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This week’s TOS Blog Cruise tackles the ever present question of How to avoid burnout? What to do if you burnout?
Maybe you are lucky and have never tettered on the edge of burnout. I suppose there are a few homeschooling families where this might be the case. Several unschoolers I knew back in Ohio come to mind. Honestly, how can you burnout when unschooling?? There are no books screaming to be completed and the quintessential unschooler lets the child direct the learning. Although, I suppose you could overload on all the time with the kids just like any other homeschool family….
At the moment, I feel like we are in a burnout phase. No, we haven’t been doing tons of textbook work that has made us go cross-eyed. But, with all the life changes going one, tackling all the subject we need or want to cover seems like a daunting task.
In past years, I do not remember hitting this point so hard. Yes, we got a bit antsy come February each year. But, a little change up in how we approached our studies was enough to get us over that hump.
This time feels a bit different. We have had longer periods of breaks, which one would assume had refreshed and renewed us. Yet, the burnout feeling is still there.
So, while we didn’t avoid it, we can conqueror the burnout and move past it.
Here are a few things we are doing to jump start our learning adventures…
1. Crazy as it sounds, we are tabling any NEW work this week. The older boys have state testing and I know that regular schools typically toss out other work on test days. So, I’m doing the same! We’ll do an audio book (for fun) in the car going to and from the testing site. The boys will have reading and art materials to use while waiting for everyone to complete the tests each day. And, I will use the afternoon time to plug along with our unpacking efforts as well as catch up on record keeping.
2. Tossing the boys outside each day to run about will be a priority. Snow may still be on the ground here, but the weather is nice. They need the activity and I need some time without them underfoot inside.
3. Depending on how MY sleep schedule is this week, we might have a field trip or two in the afternoons. Getting out and seeing something beyond the walls of the house or a shopping adventure is practically guaranteed to lift the spirits.
4. Revisiting the school work ‘line up’ will happen by the weekend. With this, I am going to map out what we REALLY need to do and shelve some things. Also, we might try what some school districts call ‘block scheduling’ where we’ll spend a day on a particular subject and then do a different one the next day. So, instead of splitting history or science up over 5 days, we might spend 2 days of the week on each.
5. Come next week, we will be pulling out workboxes again. The supplies to do it have been boxed up and now uncovered. If there’s one thing that I noticed during the fall before J was born, it’s that the workboxes helped EVERYONE stay on task while allowing for some fun to be thrown into the mix.
For the next school year, I plan to spend more time mapping out what our goals are and how we plan to achieve them. We’re big believers in flexibility here and have had to toss out one ‘great idea’ when it became apparent that it wasn’t working for us. But, I’m also a realist and see high school looming around the corner for P. Next year will set the stage for the years to come. If I don’t plan for obstacles like burnout NOW, then I’m setting the state for disaster down the road.