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Many homeschoolers try to cover every base when it comes to their children’s education. If you find yourself in this predicament, it’s probably causing undue stress and, as a result, burnout. Take a step back and catch your breath. Although the pressure might make it feel like it’s April or May, it’s only February. So, simplify your homeschooling day and put some energy back in your routine.
Try Another Curriculum
If you’re using a few different curriculum options but just can’t seem to find the perfect combination, maybe it’s time for a change. There is no one perfect curriculum and to make things a bit more complicated, your children change from year to year. As a result, what worked last year may not have the same impact this year.
One good idea is introducing a web-based curriculum. Online programs can provide motivating tools for your children and for you, too. They sometimes resemble video games rather than a common curriculum. They include characters and lessons that your children relate with – kind of like a partner who helps them learn.
Many parents appreciate this option because web-based tools offer scheduling, record keeping, and automatically save detailed progress reports on your children, which your state may require. This obviously cuts down on the administrative duties, which sometimes become overwhelming. And if you, like many other homeschoolers don’t get excited by doing paperwork, try out this option. It certainly will simplify the process.
Switch Up Your Schedule
Take a good look at your schedule. It may shock you. Stephanie, a homeschooler with two children honestly looked over her schedule and this was her assessment: “I was literally out of control. I was trying to fit so much in each day and my children and I just couldn’t keep up. It not only impacted me, it also negatively impacted them. They were tired and cranky and didn’t enjoy homeschooling anymore. And I thought I had it all together. But taking a real honest look at my day planner, I realized that no one, not even two moms could do all this.”
She sat down with her children and they discussed their options. She decided to break down the day differently. Instead of being so rigid, she planned assignments for after breakfast and after lunch and let the children take breaks for healthy snacks or just to take a breather. It was so much more relaxed because everything didn’t run according to a string of specific time periods — only two. They knew when they had to finish certain lessons and how much time each lesson took. She coached them along the way and soon the children were moving right along. If this doesn’t work for you, try something different, just take your foot off the accelerator, this is not a race.
Empower Your Children
You don’t have to do everything. Many children love when their parents give them some responsibility. So go ahead, delegate. Let your children make their breakfast and lunch — and have them clean up. Have a team meeting every week and let them choose a few activities.
You could also create their schedules and then hand them out every week. Once they understand how the day is planned out with your guidance, let them take charge. They won’t keep asking you what’s next because they’ll already know. Taking some pressure off yourself will also relax your children. They’ll notice your brightening mood and the spring in your step.
Each child is different, so gauge their level of independence and start empowering them. As your children grow older, they’ll become more confident and ask for more responsibility. This also gives them real-world experience — after all, once they attend college or find a job, no one will hold their hand as they learn their new responsibilities.
Simplifying your homeschooling life slows the process down, which allows you to get back in control and beat the burnout. Remember, homeschooling provides you with great flexibility. Use that flexibility and create an environment that promotes education and the freedom to explore new challenges and creative outlets. It’s not always about following a strict lesson plan, it’s also about letting your children chase their own curiosities and interests while developing a love for learning.