Tuesday, October 02, 2012

When long- time homeschooling moms burn out

I've started to see it in my peer group- the moms who have been homeschooling their large families for 10, 15 and even 20 years. They sit around the table during our homeschool outings while their kids are playing with their homeschooled friends and they talk about everything under the sun EXCEPT homeschooling. In fact the only time homeschooling comes up it is under the context of "I'm so tired of doing this!! I can't wait until the last one is done." Of course some of them don't wait that long and put their kids back into school.

I refuse to be one of them, partly because I'm too stubborn to quit! But also because I believe in homeschooling and I believe it is the very best that I can give to my children.

Still, I sit there listening to them and I find myself nodding my head too. It is a heavy burden to carry for years or even decades for all of your children. And it's not a job that is always appreciated either. But there are a few things that I do that make it new and enjoyable for ME!

1. I went to two homeschooling conferences last summer! I listened to inspiring speakers and I saw newbies and veterans that were still turned on to the idea of teaching their kids at home!

2. And I didn't leave those inspirational talks at the convention center! I bought them for my MP3 player. I highly recommend the talks by Mr. Voodie Baucham  and Sue Pruitt.  The IHM talks are very good too.

3. I also found new talks from the Ultimate Homeschool Expo on line that really excited me about the new school year!
Click Here to Checkout The Ultimate Homeschool Expo!

4. I read with my children! My oldest children and I are trudging through the Scarlet Letter and even though it is a difficult read, I am enjoying every minute of it - and more than just reading it- we are discussing the plot and the situations and making analogies to situations and events in our own lives. I love reading like that with my boys! Izzy and I are reading A Philadelphia Catholic in King James's Court in preparation for confirmation, and although it's my 3rd time through this tome, I am enjoying Izzy's insights.

5.  Adding new things to your homeschool can make everyone more excited. Three of my kids and I are taking a year long Church History Course at church which fits in nicely with the apologetics I am teaching at home and also with world history. The Homeschool Connections Subscription Service has also added a lot of variety and interest to our homeschool for the older kids.

6.  Take joy in the younger children.  I try to get every second of enthusiasm out of Rosie's homeschool experience. I know a lot of the books and projects we are doing will be the last time I ever get a chance to do these things, unless I get a chance to with my grandchildren. Remembering that keeps me motivated.

7.  I've lightened up on the housework - by passing it on to the kids!  Part of the stress of homeschooling is trying to get it all done- but why should I be the only one making meals, doing laundry and cleaning house?  Every one of my kids is capable of helping or completely taking over some of these tasks - and so I have let them and it really has lessened my burnout!

8.  And last but not least, I remember to take time to exercise and to pray.  Taking time for those two things really changes my attitude and now that the kids are older they can give me the time to fit those comfortably into my day.


Homeschooling was never easy, but it isn't all drudgery either. And when I apply the list above and then remember why I started on this journey to begin with, it helps me to keep my resolve and stick with it with the goal of ending well!



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