Whilst many homeschoolers thrive upon routine, schedules, rhythm, or assignment sheets (or none of these things at all!), burnout when homeschooling for many years on end can be fatiguing at the best and ending of the homeschool journey at the worst.
Sometimes what we need a big shakeup, but in a good way! I have 6 ways I like to shake things up in my homeschooling when burnout threatens.
- Plan for and allow for margins. So, in planning one could consider careful planning of number of weeks of school a year, number of days of school in a week, and vacation planning! Plan less weeks, less days, and less material per week than you might think! Many homeschoolers are far too ambitious as to what they think they will accomplish in a school year or even in a particular day. You can’t do ALL the things. If your child blows through all projects and drawings, you can also plan a swing day each week that involves an independently focused area – practical arts, geography fun, cooking, gardening, handwork, arts projects or field trip days.
- As your children get older and responsibilities and outside of the home activities grow, consider planning the first of the month as a mental health day off and the last day of the month as a picnic/hiking/nature exploration day. It is a great reminder as to what is important!
- Delegate and let go. I personally love having a clean and picked up house. It’s my jam. I won’t sacrifice sleep to do it, but I do work in small chunks every day to make sure things are happening. If this isn’t you, let it go! Delegate chores, pick up the meal and bring it in if you cannot spend the time preparing everything from scratch anymore, get help. Let it go. Homeschooling IS a full time job. Sith multiple children it is beyond a full time job, and it serves no one to have you be a cranky and worried mess all day long because you are trying to do all the things!
- Put the big focus on the big things and put it first in the day. If your big passion in homeschooling is for family connection, then spend longer all together at the beginning of the day. If your big passion is everyone being healthy, spend time at the beginning of the day with healthy cooking or coping strategies. If your big passion is your small farm, use your time there. Then fill in either the weakest (ie, the child who hates math, that’s next!) or the next biggest parts of school, and understand there are only a certain number of hours in the day.
- Cultivate a community for yourself. Homeschooling older children that are 5th grade above can be especially lonely or isolating. It gets even lonelier at the high school level! Plan a coffee date out once a week or walk with a friend. It doesn’t have to be expensive or long to be enjoyable and rejuvenating.
- Self-care first. You cannot take care of a whole family plus animals (did I mention we just got a new puppy? Pictures are over @theparentingpassageway on IG if you want to see!) Exercise, quiet time for all WITHOUT screens is so helpful in re-setting and getting back on track.
Lots of love y’all!