It seems like this is that magical time of the year when homeschooling has lost it's appeal. You've slipped into a mundane rut and your passion is left dwindling. What you are experiencing is called homeschool burnout, and you are not alone. I know because I have been there too many times to count- that is until I began to recognize the warning signs. If you have noticed that something has changed in your attitude toward homeschooling, you may be experiencing the early signs of burnout.
See if you can relate to any of these homeschool burnout warning signs:
- That big yellow bus that drives past your house each morning is becoming more and more tempting. Just last week, you caught yourself fantasizing about walking to the end of the driveway and turning your children over to the care of someone else for 6 hours each day while you sit in the house, soaking up the silence, and drinking coffee. You only realized it was a fantasy when you heard your children calling out for you from the front porch asking why you're standing by the road in your bathrobe.
- Why did you begin homeschooling in the first place? Was it a moment of insanity? I mean seriously did you really think you could do this? Who are you? What day is it? These questions are constantly playing through your mind. You can't answer the easy ones anymore much less the harder ones.
- If you have to explain long division one. more. time. you cannot be held responsible for your actions. Your patience has gone beyond wearing thin, they are now nonexistent. Just last week you set a new record….15 minutes into school and everyone was crying. Even the dog.
- Speaking of long division, if you can't handle the easy stuff like that, how will you ever teach your children the “real important stuff” like Algebra and Chemistry? Yes, you must have been insane when you signed up for this. You are a detriment to your child. They will never get into a good college with you as their teacher. You are ruining their futures….at least that's what the voices in your head are telling you.
- Fun? What's that? Fun and school do not belong in the same sentence. Your kids are here to learn, not to have fun, and you must make sure that is exactly what happens. Fun?! Ha! What a joke. You can't remember the last time a laugh was heard in your home.
- It's Thursday. You're wearing the same yoga pants and t-shirt that you put on Monday. You just fixed a dinner of Lucky Charms for the third night in a row. Your husband came home from work to find you locked in the bathroom murmuring something about fractions and copywork. You asked for wine and chocolate. He obliged. The next thing you knew the sun was coming up.
- You are convinced that your children have been abducted by aliens and replaced with monsters. Who are these kids? Where did they come from? And how are you supposed to teach them?
Okay, so maybe these are a bit extreme, but, I'll bet you saw yourself in at least one of these hypothetical situations. Number one may or may not have been a true story. In all seriousness though, homeschool burnout is real and it affects not only homeschool moms but also homeschool students. If either you or your children have been exhibiting any of the following signs, it's a good chance you are on the brink of burnout:
- unusual lack of patience
- lack of motivation and desire to do school lessons
- the joy in homeschooling is gone
- second guessing your decision and/or ability to educate your children
If you are a homeschool mom on the brink of burnout, stick with me over the next week as we discuss preventable things that cause homeschool burnout and ways to combat homeschool burnout. Homeschooling is a gift, not a torture tactic….or so they say.