Trivium Pursuit

Suggestions to Combat Homeschool Burnout


We hear a lot today about burnout in homeschooling.

… I lie in bed at night and dread the thought of starting school 
the next day….. A life of drudgery is not what I envisioned a few short 
months ago… It’s such a struggle to get the kids to do anything.

The only time I disliked homeschooling was from 1980-83, the first
 three years that we formally homeschooled and were following a rigid
 correspondence type curriculum. There was a pile of workbooks to get
 through each day, a long list of subjects to check off on my notepad, a 
schedule to keep, and all that in addition to the normal things which must 
be accomplished in the home, such as changing diapers, cooking and
 cleaning.


By 1983 I was so thoroughly tired of the schooling routine, and our oldest
 had become so reluctant to do school, that we threw out the 
school-in-a-box, and the Lord began to show us a different way.

The first
 change I made was to start reading to the children — not just the baby 
picturebooks (although we still read those), but long chapter books — 
the books I wanted to read, like Treasure Island, the works of
 Jules Verne and the Little House series by Laura Ingles Wilder. At 
the beginning, the babies didn’t get anything out of the reading, but the
 older ones loved it. Yet I suppose the person who loved it the most was 
me. Through the years I read to them all the books I had always wanted to 
read but never had the time, and I certainly paid no attention to grade 
level. I read to my own grade level. And they learned to love reading
 because they saw how much pleasure it gave me.


I soon learned to apply that same philosophy to other areas as well and 
pursued an education for myself, bringing the children along side me. Many
 days were spent in libraries — both local and university level — with the
 children helping me do research on our current topic and the baby playing 
beside us in a laundry basket (strollers weren’t allowed). We must have
 been a strange sight to the college students. Yes, we did the grammar and
 math like we were supposed to, but we majored on projects — history and
 science projects, learning writing skills and much more in the 
process.


If you are not enjoying the adventure of homeschooling — and it truly
 is an adventure — but are rather seeing it as a job which must be
 endured, perhaps you might consider changing your perspective. Look on 
homeschooling as primarily an opportunity to educate yourself and bring 
the kids along side.


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