Suggestions to Combat Homeschool Burnout

by | Homeschooling | 2 comments

We hear a lot today about burnout in homeschooling.

….. I lie in bed at night and dread the thought of starting school the next day….. A life of drudgery is not what I envisioned a few short months ago… It’s such a struggle to get the kids to do anything.

The only time I disliked homeschooling was from 1980-83, the first three years that we formally homeschooled and were following a rigid correspondence type curriculum. There was a pile of workbooks to get through each day, a long list of subjects to check off on my notepad, a schedule to keep, and all that in addition to the normal things which must be accomplished in the home, such as changing diapers, cooking and cleaning.

By 1983 I was so thoroughly tired of the schooling routine, and our oldest had become so reluctant to do school, that we threw out the school-in-a-box, and the Lord began to show us a different way. The first change I made was to start reading to the children — not just the baby picture books (although we still read those), but the long chapter books — the books I wanted to read, like Treasure Island, the works of Jules Verne and the Little House series by Laura Ingles Wilder. At the beginning, the babies didn’t get anything out of the reading, but the older ones loved it. Yet I suppose the person who loved it the most was me. Through the years I read to them all the books I had always wanted to read but never had the time, and I certainly paid no attention to grade level. I read to my own grade level. And they learned to love reading because they saw how much pleasure it gave me.

I soon learned to apply that same philosophy to other areas as well and pursued an education for myself, bringing the children along side me. Many days were spent in libraries — both local and university level — with the children helping me do research on our current topic and the baby playing beside us in a laundry basket (strollers weren’t allowed). We must have been a strange sight to the college students. Yes, we did the grammar and math like we were supposed to, but we majored on projects — history and science projects, learning writing skills and much more in the process.

If you are not enjoying the adventure of homeschooling — and it truly is an adventure — but are rather seeing it as a job which must be endured, perhaps you might consider changing your perspective. Look on homeschooling as primarily an opportunity to educate yourself and bring the kids along side.