Recently I was talking to a mother of 7 who commented that she wasn’t really doing much official schoolwork anymore because she felt that she preferred mothering and the things of mothering and family were not conjusive to homeschooling. She felt that formal sit down teaching was an interruption to her role as a mother. Although I GET what she is saying, I don’t completely agree. If we have decided to add homeschooling to our life then we need to incorporate it into our lives somehow. . .Homeschooling is hard work, it’s a full-time job in itself.
I think burnout for me can often be a frustration that it does take so much of my time. I long for a pursuit of my own interests. So because I’m bored with homeschooling I feel annoyed.
I personally find that the more “curriculum” that I use the more stressed I feel because we are not “getting through it”.
Ask yourself a few questions.
Are your kids feeling burnt-out also? Is giving them a workbook approach going to help that. For some kids it might, if they like just getting it out of the way.
Are we just trying to keep our kids out of school and just give them the basics? Pruning back the education works for periods of time but should it be the norm?
Will our kids thank us for the education that we give them?
Personally I feel the more we release ourselves of the school model of textbook and workbooks and pursue the more natural models of learing the more we feel liberated in our homeschool.
I am talking about the way Ruth Beechick and the Moore’s suggests. Do natural things, write for a purpose, do real jobs. But this is so hard to do. I know I have this internal drive (and so does my husband) to keep my feet in both camps. As each year goes by (10 years now) I continually look at their education from a gifting & personality point of view. In our home I have one in high school (he went after 7 years of homeschooling)who excels and since medicine is his goal, and he is a natural academic who gets energy from competition, it works for him. For the other three at home we also pursue their interests spending more money on their hobbies (were they learn a great deal of working skills) than their education.
Reading excellent books for me is one of the most wonderful things that we have been able to do homeschooling. And there is always money for books. From a spiritual point of view sharing some of the great biographies and some great christian fiction is one of the things I am most thankful for. Whenever I look at my timetable and feel that it is overloaded I try never to interfere with the reading.
Holidays for me are often not a break because the kids feel that they are on holidays and they want to do holiday stuff and all I want to do is have a break from giving them so much of my time and do some of my own projects. Taking a break from formal lessons to do projects for me is a great idea and I should do it more.
Christmas for me is often the biggest stress of 4th term. Each year I get less and less involved with my Christmas preparations (we also have 5 family birthdays in 4th Term) because finding the time to buy presents is almost impossible. Thinking on the spot I might find it better to just take a week off in November and do all the Christmas shopping and craft making, card writing(note to self).
And lastly the big picture is trusting God to lead you. You will always feel a little burnt-out just as Paul says about being a wife in Corinthians 7 always carries with it the cares of the world. So does homeschooling you have the expectations of the world to educate your children.