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The Homeschool Minute ~ Eliminating Burn-out

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Eliminating Burn-out
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Mercy Every Minute   
The Wuehler Family

Whether you call it a mental health day, a break for scheduling, or a teacher professional development day … we all need a break every now and then. Don’t feel guilty about this-every professional educator has breaks like these scheduled in-home educators need the same.
There are many benefits of taking a break from teaching: you are able to reevaluate your progress, reconstruct your schedule, and reignite your passion. These are all worthy reasons for a break. Besides that, your students will be super excited to have a day off while you regroup and you will avoid burnout.
But here’s where the rubber of my day meets the gravely road. Some days I feel so far behind at the very minute I step foot out of bed that I already feel burnout creeping up into my foggy brain. So, in order to find peace for my soul, I must take a break right out of bed. Yes, that’s me-taking a morning break from my morning before my morning even begins. Are you laughing yet? I know, it’s not that funny when it is your reality. But it is the exact relief we desperately need. It’s what Jesus did and what He told His disciples to do. It’s our spiritual and physical and emotional health. We must come away to pray whether that is in the morning or the evening or all day in between. Let’s look at Jesus’ lifestyle of rest in between the overwhelming demands of meeting needs all day:
Jesus went away to pray, on a mountain to pray, while it was still dark, very early, or late in the day (Luke 11:1-2, Luke 5:16, John 17:1, Hebrews 5:7; Luke 21:37, Matthew 14:23, Mark 6:46, Luke 6:12, Luke 9:28, Mark 1:35) He spent time with His Father so He could hear His voice and know how to proceed with life here on earth. Here is one of my favorite responses of Jesus to the disciples after a demanding day:
“And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught. And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. And they departed into a desert place by ship privately” (Mark 6:30-32). 
Jesus invited them to go to a quiet place and rest. Day or night, we should pull away and pray to our Father and listen to His Word-He invites us there. It is where we will find the strength to make it through the demands of another day. Moms with little ones, you can’t always get away to a quiet place, but your heart can become that quiet place as you focus on God’s Word. He gently leads those with young. This is how you will avoid burnout: pour it all out before your Father and cast your cares on Him. You can do this one more day!
More helpful articles on homeschool burnout:
 
Ten Years of Burnout: 
 
2014 and 2015 Big Print issues on burnout:
 
 
 
A mom’s view on burnout: 
 
A dad’s view on burnout: 

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Raising Real Men    

I’ve heard more than one old evangelist or itinerant preacher say of his busy work schedule, “I’d rather burn out than rust out!” That sounds noble, but we’d say, “Better neither than either!” 

Homeschooling is a journey, not a sprint. It has its ups and downs like any long-term undertaking. Occasionally, though, we find ourselves bogged down. We may ask ourselves, “Why are my homeschooling friends streaming by on the high road, and we just seem to be spinning our wheels deeper into the mud?” 

 Are you there in that ditch? Or do you just feel a slide starting, and you want to fix it? How can you avoid getting so fatigued, so overwhelmed, so over-committed, or simply so bored with it all? 

  • Be realistic. The Bible doesn’t call us to everything all the time as fast as we can. In fact, Micah 6:8 says, “He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” That’s pretty simple. Don’t try to be Homeschool Supermom and use up a year’s worth of energy and enthusiasm before Valentine’s Day! 
  • Schedule time off. Jesus took time off to disengage from teaching and healing the multitudes, and withdrew to a quiet place to pray. (Luke 5:15-16, for just one example!) Sometimes He also took His disciples, so they could rest and recover, too (Mark 6:30-32). Was there a shortage of work to catch up on? No, but Jesus gave us an example that even the good work needs periods of downtime. 
  • Call in reinforcements. Often we feel frustration when a project or subject has dragged on longer than our attention span. Maybe you need a new perspective, another set of eyes, or more ideas. Call a friend out for coffee and brainstorm together! 
  • Change can be a good thing. Do you ever get burned out the first week of a new project or a new school term? No, that happens after time, repetition, and boredom undermine us. You don’t want to be constantly hopping from one thing to another so that you never finish a book or form a useful habit … but an occasional change of schedule, location, or even curriculum, can perk up jaded interest. 
  • Embrace the holidays! We all love Thanksgiving and Christmas, but secretly we may think “They disrupt our schoolwork!” Well, yes, they do. But what if you don’t fight the holidays, but make the season a part of your schoolwork? You know you’re going to do the cooking, decorating, and celebrating, either way–stop feeling guilty for a season of rejoicing! 

God warned Adam and Eve that their lives–and ours–would experience frustration, especially in the things most important to us (see Genesis 3:16-19). It comes with the territory! But there are things we can do to make our daily duties less of a burden, and with God’s grace, even a joy. 

If you’re looking for ideas and encouragement to help you apply Scripture in real life, why not check out our podcast, Making Biblical Family Life Practical, on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network (www.HalAndMelanie.com/radio), and our weekly email, Raising Real Men: News & Update (RaisingRealMen.com/newsletter) – they’re fresh and they’re free, every week! 

Yours in the Battle,

Hal & Melanie Young
info@raisingrealmen.com

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The Familyman 

Talk about whiplash. Last week I was in deliciously warm Florida, and now I’m writing from cold and windy northern Wisconsin. I’m thinking Floridians suffer less burnout than cold Wisconsinites.
My prescription for eliminating burnout is to move to … what am I saying? You can’t eliminate burnout any more than you can eliminate the common cold. They’re both common and you shouldn’t feel wrong or alone because of either.
The thing to do is deal with burnout like you’d deal with a bad cold. You know, starve a fever, feed a cold. I don’t know what that has to do with burnout, but my point is everyone faces burnout. The important thing is to not use burnout as a reason to quit.
Even if you’re burned out, home is still the best place for your children and you’re still the best teacher for them.
Don’t let burnout get in the way of enjoying your children. Suffering from common burnout? Stay in bed and watch a video with your children. Let them wait on you and go out for lunch or maybe get ice cream or hot chocolate. Talk about Christmas, make cookies, have the kids make Thanksgiving decorations out of construction paper without your input ….
Just what the doctor ordered.
Oh yeah … be real,
Todd
 

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