Homeschooling stress is very real. There are many elements for parents to stress over. The key is to avoid burnout. You can stress through a period of time, but you can’t stress long or you are going to burn out. Finding homeschool help is a big way to avoid stress, whether it is help from family and friends, or a supportive homeschool group online.
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Homeschooling Stress: What’s stressful about homeschooling?
EVERYTHING! Everything about homeschooling can be stressful. The stress starts from the beginning, from that moment you sit there wondering if homeschooling is right for your family.
The curriculum has been chosen, you have to plan how to get through it, or if you are lucky, you have chosen one that the planning is done for you. This will save you a lot of stress.
Symptoms of Burnout:
- Feeling tired and drained most of the time
- Lowered immunity, frequent illnesses
- Frequent headaches or muscle pain
- Change in appetite or sleep habits
What Can You Do to Avoid Burnout?
Sometimes, you have to step back from the curriculum, and from homeschooling. If you feel yourself getting to the point of burnout you need to stop and figure out what is causing your stress.
You need to cut that, whatever it is that is causing you to be stressed and is pushing you to burnout. It could be as simple as too much curriculum work and not enough fun.
For me, there are some key times that I get close to burnout: August with the planning, February/March when I can see how much we many lessons we have finished, and how many lessons are left to “finish” along with how much time we have left of the year.
*I used quotes around finish because we do not have to finish every lesson, and sometimes it is better for everyone to stop early.
Ways to reduce stress and burnout
If you are feeling burnt out over the number of lessons to finish – it is okay to stop early or to pick and choose what lessons you feel are more important.
If the curriculum is not working for your kids (or you) – find something different. Yes, it may have cost you to buy it, but health is more important. Maybe you can sell it to another homeschool family.
Too many extra-curricular activities – I have seen families burn out a lot over this one. Too many activities, too much driving here and there, too much trying to make everyone’s schedules work together.
You might want to have your child pick one activity to stick with instead. Only give them the option of ones that work for your schedule easily.
Do something you love! Go for a walk or run, grab that adult coloring book, and read a new book. Do something that makes you happy, and helps you to relax. Make time for it, even if it is just 5 minutes a day.
Go to bed earlier – this makes a huge difference for me. Turn the TV off, put the cellphone down, and go to bed, go to sleep a little earlier.
I love and hate the quote “You can’t pour from an empty cup”, but it’s true. You cannot take care of your family if you are burnout.