Home schooling - How to Avoid Burnout

By: Heidi Johnson

As with any project you take on, there is always the chance for burnout. Here are some simple steps you can take to help avoid burning out on home schooling.

1. Don’t try to do more than you or your child are capable of doing. Most students are average. Don’t expect your 3 year old to read novels or your teenager be able to ace the SAT test and get a full ride into college. These things happen, but they are not the norm.

2. Set a routine and skip the strict schedules. Do your children know what is expected of them each day? They need to get up, eat breakfast, do some chores, read, write, do arithmetic and a few other things that you set for them to do. They should not be playing on the computer or playing outside until their normal routine is finished. Some days are easier to accomplish than others. On the low motivation days, you can always throw in some fun or an occasional incentive.

3. Enjoy your children and develop your relationship with them. If you have a habit of relating with your child, with mutual listening, then you can work through any curriculum struggle or lack of motivation. You and your child should enjoy learning together and separately. If you are interested in a certain topic like cooking or gardening then your children should see you pursuing that knowledge. We all learn better when we are motivated to learn something ourselves.

4. When you home school you don’t have to mimic what the schools do. They have to structure their days a certain way because of the volume of students they have and the tests they have to pass. Homeschoolers can learn in many different ways using unusual methods like hopping up and down a step when you answer a flashcard or problem correctly. Use the flexibility of home schooling to avoid burnout by changing the atmosphere a little bit. Play music one day. Light some candles another day. Declare a “game day".

If you keep your life and day in proper perspective, you can easily avoid burning out on home schooling. Your children probably won’t remember the lesson of the day although they will build on their knowledge and grow in their intelligence, just as they won’t remember the meal they eat, but it will help them grow physically. Your children will mostly remember the atmosphere of your home and how you treated them.


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