Homeschool mom burnout is a real thing. Here’s how to overcome and avoid burnout!
If you’ve been homeschooling for awhile, you might have experienced all the emotions that come with it. Joy, gratitude, and possibly a feeling of discouragement or overwhelm.
Maybe you’ve experienced that overwhelmed feeling that comes from knowing you’re responsible for your child’s education.
We’re currently in our 16th year of homeschooling, and I’ve experienced all the emotions. I love homeschooling my children. It’s been a dream of mine ever since I was a teenager.
But even though I always knew I wanted to be a homeschool mom, that doesn’t mean I haven’t had doubts. Anxiety, fear, and overwhelm can all be part of a homeschool mom’s reality.
Homeschool Mom Burnout
There’s so much to love about homeschooling. My favorite thing is just getting to be with my kids all the time.
I love being the one to teach them how to read. I love it when they “get it,” and start reading books voraciously!
Learning right alongside my kids, going on field trips, and reading good books together are just a few of my favorite things.
But let’s be honest—homeschooling can be hard.
Knowing that you’re the one in charge of your child’s education, pressure from friends and relatives, and balancing everything can be so much pressure.
And sometimes the pressure is just too much.
Sometimes we’re just tired. Literally tired, needing sleep. Or emotionally and mentally tired, seriously needing a break.
Homeschool mom burnout is real. And I’ve been there myself.
Know Your Why
In order to avoid burnout, I think you first need a big enough “why.”
Why are you homeschooling? Is it because it sounded fun, your child wasn’t doing well in a traditional school setting, or because everyone else was doing it?
Maybe you felt a call from God to homeschool.
Related Post: Why We Homeschool
Whatever it is, you need to know why you’re doing it, and your why needs to be something big enough to keep you going even on the hard days.
Because the hard days will come. Eventually, the newness and excitement will wear off, and you might start to wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into.
Or maybe you’ll start to wonder if it’s really worth it after all.
On the hard days, my why has been big enough to keep me in the game.
After 16 years of homeschooling, one homeschool graduate and another graduating this May, I can confidently say I’m in this for the long haul. There’s no turning back for me.
Note: I want to acknowledge here that homeschooling isn’t necessarily the right choice for every family. My goal with this post isn’t to cause guilt for those who have decided to pursue other education options. The aim of this post is to encourage those who have decided to homeschool their children, and provide ideas and resources to carry on through the difficult days that may come.
How to Avoid Homeschool Mom Burnout
So we’ve established that homeschool mom burnout is a real thing. Most of us long-time homemschool mamas have experienced it at one time or another.
What can we do to avoid burnout and stay strong for the duration of our home educating career?
Here are a few ideas for avoiding and overcoming homeschool burnout.
Daily Quiet Time
Every mom needs at least a few minutes a day to think truth and be encouraged. Even if you have to read your Bible while you nurse the baby or sneak into the bathroom to get a few minutes to yourself during the day, quiet time is a necessity.
Your daily quiet time doesn’t have to be elaborate. Just keep it simple during the hard seasons. One of my favorite things to do is to write Bible verses on 3 x 5 cards and put them up around the house (go here to get a set of free printable Bible verse cards for moms!).
Find Your Tribe
Burnout has less power when you feel well-supported by a group of like-hearted friends.
Finding a support group of homeschool moms isn’t easy, but it can really help when you’re struggling.
For most of my homeschooling years, I didn’t have a group like this, but it’s so helpful to feel like you’re not alone.
Just talking to someone who “gets” you and the homeschool life with its unique trials can be such an encouragement.
If at all possible, try to find a group of women you can meet with on a regular basis, but even occasionally is better than nothing.
Encourage Your Heart
Especially if you don’t have a support network of fellow homeschool moms, it’s important to make encouraging your own heart a priority.
One of the ways I’ve done this through the years is to read books by encouraging homeschool moms.
Sally Clarkson’s books have been my go-to mom encouragement books for many years. Here are a few others I’d recommend for homeschool moms.
Take a Personal Retreat
A personal retreat can be a lifesaver for a burned-out homeschool mom. It’s a time to reflect, refocus, and rejuvenate yourself.
Taking a personal retreat is simple.
You can do this by simply retreating to your bedroom for a day or an afternoon while your husband watches the kids (which is what I usually do). Although the chance of being interrupted is greater when you’re at home, so it may be better to head for your favorite coffee shop or another location.
Some moms go to a park, a hotel lobby, or another location for their personal retreat. Some moms even get a hotel room and stay overnight somewhere.
Take your Bible and prayer journal, a notebook, some books for encouragement, drinks, snacks, and anything else you might need.
The goal for this time away is to refresh your heart, think truth, pray, and evaluate what is and isn’t working.
It might be the perfect time to rework your goals and schedule, to make plans for some fun family outings, or dream up some new family traditions to start.
I like to do this at least a couple times a year. It always makes such a difference.
When I return back to my daily life and routine, I feel a renewed sense of focus and commitment.
You’re Not Alone
No matter what you do to get through this feeling of burnout and discouragement, know that you’re not alone. You’re not a failure if you find yourself discouraged and overwhelmed.
I’d love to know if you have other ideas for overcoming homeschool mom burnout. Let me know in the comments!