Burnout; everyone experiences it.
Merriam Webster defines burnout as “exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration”.
When we’ve reached the point of burnout, we will typically take a break from the stress and recharge. But for the home-school parent, experiencing burnout is more personal. What makes it personal? The dual role of the home-school parent; teacher and parent.
Home-school role: Teacher
Enter the teacher. The home-school parent as teacher is tasked with many things. Choosing a teaching/learning approach that works for the family, choosing a curriculum that follows that approach while staying within a set budget, teaching that curriculum, and researching extra curricular activities are just a few. The “school year” can bring academic frustrations and stresses resulting in curriculum changes, approach changes, financial stresses, etc. The teacher inside is full of doubts; what if I’m not doing enough, what if they are not learning what they need. But summer is coming! Wait; home-school parents don’t get a summer break.
Home-school role: Parent
Enter the parent. Beginning this excursion gun ho, you are ready to go and pave the way for your child(ren) intellectually, socially, and spiritually. Discipling, refereeing, chauffeuring, cooking, cleaning…TEACHING. Your emotional investment has left you exhausted, absolutely depleted. Pouring out gladly, you find yourself empty and tired with not a whole lot more left to give.
So what can you do? First, nurture the spiritual. Empty yourself of you and refill you with something bigger than you. Second, rest. Rest in the teaching. Rest in the parenting. Take time to enjoy each moment, each lesson, each errand. Keep your focus on the bigger picture, the reason you entered this homeschool experience in the first place. Third, schedule the fun time. You need it and chances are your kids need it too. And last but not least, practice self care. REGULARLY. Have coffee with a friend or by yourself. Schedule alone time with your spouse. Read books that aren’t focused on children or teaching but that tackle a subject you enjoy or take you to a place you’ve always wanted to go. You can even go to counseling! Talking with an objective party about your own experiences does wonders!
If you are homeschool parent and are struggling with burnout (or know you will) or if you are experiencing difficulty filling the dual role of parent and teacher, take a step toward self care and contact me. I would love to walk alongside you in your journey. firstname.lastname@example.org