Updated: Aug 26, 2020
Homeschooling is one of the greatest experiences in life. With the flexibility, amazing books and the family memories to be made there is just nothing like it. Even great things though, can become overwhelming and stressful at times. Teaching kids is a full time job. Add cooking, cleaning, errands and various sports practices how can we be expected to get it all done?
People can get burnt out when their plates are overfull. So homeschool burnout is very real and happens often. Besides just having to say "No"more often how can we make our lives easier and avoid burnout?
1. Use A Planner
There are countless planners, calendars and online schedulers on the market today. I wouldn't presume to tell you which one would work best for you and your family. Trial and error is really the best policy when it comes to finding the best match for your family. Having something where school and life can be scheduled together is key so you can have all your commitments in one place. It allows you the ability to add or remove items so that you aren't overbooked and over stressed.
I recommend trying out a few inexpensive options at first either in print or online to see what types of features you need or like before committing to an expensive planner system. In our home we use a combination of our paper planner and a dry erase board to keep us on track for the day. Having my kids be able to see it and cross off each task helps make our day run smoother.
2. Delegate Items Off Your To-Do List
Children can and should be contributing to the household. Even young children can do small things like pick up toys, throw trash away and help take care of the family pet. Older kids can help take care of younger siblings, cook simple dinners, do dishes and their own laundry. Do not try to take the task of cleaning the home all on yourself.
If you can make wiggle room in your budget consider hiring in outside help for those tasks you hate that can be done monthly like baseboards, blinds and bathroom deep clean. Delegating these hated tasks allows you to not stress so much and gives you more time for the fun stuff with your kids.
As your children grow delegate more tasks for them to do. This isn't mean and you are not hurting your kids. In fact it's quite the opposite. Delegating chores to your kids teaches them life skills and work ethic, something that lots of kids now a days seem to be lacking.
3. Morning Family Quiet Time
Quiet time the hopes and prayers of all mothers. Starting your day with quiet relaxation sets you up for a more peaceful and productive day. Everyone needs quiet time to relax, reflect and unwind. Rushing and chaos in the mornings will benefit no one.
We like to start our mornings with a quiet breakfast alone from each other. We will read silently or listen to music on headphones as we all eat silently preparing for our day. Neither of my kids are morning people so this time alone allows them to wake and relax before the schooling begins. We then come together for family read aloud time and snuggle down on the couch to read and discuss the book we are currently reading.
You can choose to have this time when it best suits your families needs. An afternoon nap, independent reading time or quiet play time. Just take the time to allow you and your kids to rest, relax and reset. Mindfulness is essential to keep from getting burnt out.
4. Meal Plan / Meal Prep
What's for dinner? Is there a more scary question after a long exhausting day? We've all been there. When we make that quick trip through the drive thru or order a pizza. While these are fun nice treats on occasion the cost can add up quickly. There is a better way. It will save you money that's a win-win.
What if I told you that you could cook/prep all your families meals one day a week so all you have to do is heat it up, would you do it? A pantry/fridge inventory sheet is a good page to have for that planner I mentioned above. Investing in a vacuum sealer and crock-pot liners has been a lifesaver for keeping us on track and making prep and clean up a breeze.
Pick one day a week to shop and do your prep. We like to do it on Sunday as it lets us start ready to go for the new week. We plan our meals for each night, go shopping and then come home to cook or prep depending on the meal. It is nice when on a particular challenging day knowing that dinner is already taken care
of, and I can just heat and enjoy a delicious healthy meal. Doing everything on one day brings the family together working on a common goal and cuts down on the weekly dishes chore.
5. Routine Routine Routine
While not every moment of everyday needs to be scheduled a schedule is a very important part of making your day run smoothly. We have routines for all parts of our day which helps to keep us on track and get everything accomplished.
Having a routine for the different parts of our day lets the kids know what is expected and when. Having the schedule allows you to plan for subjects that are more difficult at times when your child is more willing to persevere. Having a routine is a good life skill to have, as it teaches kids how plan organize and schedule themselves. It really helps for those days that mom is sick the routine is so ingrained that they are able to continue on without much direction.
Homeschooling is not always easy but we don't have to make it hard. Like anything else we must take it one step at a time. Homeschooling, like life, is just trial and error, and doing the best we can with what we have. Smile, breath and remember to have fun take breaks when you need, there is always tomorrow.
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