Friday, April 21, 2017

When Things Go Wrong: 5 Tips on Dealing with Homeschool Burnout (5 Tips of...)

Welcome to the Fifth and Final Day of my Simple Homeschooling in a Complicated World series. If you have come over via the Homeschool Review Crew Blog Hop...Welcome! You can get caught up with my other posts, here.

We've made it, my friends. To tell you the truth there were a couple of days I wondered.

I already have told you about the dismal computer issues I've been suffering.


Then yesterday, ATT had something freaky going on. We didn't have phone or internet service all day!

Josiah bemoaned the loss all day and told me it was "worse than not having electricity." He later asked me if this was how it felt to be Amish.

Can you tell that we are not a "roughing it" kind of family?

Today I am going to talk to you about Homeschool Burnout.

Duh. Duh. Duh.

It can be the worst. And you know you are suffering from Homeschool Burnout when even the idea of starting your school day causes you anxiety, bitterness and unexplained twitching.

Why? Does? This? Have? To? Be? So? Hard?

So maybe your Homeschool Burnout hasn't been so extreme!

But I have been there. I remember a few years ago feeling underwhelmed, overwhelmed and discouraged all at the same time.

Even my hair and skin felt frazzled. I literally felt like I had been KNOCKED OUT!

I had lost my joy.

There are a lot of psychoanalyzing that could take place right now, but we just don't have time for that. Generally, I know when I'm feeling the fringes of burning out, I can blame it on a few things.

Fatigue. I'm not taking care of myself.

Illness. I'm not taking care of myself.

An intense and difficult school season.

An  intense and difficult season of life.

Regardless, I am going to give you 5 QUICK AND EASY Things to do right now if you are feeling burned out. These are fun, practical things that have helped us find our fun and joy for learning again.

Tip #1 - Stop, Drop and Roll

It might be a good time to set that math book aside. Give the brains in your home a break. Sometimes you might need an impromptu day at the park. Sometimes you might need a week at Grandma's. Sometimes you need longer...There is NOTHING that says you have to keep cramming it ALL in. Open the doors, take in the sunshine and clear the cobwebs from your head.

Field Trips are a great way to clear the cobwebs and get the family out of the house. It doesn't have to be fancy...a nature center or state park (with the obligatory sack lunch) sounds like a great educational experience to me.

Tip #2 - Tea Time

Set aside afternoons for calming rituals. In fact, don't just set them aside...make them mandatory. We enjoy spending an afternoon with a it audio or a read aloud. I call this Tea Time, but in all actuality I am the only one drinking tea. Josiah grabs his beverage of choice and we take our favorite positions in the living room. This has been the BEST thing for us. A few months ago, we were in the middle of a stressful move. We were both anxious and a little sad from moving from a place we loved. We were anticipating our new adventure, but it still didn't take away from that nervousness that we both were feeling. Our Tea Time was a comfortable ritual. I chose funny, "ha-ha" books that made us laugh out loud. Right now we are reading the darker, yet thrilling Count of Monte Cristo. Such intrigue! Such betrayal!

Tip #3 - Game Day

Make one day a week a game day. Lay out the board games and let the fun commence! You will be surprised how much the kiddos are learning. AND having a good time.

Tip #4 - Movie Marathon

There are those days that call for a movie marathon. I say be intentional about those movie marathons. For example, you can use a pair of movies to contrast and compare. We did this with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory using the original and the remake. We've had adventure/survival movie marathons with Swiss Family Robinson, Far From Home and the Wilderness Family. We've watched movie adaptations of some of our favorite books...And we have had many movie marathons featuring sports. Pop that popcorn. Turn off the lights. Pull the curtains. Chill out and enjoy.

Tip #5 - Let Someone Else Do the Talking

Some of my favorite products right  now are audio podcasts and CDs featuring some of our favorite curriculums and authors. Do you know that Apologia has audio CDs of their Science Curriculum? Or that Diana Waring's History CDs should have their own special place in the Homeschool Hall of Fame? We are currently reviewing a new series from Drive Thru History about The Gospels.

They are brilliant! Filling your homeschool library and day with excellent documentaries, great audio books and even online art lessons can not only take some of the burden from your weary shoulders, but it can provide some much needed pep and pepper to your homeschool.

In fact, I require Josiah to watch at least one documentary a week (generally of my choosing).

If you need any encouragement or advice, don't hesitate to ask. I UNDERSTAND the struggle. It will get better...I promise.

I want to leave you with a good list of resources for practical things/items you can use.

Here is a big list of possible field trips for those "stop, drop and roll" days.

I've talked about this before, but audio books are a great option for Tea Time. Some of Josiah's favorites are the audio dramas from Focus on the Family and Heirloom Audio. A few years ago, I compiled THIS list. I hope it helps.

Another list! This one is for some of our favorite movies and documentaries to watch!

Apologia Educational Ministries has those excellent audio products I mentioned for science. Don't miss checking out Diana Waring's site too! I've seen her in person a few times at homeschool conventions. She is a breath of fresh air. Be looking for my review for Drive Thru History. I am really impressed.

I wrote another post a few years ago about dealing with burnout. You might enjoy reading it. It has a little more just for YOU and a few things I've talked about here.

You can read more from my friends on The Crew below! It has been such a joy to write for you this week. Again...let me know if I can encourage you in any way!

5 Days of Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017

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