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Ariadne
07-06-2011, 04:06 PM
I'm beginning my eighth (official) year. I'm just not into it. This is the first summer ever when I haven't bought much of anything. Oh, a couple of workbooks I bought months ago and some Arrows when Homeschool Buyers Co-op had them 10/$50. Nothing else.

I know part of my burnout is due to some personal things going on. I may need to return to work and that is weighing heavily on my mind. I need to make decisions and, well, dammit, I don't wanna.

So.....

Are you burned out?

How have you handled burnout in the past?

Do you (have you) consider(ed) putting kids in school due to burnout?

...and anything else you can think of to add. I'm too burned out to even put much effort into these questions. How pathetic is that?

Ariadne
07-06-2011, 05:14 PM
Nobody else is mentally fried re: homeschooling? I know you're out there!

Accidental Homeschooler
07-06-2011, 05:18 PM
If I can make it eight years before I burnout I will be really happy!

Ariadne
07-06-2011, 05:22 PM
If I can make it eight years before I burnout I will be really happy!LOL! Thanks for the perspective.

Mum
07-06-2011, 05:27 PM
I get burned out regularly. Here's what helps me:
In the morning I set aside quiet time for myself with the baby gated safely in his room.
When my husband gets home from work he takes over and I take an hour long walk, no kids allowed.
Wednesday night is "my night" to go out without kids. (my husband get Tuesdays) I try to use the time for non-parenting/homeschooling stuff, usually meditation.
So that gives me three "lights at the end of the tunnel" to look at when I feel like I've had enough. Knowing that I'm going to get time for my own stuff, even if it's a small amount of time helps me avoid the burnout feeling.

I'm not sure if any of that could work for you. Do you get free time to do much unrelated to HS? That's the first thing I would encourage you to do. Maybe you need to "power up" on YOU time. Just a thought.

dbmamaz
07-06-2011, 06:01 PM
Yeah, I feel pretty burnt out on my whole life, most of the time. To some extent I just see it like another job I have to do. I also have only been doing this for 2 years and I'm feeling pretty panicky about Raven's level of achievement . . . How could he return to school when he doesn't write? And I buy curriculum when I need it . . . I'm not that excited about it most of the time. I think burnout is harder when you used to really love something . . . I just don't feel that way about homeschooling. Also I would love to put my lids in school if I thought they could handle it.

Stella M
07-06-2011, 06:12 PM
I've gone through periods of burnout. Once, when the kids were little, and that was a classic case of trying to do too much. Easy to solve. We just backed off and did FIAR for a year

Earlier this year I had another kind of burnout, which was boredom related. It was just such a grind, same old, same old every day. There was just nothing exciting to me about homeschooling. I didn't think about putting the two kids who don't want to go to school, in school, but the one who does want to go, is going next year - and if I'm honest, it's going to be a relief not to struggle with not being able to meet her needs everyday.

We are at 8.5yrs too. I just kept slogging away, bored out of my brains, and started working ( tutoring/workshops ) very part time and that was enough to lift my gloom. Just something else new to be somewhat of a challenge.

Now I feel somewhat interested in h/s again.

Idk. I would think it reasonable to have a slump in interest about this time in the whole, long term process. Just don't feed it with too much energy, do the bare h/s basics, sort out the work thing ?

Kylie
07-06-2011, 06:27 PM
I actualy feel some what burnt out out all the time! Iknow that it is a combination of having a toddler, a very demanding and difficult 6 yr old (although with good quality probioti s and high strength fish oil we've seen a huge improvement) and trying to do too much, coupled with beating myself up over 'not doing enough' lol go figure on that one!

This past month I've joined the gym, mainly for yoga but hoping to get into some other cardio and strength training. Yes it's dollars (21 per week) but I have felt soooo much better. If it means a calmer mother, and a happier household then it s a small price to pay.

I place a very high priority on getting out of the house without my kids. I have to! I know as the toddler grows and is no longer a toddler this probably won't be so much of a necessity. I also know I need to start getting all of us out of the house way more often. But just to be together in the outdoors, parklands, walks, to the beach etc....nothing structured, just fresh air and sunshine together:-)

Stella M
07-06-2011, 06:33 PM
Yes, exercise helps. Making time to walk together every day. Lowering your expectations ( temporarily ) of how much you should be doing or how much you should be liking it helps. So does remembering to 'just' be a mama and do nice things together, even if they aren't remotely educational.

Also, there's a point at which curriculum just isn't that exciting anymore. Well, the odd thing that's 'new' to you, but you know, at 8yrs on you're not really in a discovery process anymore until you start working out the whole high school/college thing. And frankly, that's more scary than exciting :)

Greenmother
07-06-2011, 09:12 PM
Like all of my blog posts here don't reflect major burnout? OMG! But I love my kids more than I feel compelled to give in to burnout. And I am actively looking for ways to stimulate myself beyond that.

Ariadne
07-06-2011, 09:43 PM
Thank you all for your ideas. I do exercise a lot, but I could probably do with more regular time away from the house sans enfants. And I *know* I don't get the kids out enough, but they are all homebodies, something I do tend to be myself. Perhaps I should fight this more.

Kylie
07-06-2011, 10:42 PM
Oh green mother...it is soooo important to have something just for you isn't it!!

Ariadne, I'd stay in nearly every day if I didn't make the conscious effort.

albeto
07-07-2011, 03:00 AM
I burned out a while ago which is why I'm all about unschooling. ;-)

(In all seriousness, it's been a lifesaver here and a superior way of learning in this home for many reasons)

Melyssa
07-07-2011, 03:25 AM
I have felt this way in the past a couple of times and every time I find myself sort of naturally "unschooling" for awhile and that helps. After awhile I start to feel we're not doing enough and then get renewed vigor about curriculum again. I've been doing this now for 7 years. The fun part is mostly gone now that we're into 7th grade. I got a new curriculum this year though and hoping to change that. We're going with a more creative approach with Moving Beyond the Page.

dbmamaz
07-07-2011, 10:31 AM
The fun part is mostly gone now that we're into 7th grade.
maybe this is why it was never much fun for me . . . my older one started in 8th grade, and my younger one hates everything i try to do with him. except tickle fights.

Theresa Holland Ryder
07-07-2011, 02:06 PM
I had a pretty bad patch of burnout a couple of years ago. It seemed like everything, all the time, was always about homeschooling and what the kids needed and what the "family" needed and I just existed as some kind of unpaid, under-appreciated servant to facilitate everyone else's happiness and personal growth. I got through it by making more time for myself by giving everyone more responsibility, both around the house and with school. And a lot of late night feeling really sorry for myself. But only in a therapeutic sort of way! ;)

Ellie's mom
07-10-2011, 10:36 PM
Soooo many ways to reach burnout. One question to ask ourselves:
Have I been outside (no roof) today for 2hrs and 20min? If so, then only 90% of life is spent indoors.

Fresh air can ameliorate some of the symptoms of burn-out. Spare a thought for me today in Red-level Beijing air, 330 API!

Kylie
07-11-2011, 03:05 AM
Do you think that it makes any difference if the time spent in the sunshine and fresh air is in one large chunk, say all day outside once a week or if it spread out over the week in smaller chunks. In regards to the way the body utilises the Vitamin D etc?

Pefa
07-11-2011, 07:42 AM
I'm in my 13th or 14th year of official hs'ing (I don't count anything done before they had to be registered as hs'ing, which was 7yo w/the big kids and 6 w/the littles, that's just what you do with little kids) and I've been flailing for the last year.

Kiddos are waking up (sign of burn out? I never wake the kids up unless we have to make an appointment. Even though it drives me crazy to start the day late, I need the space more.) so I'll have to write more later.

It's an exhausting place to be.

Shoe
07-11-2011, 09:05 AM
I'm beginning my eighth (official) year. I'm just not into it. This is the first summer ever when I haven't bought much of anything. Oh, a couple of workbooks I bought months ago and some Arrows when Homeschool Buyers Co-op had them 10/$50. Nothing else.

I know part of my burnout is due to some personal things going on. I may need to return to work and that is weighing heavily on my mind. I need to make decisions and, well, dammit, I don't wanna.

So.....

Are you burned out?

How have you handled burnout in the past?

Do you (have you) consider(ed) putting kids in school due to burnout?

...and anything else you can think of to add. I'm too burned out to even put much effort into these questions. How pathetic is that?

I'm sorry to hear you're getting burned out, but I can certainly sympathize. The last two years have been completely exhausting for me both emotionally and physically-not because of home schooling, but the time required for education has certainly not helped.

About 4 months ago, I realized that I had not been taking time for my health and well being-I was exhausted, irritable, had gained about 20-25 pounds, generally just felt awful. I made a conscious decision to take the time to eat right and work out daily (I used the P90X program, since it allowed me to work out in my living room and still be able to supervise the kids), as well as taking a short time to practice progressive muscle relaxation while listening to relaxing music. Sometimes it has been hard to achieve, but I've made this a priority and simply taken the time to do it, and it's been working well for me.

I'm not sure that I'd be less burned out if I put the kids back in public school-I'd have to drive them back and forth from school, worry about their getting their homework done, dealing with parent-teacher meetings, bullying, and all the other things that made me take the kids out of that school in the first place.

Jilly
07-11-2011, 12:55 PM
My oldest two are going into seventh grade, and I feel burned out too. Actually I am not sure if burned out is the right term, what I am really feeling is a lack of excitement that I use to feel in regards to homeschooling. I don't seem to care that much about curriculum anymore, which feels strange as I use to obsess over it. I don't feel very strongly about homeschooling anymore either. I use to think it was the only way to go, but now I am much more opened to other ideas.

I am hoping that some of my excitement comes back when the school year starts up again otherwise we may all be miserable. :)

GinaG
07-11-2011, 01:08 PM
I haven't read the other responses yet but I SOOOOOOOO hear what you are saying. We are also in our 8th year and I've been struggling with burnout for a couple of years now. When it was at it's worst I did put my kids in a small, homeschool friendly, private school and I lucked out that my friends were great about taking my kids on field trips with them so that I could get a break from that aspect of homeschooling as well (I'm a homebody so this last bit was surprisingly important). My husband insisted on sending the girls to school as a way of preserving my sanity--honestly he didn't care where they were/what they were doing just so long as I got a break from them that year. It did help to have one year where I didn't have to focus so exclusively on homeschooling. I don't know if traditional public school would have been as stress-relieving for me, though. The school we were with was super flexible and was afternoons only (12-5pm). I have found that the single most important factor in avoiding burnout is to put our own needs equal with that of our kids, rather than always putting their needs first the way we did when they were little. I now count my brunch dates with friends just as high a priority as making play dates for my kids. Doing this has actually taught my kids that I am a human being with needs too (sometimes I think kids and spouses forget this). Now my kids and husband will tell me when I am getting too grouchy and need to go spend time with my own friends. Personally, I think every single stay at home parent should have one or two things that they do just for themselves; socializing, reading, participating in a sport or hobby, having an official sleep in day, etc. Reading about Karen Andreola's concept of Mother Culture inspired me and showed me that I needed to change how I was doing things. Feel free to check out the Saving Our Sanity section of the forums on my website. Last year, or the year before, there was a discussion on what we all did to help ourselves avoid burnout, as well as what books we were reading just for our own pleasure (a rare occurance for most of us). I will add that I find it helpful to focus on the life skills and the fun aspects of learning during burnout years; although that is harder to do once they hit high school but by then they tend to be taking more outside courses anyway. Hang in there. It does get better. Three years ago I was ready to throw in the towel. Now I feel like I might actually make it through another 8 years of homeschooling (my youngest is 10 so we are, literally, halfway through our homeschooling experience).
Gina
www.secularcm.com

DragonFaerie
07-11-2011, 01:19 PM
I have only been homeschooling a couple of years so I can't give you any long-term solutions. But something did resonate with me when I was feeling burned last spring. Someone reminded me that I am "the principal." I can choose to take days off or go on field trips or whatever, anytime I wanted to. Once I realized that, things got better for me. When we would have particularly icky days, I would declare a "rain day" (we don't get many snow days; LOL) and we'd forget schoolwork and sit and watch movies and eat popcorn instead. Obviously you can't do this all the time but it did help on those particularly rough days.

Another thing I do is have my kids start learning to work independently as early as possible. I realize this may not be the traditional way to homeschool but I firmly believe in raising self-sufficient children. I read literature aloud to them during breakfast and two days per week I teach history and geography. Everything else is independent work for them (obviously I'm available to explain things or answer questions or whatever and my youngest still needs more help sometimes). They do several things on the computer, too (math, science, memory work, Latin for DD). That way, I don't feel like my whole day is monopolized sitting at the table.

QueenBee
07-11-2011, 05:54 PM
I'm beginning my eighth (official) year. I'm just not into it. This is the first summer ever when I haven't bought much of anything. Oh, a couple of workbooks I bought months ago and some Arrows when Homeschool Buyers Co-op had them 10/$50. Nothing else.

I know part of my burnout is due to some personal things going on. I may need to return to work and that is weighing heavily on my mind. I need to make decisions and, well, dammit, I don't wanna.
So.....
Are you burned out?
How have you handled burnout in the past?
Do you (have you) consider(ed) putting kids in school due to burnout?
...and anything else you can think of to add. I'm too burned out to even put much effort into these questions. How pathetic is that?

I haven't read the other responses, but I'll get there! I'm sure there's lots of great wisdom in them (I'm just pressed for time!).

I've felt that way at times. I think what has helped me the most is to (1) take a break; (2) make sure I'm eating very well - I notice that I don't have much excitement for anything when I don't pay close enough attention to my diet; (3) start doing something fun just for me - whether it's a new class at the Y, trying a new hobby (something simple like crochet), or trying a new way of cooking ... just something to get me revved up; (4) go outside more often (with or without kids) - I need a daily outdoor walk, plus some dedicated days outdoors in order to function - I get seriously depressed if I'm inside too much.

Lastly, I also always try to consider how many years I've put into homeschooling and how I don't want to undo all (by putting them in school) because of a short rough patch. I figure it's one of those things that I need to really think about for at least 3 - 4 months.

Luckily for me, I have somehow escaped burnout this year but last year I remember just being done at one point.

Good luck with everything!! I think sometimes just reading that you're not alone is enough to brighten the day!

Batgirl
07-11-2011, 08:09 PM
After one year of homeschooling, I am dealing with burnout. Not over actually doing homeschooling, more over my own mindset to it. I feel that hsing, and my obsession over curriculum, worries about failure, making everything into an educational "moment" :rolleyes: etc. have come to dominate our lives too much. So everyone is getting a summer break.
When I started our hs journey, I hoped that hs would be a part of our lives, but also that it would give us more time for other things in life. For several reasons, that has not been true this year. We are taking a break over the summer to regroup and hopefully for me to come up with some new visions about hs and our life emphases. It doesn't help that we are in limbo while our house is on the market! We're still not completely sure where we'll end up and it's taking much longer to sell than I thought it would.

Kylie
07-12-2011, 03:42 AM
I'm not sure that I'd be less burned out if I put the kids back in public school-I'd have to drive them back and forth from school, worry about their getting their homework done, dealing with parent-teacher meetings, bullying, and all the other things that made me take the kids out of that school in the first place.

Yeah this is something I always try to remind myself of :-)

Pefa
07-12-2011, 07:38 AM
Sorry I was so incoherent yesterday. For me, burnout is less about the hs'ing than the externals surrounding it. Personally, I am considering schooling the boys because they need some stuff that I can't provide. I look on it as part of the spectrum. Honestly, short of searching out an inner city school filled with metal detectors and drive by shootings (tough to find in rural VT) to enroll them in, they won't be worse off in school than they were this past year.

When will you have to make a decision about working? That kind of limbo can really bring everything to a screeching halt. I also think puberty is a tough time for any educator - you have to keep slogging away even as children look at you blankly through a fog of hormones. Certainly it was a huge relief when ES started HS. Somebody else was responsible. And even though we laughed at some of the ridiculous stuff, we were both aware that this was a system he had chosen for a reason and it fulfilled his needs beautifully.

You know what the right choice is for you and your family. It doesn't have to make sense to anybody but you.

holycrap
07-13-2011, 02:39 PM
You should be commended! You have three to educate.
Let's face it ... homeschooling is a never ending, pretty much thank-less job.
Everyone (if they are honest), feels this way.

This website is helpful in getting honest perspective.
I think what everyone is saying and what you need to hear is that IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO FIND SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY AND DO IT.
A happy Mom makes a happy family.
Don't put up with any crap and don't sweat the small stuff.

Stella M
07-13-2011, 06:39 PM
( Since Pefa said it first, I too am relieved to have dd12 heading off to school next year, for the break it will give me from trying to meet all her needs all the time. This year has been intense; the thought of someone else schooling her, at least for a while, feels like the weight of the world off my shoulders. But...it was her choice, not mine. I don't know whether that makes it different. I don't think life will get easier for us with school in the picture, but I'm ready to let someone else handle the academics and be in charge of her for a bit. )

So I guess I'm saying that sending children back to school isn't the answer to burnout. Sometimes, though, in some situations, for some children, it can be an answer.

coloradoalice
07-13-2011, 07:40 PM
We are in our third year and have experienced burn out more than once. Whenever it occurs we default to unschooling. Then when we get burn out on that we go back to something more structured and scheduled. Back and forth we go all according to our needs. It's worked very well for us.