We do school at home.
I think that might be just as much of a confession as the fact that it burns us all out sometimes!
If you had a window into our homeschool you would see that we are a more school at home kind of family.
- We sit at desks (not school desks but computer desks, and small tables).
- We use curriculum.
- We have schedules, checklists, and assignment sheets.
- We have grades.
All of this means a fair amount of work for me. From picking curriculum each year, to creating lessons plans for each curriculum for each child. Then on a weekly basis the creating of assignment sheets for the coming week on top of grading work and logging it from the previous week. This can cause extra stress and pressure for me to get it all done.
I have heard it said that when you school at home there is a higher rate of burnout.
I can see why this statement could be true. Just creating the schedule to follow is time consuming, and that is just the beginning!
- What happens when something extra comes up to participate in?
- What happens when the whether is nice and we choose to get outside?
- What happens when someone gets sick?
Well, the new improved, more flexible me, has learned to adapt more than the old, super rigid me.
When starting out this year I purposely left our days free of scheduled activities. This can be super tough as there are so many seemingly great things to participate in. The problem with too many things is that there is not enough time or money to fit in so many extras. Leaving room has allowed us to do the fun one time things like homeschool group meetings field trips, without taking too much time away from our work at home.
Having more time at home has allowed us to actually free up more time. We seem to do our best focus work in the mornings. By doing this on a regular basis it has been easier to take off a day here or there for other fun things.
School at home burnout is a reality that is not exclusive to school at home.
What I have found is that while our semi-rigid schedule can definitely cause burnout at times, we are not the only ones. Burnout is not exclusive to those of us that feel the need to check off our boxes as we go. Even unschoolers find themselves feeling burnt out at times, the reasons may be different but the end game is still the same.
So I must confess that we do experience school at home burnout here each and every year. The good news is that each and every year I find better ways to adapt so that it happens less frequently, and when it does happen we have a means to cope with it.
How we cope with school at home burnout.
- Set realistic goals to begin with.
- Be willing to drop less crucial things if the load seems to be too much.
- Schedule time to be flexible. I know it sounds a little nuts but I am a scheduler and a box checker. If I don’t have these things the result is way worse than school at home burnout. Thus I have learned to schedule in more breaks and more time to be free with.
- Know when to say enough. I have learned the signs with myself and my children, and when we are reaching a boiling point we drop everything for a day or two and allow ourselves time to refresh.
I am Heidi Ciravola. Mom to three homeschooled children with one in high school, one in middle school and one in elementary school. I am a type-A, schedule making, box checking addict. I have been homeschooling since 2006 and strive each year to find more balance between rigid and flexible. You can join me at Starts At Eight on our journey where I spend a lot of time writing about tweens/teens, homeschooling high school, and creating unit studies. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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