It’s been a while, but we’re finally back to the beat homeschool burnout series!
Today, I wanted to talk about how to create a homeschool routine to keep homeschool burnout at bay.
Evaluate Your Schedule
Homeschooling families typically have one of three schedules:
- Your family follows a regimented schedule at home with time slots for everything. You always do math at 9, reading at 10, science at 1, etc.
- Your family follows a relaxed schedule. You may change up the order or time in which you do subjects. You may decide to do math two days in a row, then do reading all day the next day. You go with the flow.
- You squeeze in school between running errands, working, going to and from activities, and whatever else you do in a week. You are busy, busy, busy all the time.
No matter what schedule you use, it can burn you out. Running around from place to place is tiring. Following the same schedule every day is boring. Switching from thing to thing means getting behind is easy.
If you feel burned out by your current schedule, changing things up a bit can make a huge difference! Depending on the schedule that you normally have, the following ideas can help you beat homeschool burnout caused by scheduling issues and show you how to create a routine that will work for you:
Avoid Burnout from Over Scheduling
It may seem scary, but throwing out the schedule for a while may be exactly what you need.
If you are anything like our family, trying to stick to a schedule never works because something always takes more time than it ought to. Whether it is searching for shoes before you can leave the house, or taking twice as long to get through reading time because your 9-year-old just has to explain to the younger kids how the water cycle works, there is always something that makes sticking to a detailed schedule hard. This makes it feel like you are always running behind.
Feeling like you are behind causes stress in your mind, which can easily transfer to frustration in the children.
This is never a good combo.
Rather than scheduling each and every minute, a routine is a better option. A routine offers structure and purpose to each day, but it allows for the ebb and flow of everyday life in a way that a minute-by-minute schedule does not.
Avoid Burnout from Under-Scheduling
If you are an under-scheduler, you probably think you have all the time in the world to complete your yearly goals- until suddenly it’s March and you are less than halfway through your books.
I was a schedule-hater for a long time. Our mom tended to create schedules that accounted for every minute of the day. I really hated that schedule, so I thought I hated all schedules.
However, while structure is important, you don’t have to have a full-blown schedule to add structure to your day. What you really need is a routine. A routine can help you set boundaries on your day so that you don’t waste time and helps you focus on what you need to get done.
Avoid Burnout from Over-Activity
If you are involved in a lot of activities and feel like you have no time to get school done, it may be time to re-evaluate how you are spending your time. If you are always away at field trips, extra-curricular activities, meet-ups, sports, and other activities, homeschooling is difficult! There is a certain amount of “home” that is necessary to homeschool properly. While you can teach math at the Chick-Fil-A playground (I have many a time), it may not be the best option for your children’s long-term education.
If you feel burned out because you are never at home, you may find it best to cut back on some of these activities and stay home a bit more and create a home-based routine so you can concentrate on school.
How to Create a Homeschool Routine
Creating a homeschool routine doesn’t have to be hard. Use these tips to create your own routine!
Create Actionable Goals
Establish goals for each day, week, month, semester, and year.
For example, your year goal may be to get through a math textbook. The semester goal would be to have half of the book done. The monthly goal would be to get whatever you needed to do so that you could reach the semester goal. The weekly goal would be doing 5 math lessons in a week plus a test. The daily goal would be to complete a lesson and do a few drills for reinforcement.
Create a plan like this for each child and each subject and activity that you are involved with.
Create a Structured Homeschool Routine
Use your daily goals to make your routine outline. Schedule difficult tasks when your children have fresh, clear minds. We like to schedule our hardest subjects right after lunch when Bo takes her nap. Create a set order for each child (it doesn’t have to be the same for every child) that they can expect each day.
At our house, we find structured flexibility to work the best. We like a specific order of events that start and stop at around the same time each day, but the flexibility to change the routine if we need to. This prevents us from feeling burned out from over-scheduling but gives us enough structure to avoid the pitfalls of under-scheduling.
Our homeschool routine looks something like this:
- Breakfast and chores.
- Reading, science, history, art, piano.
- Break/work time.
- Naptime for Bo/math, English, spelling.
- Break/work time.
- Homework/chores/extra-curricular activities.
- Final clean-up.
We don’t really put scheduled times on our routine, except we generally eat, wake up, and go to bed at the same time each day.
Stick to the Routine
Sticking to your new routine is extremely important. You can tweak it as you go along, but you need to at least try it for about a month before switching to something else. It can take children (and you) a while to adjust to a new routine, particularly if they are not used to any routine at all.
Prevent Schedule-Related Burnout
Your schedule is more important than many homeschooling parents realize. By creating a standard homeschool routine, children will automatically behave better and have healthier attitudes because they know what to expect. However, adding in that level of flexibility ensures that you are never too scheduled to address a real need. A routine is an excellent way to ensure children learn to their maximum potential and helps you about burnout, too!
Other Posts in the Beat Burnout Series