Friday, July 10, 2009

Homeschool Burnout

Homeschool Burnout


I recently read an article in The Old Schoolhouse(spring 2009 issue) titled 10 Burnout Busters for Homeschool Burnout. I found myself applying each of the ‘busters’ to myself and my way of thinking and I thought it would be fun to share my interpretation. I should mention that some of my responses to her ‘busters’ had nothing to do with what she was referring to!

  1. Don’t subscribe to the grass is greener syndrome. I just started laughing at this one because the grass is soooo brown at our house! I love to read blogs, magazine articles, talk to other homeschool moms and just listen to what people say and feel and do in regards to their homeschool. Now – I am able to discern that some of it is just not for us but more often than not I find myself trying to figure out How to make it Work for Us. So I really have prayed and been talking to God about sticking with my system and actually seeing if it will work for us and then changing it or not changing it at all! I absolutely will not allow (or will try to very hard) myself to look at other curriculum until we are done with this one or until I am failing completely!
  2. Bookend each day with Prayer. I love this idea – she says to greet the day with a “Hello, Lord – what do you have for me and my children today?” I would love to be able to do this without fear and with complete and total faith of what he is going to hand me each day! She also suggests to end the day with praise for what the Lord has done that day. I have heard before to make a point of praising each of the kids for something that happened that day in our nighttime prayers.  I really want to do this. Can you imagine what a blessing it would be for each kid to hear his name being praised at the end of every day to the Lord??? I know it would fill me up so I can only imagine how it will make them feel!
  3. Each day, after school is over, spend a few minutes assessing the day and planning for the next day.  This is where workboxes will come into play for me. My plan is to get them loaded and ready to go, all my supplies ready and clean up from this day at the end of each school day. I know that if I leave it till night(after the kids go to bed) I won’t do it because I will have moved into “my time” !
  4. Open several Bibles around the house so that you can glean from the word as you go about your day. This is now the third or fourth time I have heard this and we definitely have enough Bibles so maybe I should do it?? Here is my problem – where in the world do you put them so that little ones are not messing with them? I don’t want to get into a verse or passage, get called away or not able to finish it and come back and the pages have been flipped or the bible is simply gone! That would stink because it is highly unlikely that I would even remember where I was reading! If I put them where they aren’t going to mess with them then they will be in places that I am not going to look. But if I put them in an obvious spot they will be in the way and they are going to get messed with by little hands!! What I have done is put verses, sayings and prayers on index cards and posted them in different spots around the house – bathroom mirrors, above the kitchen sink, inside kitchen cabinets, by my bed. The one problem with this is you have to change them every once in awhile to be refreshed and so you don’t just ignore them because you are so used to reading the same old thing and that is where I fail in doing this! I think that if I made a couple sets at a time and had them ready to switch out – that might work. If there was then a specific issue or verse I wanted to pray over I would have to make one or two for that as an extra! The other thing I do is have a devotional or prayer book in each bathroom for those times when you are in there a little longer than usual!
  5. Work toward establishing order in your life. I am completely and totally OCD so this is no problem in our house! It is stopping it that is the problem! I always come up with new ways to organize and keep things in the place they belong but since I am always changing things no one – except me – knows where anything goes!! God and I have been talking about this one a lot and I am convicted that he is going to keep me on track this year and help me to stop changing things – unless they are so completely failing! I keep telling myself once I do it this way I won’t do it again and I do do it again and again and again. God and I will spend a lot of time together in regards to this and I know he will change my heart and my desires to be so project minded.
  6. Create a rhythm in your day.   This one makes me just roll on the floor with laughter. I cannot even tell you how many times I have tried to make a schedule, a plan, a routine and how many times I end up off in LaLa Land doing nothing that even looks like that schedule! I am somewhat good about following a routine for school  - if we actually do school that day - but in regards to chores, paying attention to screen time and the fact that hours have gone by and Stephen is still on the computer, cleaning on a regular basis, bedtime routines, etc I am horrible at staying on top of things! I did read(again) and listen to a wonderful speaker and author, Carol Barnier, at convention who reminded me of the fact that I am what you would call “Highly Distractable” and she gave me some great ways to combat some of my symptoms! I am hoping that the other areas God is working on in me will help this area to be able to follow charts and schedules a little better because I am going to try again!! For my kiddos!
  7. Take a few minutes to plan your meals. A few minutes my butt! If you do not enjoy cooking and cannot look at a recipe and go – yeah, I can make that – without pictures, it is a huge imposition and pain in the behind to do this! I can buy snack foods like a mad woman but when it comes to planning , shopping and keeping the shelves stocked I have failed - beyond miserably. I can cook some things and I am not a bad cook I just do not enjoy it!! When we first got married I bought a lot of prepackaged things and that was how I cooked but over the years(these past 3 in particular) I have begun to care more about what we are eating  and putting into our bodies so I try  not to buy a lot of processed foods(except nuggets and hot dogs), bring in more fruits and veggies, we are making our own bread(that was  a big hit) but it is still hard for a non cook to put it all together!! I started doing meal plans right before  summer and since we have been gone and home and gone again I haven’t bothered to even buy that many groceries for the week we are home. But after the summer is over we will be meal planning( as much as it pains me) but I can guarantee you it will not take a few minutes – more like a few hours(until I get the hang of it – I hope!)!!

My sister has shared a couple of coupon websites which I can’t wait to be home long enough to start using  – coupon mom and southern savers. Southern savers is so user friendly and fantastic – they list the specials by store(they don’t have all stores –  it is based in the southern states) and with each list they have what the store special is and if you should have a manufacturer coupon for that item from the Sunday paper and then what the price of that item will now be. Apparently you can use a manufacturers coupon on top of a store sale which means more savings and if you have a store that does double coupons…It is a great place to start when doing your meal planning for the week – which is my plan. I think we will have to start getting the paper with the coupons in it but that is small if this can save us some serious grocery money!! The boys are starting to eat more and more and each year it is just gonna get worse! Maybe finding good food deals is gonna have to be my new project instead of frequenting the thrift stores for good deals on books and things to paint?? I already really miss the thrift stores but it is sooo worth it!

  1. Get outside. This one is huge for me because my hobbies all revolve around being inside the house. Painting, crafts, scrapbooking, decorating – they have nothing to do with being outside! I do enjoy being outside but I have gotten into the habit of sending the kids out so I can do my own thing(which has got to stop – I miss my kids). I go out to hang laundry, sand something down or spray paint something , play in the pool or if they beg and plead with me to come outside on the trampoline with them. I am thinking I need to get outside a little more??
  2. Take time to be alone. No problem! I have gotten into the habit of doing my thing after the little ones go to bed but I now have a teenager who stays up later so I really should spend that time with him or around him instead of off doing my own thing. This means it is going to be harder to find some time for myself but my hubby is really good about letting me have time so I will get it but it just won’t be every night!!! I love to go to movies so I will go to the movies alone to get away and I do have some girlfriends that like to get away too so I can hang out with them! But my absolute favorite time is when I am alone in my house – my husband will take the boys camping or to Blue Hole for the day and it is the most fabulous time!!! I must admit that since I have been convicted to homeschool  I really do enjoy my family much more than I did! We have fun together and do things as a family and I haven’t wanted or needed to get away as much as I used to! It is such a good feeling to be home with the family!
  3. Don’t forget to laugh! This is sometimes very hard to do but if I keep all the other areas in check this one should come naturally!!! It is easy to laugh with the kids and my friends but sometimes it is not so easy with my hubby  as we are both stressed and don’t get that time together when we aren’t stressed and we can  be more relaxed together – just us! I also think the TV plays into this one because we watch too much of it and don’t get enough time to just hang out together and find ways to laugh as a family!!!


  1. Oh girrrrllll....I can relate!! Oh how I can!! This will be a good year...we can encourage each other and stop each other from putting too much on our plate, thinking the grass is greener and all that other good stuff. Thanks for sharing all this!!!

  2. Great words of wisdom. Thanks for sharing this!

  3. We are TWINS, I swear. It was like you were inside my head. It's so comforting to know I'm not alone, but I too don't have a clue how to improve some of these issues! I am trying though!