Thursday, November 13

Battling Burnout, Part II

Busy day yesterday! Here's part 2 of 3. More tomorrow!

Give yourself permission. You’re going to wonder, “Give myself permission to do what?” Well, what do you wish you could do in your homeschooling that you’re holding off on because of some unrealistic expectation, some other voice other than your own, or because of fear that your kids will experience gaps, test badly or fall behind? What do you need permission to do? Stop early for the day? Try something new? Let go of something burdensome? Experiment? Take a day…a week…every Friday off? Examine your expectations to see if they’re serving your child or family well and give yourself permission to do what you think is best as their mother and mentor.

Shake up your patterns. This is especially necessary in those subjects that seem to make everyone drag their feet the most. Every 4th week leave Latin lessons behind and let your child try some online vocabulary activities. Mix penmanship practice with computer typing lessons. Let a video show you England instead of reading about it from a book. Let your older child read aloud to all of you while you give your voice a rest and snuggle your littlest one in your lap. You can even take a week to only focus on a big project and leave the subject studies behind. There are endless possibilities.

Learn together. Sign up for a family class through the Park and Rec. Put yourself next to your kids in a learning environment and let them help you with Taekwon Do, Web Design or Ballroom Dancing. You’ll probably laugh a lot and come away with a greater appreciation for the potential that really lies within your kids.

Establish traditions to anticipate. These may be based on a holiday or a habit. You can have Friday Night dinner and discussion by candlelight, a Valentine making day, Breakfast and Bible, Dad’s the Teacher Day or even create an obscure holiday observation (How about Squirrel Appreciation Day on January 21st or Lame Duck Day on February 6th?).

Encourage another homeschooling mom. Sometimes answering the question (outloud and with a little conviction), “So, why do you homeschool?” is just what you need to get your cylinders pumping again. And if you’ve met together over coffee you’ve taken a little time out for yourself so it’s a doubly good idea.

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