Monday, January 16, 2012

Remedies for Homeschool Burn-out: Remember the Big Why's

Whether homeschooling or teaching in a classroom, sometime around the mid-year point the dreaded burn-out kicks in.  It's the overwhelming need to leave the room or scream.  Sometimes it's the desire to hang it all and call the nearest public or private school.  The children are stressed and so am I.  I am so over this education thing and so are the children.  I start counting down the days until my next break.  I even start trying to convince myself that it is okay for summer to come now in January!

We all experience burn-out, but what can we do about it?  Since I'm there right now as we speak, I thought I would share some of the strategies I use to help me get through the season of endless burn-out.  Today, I will share Step One:  Remember the Big Why's.

Step One:  Remember the Big Why's
Before making any changes,I usually prefer to take time to sit and remember why I'm homeschooling.  I think it's important to start here, because homeschooling is fun, but it is hard work.  I will be honest and say that on most days, I get to the end and think," Why me?  What was I thinking?"

Stopping to think about why I'm doing what I'm doing helps me refocus on those days when I just want to hide in my closet to restore my sanity.  I will include a list of our reasons for homeschooling our children, but please do not adopt my reasons unless they really do resonate with your homechooling experience.  This is about assessing the needs of your unique family.

Wicks Family's Reasons for Homeschooling

1.  God specifically told my husband and I to homeschool our children.  
Whenever I waiver in my own personal commitment, I always remember receiving that clear directive from Him.  I trust God with my life, so I know I can trust Him with the education of my children and my sanity.

2.  I can disciple my children throughout the day as we live and work together.
As we work, play, and learn together, my children see me strive to live for Christ before them.  I intentionally point their hearts to Christ and try to help them develop an appreciation for God's handiwork as we learn about science, history, math, and language arts.  When I see a character flaw, I'm able to put a stop to it right then and there and show them the truth of that error in God's word and our need for a savior.  When I mess up, as I often do, I apologize and ask for forgiveness.

 Please don't misunderstand.  I don't do these things because I'm such a great mom.  No, not at all.  I do them because I am an imperfect mom, serving a compassionate and perfect God, and my greatest desire is that my children see the need to do the same.

3.  We provide a customized learning experience for each of our children.
It's simple, really.  I know my children.  I know their strengths and weaknesses.  I love them to pieces.   As a former classroom teacher, I know my children would've been just fine in public or private school.  However, hands down, nothing beats a tutorial model for reaching the needs of the individual child.

I am also able to tap into their interests and give them huge blocks of time during the best time of their day to explore those interests.  This has been such an awesome blessing, especially for my oldest, whose auditory processing issues and recessive/expressive language delay cause others to often misinterpret his intentions and abilities.  God knew what He was doing when He told me to homeschool that child. 

4.  We are raising boys who will one day be men who lead families and contribute to the betterment of society. 
As the curriculum decision makers, we provide them with heroes worth emulating as we read the Bible, classic and contemporary literature of quality, and discuss and analyze history and current events.  In all of this, we talk about biblical manhood and how all of these ideas relate to God's purpose for their lives.  We compare the character traits of history's and literature's good and bad guys to the standard of God's word.

Also, because we homeschool, we are able to be more selective than most in regards to the teenagers and men of standard who are able to give them real-life role models to look up to.  Hopefully, because of the examples we try to give them now, they will make wise decisions about who they allow in their inner circle as they mature. 

Of course, more reasons have been added to the list over the years, but these remain our core reasons for homeschooling.

What are some of your reasons for homeschooling?


  1. Great review Trina! I wrote down our reasons when we first started in 1999 and have reviewed them many times over the years.

  2. Thank you, Jenny. I think one of the best mothering decisions I have ever made was obeying God's leadership on this homeschooling thing. When I can't remember all of the other reasons, I gain new strength by remembering His assignment for our family.