It’s the beginning of the school year for many (unless you’ve been working year-round), and the excitement of new pencils, markers, notebooks gives most of us a ready-to-go attitude.
But whether you’re a new homeschooling family or a longtime veteran, after a few weeks or months, you’ll notice the excitement will fade and school will be just another thing to cross off your daily list of chores. This is burnout, and it’s common, but is there anything you can do to avoid it?
1. Start Slow
You may super excited to crack open that new book and pack as many lessons into as short a time as possible, but for the first few weeks of classes give plenty of recess and play time and keep lessons short. Slowly ease back into the routine.
2. Take Breaks When You Need Them
Some parents beat the burnout by scheduling one week off for every 4 to 6 weeks of school, while other parents just opt to take a day off once in a while when they sense their family needs it. Don’t stress about taking a break here and there. Your kids will get a lot more out of their lessons if they have a good attitude than if you’re forcing them to sit just so you can put a pretty “completion” sticker in your subject planner.
3.Do More Hands-On Activities
When you start to feel burnout coming on, bench the busywork and add some fun hands-on activities to your schedule instead.
Are you studying Ancient Rome? Explore what it was like to live as a Roman. Dress in costume, make authentic recipes, or build a model of a Roman home.
Need to tackle that spelling list? Hide plastic letters in the backyard and have the kids run around searching for the letters they need to spell their words.
Make up songs to memorize grammar rules, do a science experiment, (Educents has great deals on hands-on activities for kids of all ages, affiliate link), or try to paint your own Picasso or Monet while studying their art styles. School won’t always be “fun”, but homeschooling gives you the flexibility and freedom you need to present the information in new and engaging ways.
4. Vary Where You Do School
When Stinker won’t sit still and complains about doing any work, I know it’s time to change our surroundings. Sometimes that’s as easy as taking our reading outside to the backyard or to the couch. Sometimes it means a field trip to the aquarium or Zoo where we have passes. Your child is not confined to his or her desk, and they will be more open to absorbing new information if you change up the scenery at times.
By taking advantage of homeschooling’s flexible schedule, you can avoid burnout and keep your family learning happily all year long!