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Beat February Burnout - Successful Homeschooling, Issue #19
February 02, 2010

February is notorious for bringing about feelings of frustration and burnout, so this month I want to share my favorite coping strategies with you!

In this Issue:

  1. 3 Steps to Saving Your Sanity
  2. Don't Keep Up with the Jones'
  3. What's New?

3 Steps to Saving Your Sanity

Homeschool Encouragement
Do you feel overwhelmed? Overscheduled? Just plain tired? Here are three steps you can take to regain your sanity:
  1. Simplify Your Schedule - Last fall we joined a co-op, signed up for multiple sports and participated in a weekly sports camp. As the season progressed, these fun activities became a burden and we couldn't wait for them to end.

    If you consistently feel overwhelmed, you may be participating in too many activities, teaching too many subjects or using the wrong curriculum. Take time this month to simplify your school and activities schedule. Don't be afraid to say no to outside commitments. Put your family first.

  2. Have a Daily Quiet Time - As an introvert, I've relied on daily quiet time since my oldest was a baby. For at least an hour every afternoon, my younger children nap while my oldest reads or completes morning assignments.

    Instead of using our daily quiet time to catch up on housework, I use this time to rest or do something I enjoy. Take time each day to put your feet up and read, call a friend or take a nap. My children don't always enjoy our quiet time, but they do enjoy not having a stressed-out, grumpy mom.

  3. Ask for Help - If you are struggling to keep your head above water, reach out to family, friends or fellow homeschool group members. If your budget allows, consider paying someone to help you catch up with housework or hiring an older teen or local college student to act as a mother's helper. Asking for help isn't a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength.

When I'm really feeling down, it is always encouraging to get advice from friends I know in real life and friends I've made online. If you are overwhelmed and in need of encouragement, here are some places where you can get homeschooling support.

Don't Keep Up with the Jones'

Although one of the advantages of homeschooling is the ability to tailor our program to our children's needs, it is always tempting to look at at what other homeschoolers are doing and wonder if we should be doing the same things.

We wonder whether or not we should join the newest co-op, change curricula, or spend more time on school. We wonder whether or not our children are ahead or behind. We wonder whether or not we are giving them an advantage by homeschooling or doing them a disservice.

I have learned that I am always doing my children a disservice when I compare them to other children. I want my husband to love and accept me for who I am instead of measuring me against other women. I owe my children the same.

I took an exercise class while I was in college, and the instructor admonished us not to look at and compete with our neighbors. He said, "If you need to compare something, compare your right side against your left."

As tempting as it is to try to keep up with the Jones', I've learned not to compare myself, my children or our homeschool with others. When I feel compelled to compare something, I compare today to yesterday.

Do we know more today than we did yesterday? Are we more joyful? Are we more loving? These measurements are more important than grades, academic levels, curriculum or activities.

Remember, homeschooling isn't a race, it's a journey!

What's New?

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Enjoy the journey,


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