Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Avoid Homeschool Burnout

Your family can avoid homeschool burnout by discussing what is still enjoyable each day and what is not.

Try these tips to reduce the chance of burnout in your homeschool:
  • Discuss what is working and what is not. Ask for suggestions and ideas to inspire and motivate learning.
  • Determine the ways your children learn best and use those learning methods.
  • Add more flexibility to your homeschool days, and take advantage of spontaneous learning opportunities.
  • Avoid over-scheduling your days. You need a good balance of quiet activities with the busy activities.
  • Add more fun and laughter to your homeschool lessons and homeschool activities.
  • Set aside homeschool curriculum packages or programs that are not interesting to your children. (If your children aren't interested, they won't learn as well.)
  • Switch from "busy-work" -- such as worksheets, writing assignments, or dull reading assignments -- to fun, hands-on learning projects and science experiments.
  • Try unit studies or "unschooling" for a while, rather than traditional subjects. Remember that "homeschool" is not "school at home." Experiment with different learning methods.
  • Ask children what they would like to learn this week, this month, this year. Encourage them to find and share fun ways to learn those things.
  • Take field trips to the library and allow children to check out books that appeal to them. Also guide them in selecting informative books that look interesting. Use those books as the backbone of your daily learning, and discuss the books you read.
  • Use arts and crafts as an excellent way to reinforce learning and to complement the topics you read, study, or explore.
  • Find online homeschool activities that promote family learning projects. Many interesting projects and activities are available at www.EverythingHomeschooling.com.
  • Reduce stress by lowering your expectations. Try not to do so much each day. Get support and help from others.
  • Have children record their daily lessons in their homeschool logs, organize their homeschool books and supplies, and clean up after homeschool experiments or learning projects.
  • Ask family members to help with daily chores around the home and to be responsible for specific aspects of the homeschool day.
  • Take time for yourself to relax and unwind. Spend at least an hour each day on something you especially enjoy, such as reading, painting, knitting, or sitting in the sunshine.
When you are rested, refreshed, and recharged, homeschooling will be easier, and children will be happier and will learn more!

Happy homeschooling!

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