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Avoiding Homeschool Winter Burnout

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winter burnout

 

It’s that time of year.

Winter has closed in on us.

The dark nights and bleak days seem to suck out all the joy and happiness in the world.

Obviously, I have a few issues. And if I’m going to burn out, it will most likely happen in the midst of winter.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stared at my planner towards the end of January and questioned everything I know to be true in life.

Of course, I’m exaggerating just a bit.  I have written just a few times about the Winter Blues so it must be somewhat true.

What I can tell you is that it is not uncommon for homeschoolers to feel burnt out this time of year. We have come off the heady days of Christmas. We can see the long months still before us, and it doesn’t look all that promising.

Are these kids learning anything?

Why did I spend all the money on this curriculum?

Can I turn napping into a core subject?

Trust me. We’ve all been there.

Some just plow through the dark days of winter. Those ladies are my heroes. They wave the banner of efficiency and heaven help any virus, crisis, or bad day that gets in their way.

I am not that homeschooler. Efficiency isn’t a term I am that acquainted with.

Instead, I have learned over the years to lean into the season. To embrace the cold and add a bit of cozy.  I have had to change things up a bit and weave in rhythms and rituals of my own to combat burnout.

My planner becomes a place that I can dream a little. Our lessons are supplemented with cozy reads, fun podcasts, intriguing documentaries.  

We might sleep in a little or spend a day in our pajamas.

The hot beverage station becomes stocked and ready.  Apple cider mixes, hot cocoa packs, fun sprinkles and marshmallows all have their special places.

Healthy habits are emphasized and practiced. Winter is a good time to start a morning stretching routine and Scripture reading.  Work on reading through the Bible together.

I try and take time to refocus and rest. Here are some suggestions. Take long hot baths, paint your nails, read that book you’ve had on your nightstand for two months.  Learn to crochet, date your husband, journal.  I have a whole new set of gel pens ready to be used.

We will focus on winter-themed poetry or works of art. I have a whole playlist devoted to winter.

These things won’t take up time needed with integers or participles.  Long division will always be with us. We need to add a little life and light into our days.

Whatever this winter season holds, I pray that God illuminates our way. And that we are able to rejoice in even the smallest blessing and victory.

 

Rebekah Teague is the homeschooling mama to one busy and beautiful boy. She is married to The Muffin who is a pastor and a really great guy. In her spare time she can be found with a book and a cup of tea. She blogs at There Will Be A $5 Charge For Whining.

 

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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).
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