Happy New Year 2022!

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This Christmas break and the beginning of the new calendar year 2022 have been rather emotional. Long story, but it’s the story of burnout, too. A lot of family details have pushed us together more than ever. I suppose it is part of the process as the children grow and we all change accordingly.

Relaxing by the fire

Relaxing by the fire

Burnout appeared among us back in October, but we kept it together through November and December. By the middle of December, when we took a break, I realized how much I needed to space out of my surroundings. So I escaped into books and on demand content I view online. Continue reading »

Sabbath Schooling

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Several homeschoolers I know homeschool for six weeks and then they rest on the seventh week. They call it Sabbath Schooling. I like it. I sort of do it, but I don’t rigidly stop teaching on the seventh week. Sometimes it is on the ninth week, based on what we have going on. For instance, if we are learning a new math concept and have momentum under our wings, I will not stop just because the seventh week started.

I like to take a break when I feel exhaustion coming or when the kids are burned out or when we have a family outing. Our version of Sabbath Schooling happens on a weekly basis. We homeschool six days a week and rest on the seventh.  Continue reading »

3 Tips to Avoid Homeschool Burnout

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The über-famous picture of Earth taken by the last lunar crew, Apollo 17, back in December 1972, has inspired generations over the past four decades. What’s the connection between the blue marble and homeschooling? Just look at that beauty hanging in space. When you get overwhelmed with homeschooling and your world, you should take a look at the world. It puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?

The Earth seen from Apollo 17 - December 1972

The Earth seen from Apollo 17

As astutely noticed by David Thornburg, when they took this picture, the Apollo astronauts were going to the Moon. They looked forward to it. Literally. They also had the sense to turn around and look at what they left behind. And they snapped this picture.

As you push forward in your homeschooling efforts, it might help to look back now and then, especially if you feel the brink of burnout drawing closer. Here are 3 things you should do when you feel homeschooling burnout creeping in:

1. Stop teaching altogether. Allow yourself a few days. Call them “in-service.” Take your children to their outside-the-home educational activities, but do not teach in the home. Read up on favorite topics. Window shop. Take walks. Your children benefit from free play. You can always catch up on planned lessons.

2. Change perspectives. Have you been on the road a lot lately? Stay home. Have you been cooped up? Take a field trip. Have you spent too much time cleaning and sprucing up the house in addition to homeschooling? Stop cleaning. Has the house seen better days? Clean it up.

3. Look back at the moment when you first thought of homeschooling. It might make you cringe, but it might also inspire you. That first hint of interest in teaching your own children, that first conversation with God about your inadequacies and fears, that first trip to a used curriculum fair and the confirmation that – wonder of wonders! – homeschoolers do not have three eyes…

You know your experience better than anybody else. Think about it and see where that meditation takes you. Hopefully it will be a place of warm, fuzzy feelings and a renewed resolve to guide your children’s education. Homeschooling is an adventure and a journey. Let’s see the forest while looking at the trees.