How to Avoid Homeschool Burnout (Part 2)

So, how can you prevent burnout?

I am sure that every parent feels like tearing their hair out at some stage during their parenting “career.” And homeschool parents have a more fulltime parenting career than most. The good news is, however, that there are simple tips and tricks that will help keep these feelings of frustration to a minimum.

Firstly, create a habit of supporting yourself. If you are always your greatest critic, you run the risk of running a negative, non-productive dialogue with yourself that will only serve to sabotage your homeschooling efforts. If an activity you have planned and undertaken with your child is not as effective as you hoped, focus on finding a better, more suitable activity. Chastising yourself on a ‘failure’ does not serve anyone and only perpetuates negative internal dialogue.

Keep your expectations high, but flexible. Shoot for the stars, but be flexible to educational and personal hurdles you encounter along the way. Life education includes learning how to overcome challenges, and this habit can be instilled in a positive “lead by example” environment.

Keep in mind that one of the greatest advantages of educating your child at home is the flexibility that affords. If your child is having difficulty grasping a concept, change your approach to facilitate their learning. We all have different learning styles and, by treating our children as individuals, we can set them up to succeed. If you feel that one or both of you is getting to frustrated to go one, change direction totally. For instance, do some exercise, take a walk. You can treat this as either a break, or a different educational experience. Either way, it gives you the opportunity to go back to the task you were doing later, with a fresh frame of mind.

Accept that your developing child is fluid in their likes and dislikes, and also their receptivity to learning. A tool that worked well one week may be less effective another. Don’t waste energy fighting this. Accept it, and utilise new tools and techniques.

Another tip is to try to keep firm schedules limited, particularly in the early years. Unlike schooling in a classroom within an institution, homeschool time sometimes has to include things like grocery shopping, bill paying and doctors appointments. While these are good educational experiences in themselves, they can sometimes interfere with planned schedules. If you have your whole day planned to the minute, these intrusions may encourage feelings of frustration. If you focus on a limited number of objectives to achieve, with a flexible schedule to achieve it, you may feel much more relaxed. Include some firmly scheduled activities, but keep them intermittent.

Lastly, build a support network, and don’t underestimate its value as an asset. It is not a weakness to admit that you can’t do everything all by yourself. Sometimes you need someone to talk to, to bounce ideas off, or to go to for advice. Sometimes you just need a friend and time out. Make sure you always schedule some time just for yourself. You need to also nurture yourself and your own interests. Having children is not meant to stop your own personal growth. It is meant to contribute to it.

Melissa Murdoch has a passion for life span development and education, and believes wholeheartedly that a healthy society begins at home. For further information on how to get started in homeschooling, please visit


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