The Homeschool Burnout Tea with Julie series continues.
Tea with Julie

Welcome to "Tea with Julie," a weekly missive by me, Julie Bogart. My wish is to give you food for thought over a cup of tea to enhance your life as an educator, parent, and awesome adult. Glad you're here. Pinkies up!
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Cincinnati, April 24, 2021

Hi Friend,

Sometimes the unrelenting sameness of homeschool gets the best of us. We become “mini martyrs” because we’re committed to the cause, but we don’t actually like the process. We may even feel that the alternatives are so loathsome, we can't consider them.

How you feel about homeschool absolutely impacts how your kids feel about being home with you. You are the one who creates the momentum, the peace, the joy, and the enthusiasm for learning. If you’re not feeling it, no one else is either.

That’s a lot of pressure.

As you wind down the year (or if you are coming up on winter break down under), this is the time to find your joy again (or at minimum, your peace). Homeschool burnout is real and can’t be ignored or minimized.

Two ways forward

1. Go back to the beginning. 

Why did you sign up to homeschool anyway? Remember what energized you—the time with kids, the joy of learning, the opportunity to create a home of shared discovery.

  • Are you still doing those things?
  • Have you switched to a strategy that is no longer life-giving to you because you are at the “now this counts” stage?
  • Is your life over-burdened by other activities and you forgot that homeschooling requires attention outside the school day hours?
  • Have you given up on one of your challenging children? What did you do for that child at the beginning that you’ve forgotten?
  • Are you being seduced by methods that go against the grain of your natural personality?

2. Go forward. 

You need new ideas to keep you going. Read. Talk to others. Change one dynamic in your homeschool (less structure or more structure). Be intentional. Make plans that help you look forward with enthusiasm.

Part of what made homeschooling more exciting at the beginning was its “newness.”

  • Are you expecting it to continue without your investment into new ideas and trying new things?

Inject a little “new” back into the equation.

  • Find a new theory to apply.
  • Take a class.
  • Join a group.
  • Pick a new curriculum for one of the subjects that has lost its liveliness (even though it works).
  • Learn something new for yourself just “cuz.”

Let your own learning lead you.

You can’t expect yesterday’s inspiration to fuel today’s responsibilities.

You can use the past to help ground you (remember why you were happy before) and you can use the future to lead you (create new ways to be happy in the days to come).

Above all: know yourself

If you're burnt out, identify the source.

  • You have teens and they are less eager to cooperate.
  • You’re under pressure from external factors like illness, job loss, pregnancy, a new job, or some other change in circumstance.
  • One of your children still can’t ________ (read, calculate, write, cooperate, etc.).

Address the issue directly: self-education, conversation, and if it helps, therapy.

You can’t get to a happy homeschool without an honest look at what’s ailing you and your children. You have time. Take a long slow look.

It’s also okay to:

  • coast for a while,
  • to drift,
  • to let go of the reins,
  • to create peacefulness through mindful inattention.

Sometimes just living day to day, trusting that your energies will rebound once you let down the vigilance is enough. Really. Try that for a little while if you haven’t got the energy to sink your teeth into the new.

Check in with yourself on a monthly basis and see if the pressure, inertia, or disappointment ease.

Allow yourself to notice little things:

  • why you like one of your children,
  • how watching TV together brings laughter that’s been missing,
  • the way you feel more energized when you exercise or run or do yoga in the morning before everyone gets up.

Be good to you. This is a problem to solve or a circumstance to learn to live with, for now, for this season. It’s not a life sentence. Go back to one day at a time.





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Julie Bogart
© 2021 Brave Writer LLC™

Brave Writer




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