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Five Tips to Avoid Homeschool Mom Winter Burnout
Hello friends, and welcome back to Season Three of Cultivating Grace for some homeschool mom encouragement.
I am so happy to have you here with us again. We’ve missed you. I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season with your family and had lots of time to rest. Now, for most of us, we know that rest and holidays are not necessarily synonymous. So if you’re still a little tired and feeling kind of humdrum about the year ahead, this episode is for you. We are going to talk about beating homeschool mom burnout.
How to Overcome Homeschool Burnout
A lot of times this time of year we’re stuck inside more than we’d like to be, with our children ready to go all the time and play, and there’s just not the nice weather that they need to be outside. So there’s more tension within the home because everybody’s just itching to go and do, and it’s just not a good season for it. This time of year all our outdoor co-ops stop meeting, so we lose a lot of our mom connections and that can make us feel very lonely very quickly during these darker winter months.
Here are some ideas to help you beat homeschool mom burnout. Once a week, try to schedule a teatime with one of your friends, or a group of friends is even better, but you want to keep that connection up. Now, if you can do it in person, that’s wonderful. But sometimes, during the winter months especially, it’s just easier if you can meet over Skype, or FaceTime, or even a long chat over text message, or a phone call, but someway where you can connect and keep that support going. We all need someone to help us in this journey. We were not meant to walk this journey alone, so you really want to make sure that you keep those connections going even during the winter months when you’re not necessarily seeing everyone so much.
Something else that you can do to help beat homeschool mom burnout is to go ahead and start planning for your conventions. All of us love the conventions in the springtime. If you’ve never been to one I do recommend them. They are absolutely fantastic, and depending on where your struggles in your homeschool are, it’s probably going to determine what speakers you would be more interested in hearing. Then, all you’d have to do is go to their websites and look at where they’re going to be speaking. Then, from there you can pick your convention. There are conventions all over the United States now. Several in Canada, and I believe there’s even some in the UK. But planning for your conventions is a really good way to get yourself excited again about your homeschool.
Something else you can do this time of year if you have a lot of complaining and gnashing of teeth. If it began before your break, or if the struggles began before your break, this is an excellent time of year to reevaluate your methods and your curriculum. Take a midyear evaluation, if you will. Sit down with your children who are old enough and ask them for their input. They’ll be very appreciative of that, and it really does help to build a stronger bond between you and your children when you allow them to be heard.
But talk to them about what’s working for them and what’s not. What do they want to achieve by the end of the year? What sort of things do they want to learn? And this sort of evaluation will help you determine if something is working or if it’s not. If it’s not, you can decide if it’s something that you can tweak within the curriculum to make it work for your child, or if you just need to find something completely different.
For us, this happens sometimes with math. We haven’t had to switch anything since we started Teaching Textbooks, and I am so grateful for that. But having my son explain to me that he was struggling with the way that the concepts were presented and he just couldn’t wrap his head around it, told me that we definitely needed to look at this deeper. When you let your children have that input, it also makes things better for you, because when everybody’s happier with how they’re learning it makes learning more productive for everyone involved. Then, mom doesn’t have to fuss and gnash teeth and whine and complain to get the kids to do their work. Everybody wins.
Another thing that you can do to help beat homeschool mom burnout is make sure that you take some time for your own mother culture. You want to be actively learning ahead of your children for your own studies, but you also want to be learning just to keep your mind engaged. Find a few books that you really, really, really have been wanting to read, but during the summer months maybe you didn’t have time. Make a conscious effort to sit down for 30 minutes everyday and read. This is an excellent thing to instill in your own children as well. We try to do it after lunch. We’ll do our devotions during lunch, and then after lunch while everybody’s digesting everything we’ll go off to our own little corners, and we’ll take 30 minutes and everybody reads. The deal is that everybody has to read quietly, and everybody has to read by themselves. This prevents any sort of roughhousing from starting over a book.
But make time for yourself to read. Make time to listen to the music you like. If there’s a particular artist that you enjoy listening to, make sure you’ve got some of that on your phone and turn it on while you’re cooking dinner. But do these little things as a self-care mechanism to keep your spirits up during these colder winter months.
The final thing that you can do to help beat homeschool mom burnout is that sometimes we just need an uninvolved third party to help us get refreshed. One of the ways that you can do that is through a homeschool consultant. You can find someone to walk you through what curriculum is working, what isn’t working, if your method maybe needs to change, or if you have a child that has a learning challenge and you’re not sure how to address it. There are homeschool consultants for everything, and they are there to help you get past these bumps so that you don’t frustrate yourself to point of burning out and slapping that Out of Order sign on your forehead because nobody wants that. We all remember when Mama Bear of the Berenstains went on strike and it was not good, so we really need to work to avoid that in our own lives.
Those are how we work to prevent homeschool mom burnout. I’d love to hear your tips, so join us over on the website. You can find us at EverydayGracesHomeschool.com and you can look under the podcast and you will find our transcription of this podcast along with any recommended resources. Thank you again so much for joining us for another season of Cultivating Grace.
Resources to bring joy and ease to the life of a homeschool mom:
A homeschool planner can help you structure your days well and teach your children how to do the same.