Homeschooling burnout can occur when a parent tries to take on too much responsibility all at
once or when unexpected circumstances occur. Often parents who desire (for all the right reasons), to school their
children in the home, encounter added burdens or try to do everything perfectly and thus find themselves stressed
out. Burnout can then become one more issue to deal with. There are many different situations which can that lead
to this kind of frustration such as an extended illness, a new baby, added responsibility in the form of a long
term visitor, extra transportation duties, etc, change in routine etc.
Since all of us feel stressed out from time to time you may be wondering how to tell if you have reached the
point of burnout. The symptoms may vary, from continually biting everyone's heads off, excessive overeating and
crying for no reason to dreading each day and struggling to be motivated. The main thing is that you recognize it
and evaluate what needs to happen next.
It might surprise you to know that reaching the point where you feel burned out is not necessarily a bad thing.
Instead it can be a wake-up call and a caution light that it is time to reschedule. Certainly, if you are feeling
this stressed, your children are noticing and feeling the effects as well. Perhaps everyone needs a short break for
a few days, during which the parents can re-examine and regroup for a healthy new start. Reversing or avoiding
homeschooling burnout is completely possible if you will be alert to the signs in yourself and the kids, and then
take action to correct the situation.
To correct this type of overload, first lower your expectations. Neither you or your children are going to be
perfect and that is normal and acceptable. Try to realize all that happens can be a positive learning experience
for you and the children and take the good days with the bad. When something you have been doing is no longer
working, look for alternative methods. Flexibility is a key factor. If tension starts mounting, take a break. One
advantage of homeschooling is that when necessary, you can change the style of teaching, the structure, the time of
day, scheduling issues, as well as anything else that is required for greater success.
The majority of homeschooling families use a mix of materials in their home school. For instance, they
might use a pre-designed program for mathematics, teach their own language arts, spelling, etc. cover history with
reading and field trips, art with Grandma two afternoons a week, and science through a local science club. One of
the keys here is to avoid overwhelming yourself or your children and having your experience turn into homeschooling
burnout. Spouses should spend a lot of time working on the planning together even if only one of them is home
during the day, that way no-one feels overloaded and alone. It is also important for spouses to process with each
other at the end of the day. Get the support you need from family, neighbors or a support group. Don't try to
achieve everything by yourself. Home schooling can and should be a wonderful experience even with the
challenges that we encounter.