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Help, I Feel Burnout Coming!


Have you ever experienced bone-weary burnout?

Burnout has a way of creeping up on us. It begins with a quiet sensation of listlessness, followed by annoyance, accompanied by an occasional outburst of unexpected anger that you didn’t see coming.


Great idea, huh? Well, maybe not!

Some homeschool moms may carry on for years before experiencing burnout, while others may experience it yearly, generally in the spring. Because, goodness, by then we are just plum worn out from teaching school all year long.

If you, like me, are feeling a sense of despondency, fatigue, or angst, it is time to head off burnout at the pass. This is the time of year that we can intentionally set up our children, routine, and schedule for success as we finish the year strong.

Here are 4 Ways to Crush Burnout:

1. Recognize the Source of your strength. As a Christian, I know that my strength comes from the Lord. You may not share my faith and that’s okay, but I am sure that as a mom, you daily recognize your physical, mental, and emotional limitations. We cannot help but feel these walls when we have been worn down to the bone. This is where God comes in. I am capable because He has created me capable, but I can do much more than I am capable of on my own when I trust in Him and rely on Him to give me the strength to do what I have been called to do and to finish the tasks that I have been given to accomplish.Here are some verses that bolster my strength by pointing to the One who gives me strength:

It says in Isaiah 40:

“Who has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and the hills on a scale?” (vs. 12)

“He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.” (vs. 29)

“Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength” (vs. 31)

Psalms 121 reads:

“I lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.”

Ephesians 6 says:

“Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.”

So, how do I tap into this strength? By spending time in prayer, mostly. I try to take daily walks and I use that time to pray. I also gain strength from the Lord when I read the powerful words of scripture, like the ones I just typed above. Reading the Psalms, Proverbs, and the Gospels always strengthen me to press on.

2. Take a break. You don’t want to reward stubborn behavior, but butting heads isn’t the solution either. Sometimes we all need a break from the daily grind. Some ways you can take a break would be:

field trip,
spring cleaning,
plant the garden,
science museum,
reading day,
serve a widow,
organize stuff for a garage sale,
go to the library, go to the park, etc.

3. Change it up! Try something new. Guess what? You are not married to your curriculum. There is really only one thing you are married to – your spouse. Try something different and see if it helps. Maybe the curriculum you are using isn’t fitting the way your child learns. Try something different. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on experimentation.See if you can borrow something from a friend.

4. Take a vacation, especially if the weather is wonderful. Springtime is a great time to take a vacation, as the crowds are usually light even though the weather is nice. Don’t feel guilty about taking a week off from school. You can easily make this up by not taking all of the government school holidays, such as President’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Veterans Day, etc. Take a guilt-free vacation when all the other kids are in school, and then just keep plugging along the rest of the school year. And yes, we do take a summer vacation because there is no place more glorious than the Pacific Northwest in the summertime. We also take snow days for sledding and snowboarding, and days off during the spring and fall for festivals, hiking, biking, and swimming.

So, enjoy your beautiful spring days without feeling guilty now or punishing your kids later. (You know what I mean… making the kids do more school work later because you start wondering if you’ve done enough to finish the school year.) But that said, keep a good balance by working through your school curriculum faithfully on the days that you are home. In my home, school is a given, and a day off is a treat. That is the best balance to strike.

Happy Spring! Stay strong! You can do it!

crush burnout

6 Comments, RSS

  1. Amy Burnham April 5, 2017 @ 6:53 am

    I love reading these blogs. They are full of encouragement. What I’d like to know is if you are still running the dog kennel? I don’t see you write about it. We have a small home based dog kennel too and we’d love to hear more about yours.

    • Terri Johnson April 5, 2017 @ 11:40 am

      Yes, we are still running our pet facility. In fact, we are catching our breath from spring break, when we cared for over 185 pets. Thankfully, it all went smoothly (for the most part). That’s exciting that you have a dog kennel too. How is it going for you?

      • Amy Burnham April 6, 2017 @ 3:55 am

        185?? WOW!! That’s a lot of dogs. We ran a small boarding business in our old home and it was quite successful. My daughters business since she was 8. We only handled one family’s dogs at a time. Now, we moved to a farm and we’re planning to reopen soon but since we’re in a different state we’ll have to market all over again. However, I’m amazed at how needed this business is.

        • Terri Johnson April 6, 2017 @ 9:47 am

          Yes, there is a big need for boarding AND daycare, so you may want to consider a space where you can have a small group of dogs play together for the day, if that is something your clients need and want. We started daycare about 10 months ago and we have quite a few regulars. But we keep our groups small – 4-8 dogs usually.

  2. jewell12 April 5, 2017 @ 8:15 am

    If you are looking for a full 9 week sample of a curriculum using real books, take a look at Tapestry of Grace. It keeps all of your kids studying the same thing and you can use the library and Interlibrary Loan