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Well, there are days when I feel like a homeschool mother in the midst of a wrestling match where occasionally I am ready to cry "Uncle!", too. It could be wrestling with a child who is not motivated to learn or do simple tasks presented by you to them. It could be those well meaning friends or family asking when the ‘experiment’ will be over and the kids will be in school like normal children. It could even be your own exhaustion taking hold and leaving you longing for a much needed break.
Another way we refer to those feelings of being pinned under and just wanting to be done is BURNOUT!
Now that winter is in full throw and there are little built in breaks (also known as holidays) coming our way, burnout is something that can happen to the ‘best’ of homeschoolers. The kids spend their time wondering when the next great event will come (with none in sight) and mom is longing for a respite from the daily grind.
To this I say cry “Uncle!” and schedule in a day (or more) where schooling is light and fun is front and center. Is there a film that supports your science or history studies that can give you a break? Maybe a short focus on a fun subject (e.g. chocolate) could take the place of regular work. There are so many subjects kids that interest kids which can incorporate multiple subjects. (Fractions with chocolate bars sounds like fun to me!) Or, maybe you need to have a field trip day to the zoo or a local museum so that the whole family is out of the house.
If you look at brick and mortar schools, you might find that they schedule in fun activities to help break up the monotony as well. I’ve seen pajama days at elementary schools. It’s a perennial favorite of kids and something easily implemented in a home school. (We’ve been known to just get to work early rather than worry about changing out of nice, warm pjs.)
One thing I would strongly advocate at these times is to reach out to other homeschooling parents for support. Know that you are NOT alone in your thoughts of sending the kids to that boarding school in Siberia. Know that you are NOT the only one wondering if all your efforts will be for naught. Know that abdicating responsibility for your child’s education will NOT solve any of the issues facing you now. Support could be through a phone call, emails, forum boards, or even an in person meet up with another homeschool parent.
If there is one thing many of us homeschooling parents do, it is to give and give and give some more as we set aside our own needs to take care of our brood. We just need to remember to recharge those batteries so the inevitable burnout does not hit us hard and lead to resentment or decisions we later regret making.
So, cry “Uncle!” and take time to reclaim the energy you need to continue homeschooling.