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Monday, January 12, 2009

Homeschool Burn Out

Homeschool Burn Out. I have yet to get to this point, but as I have heard many of time...the day will come. I read this article in The Heart of The Matter The Homeschool burn Out, Rising for the Ashes. and I thought, wow, what a great article to have in my archive for me to go back to someday when or if that day comes. Here is just a few little blurbs from each of the headings of the article. If you want to read the whole article, then go to HOTM.

Burnout. The sound of the word itself reminds me of spent canons, smoking guns, or smoldering embers where once there was a passion and a fire. In the words of Sam Keen, “Burnout is nature’s way of telling you, you’ve been going through the motions. Your soul has departed; you’re a zombie, a member of the walking dead, a sleepwalker.” No wonder homeschool mothers dread it.

Do you have any of these symptoms?
Inability to cope
Feeling overwhelmed
Lack of patience
Lack of enthusiasm
Lack of motivation
Fatigue - mental or physical
Zoning out
“I don’t care” attitude
Under or overeating
No sense of priority
Crying easily
Inability to manage time well
Wanting to hide or get away without your family
Those types of feelings are typical to all of us at one time or another, and having a little of some may be healthy from time to time - because life is not always easy.

I’m sure you have heard that the first step to healing is admitting there’s a problem. The same rings true with homeschool burnout. We are creatures of habit. We are also prone to continue in those habits even if they are unproductive and damaging - leading us further and further away from our goals. It is amazing how one can be frustrated by what they do, and yet continue to do it. This is the human way.

Christian homeschoolers have a decided advantage when it comes to burnout. We have access to supernatural strength reserves. Even though burnout is inevitable, it will pass after it comes. Our job is to help it pass quickly and not allow it to settle in and stick around. Refuse to have a pity party or sulk by yourself. Refuse the temptation to take out your frustration on the ones you love the most. Instead, seek the Lord’s wisdom and refreshing – He gives generously to all who ask.

Take proactive measures to help prevent burnout. Schedule your time realistically. If you are not an early riser by nature, don’t set your school day to begin at 6:30 a.m. It might work for a few days, but it probably won’t last and then you’ll end up feeling like you’ve failed.

Break down your lesson plan into segments: by year, semester, quarter, and week. Delegate authority - give your children responsibility for chores and school assignments. Create a school planner, even if it’s a simple store-bought weekly/monthly calendar.

Inexpensive plastic baskets can be used to hold each child’s books, and these can be lined up on a bookshelf. Simplify your school space.

Join a support group or co-op to connect with other homeschooling moms. You and your children can both benefit from the support and socialization.

Ask for your husband’s help and share your feelings with him – you need moral support!

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