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Is homeschooling hard? In a word, yes. Homeschooling can be challenging, and sometimes you might feel like giving up. Before you call it quits, take a breath and try a few of these tips for preventing homeschool burnout.
Is Homeschooling hard?
If you haven’t started homeschooling yet, you might be worried – Is homeschooling hard? I’m going to tell you flat-out: Yes. Sometimes it really is.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy homeschooling. I do. Learning together, making memories, and just being there to watch them grow is amazing. But we aren’t walking on air 24/7 over here. Homeschooling is work.
Taking on the role of a teacher is a big responsibility. You’ll be wearing many hats. Throughout the year you’ll find yourself planning, adjusting, and readjusting to make sure your kiddos are getting what they need in their education – all the while trying to balance all the home responsibilities of a stay-at-home mom and possibly working on top of that.
When you start homeschooling, you are adding another job title to your resume. The biggest difference is that you probably aren’t giving up any of the other jobs you already have.
Why is homeschooling hard? Top Homeschool Complaints
There really is no easier or harder in life. We’re all dealing with something – probably many things all the time. And one thing is not harder than another. It’s all relative.
Some of the top homeschooling complaints – is this what you fear?
♥ Homeschooling a big family is hard… and LOUD. I don’t have anytime to myself.
♥ Homeschooling an only child is a challenge. She depends on me to be her main playmate – on top of being mom and teacher, too.
♥ Homeschooling on a shoe-string budget is stressful. I spend so much time looking for free materials and good deals that I’m losing time actually homeschooling.
♥ Homeschooling while working full time is demanding. Sometimes I feel like I need three of me to make this work.
♥ Being a secular homeschooler is hard. We have been excluded from homeschool groups in our area because we don’t share the same beliefs.
♥ Homeschooling in a rural area is a challenge. We don’t have access to a huge library or some fantastic homeschool co-op like people in the city.
♥ Homeschooling a resistant child is hard. He doesn’t want to do any of his schoolwork, and I am constantly trying to find something to motivate him.
♥ Homeschooling an gifted child is hard. Some days she’s sensitive, other days volatile; it is hard to keep up.
♥ Homeschooling my child with learning differences is difficult. I don’t know if I can meet all of his needs, and sometimes I feel lost about what he needs at all.
♥ Homeschooling my special needs child is exhausting. Giving her everything she needs leaves me feel completely drained at the end of the day.
♥ Homeschooling during big life changes is hard. Sometimes I think it would be easier just to send the kids to school while I work out things at home.
There are many more. Homeschooling brings unique challenges to every family. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. Families successfully navigate the common issues above. Some several at a time. Some with even more on their plate!
If they can do it, you can do it.
What To Do When Homeschooling is Hard
1. Keep Your WHY Nearby
Each family has their own unique reasons for homeschooling. What’s yours? This is your why.
Keep your WHY with you when homeschooling gets tough. Why do you want this for your family? Why is it worth it to keep going? Why is homeschooling worth the sacrifice?
2. Connect with Other Homeschool Families
Find support by connecting with other homeschooling families in your community. Look for homeschool groups and co-ops in the area. Or ask about sports or classes that might attract homeschoolers. Can’t find anything near you? Check out the closest city or town and schedule activities for just one or two days a week to save yourself some travel time.
If you cannot find them close by, you can always find them online. Chances are that someone out there is going through what you are right now. Online resources offer fantastic advice and motivation when you feel like giving up.
3. Set a Goal
Set a few realistic goals for the homeschool year (or month… or week… or even just for today) before you start. Make sure that these goals are achievable because if they are not, you will feel as if you have not accomplished what you set out to do. Don’t be defeated by your goals before you begin.
You might set a goal to get to a certain point in your curriculum. Or you might set a goal to get through the day without an argument. Goals bring what we want into focus. Think about it and write one down.
4. Change Directions
If you find that the goals you’ve set are just. not. working. out. You might need to change directions completely. Don’t be afraid to do this!
Started out classically homeschooling but your child wants more freedom? Try switching it up with a child led appoach. Have a curriculum that isn’t working out? Take a field trip week. Reading instruction causing tears? Look outside the book and read the world.
Maybe you’ve found yourself over scheduled after signing up for too many classes. Or maybe your child is bored with the same routine. Change it up! The flexibility to change directions is possibly the most beneficial part of homeschool.
5. Bring Some Fun into Homeschool
When you’re teaching, let the kids sense the enthusiasm within your voice and actions. Enthusiasm is contagious! Kids love having fun while learning and if you are able to bring this element into place, you will be able to have an easier time keeping your kids motivated to learn.
A few ideas:
- Introduce a new game
- Try a new project
- Get out and get some exercise
- Take an in-person or virtual field trip
- Have a pajama day
- Surprise your kids with a break from their regular routine
6. Take a Break
Taking breaks is an important part of the homeschool process. When you feel that the child is having difficulties understanding a specific concept, take a break and resume when they are feeling ready. You can use this break to find some time for yourself. Relax. Re-energize, then resume the learning process.
Many homeschoolers take planned breaks throughout the year: 6 weeks on, 1 week off. Some take extended breaks: we break each year from Thanksgiving to January and again in the summer. Planned breaks are great, but leave a little flexibility in your schedule to take a day or two when you need it during school time.
7. Ask for Help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and delegate when you need to. Being the main homeschooling parent is a job in itself, but you don’t have to complete every task by yourself.
Have friends or family nearby? Ask for help watching the kids or work out a day to swap kids once a week so you have some time by yourself to get things done.
Set up a chore schedule to delegate household responsibilities to everyone in the family.
Hire a service to help you out: Cleaning once a month (or more), lawn care, or even find a local homeschool teen to be a “mother’s helper” to occupy your kids while you are home working or taking care of the house.
Is homeschooling hard? Yes.
Is it worth it? That’s up to YOU.
If you decide that homeschool is right for you, don’t give up easily! It might take a while before you find your rhythm. Do not worry. Be flexible, keep working at it, and you will find your sweet spot.
For us, it’s worth it. It’s worth it to see my children laugh and grow. To be able to meet their individual needs and follow their interests. It’s worth it because homeschool is part of the life I want for our family.
More Homeschool 101 from the Resource Room:
Ashley helps parents who want to homeschool find the resources they need to successfully teach their children. Ashley is a former teacher, current homeschooler, published author, and designer behind Circle Time with Miss Fox printables as well as the creator of this website, The Homeschool Resource Room.