Spring is here and the warm weather is just begging for days outside! But then you remember that there is school work to be done, and summer….well its a far way off still! *Sigh*. The long dreary winter is heading out and frankly, you are ready for school to go with it and so are the kids. Work is starting to get old and boring to everyone. Text Books, which were like treasure chests in the fall are now like jail cells. All of the beautifully organized materials are used, old, and cluttered. The bright happy school room, is dark and confining and everyone is trying to escape given the right opportunity! Ok…I may be getting a little overly dramatic here, but that feeling is real. That feeling is often the beginning signs of burnout. Burnout is a word that is feared among homeschooling mamas all over the world. Burnout means you lost your edge, that learning is no longer fun, and that you may need to give up or go under! To me, early spring is right when most mamas are feeling that burnout starting to happen and summer break cannot get her soon enough. My goal is today is to share a few ideas that can help stop (or at least slow down) the burnout feeling that threatens your whole amazing year! Here are a few thoughts that have helped me and some that other moms have mentioned that were helpful too!
1. Find a new learning path: These are sometimes referred to as Bunny Trails, side paths of learning that are not in the curriculum, but that have great discoveries along them. For example, we are jumping head long into Botany. I had not planned on doing that this year, but everything came together for it and the girls were excited about it! So we are going to embrace it right now! Maybe your new Bunny Trail will take your outside and into the fresh air where you want to be anyway! The nice things about Bunny Trails is that sometimes they are long, sometimes they are short, but they are always exciting. Plus they will still allow you to hit some of the important goals on the curriculum plan at the same time!
2. Change the Scene: Try taking your school work somewhere new! Drag a table outside to the back yard, head out to the park, go to the library, even school at the zoo! Sometimes you may get less done, but you may find out that it is more relaxing and a bit more fun! Who knows, maybe you find a place where everyone works the best!
3. Take the Pressure Off: Another tip that I think is super important is to take a real look at what you have done this year and what you needed to get done. What are really required by law to make sure your kiddo learns? Just because you only got through 2/3 of the lessons you wanted, chances are you have probably met or even exceeded what they have to know to pass. That doesnt mean you need to stop schooling, it just means that you can relax a little bit! By taking pressure off of yourself to get EVERYTHING done, you will unconsciously take pressure off your kids too! That will allow you a chance to have more fun while you learn because you wont be worrying about the to do list! 🙂
4. Have an Adventure: Take a field trip! There is a reason why all the schools start taking field trips in the spring! It can spark some fun, some real learning, and may even start you down a Bunny Trail! Plus scheduling some a few field trip into your month gives everyone something fun and exciting to look forward to! Work and school time doesnt seem quite so bad when there is a field trip to look forward to in the future!
5. Get Rid of Screen Time: Ok….now I am not talking about giving up all your screen time, but I am saying, take a close look at what your a reading. Pintrest, social media, blogs, etc are full of amazing ideas, but sometimes these amazing ideas can make you feel like you just dont have your stuff together! So a good way to look at it is, if you read a blog or search for things on pintrest and it leaves you feeling overwhelmed and stressed, then stop! If you leave feeling inspired and uplifted, then read on sister! Honestly, every blogger out there probably feels just like you most days, like things are out of control and overwhelming. The Internet is filled with a million and ten amazing ideas for learning and having fun, however there are probably a million and nine that are not right for you. So pick what works and what feels like it will work for your family, and throw out what doenst!
6. Talk it out: And sometimes talking with a really good mommy friend is the best way to help get your mojo back! There are days when I dont know what I would do with a good chat with my mom or my best friend! Sometimes just talking about the stressful things that are driving you to burnout and hearing that you are not failing, is all you need to kick it back into gear!
Those are my tips to help you keep going and loving what you do! Some of these ideas are ones I have used, some were shared by my mom (who has been homeschooling for more then 20 years) and some were ideas from other friends! That is what a good community is all about, sharing ideas and helping each other through the tough moments! So that being said, be sure to add your ideas for avoiding burnout in the comments! I would love to hear them, and I know the other who stop here too! I am linking up to Montessori Monday and Hip Homeschool Hop and The Super Linky Party so stop by there for more great learning ideas!