency in reading and writing is desired. Most states now have a teacher test that must be passed for a teacher to teach in a public school system. Always check out who the accreditating agency is. Just because an agency accreditates a course does not mean that it will be allowed by a state.Be careful of schemes to get yo u to teach in the US. Right now, various Philipino teachers are suing a company that brought them to the Us with a promised contract. The company wined and dined superintendents to get them to promise them a contract. Turns out that there were no contract available and the teachers are stranded in the US.Good-luck with your teaching career! Asi sea ..

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