Homeschool mom burnout is a very real phenomenon. It happens to mothers who homeschool their children and it’s very understandable that it happens.
Mothers who homeschool their children also have to take care of the home, do the cooking, be a mother and wife. It’s a lot to contend with.
What is homeschool mom burnout?
Homeschool burnout happens when you are in a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion because of having too much to do for too long and the stress that goes with that.
In this situation, you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet normal demands.
What are some signs that you are burned out and need a break
You are showing signs of burnout when you constantly feel exhausted, start to dislike what you are doing, and begin to feel less capable about your ability to teach your children and taking care of their education.
Specifically, you probably are experiencing homeschool mom burnout if you have some of these feelings:
- frequently feeling that things are too much for you
- running out of patience sooner
- feeling hopeless
- no energy to do normal tasks
- feeling irritable
- lack creativity
- constantly judging yourself as not good enough
- feeling negative about your role as a homeschool mom
- wanting to give up homeschooling
Can you prevent homeschool mom burnout?
With so much to do and accomplish, burnout is bound to happen at some point. Here are a few suggestions for you that may help you cope throughout the year and prevent burnout.
7 Tips to avoid homeschool burnout
1. Stick to what is essential
When you notice that you are getting too tired to cope with everything, take a step back and relax before you have a full-on breakdown.
Everything doesn’t have to be perfect. Your children don’t need to do all the work for all their subjects every day and you can do those extra activities with them when you have energy again.
Focus on the essential subjects only and give yourself and your kids a bit of a break. When you feel better, you and they will be able to catch up.
2. Don’t schedule too many activities
This is an important point as it’s so easy to fall into that trap. You want your children to develop their talents and you want them to have fun in their free time. And you want to spend time with a friend occasionally.
Between teaching, running errands, and keeping appointments, there is precious little time for everyone to just relax.
But when you don’t have downtime and your family doesn’t have downtime, not only you, but the whole household is bound to suffer from burnout.
When you figure out your schedule for the week or the month, make sure you schedule downtime for yourself and the family.
3. Take a mental health day
Remember your mental health is just as important as your physical health. When you get a cold, you need to rest; when you are mentally exhausted, your mind needs a break to recover and feel fresh again.
Give your mind a break and do activities you and the kids enjoy. If at all possible, take time just for you. Read a book, go for a massage, or a long walk or browse in the mall, if that relaxes you. Main point? Take the day and don’t feel guilty about it. You deserve it.
4. Don’t fall into a teaching rut
While a routine is a good thing that helps you to accomplish your teaching goals, it’s not a bad idea to change things up a bit at times.
Don’t teach math first thing Monday morning like you always do- change things up and teach a different subject or leave the house and discover what the outdoors has to teach.
If you start to get bored with what you’re doing, do something else, even if it’s just for a day, or just for one subject. Or simply get out even if it wasn’t planned for that day. Learning can also happen when you’re out in nature or at the library.
5. Get help
One way to avoid burnout is to get help with the teaching. One way to do this is to employ a tutor.
If you get a tutor to take over your teaching for one day a week, it’s one day you have to yourself for catching up with other responsibilities and importantly, to take time for yourself.
See if you can partner with another homeschool mom. This way you can divide the subjects between you and each be responsible to teach half of the curriculum. This arrangement cuts the work in half and also provides ongoing support.
6. Include fun activities
A sure way to prevent homeschool burnout is to have regular fun activities scheduled. School should not only be about studying and getting through the curriculum. A lot of learning takes place when kids are having fun.
Bake cookies, play board games or do some reading from a favorite book. You can read aloud to each other or each person can settle down with their own book for some time of quiet reading.
Or get outside and play some ball games. Getting outdoors is always go for getting one’s batteries recharged.
Don’t forget the importance of friendship. If you feel a lull in your teaching and your kids’ interest in schoolwork, a social outing with friends.
7. Don’t compare your homeschooling journey to others
Comparing your homeschooling journey to others will only bring you misery. There will always be mothers who do things differently, that doesn’t mean it’s better than what you are doing.
You will always wonder if you chose the best curriculum, especially if you keep listening to other parents’ choices.
The more you compare your curriculum, your lessons, and your children’s progress with others, the more your confidence will dwindle. Don’t do it. Every homeschool is different and everyone is doing their best.
Learn to avoid and overcome Homeschool mom burnout
How to overcome mom burnout?
Burnout doesn’t last forever but it’s also not over in a day or two. Once you are in a state of total exhaustion, there’s only one thing to do: total rest.
For most mothers who homeschool, reasonable time of total rest will only be possible over the long summer holidays. However, if you come to the end of your tether at any other time during the year, take a week off to give yourself a complete break.
1. Allow yourself and your kids to do absolutely nothing
For my family, that means playing video games, watching movies, and internet-surfing. I know that is indulging in too much mindless activity, but sometimes there is nothing better to help you escape for a while.
Doing some of these activities with your children, just to have fun and not as their teacher, helps you to reconnect with them again on a basic human level, which is important.
Whatever you do, if you find yourself wiped out and in need of a few days off to recuperate, do it and do it without feeling guilty – that will defeat the purpose altogether.
2. Take more breaks
This is a lesson that many homeschool moms learn after some years of homeschooling their children. It is taxing to teach children and if you do it year in and year out, you run the risk of homeschool mom burnout.
To avoid this, schedule regular breaks during the year. To accommodate extra breaks, start your school year a bit earlier. You could, for instance, plan a break once every six weeks when you can have a long weekend.
3. Take mental health breaks
If you feel totally wiped out, it’s time to take a mental health break. Despite all your best efforts and meticulous planning, there will be days that you feel overwhelmed. ‘
It’s not in anyone’s interest if you just try to work through it while all you need is a break. One of the benefits of homeschooling is the fact that you are not part of the formal school schedule and you can actually take a day or two off. Sometimes it’s just better for everyone if you put the brakes on and put your feet up.
Being a homeschool mom is a wonderful and a privilege, but because you play several roles at the same time, you can easily reach a point of burnout.
There are steps you can take to prevent homeschool mom burnout like planning more breaks during the year and giving yourself permission to take the occasional mental health day.
If you give yourself enough breaks and ask for help, that feeling of exhaustion will go away and you’ll be able to carry on with renewed energy.