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Avoiding burnout is probably a goal of all homeschool Moms. Most of the time we don't think it could happen to us. Stress starts to set in when we don't feel that we can do everything that we have planned or that is expected.
Sometimes this comes from external sources. In my experience, it has mostly come from internal sources. When I think I can do more than what I really should be doing, stress starts to set in.
1. Realize that you are not Superwoman. Think about what you can accomplish in a day/week/month. If you find yourself consistently falling short of your to-do list, then you are probably trying to do too much.
2. Vary your teaching methods. Use music, literature, manipulatives, drawing, the outdoors, and anything else that will make learning more interesting.
3. Work towards helping your children learn independently. Once your child is about 8, he/she can do most of their work and research on their own without your help. Sit and do your work along with them to model this behavior for them.
5. Share the Load - If your home maintenance task are becoming more than you can bear, find ways to have your children participate in cleaning and managing the house. If you have to hire outside help because your children are very small, then do that. Someone else can clean your house, but no one else can home school your children like you do.
If you can't afford cleaning help, then some simple organizing might do the trick. Read my review of the Organized Parent here. It was a BIG help to me!
6. Ask other homeschoolers that seem to be successful and joyful what they do to handle burnout.
7. If a curriculum or program is not working for you or is causing a lot of stress for you and your children, don’t be afraid to move to another method or resource. Your relationship with your children is more important than finishing a curriculum that you purchased. Sometimes modifying or dropping part of the curriculum can also work to relieve some stress. Using free home school websites can sometimes add that extra zing to your curriculum and keep things moving in the right direction.
8. Evaluate yours and your children’s activities outside the home. Are you home most days or gone running from activity to activity? Sometimes if everyone will agree to drop one of their extra activities, it will give you just the right amount of time to catch up and feel more free with your time.
Relax! If you arrange your day so that everyone has some free time in their day, that can sometimes help everyone have a better perspective. Not every hour of the day has to be planned out. Homeschooling is more like tutoring than school. Tutors don’t need to spend 6 hours with their students for their students to learn what they need to learn.
Look around! Step back and observe what is going on in your home. Take time to ask questions and evaluate what is causing the stress and how it can be eliminated. Avoiding homeschool burnout is possible. Sometimes you just have to be aware of the warning signs.
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