Disclaimer: While we are currently in a season that is not familiar and routines are not the same, this article is to encourage homeschool families during a regular school year. We continue to prayerfully believe our “regular” will come soon.
In April, students begin to feel burnt out with the anticipation of warm weather and summer activities. Even homeschool students may find it difficult to focus on the material. Likewise, homeschool parents may feel unmotivated to plan lessons, review work, and update progress reports. This is completely normal! However, there are things parents can do to help prevent burnout for both themselves and their students. Here are some helpful tips to avoid homeschool burnout and stay motivated throughout the season.
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are the guest author’s own.
1. Use a Homeschool Curriculum that Automates the Busy Work
As a homeschool parent, you likely have a lot on your plate. Not only are you a parent, but you are also your child’s teacher, administrator, principal, classmate, and more. It is completely normal If you begin to feel burnt out during the spring. With all the different hats that homeschool parents must wear, it is no surprise if they begin to feel overwhelmed with all of the work they must do at the end of the school year. During this time, parents often need to put together reports, complete evaluations and submit paperwork to their state or local governments.
Online homeschool curriculum programs have become popular among homeschool families because they automate the busywork like grading assignments, tracking attendance, and generating transcripts. Therefore, using an online homeschool curriculum can help prevent burnout because they eliminate tedious tasks. This saves parents precious time during this part of the school year. Rather than spending hours grading and putting together reports, parents can focus on their children’s education and spend quality time with their families.
2. Establish a Realistic Schedule
Homeschool students have the advantage of participating in many different enrichment activities and experiential learning opportunities. Many homeschoolers are only “in class” for about four hours a day, and the rest of the time, they can participate in art classes, STEM clubs, music programs, and many other activities. However, the desire to participate in a lot of activities can lead to a packed schedule, which may cause your student to become tired and overwhelmed by the end of the year. If you and your student tend to overcommit to numerous activities, it may be good to prioritize which ones your student enjoys the most. The other clubs or activities can wait until the summer. It is natural for us to start the school year wanting to sign up for many different things, but it is important to think about what your student has time for so they can fully commit.
In addition to establishing a realistic schedule of enrichment activities, it is also a good idea to think about this when selecting courses and establishing your daily routine. If your student is not as productive in the morning, it may be a good idea for them to begin studying later in the day. Homeschool allows for the flexibility to set a routine that works best for you and your student, which includes taking frequent breaks.
3. Take Frequent Breaks
The traditional classroom takes many breaks throughout the day, such as recess, lunch, and playtime. Homeschooling allows students to work through their material at their own pace without being bogged down by the traditional classroom schedule. While your student may be tempted to work through their courses to get finished earlier, you should still encourage them to take frequent breaks throughout the day. These breaks can be short, and your student can spend it by eating a snack or completing a chore. However, taking a break, moving around, and stepping away from their device for a few minutes can be beneficial for your student. Older teens may need to be encouraged to do this more than young students. We all need breaks from time to time, and all students need to take short, frequent breaks, which also helps prevent feelings of being burnt out.
4. Connect with Homeschool Support Groups and Other Helpful Resources
If you are not already part of a homeschool support group or co-op, you should strongly consider finding one to join. Asking for additional support or resources is often essential to homeschooling. Other homeschooling parents in support groups can give you advice and tips for keeping students focused this time of year as well as answer any questions or ease concerns about anything that relates to home education.
Especially during the current health crisis, it is important to reach out to your support groups. While you cannot meet in person, it is always good to know that other parents are going through the same thing as you or have been there in the past.
5. Get Outside to Play
Being cooped up inside for too long isn’t good for anyone. Be sure that your student gets outside to play at least once a day. Getting fresh air will help your student feel more energized and allow them to better focus on their lessons.
Incorporating field trips into your student’s lessons can help to enhance the education process and give them a change of scenery. Often, they can even participate in hands-on learning, interactive exhibits, and educational programming at museums, science centers, and zoos. Unfortunately, these places are closed right now to slow the spread of COVID-19. However, you and your student can plan field trips to take once things reopen to give your family something to look forward to.
In the meantime, going on walks, playing outside, and doing educational activities in your yard are great ways to get outside of the home. Doing fun, engaging activities as a family will help prevent burn out this time of year.