Have you been feeling homeschool burnout lately?
Trust me, I know what it is like to feel homeschool burnout, and I know it isn’t fun!
Before we dive right in, let’s talk about what homeschool burnout is in in the first place.
Basically homeschool burnout is that stressed-out feeling that seems to linger over everything related to homeschool.
And here’s the thing: it happens to every homeschool mama from time to time, as this article from the Homeschool Legal Defense Association points out.
You may feel that you don’t want to start the homeschool day – but you do it sheerly out of guilt.
Or you may find yourself resenting and questioning your decision to homeschool at all.
Basically, you feel unmotivated and overwhelmed about all things homeschool.
Burnout tends to occur before the holidays and towards the end of the school year. It’s like we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it still feels like getting a break is still so far away.
Does that about sum it up? If so, you’re in the right place!
7 Tips for Overcoming Homeschool Burnout
Here’s a quick look at 7 ways to overcome homeschool burnout:
- Go on a field trip
- Make a visit to the library
- Hold a parent/teacher – kid/student conference
- Spend a day outside
- Have a life skills day
- Talk with other homeschool moms
- Take a few days off of school completely
We’ll get into these in more detail soon, but first I need to tell you about the Reluctant Homeschool Mama’s free Resource Library!
Free Resource Library
The free Resource Library is FULL of awesome printables to help you organize you homeschool and enhance your kids’ homeschool experience!
You’ll find seasonal printables (such as holiday bingo boards, games, etc), organizational helps (like binder covers, reading list, and more), and forms for you as the administrator (curriculum overviews, etc.)
The most pertinent downloads for this article are definitely the Book Report forms, Field Trip Review pages, and the Parent/Teacher – Kid/Student Conference form!
Click on the image below or this link right here to get access to the Resource Library!
Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that I may make a small commission if you click through or purchase at no cost to you. For more information, click here.
Let’s get more in-depth about the 7 tips for overcoming homeschool burnout, shall we?
Go on a field trip
When you feel overwhelmed or tired of the your homeschool routine, going on a field trip is a great idea!
Some great places to go on field trips are:
- local historical museums
- art galleries
- science centers
- fire or police stations
- daytime symphony or arts performances
- plant nurseries
- children’s museums
- national or state parks
- local TV or radio stations
While some of these may require calling ahead (fire, police, TV and radio stations especially), many of these can be done at the drop of a hat.
Even if you live in a small town (like me!), you may be surprised at what things there are to go and do.
My town happens to have a decent art gallery at the local college, a children’s maker space in the downtown area – and even the World Wrestling Hall of Fame. How cool is that?!
Wherever you decide to go on a field trip, you can easily find ways to make it a learning experience.
Historical museums, science centers, and children’s museums offer pretty obvious learning experiences.
But you can also learn about meteorology at the local TV station, life cycles of plants at the plant nursery, or the water cycle, geology or food webs on a hike through a national or state park.
Finally, you can have your kids complete a Field Trip Review page available in the Reluctant Homeschool Mama’s free Resource Library!
Visit the library and have a reading day
Another great way to ease homeschool burnout is to visit your local library and have a family reading day!
You can decide how formal or relaxed you want this to be.
For example, you may help your kids learn about the Dewey decimal system and how to look up books in the online card catalog.
You could then have them find nonfiction books that relate to something you are currently studying (usually subjects like history and science are easiest to find!). Then let them choose 3-5 books about that topic for them to read during your family reading day.
Or, if you want to make it a more casual day, let your kids pick a specific number of books from anywhere in the library.
When you get home, everyone has the assignment to read for whatever length of time you choose.
To make this even more educational, you can assign book reports for your kids to write.
If you have non-readers, this probably won’t last all day. But allowing your little ones to choose their own books and look at them on their own at home will still give you a break. Then you can sit together as you read aloud.
Finally, if you are looking for some excellent books with homeschooling encouragement for you, check out this post here! I highly recommend the book Teaching from Rest – it brought so much peace to my heart about homeschooling!
Hold parent/teacher – kid/student conferences
One of my very favorite things to do when homeschool burnout sets in is to hold a parent/teacher – kid/student conference with each of my school-age kids.
To know exactly what to ask in these conferences, download and print the handy Parent/Child Interview Form from the Resource Library!
Why are these conferences so helpful?
First, they help identify where your kids are thriving and doing well.
Realizing that your kids are growing or learning in some subjects can motivate you to keep going!
Next, having a parent-child conference can help you both understand areas where you can improve. Having this information can be very helpful and make homeschool even better than it was before.
Finally, these conferences can really help your kids to see that you are doing your best and that you care about making homeschool both educational and enjoyable.
Spend a day outside
The fourth way to help combat homeschool burnout is to spend a day outside – especially if the weather is beautiful!
Being able to pause your homeschool routine for a day outside is one of the best things about homeschool.
(And yes, I always feel a little sad for those public school kids who are stuck inside all day on the prettiest weather days of the year!)
You could choose to have your kids help with yard work, such as pulling weeds or gathering leaves.
Of if you’d rather have a more relaxing day, you could lay a blanket out in the yard and cloud gaze together, read books of your own choosing, have a picnic, or go on a nature search.
Have a life skills day
Another option to help defeat homeschool burnout and take a break from curriculum is to have a life skills day.
What is a life skills day?
Basically, it’s a dedicated time for your kids to learn life and home skills.
Taking the time to do this will really benefit your kids in the long run, when they won’t have to sign up for classes in Adulting like many young adults are already doing today!
Some of the things you may consider doing together on your life skills day could be:
- learning cooking basics
- cleaning bathrooms, kitchen, and living areas
- learning how to do laundry
- addressing a letter
- practicing table manners and proper etiquette
If you have middle and high school kids, you may also want to add in some of these important life skills:
- how credit cards work
- simple home maintenance: plunging toilets, changing filters, etc
- basic car repair: changing tires, checking tire pressure, opening the hood
- how to interview or write a resume
Taking time to focus on life skills can be a refreshing break from normal curriculum and homeschool routines, but it is also hugely important to help our kids become grounded adults too!
Talk with other homeschool moms
Sometimes overcoming homeschool burnout doesn’t take much more than having a good vent session with some other homeschool moms.
I hope you’ve found a few homeschool mom friends where you live or that you’re able to connect with online.
Don’t be afraid to open up to these women and tell them what you are feeling!
Here’s the thing: homeschooling isn’t easy for anyone. And I’m convinced that we all feel burned out from time to time.
So don’t put pressure on yourself to act as if you’ve got it all figured out and you’re a perfect homeschool mom.
I highly encourage you to let your authentic self be seen. As you do this, you will find that your friendships will deepen and you will create a strong support system for each other throughout your homeschool journey.
Take a few days off
When everything homeschool seems to be too much, it is okay to take a few days off.
Let me repeat: IT IS OKAY to take a few days off when you really need it.
Take some time to regroup and plan if you want.
And if you don’t want to plan at all? That’s okay too.
As a homeschool mom, your mental health is so important. If you are constantly overwhelmed, your kids will feel it and homeschool will become increasingly difficult for everyone over time.
So don’t be afraid and don’t let yourself feel guilty when you need to take some time off from homeschool to rest and regroup.
Final thoughts about dealing with homeschool burnout
If you are feeling homeschool burnout, don’t worry, friend! This feeling is normal from time to time.
There’s no doubt that homeschooling can be tough. And you are not in the wrong for feeling that way at all.
You can take simple actions to help yourself move through the homeschool burnout you may be feeling. Be sure to grab the printables from the free Resource Library and pin this article now so you can have it when you need it!
And when the burnout does set in, know that you are not alone – I’m here for you!