Homeschool burnout is real and it happens to most of us at one point in our homeschool years. How can we recognize the most common causes of homeschool burnout and avoid them before they take root in our family? Today I’ll share a few key things to look for and how you can stop these destructive mindsets to keep your family from experiencing homeschool burnout.
A while back, I shared a little bit about burnout and how it makes you feel. I stressed the importance of sharing with others when you are struggling, rather than acting as though things are always fine. Admitting to each other that we struggle at times, and being real with each other, is encouraging!
Over the past 31 years of homeschooling, I have struggled with burnout quite a few times. (Eight kids + homeschooling = battle to balance it all) In this post and the next, I want to share the most common causes of burnout. (the voice of experience is speaking!)
I’ve been there, done that, and want to help you avoid getting overwhelmed while you homeschool your own children.
Common Causes of Homeschool Burnout:
Being over-scheduled and too busy.
It is VERY easy to let busyness overwhelm us as homeschooling parents! On top of teaching the academics, training our kids, and caring for our homes, there are many outside activities that we can get involved in. Without intentional planning, we can be overwhelmed with busyness! To have every hour over-booked, stresses each member of the family. It is possible to be TOO BUSY!
Busyness crowds out our relationship with God and with others. When we get too busy, things start falling apart. Relationships suffer, and priorities are often neglected.
I love how Cary Scmidt talks about when we are too busy:
I’ve noticed something. Busyness is like a snowball. It’s size and magnitude grows simply by the motion of life, and it sort of sneaks up on you. We don’t realize we’re TOO busy until something starts to breakdown and even then, we don’t always connect the symptoms with the real cause. For instance, fractured and stressed relationships sometimes have nothing to do with the heart or intent of the individuals, and everything to do with their schedules or level of fatigue.
Bad stuff happens when we get too busy and over-extended. Here’s a short list:
- Our Walk With God Diminishes
- Our Physical Fatigue Increases
- Our Relationships are Stretched
- Our Health Suffers
Everybody pays when I’m too busy—especially those closest to me.
As homeschooling moms, there is ALWAYS something that we need to be doing. It’s important that we stop regularly and evaluate our schedule and our priorities, so that we make WISE choices with how we use our time.
Seek God’s wisdom as to what HE wants for your family. Don’t fall into the trap of ongoing busyness.
Avoiding homeschool burnout can be as simple as letting go of the expectations you put on yourself. Stop looking at what others are doing, and instead focus on what your family needs. Hard stop.
“Guilty mom syndrome” is something that is common for most homeschooling moms. We look at what other families are doing in their home school, and think that we aren’t doing enough, or as much; or maybe we’re not doing it as well.
Beware of the blog trap! It’s SO easy to read all these great posts about parenting and homeschooling, and then feel discouraged because we have fallen into the trap of comparing what these bloggers do, to what WE do or don’t do.
Other times guilt comes after hearing speakers at a home school conference. Often they appear to have it all together, and we feel like we can’t measure up. Trust me – all speakers, and all homeschooling parents face struggles. None of us have it all together!
Comparing ourselves to others will discourage us and steal our joy. But even more important is the fact that GOD says it’s NOT WISE.
II Cor.10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves; but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
When you find yourself comparing, stop and ask God to show you HIS mind. Ask Him what HE wants you to do with your family and your home school. God leads us all to different things, and He may call you to something that looks very different from what He calls another family to. Many times home school burnout could be avoided by simply praying for God’s guidance, rather than comparing and trying to keep up with what others are doing.
Rather than compare, seek direction from God.
Avoiding Burnout In Your Homeschool
Oftentimes the pressure we put on ourselves when it comes to homeschooling is the very thing that burns us out. Keep these tips in mind:
Don’t overbook, overschedule and over-commit yourself and your kids. Having too many obligations, even when they are good, only causes stress, which leads to burnout.
And stop comparing you and your homeschool to others you see both in person and online. Keep your eyes on where God is leading YOU and your family and walk that path. Put blinders on to how everyone else is doing, because God has different plans for them. And that’s a good thing!
Remember the reasons why you homeschool in the first place, and make those your priorities. And you’ll find yourself on a much smoother pass to homeschool success!
Thank you Sarah!
Great advice! I like the snowball analogy with busyness. It is such a trap, and something we have to be diligent about staying on top of!