It’s that time of year — the winter doldrums, also known as “homeschool mom burnout.” I’ve definitely had a case of burnout this year and have spoken to many other homeschool moms who are experiencing the symptoms themselves. So what to do about it? Here are my five favorite tips:
1. Do a group project. Most years, about this time, our local homeschool group has a project day of some sort. One year it was a “People and Places” fair (students could choose a person or a place to learn about). Another year it was a “50 States” fair (learn about and present facts about a state). And, still another year it was a “Night at the Museum Party” (choose any character from the movie to learn more about).
One thing all these events had in common was that each family got to choose something outside of their regular studies to learn about and for which to create a presentation to share with others. It was something different — and infinitely more fun — than the same old, same old schoolwork.
2. Take a field trip. Let’s face it: getting out of the house is a surefire cure for boredom. And nothing is more “quintessential homeschooling” than learning about something in a first-hand, hands-on kind of way.
3. Do some interest-led learning. So maybe you don’t have a homeschool group to do a fun presentation day with, but who says your kids can’t choose their own study topics anyway? We tend to retain more about things that we learn about because they interest us. Unschooling families do it all the time. Why can’t the more traditional homeschooling families among us capitalize on this fact as well, at least sometimes.
If you’ve got more than one child, why not let each choose his own topic and set a date to share with each other? That way, you’ll all learn something and get some public speaking practice in as well.
4. Ditch traditional learning for awhile. Are you, like us, nearing the end of the math books and entering the territory that will all be reviewed at the beginning of next year? Why not spend at least a couple of days a week exploring some living math instead or practicing those basic facts so the answers are automatic (it’ll sure help when it’s time for higher math).
Got some sight or CVC words that need a little more practice? Try some fun games to make learning more fun.
5. Take a long weekend. Sometimes all it takes is a couple days’ break to refresh Mom (or Dad) and kids alike. Put the books aside for a couple of days and just go enjoy some family time.
Kris is the classically eclectic, slightly Charlotte Mason, mostly socialized mom to her three Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. And, yeah, she’s experiencing a severe case of burnout this year and has decided that blogging her ideas about overcoming it is just the thing to, well, overcome it.