Did You Know February is Homeschool Burnout Month?

Did You Know February is HOMESCHOOL BURNOUT Month? // jessconnell.com

Are you exhausted? Feeling like it’s just too hard to keep going with your homeschool plans? Ready to throw in the towel?

Be encouraged, mama! February is a really, really common exhaustion point.

Last month was the beginning of my 10th year of homeschooling. Back in the beginning of my homeschooling years, I lived overseas and didn’t have real-life examples or support in homeschooling. In order to learn and be encouraged, I participated (fairly intensively) in an online homeschooling forum for about six years.

Did You Know February is HOMESCHOOL BURNOUT Month? // jessconnell.com

I noticed a trend. Every February, without fail, these committed, passionate homeschooling moms would hit burnout mode, and began pouring out feelings of:

  • exhaustion,
  • weariness,
  • eagerness for the year to be over,
  • feeling like they were doing a terrible job, and
  • feeling like they couldn’t keep going.

A friend of mine runs marathons with his family. Last May, before the race, he took time to talk with his kids about their upcoming marathon. He mentioned a certain point in the race and said, “This is gonna be the most some of you have ever run. So at this point, this is where, last time you started crying– at mile 12. This is the cry zone. ”

He was giving them a heads up, before they began running– guys, this is the point at which we’ll feel like quitting. 

That’s how it is with February and homeschooling.

Did You Know February is HOMESCHOOL BURNOUT Month? // jessconnell.com

You had a pretty good fall semester. Then came the crazy holidays. January left you cleaning and recovering, and trying to get your legs back under you. Now, here it is to February and you’re realizing… there are still a few more months (MONTHS??!) left in this school year.

  • When you’re facing homeschool burnout, you might feel like quitting.
  • It’s hard to keep going when you’ve already given so much.
  • Maybe you’re battling your second round of winter sickness.
  • It’s dark and rainy. The kids can’t go outside as often, and the sunshine seems so far away.
  • Maybe the kids are starting to balk and not be so excited about the curriculum that seemed so shiny and fun in September.

February’s just a hard month for homeschooling.

Did You Know February is HOMESCHOOL BURNOUT Month? // jessconnell.com

Galatians 6:9 is a common memory-verse I call to mind in moments like these:

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

When we do anything that is challenging and worth doing, we WILL hit exhaustion points.

But if we keep going, there will be GOOD FRUIT!

It’s true with marathons. It’s true with farming. And it’s true with homeschooling.

Here’s some encouragement from my archives to help you press on:

IN THE COMMENTS, PLEASE SHARE:

  • ARE YOU EXPERIENCING A LITTLE BIT OF FEBRUARY HOMESCHOOL BURNOUT? 
  • WHAT DO *YOU* DO WHEN YOU FEEL BURNOUT COMING ON?

 

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Jess Connell

Jesus-follower, Happy wife, Mom of 8 neat people. Former world-traveler, now settled in Washington. Host of Mom On Purpose podcast (momonpurpose.com). I write and wrangle kids.

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5 Responses

  1. Katie says:

    So true! My four children and I just last week hurried across two states to take care of my father, who fell off a ladder and broke his back and foot. My mother is unable to tend to him due to her own health problems, and I’m the only one of their children without a job outside the home. So we’re camped out in their house for the next couple of months or more, and I just began carving out space and time to continue our schooling yesterday. It’s difficult, to say the least.

    Honestly, though, I have been so grateful that we homeschool. One of the greatest character traits I want to instill in all of my children is selflessness, and homeschooling allows me the freedom and privilege to include them in setting aside our own schedules and plans and lives to care for others- what greater lesson could I teach during school hours! We miss my husband, who had to return home for work, and it’s somewhat chaotic with four such little ones (all of my children are still very small- the youngest just turned1), but this is a wonderful opportunity to show self-sacrificing love and I’m so pleased to share it with them!

    • Jess Connell says:

      Great perspective!

      A long time ago, a wise mama told me that’s the kind of thing that she did with her homeschooling… held it loosely, ready to drop it when there was a need to care for family or people within the Body. She said, “that’s what life is for.”

      Thanks for reminding me of that truth! I need to keep that in mind and be more ready to flex for things like that.

  2. Jonda Lampard says:

    Here in Australia we are just starting a new school year, so no burnout yet :)
    I will need to revisit this post in July though, when we are halfway through our year.
    Thank you.

  3. Deborah says:

    This year is completely opposite for me. I experienced February burnout while homeschooling preschool and preK, but this year, with kindergarten, I’m still raring to go. Due to a move, we had to start school later than I wanted this year, so we hit it running, trying to catch up and meet our cover school’s end-of-year progress reports with something good to report, despite a planned 3-week break for travel in May. We ended up getting ahead, even though we’re no longer rushing through. We’re on track to finish most of our subjects by the end of April. I’m finding myself planning some light academics over the summer, just to avoid regression in phonics and math, and having to hold back because right now I feel like we could just keep going in all the subjects! I know if we do, though, that we’ll burn out by August.

    I think it also helps that we moved to a place with a climate that’s actually better for getting outside now than in the summer–it’s so hot then, and now, even though the locals are all bundled up in parkas, the weather is perfect for us to go on long walks in thin long sleeves. It’s just cool enough to keep us from sweating! I expect this summer will be more difficult than now, because we won’t want to spend too much time outside due to the heat.

    I’m not quite sure what to do with myself, all ready to keep doing school in February. It’s a new sensation!

  1. December 15, 2016

    […] The realization came, that we’d made it 75% of the way through our academic year and had virtually no breaks at all except for a brief couple weeks at Christmas and MeiMei’s time in the hospital. Suddenly it seemed obvious that we all needed a school breather… Last month, I even (ironically) wrote about homeschool burnout. […]

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