5 Ways to Avoid Mid-Year Burnout

5 Ways to Avoid Mid-Year BurnOutWhether it be the lack of sun due to cloudy skies, the snow-covered world begging us to hibernate, or rainy weather forbidding us to explore outside, the fact is mid-year for most homeschooling families is hard. If we aren’t careful, our excitement for learning can quickly turn into mid-year burnout.

The year is half over, the review portion of our materials has long passed and we are now into the nitty-gritty of our lessons; the harder sections which stretch our kids minds and add those wrinkles to the brain. Add to this the cooler weather, practically forcing us indoors, and you soon have the makings of an unhappy family.

What’s a mom to do? How do we turn our routine around so mom doesn’t go crazy and the kids don’t start climbing the walls? Over the years, we’ve learned a couple of changes in our routine help us avoid mid-year burnout and help us finish strong:

Get Fresh Air – Even if you’re just going for a brisk walk or stepping onto your front porch, take a moment to enjoy some fresh air. Being indoors constantly can leave you feeling claustrophobic and tired. Our bodies need sunshine and clean air in order to function well. Plus, it doesn’t hurt the soul to enjoy God’s creation.

Change Your Routine – Tired of doing the same ol’ thing? Try changing it up! Switch your routine of subjects around. Change which days you do your chores. Find some creative way to mix things up, without making your life madness. Just a little altering might help you view life al title differently.

Exercise – You’ve been inside too much, possibly sitting down a bulk of the day. Consider getting a little exercise and stretching out those muscles. Running, jogging, and hiking are all great ways to get some exercise. If you can’t get outdoors, consider aerobic routines which the kids could do with you.

Take a Moment For Yourself – Let’s face it, when the family is forced to stay indoors all day, the kids tend to want more attention. They’ve played with all their toys, watched all their movies, read all their books, and are, frankly, just as stir crazy as you are right now. Consider trading play days with friends, giving each other an afternoon ‘off’ to just relax and enjoy peace and quiet. Ask Dad to watch the kids for the night and go enjoy a cup of coffee with a friend. Have Grandma watch the kids and you both go enjoy a movie! No matter how you manage it, take a moment or two for yourself; breathe and refresh your soul in order to finish your year well.

Spend Some Time With Friends or Fellow Homeschoolers – It helps to commiserate fellowship with other homeschooling parents who completely understand what you are going through. Set up a play date, park day, baking day, any day, just to visit with friends. Spend the day encouraging one another and exploring ways to break the lethargy which seems to be taking hold.

The year is more than half over. (At least for those following a traditional learning routine.) Don’t allow a short season of restlessness to overshadow the amazing year you’ve been having so far. Take charge of life and get out of the winter rut.

Find what works for you, make it happen, and finish your year strong. Enjoy the adventure!

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

🔔Time to Chime In: As a mom, one of the hardest (and silliest) things I used to let bug me was allowing my kids to play in the rain. I was always taught this could make kids sick and, frankly, what was I going to do with all those wet clothes? To my kids’ delight, we got over this and have awesome pictures to show for it. What was one of the hardest (and silliest) things that used to bother you about rainy/snowy days?

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11 thoughts on “5 Ways to Avoid Mid-Year Burnout

  1. Snow days! I hated dressing them up in all that marshmallow clothes, just for them to come back inside in 5 minutes…. I did it, but it drove me crazy…I admit I use to try to talk them out of it! Now they can all dress themselves and they are out for hours!

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  2. My morning walk outside is important for me. It clears my head in more ways than one, but I confess that when it snows, I often forgo the walk and enjoy the snow through the window. This year, we scheduled a 3 day trip to Colonial Williamsburg to coincide with Homeschool Week, The Daughter’s birthday, and our break week. Of course it snowed – a lot! I packed my hiking boots, and reluctantly stuck with the plans. We actually had a blast tromping around CW in the snow. It was gorgeous, and not crowded. The experience re-set my cold weather tolerance too, because we came home to more snow, but not once did we skip our morning walk!

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  3. I needed this post. We’ve been in a slight “I don’t care” slump since Christmas break! The exercise is one thing I really need to get back to–it makes a huge difference in my energy level and attitude. Going outside on a sunny day, like you mentioned, definitely helps us, too!

    Another item I’d add to the list is making sure you get enough sleep. I’ve spent too many nights staying up late the last two months, and I’ve been paying for it during the daytime. (Ahh, the allurement of late-night-blogging when the house is quiet and I have a little time to myself! ha ha I made a rule for myself earlier today that I will no longer bring the computer into my bedroom in the evenings. No more “I’m just gonna check one quick thing on my blog/email/forum…”)

    We pretty closely follow the public school yearly schedule. One thing we do to reduce the late-winter burnout is we only take one week off for Christmas (instead of two) and give ourselves a second “spring break” around late February.

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  4. On snowy days, I used to hate all the dirty water and salt they’d drag into the house and the barrage of wet and stinky outerwear. Now I just have them drop it all in the front foyer and don’t even worry about it until the end of the day. Any day that’s decent enough to get them out of the house during the winter is worth the extra laundry and dirty floors:-)

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  5. I must confess I’ve been feeling some mid-year burn out. We took an extra long “spring break”. I know my motivation will cycle back around though! And, hey, we’re always learning anyways no matter what we do, right? 🙂

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  6. Oh my did i ever need to read this post today. I just feel yuck. And really think now after reading your post that I’m burned out. I really like your ideas. You made mention the importance of meeting up with other Home School Moms. I been sharing my struggles and feeling of burnout with moms, family, friends and non of them are home schooling. Big mistake. They don’t help. They don’t know how. And family even a bigger mistake, especially if they never agreed to the home school idea. So I’m glad that I’m here reading this. I like the idea about changing the routine up. Great time to take some field trips. I’m going to spend sometime this weekend changing up our routing and adding some new fun material. For me I am setting up a lot more childcare with other moms so that I can have a break and go on dates with my husband. The thing that we need to do is to not talk about our kids or home school. It’s a hard season right now. I been adding different devotional books to my personal time too. Walks is a must, I have a dog that is willing to go with me. Thank You!!!!

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  7. This was an on-time post for me. I’ve been trying to figure out how to get over/push past these feelings of “I just want school to be over”. I’ve started going on more field trips to help (almost one per week). I figure I’ll catch up on the other planned material during our lighter schooling schedule during the summer. However, your ideas will also help me. Thanks again.

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