Today, I spent the entire morning binge-watching Netflix and drinking coffee while my kids play. It’s our second day back to homeschool. I’m already suffering from homeschool burnout on day two.
Although I always feel a little burned out in January and plan for it, this year, I’m feeling particularly burned out. Last semester I was hit with more work than I’ve had in years, a husband who is working more than ever, and a surprise compliance tax audit (the bad one where they examine everything).
I took two weeks for Christmas, but I still don’t feel fully caught up.
When I’m feeling this kind of homeschool burnout, I need help.
Beat Homeschool Burnout: 5 Places to Find Support
As mothers, we usually try to do everything on our own. Our culture has an idea that a mom should be a bastion of love, organization, efficiency, and perfection. If you can’t work, homeschool, keep the house clean, put healthy meals on the table, and keep your kids behaving 24-7 then something is wrong with you.
I don’t know any parent who does all of these things successfully all of the time. Trying to do it all as a homeschooling parent is one of the fastest ways to get homeschool burnout.
When I am burned out by homeschool burnout, I look for help from others. These are the sources I’ve found useful:
Not everyone has the option of a babysitter or family nearby, but if you have either option, there is no shame in taking it! Maybe you need someone to supervise school while you run errands or maybe you just need to bathe alone. Either way, there are very few people on earth who will shame you for utilizing a sitter.
If I had a budget big enough, I’d probably hire a full-time nanny to co-homeschool with me. How nice would that be?
If your husband/spouse doesn’t work crazy hours like mine, most spouses are more than willing to help out with school, housework, or kid-watching while you do something fun (like grocery shop in silence).
Even though Josh works insane hours, he usually gives me a break on the weekends, which helps me face the week without wanting to curl in a ball and cry like an infant.
However, your spouse may not know that you need help if you don’t ask. Not all spouses are perceptive. Ask your spouse if they will take over something (like teach one subject or do the extra-curricular activity runs) if you are feeling overwhelmed by homeschool burnout. I bet they will agree.
As a work-at-home parent, if I have a deadline, I can’t always do hands-on school for eight hours a day (not that all kids need that). Now that Monkey is in 4th grade, we have turned to doing some subjects online. Right now, she does math drills, geography, history, coding, typing, and social studies online.
You can also use video school if that works better with your family. One year growing up, we all did exclusive video school so my mom could catch up.
The coolest thing about co-ops is that your children can learn things that either you cannot teach or simply do not have the time to teach. Depending on the co-op, you may even be able to drop your kids off for a day and do other family errands or catch up on work.
If you have a co-op like that, definitely use it!
Last year, another work-at-home-mom and I did a once a week kid exchange. I would take her kids for one day one week, and the next day, she took mine. This enabled us to work distraction-free one day a week and it worked quite well. We stopped doing this when school started (her children attend private school), but I miss it.
If you can work something out like that with a friend, definitely do it! It is amazing how much more you can accomplish when children are not around. Getting the support of others is not a failure, and it can be a big help in helping beat homeschool burnout.
Find the full beat homeschool burnout series here so you can defeat the eight common reasons for homeschool burnout and get back to enjoying homeschooling again!