It’s summer, but why am I already feeling homeschool burnout?
If there’s one thing I know, it’s how I think my homeschool is going to look come the new school year and the reality of what it looks like are quite different. Anyone else relate?
When I start planning for the upcoming school year in April of the current school year, I have wonderful plans.
We’ll wake up early. Eat a healthy breakfast. Spend a few minutes in prayer as a family. The kids will be excited to hear all about what I have planned for the day.
They will be excited to get started. I mean, who wouldn’t?
I spent hours late at night and on several weekends for months researching the best math for my child struggling with fractions. I consulted (in tears) my best homeschool mom friends for advice on how they got their 2nd-grader to finally read because mine wasn’t.
So when day 1 of the new school year rolls around, my kids are not thrilled or motivated, one is already in tears before breakfast. The baby woke up early, only wanting to be held for the entire morning. I feel defeated and we haven’t even gotten started.
That mom I follow on Instagram seems to be able to do it all. Why can’t I?
It’s like I’m already facing homeschool burnout, and co-op hasn’t even started back up.
Anyone else already start off their school year and feel the pang of familiarity in what you just read? Are you already dreading the coming year because you feel like you still haven’t recovered from the last one?
Here are a few quick reads (less than 200 pages each) that help me regain perspective in my role as homeschool mom and teacher when I face summer burnout.
These selections are chock full of Biblical truth, wisdom, hilarity and take honest looks at the reality of being a homeschool mom. Each offer practical steps at regaining your enthusiasm and purpose for homeschooling.
1. Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie
This book came into my life in a season of severe homeschool burnout and questioning why I ever decided to homeschool.
Several friends who had been homeschooling way longer than I had recommended I read it. I like to think they weren’t trying to start a subtle intervention.
Sarah does a wonderful job of helping you turn to God to re-focus and default to rest so that you can experience the peace that God wants to offer you in life and as you homeschool your children. Much of the time there is such anxiety we carry as moms, especially as homeschool moms.
We desire the best for our children’s education and have taken on the role as their primary teacher. That nagging question is always in the front of our mind, “Am I doing enough?”
This little book is one I come back to year after year as I embark on homeschooling my growing children. I love this quote, as I feel it embodies the heart of Teaching from Rest:
“Rest is trusting that God’s got this, even if I’m a mess, even if I’m not enough, even if I mess up every day. Because I do.”
2. Daylight: Managing Your Days Through the Homeschool Years by Heidi St. John
Heidi St. John recently spoke in Kansas City and I was fortunate to attend. I picked up this book at her conference because I S.T.R.U.G.G.L.E. with managing my time during the day and getting everything taken care of that I need to.
I have the best intentions of following through with my lesson plans, and then I realize it’s lunchtime and I don’t have a clue what we’re eating because I never made it to the store.
Oh, and the laundry is so behind that I might want to consider going shopping because my kids have already moved up a size since I started the last load.
By this point I’m looking around at all the school books and projects spread all over the house, and I’m feeling overwhelmed.
Heidi is a homeschooling mom to seven children and has come up with some genius ways to keep her home running while she’s schooling her children. She also has a very successful home business blogging and traveling the country speaking.
Mixed with humor and wisdom, this book will make you laugh out loud while filling you with easy ideas you can start implementing today. It will help you avoid the burnout that comes because you are overwhelmed with household responsibilities and homeschooling.
3. Better Together: Strengthen your family, simplify your homeschool, and savor the subjects that matter most by Pam Barnhill
This book just came out this year, and it has been a total game changer already in my homeschool. It’s like Pam is speaking directly to my heart on where I’ve put my priorities as a homeschool mom and why I’ve felt so burned out lately.
As my children have gotten older, I feel the pressure to have them perform well academically as we are heading into the high school years in a very short time. What I’ve unintentionally done is create a stressful environment by cutting out the connection times I had with my children when they were younger.
Pam has helped me regain my focus this school year so I’m not as concerned with the tasks at hand, but the relationships that need to continue to develop with my children. By using her tips to rearrange our day and make connecting a priority again, I have seen a change in my children and the pace of our day.
Another thing I love about this book is that the back is full of living books and subject by subject resources and ideas for further study.
This is by no means a complete list of all the books that have helped me along the way as a homeschool mom, but these books have offered hope and encouragement by hearing these women’s personal stories and how they managed to fight the burnout and fatigue that so often accompanies us as homeschooling moms.
Do you feel burned out and want to connect with other local moms? MPE offers monthly mom breakfasts for fellowship and encouragement as well as an annual Women’s Encouragment Day. You can find more info here.