When it comes to homeschooling there can be many challenges along with the many joys. But some days it can feel like it’s a burden. And maybe those days drag on and it starts feeling overwhelming. What happens when you are not loving homeschooling?
Does the mom guilt or dad guilt take over? Do you feel like you have failed? There can be so many questions going through your mind and it starts to feel all-encompassing, all too much.
It is totally ok to not love homeschooling all the time. We are human and that is natural. But what can we do when the weariness starts to settle in? It is time to take stock, reevaluate and maybe shake things up.
It can also be hard when you feel deeply convicted about homeschooling your children then, as you step into it, you find yourself not enjoying it. That is ok, too. You don’t HAVE to love it. But it is always extremely helpful to have joy in it.
8 ways you can help yourself when you find yourself not loving homeschooling:
1. Take a break
This could be as quick as a coffee break for you or an extended break from the day-in and day-out of homeschool. The very least, declare a holiday and not do any schooling. Make it a family fun day. Sleep late. Eat brunch. Watch movies and laze about.
If you need to take a week, take a week. Of course, each State has different reporting requirements
It is ok to take time for you. Homeschooling means you are around your children all the time. You are making lunches and snacks, and planning and prepping. It can be a lot. A break is wonderful. It is a mental refresher. Be kind to yourself.
2. Change up the curriculum
Guess what?! You don’t have to stick to your curriculum. One of the biggest joy suckers is your children not liking the curriculum you are using. It is especially hard when you have spent hours researching and then the money you spent purchasing it. But making you and your children press on through it can be an easy way to kill the love of homeschooling. It is not worth it. You don’t have to stick with that curriculum (and you can always sell it to try and recoup some of the money). Try something new. Look around for other options.
3. Follow your children’s interests and learning styles
When your children are happy and engaged, it is much easier to love homeschooling. This ties in with the point above. Ditch the curriculum for a while if you need to. Learn what they want to learn. This will refresh and engage all of you.
Knowing your child’s learning style is also a great way to help bring that love back. When children are not operating in the way they learn best, it can suck. When you can provide opportunities for your children to learn how they best learn, everyone is engaged. This is what we want as parents. Isn’t that one of the reasons why we homeschool?
4. Introduce or add more thematic learning
This still ties in with the 2 points above. I personally love thematic learning, and when you do this at home, it is easy to find ways to enjoy it.
Check out these videos on thematic learning:
How to add thematic learning to your homeschool curriculum
5. Do what works for you (even if it means putting your kids in school)
This is something I always stress with my friends who are homeschooling or not. Do what works for you. If that means you need to take an extended break from homeschooling and putting your kids in school for a season, DO IT. Your mental health is also important. Putting your kids in school does not mean that you have to continue that way forever and a day. It can be for a semester, or a year. It is up to you. If that helps you to find your groove again, then that is wonderful.
Whatever way of doing what works for you is correct. No one can tell you that you are wrong.
6. Find ways to have help at home (mother helper, someone to come and clean)
I know for me, personally, I can get more overwhelmed with the things around the house that need doing like dishes or the laundry……or the bathrooms (boo). I also work part time and there are days where I am stretched.
Here is where a mother’s helper is wonderful. Find yourself another homeschooling family that has a young teen. They can come and play with your children or supervise other activities while you get things done.
If your budget allows, get someone to come and clean once or twice a month. I know that having someone clean the kitchen, bathroom and living room for me allows me to breathe and to feel on top of things.
7. Get some emotional support
This really is key. Join some online homeschooling support groups. Meet with like minded moms, who can be there when you need an ear while you vent. We are all in the trenches together. It is totally valid to say how you feel and not have to provide the disclaimer “of course I love my children”…..No one is saying you don’t. But your feelings are valid too. When you are starting to feel the love go away, reach out and talk it through. You are not alone.
8. Come back to your whys
Sometimes we just need to come back to our whys. Why are we homeschooling? What is it that we want to ultimately achieve within our family by homeschooling?
On the days I am not loving homeschooling, I start to think through my whys. I jokingly say I have over 7000 reasons why, but the truth is, there are a number of reasons – both big and small. When I look at that list, and I listen to my heart, I can once again switch back to love. But that does mean I am doing the things above too.
All of these work together. Taking the time to work through it will help.
But let me finish by saying if you are currently not loving homeschooling, IT IS OKAY. You are not a failure. Your children are going to be fine. Take a deep breath. You’ve got this.
And I am here to vent to if you need it. No judgment.
*If you need some self care ideas, here is a sweet post with some good suggestions that might help get you back loving homeschooling.