There’s a term for the chaos that ensues when we run our children here and there: burnout. Before we know it, we realize that instead of homeschooling, we’re actually car-schooling. We may even laugh about it.
We laugh because we can all relate. Instead of laughing, let’s be honest and admit that all of the running around causes stress, and less calm, to our days. In fact, I would go out on a limb and say that when we allow so much activity into our day that we are running a tidal wave pace and failing in our homeschool due to our “good” activity.
While some families legitimately incorporate “car-schooling” or “road schooling,” and these may provide valuable learning experiences, I’m referring to committing to so many things, even good things, that we soon have overstretched schedules.
A positive homeschool experience means our children grow into well-rounded, morally sound adults who are excited to continue learning through life. Feeling a need to pack so much into their educational experience, we risk leading our family straight into burnout and ultimately fail at reaching our primary goals.
I have met some moms who wind up feeling drained, scattered and stressed simply because of their self-imposed chaos. This isn’t how it should be, friends.
We need down time, as do our children, and in the effort to “socialize and educate” we often lose that much needed time of rest.
I have a homeschooling friend who constantly feels stressed about her homeschooling experience. She has her children enrolled in almost every opportunity that comes along: the coolest field trips, the latest co-op, and the best science clubs. Not only is she miserable, her house is chaotic and her downtime is non-existent. She and her husband even considered chucking the whole homeschooling endeavor altogether.
Specifically, where is it that we fail?
We fail to find peace
Running amuck induces a feeling of constant disruption. We don’t find peace in afternoons filled with family time and good literature. We don’t find peace in the quiet that can sometimes ensue when everyone is simultaneously working. We don’t have the inner mom peace that comes without having to worry about all the locations, dates and appointments we have to attend to.
We fail to root education in the home
Many of us began the path of homeschooling for different reasons. However, when we remove the home as the center and allow many other avenues of education to enter, we are no longer rooted at home. We want our children to have varied opportunities, but it’s quite possible that other ideologies will come into play. Also, other families with differing values may impact our own.
We fail to put God first
This, if we are honest, can happen to all of us. We can allow the “school” part to overrun the biblical grounding in our homeschool. This especially happens when we begin running from the moment we rise until the end of our day. We forget to center our education in God’s word. It happens to the best of us.
We fail to work on our family relationships
The way we are grounded in our family is one of the most pivotal points of homeschooling. Sibling relationships, marital relationships, and parental relationships are key. Being together often is a primary way we can focus on working out kinks and conflicts without the added stress of over-scheduling.
I’m not suggesting that we forgo all field trips, opportunities, and classes. I’m suggesting that we are wise in how much we do. We need to seek God’s guidance and consider why we began homeschooling in the first place. We call it homeschooling for a reason, so let’s center our children’s education at home.
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