Homeschool Burnout: When You Just Want To Quit But Must Carry On

Hey there!
You’re tired. You’re burned out. You just want to quit. You’ve run out of coffee and forgot to restock the night before. You’ve already changed two biohazard level diapers
It’s only 8 am! Welcome to homeschool hell.
As you reach to grab the blunt object that child number one is terrorising child number two with, it hits you.
You retreat to your bedroom, leave the door a crack, and hide under a blanket.
Maybe they’ll just calm down, sit on the floor together, join hands and sing a happy song.
A few quiet moments go by, and you know something’s amiss.
Once you enter the kitchen, you detect a stomach churning smell. In the center of the floor is your little lovely, sitting cross legged. Just in front of him is a pile of unidentifiable substances. Upon closer inspection, you discover jelly, ketchup, mustard, pickle juice, peanut butter, and a smattering of margarine is being mashed into a fine paste with a large kitchen knife.
It’s only 9AM. Yes, you just want to quit.
You finally whip the house back up to liveble condition, and the rigorous lessons you’ve planned loom heavily in your head. You must deliver the education they deserve. You kept them home to be with you, learn with you, laugh with you, and yes; cry with you. The wild homeschool choo-choo must continue down the tracks, and you are the engineer.
No joke, you can’t make this stuff up. This actually happened today!

What is it?

Hey, you may be feeling burnt out from homeschooling, and that’s completely normal. As homeschooling parents, we give so much of ourselves to our children’s education and well-being that we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves. Recognizing triggers and finding ways to prevent burnout is crucial in keeping our homeschooling journey enjoyable and fulfilling. One way to prevent burnout is seeking support from other homeschooling parents. Joining a homeschool support group or co-op can provide you with a community of like-minded individuals who understand the challenges of homeschooling. Additionally, taking breaks and finding motivation through hobbies or self-care activities can help re-energize you and remind you of the joy of homeschooling. Overcoming challenges is another key to preventing burnout. It’s important to identify the root cause of any difficulties you may be facing in your homeschooling journey and finding ways to address them. If you’re struggling with a particular subject or method, try switching things up and finding a new approach. Remember that no one method works for everyone, and what works for one family may not work for yours. In the next section, we’ll discuss the causes and symptoms of homeschool burnout and how to recognize them. By taking steps to prevent burnout and seeking support when needed, we can ensure that our homeschooling journey remains fulfilling and enjoyable.

Causes and Symptoms

Are you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted? It’s important to recognize the causes and symptoms of homeschool burnout to prevent it from taking over your life. Recognizing triggers is the first step in preventing burnout. Hating the curriculum, being too rigid, having a struggling child, and dealing with overwhelming life issues are common causes of burnout. It’s important to reflect on what is causing the burnout and make necessary changes to prevent recurrence. Seeking support is another important step in preventing and overcoming burnout. Joining a trustworthy homeschool support group can provide a sense of community and offer valuable advice and encouragement. Talking to a trusted friend or family member can also provide a fresh perspective and emotional support. Self-reflection is also crucial in preventing burnout. It’s important to regularly evaluate your homeschooling journey and make adjustments as necessary. Finding balance between homeschooling, personal life, and self-care is key to preventing burnout. Taking breaks, delegating tasks, and prioritizing self-care are all important in maintaining balance and avoiding burnout. Recognizing triggers, seeking support, self-reflection, and finding balance are all important steps in preventing and overcoming homeschool burnout. It’s important to remember that burnout is a common experience and seeking help isn’t a sign of weakness. The next section will discuss the difference between burnout and stress, and how to identify the warning symptoms of burnout.

Difference from Stress

Recognizing the difference between burnout and stress is crucial in preventing and overcoming exhaustion and emotional fatigue. While stress is a normal response to a situation, burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion. Chronic stress can lead to physical and mental health problems, which makes it important to manage stress and identify triggers that cause it. To prevent burnout, it’s important to recognize the warning symptoms and seek support from others. Identifying the root cause of stress can help address the problem and build resilience. Seeking support from a trustworthy homeschool support group or a therapist can also help manage stress and prevent burnout. Building resilience is also a key factor in preventing burnout. This can be achieved through self-care practices such as exercise, meditation, and spending time in nature. It’s important to prioritize self-care and make time for activities that bring joy and relaxation. In the next section, we will explore coping strategies for dealing with homeschool burnout. These strategies include revisiting why you started homeschooling, trying a new homeschooling curriculum or method, taking a break from homeschooling, and organizing and decluttering your homeschool space. By implementing these strategies, you can overcome burnout and find renewed joy and energy in your homeschool journey.

Coping Strategies

To overcome the challenges of exhaustion and emotional fatigue, you need to implement coping strategies that prioritize your well-being and rejuvenation. Here are some tips to help you combat homeschool burnout:
  • Revisit why you started homeschooling. It can reignite your passion and remind you of the benefits of homeschooling for your family. Think about your goals and values and how homeschooling aligns with them.
  • Try a new homeschooling curriculum or method. It can break the monotony and make learning more exciting for both you and your children. Experiment with child-led unit studies, project-based learning, or joining a co-op to meet other homeschooling families.
  • Take a break from homeschooling. It can be refreshing and give you time to recharge. Consider taking a day off, a long weekend, or even a week-long vacation. You can also try unschooling, where learning happens through everyday experiences and activities, without following a structured curriculum.
  • Travel or roadschool. It can give you a new perspective and excitement about homeschooling. Visiting museums, historical sites, and natural landmarks can be educational and fun for the whole family.
Getting support from a trustworthy homeschool support group can help combat burnout. You can connect with other homeschooling parents for advice, encouragement, and socialization. Additionally, you can seek professional help from a counselor or therapist if you feel overwhelmed and need someone to talk to. By implementing these coping strategies, you can alleviate homeschool burnout and regain your enthusiasm for homeschooling. However, if you find that homeschooling is not the best decision for your child and family, it’s okay to quit and explore other educational options. In the next section, we will discuss how to deal with homeschool burnout if you choose to continue homeschooling.

Dealing with Homeschool Burnout

You may be feeling like you’re running on empty, struggling to find the motivation and energy to continue with your homeschooling journey. Homeschool burnout is a real challenge that can happen to anyone, no matter how committed they are to the idea of homeschooling. The good news is that there are ways to recover your motivation and get back on track. One approach is to try new homeschooling methods or curriculum that can make learning more enjoyable and less stressful. Taking breaks and stepping back from the daily grind can also be helpful in recharging your batteries. Another important step in dealing with homeschool burnout is seeking support from others who understand what you’re going through. Joining a homeschooling support group or talking with other homeschooling parents can provide valuable insights and encouragement. It’s also important to revisit your goals and reasons for homeschooling in the first place. Reminding yourself of the bigger picture can help you stay motivated and focused on the end game. Remember, taking care of yourself is a crucial part of dealing with homeschool burnout. Self-care can mean different things for different people, but it’s important to make time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Whether it’s taking a relaxing bath, going for a walk in nature, or spending time with friends, self-care is essential for staying motivated and energized. In the next section, we’ll explore the importance of self-care in more detail and provide some tips for incorporating it into your homeschooling routine.

Importance of Self-Care

Taking care of ourselves is crucial for staying motivated and energized throughout our homeschooling journey. Incorporating self-care activities into our routine can make a big difference in our overall well-being. Self-care tips can range from taking a relaxing bath, reading a book, or going for a walk. Nourishing our minds and bodies with healthy food, exercise, and enough sleep can also help us feel more balanced and focused. It’s important to set boundaries and prioritize our own needs, as well as our children’s. Taking breaks and finding new approaches can prevent burnout and keep us excited about homeschooling. Homeschooling can feel overwhelming at times, but allowing ourselves the time and space to recharge can make all the difference. It’s okay to take a step back and reassess our priorities, curriculum, and methods. Finding new approaches can also help prevent burnout. Trying a different curriculum or method, incorporating more hands-on activities, or joining a co-op can bring new excitement to our homeschooling journey. We can also take advantage of the resources and support available to us in our homeschooling community. Homeschooling can be a challenging but rewarding journey, and taking care of ourselves is essential for staying motivated and energized. Incorporating self-care into our routine is not only beneficial for our own well-being, but it can also positively impact our children’s education. When we feel balanced and focused, we can better support and guide our children. In the next section, we will discuss ways to avoid homeschool burnout and prioritize our children’s education and well-being.

Avoiding Homeschool Burnout

Avoiding homeschool burnout is crucial for maintaining a healthy and positive learning environment, and prioritizing self-care practices can make a world of difference in our overall well-being. As homeschooling parents, it’s important to remember that we can’t pour from an empty cup. We need to take care of ourselves first in order to effectively teach and guide our children. This means setting aside time for exercise, hobbies, and relaxation, as well as seeking support from friends, family, or a homeschooling community. Taking breaks and setting realistic expectations are also key in avoiding homeschool burnout. Homeschooling can be overwhelming at times, and it’s important to recognize when we need to step back and recharge. This may mean taking a day off or even a week-long vacation. Additionally, setting realistic expectations for ourselves and our children can help alleviate stress and prevent burnout. Not every day or lesson will go perfectly, and that’s okay. It’s important to remember that homeschooling is a journey, and we need to be kind to ourselves and our children along the way. Trying new methods can also help prevent burnout. Homeschooling is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and what works for one family may not work for another. It’s important to be open to trying new curriculums or methods to keep things fresh and interesting. This can also help reignite the joy and excitement in homeschooling that may have been lost due to burnout. Avoiding homeschool burnout is crucial for our own well-being and for the success of our homeschooling journey. Prioritizing self-care, finding support, taking breaks, setting realistic expectations, and trying new methods are all effective strategies in preventing burnout. In the next section, we’ll explore the experiences of Stacey Wells and her blog Words From The Wheel, which offers valuable insights and advice on homeschooling burnout and other related topics.

Remember Why You Chose This Lifestyle

Even on your most impatient day, your beautiful little creations will gaze up into your flame-ridden eyes, and all of the doubt you have will dissolve. They could be stumbling all over the formative years with another adult in a more prominent position. What if they had an accident in their pants? What if they were scared? What if kids were mistreating them? All of those scenarios are far worse than your WORST day of homeschooling. You chose not to insert them into the system so that you could be the primary influencer–and that carries more weight than your self-doubt ever could.

Rework Your Curriculum or Delivery

One technique that is widely used in public school is differentiated instruction, with accommodations and adaptations. All of those amount to teacher talk for “adjustments” to lessons and delivery. It also represents a fine-tuning of the lesson to meet the individual needs of a student, which includes learning disabilities and behavioral problems. Also, if a teacher has a large number of failing students, and low marks during evaluation periods, they are asked to rewrite and adjust their lessons. This is an extremely important strategy–even for homeschoolers. If something isn’t working, and the student is frustrated or reluctant, it isn’t always because they are being difficult. Sometimes tweaking a lesson to change around the style can be a lesson-saver. Convert math lessons into games, change reading lessons into projects, and refigure science lessons into experiments. Planning may become more difficult, but the results are usually stunning.

Take A Break…a REALLY Long One

Remember that even on your least productive day, you are giving them more direct instruction than they usually get during an entire day at brick and mortar schools. Most public school teachers spend the great majority of their time on “classroom management,” not curriculum delivery. As I like to say “If things aren’t gellin’, don’t start yellin’.” If your student is non-compliant, don’t force it. Children have so many things swirling around in their precious minds, and sometimes they just CAN’T focus. Put everything down, give them a peck on the forehead and say “we’ll try again tomorrow.” As long as you stay on track, get through the curriculum, and provide the appropriate number of days they are entitled to, you are in the green! We homeschool year-round for this exact reason. We have off days, and off weeks. If things aren’t working, they won’t learn anyway! So put it down, and regroup. It will help to prevent extreme burnout for you, and your student.

Reward the Kids and Yourself

When you are feeling reluctant for reasons beyond the kids (life problems), sometimes you are the one who needs motivating. One great strategy is to plan something enjoyable for the whole family, and ONLY go if you make it through your weekly session of school. Be honest with yourself. Some year-round homeschoolers only do three days a week. If you complete the tasks and lessons for those three solid days, you deserve a pick-me-up. Plan something fun and silly, which doesn’t have to cost money. Make sure it’s something you (the parent or caregiver) enjoy, too. Make sure you tell them (and yourself) that the trip was earned, and that you must work hard in order to play hard. This tip will help to provide a dangling carrot throughout the process, and give you a chance to teach them a valuable life lesson.

Stacey Wells and Words From The Wheel

Let’s take a closer look at Stacey Wells and her blog, Words From The Wheel, for valuable insights and advice on navigating the challenges of homeschooling. Stacey’s an experienced homeschooler and author who’s shared her homeschooling journey on her blog. She offers practical tips for budgeting, debunking myths, creating lesson plans, and surviving bad days. Here are three valuable insights from Stacey’s blog for homeschooling parents:
  1. Homeschool budgeting: Stacey shares tips on how to homeschool on a tight budget. She emphasizes the importance of prioritizing expenses and cutting back on unnecessary expenses. She also recommends buying used textbooks and curriculum to save money.
  2. Homeschool myths: Stacey debunks common homeschooling myths, such as the idea that homeschoolers lack socialization skills or that homeschooling is only for religious families. She encourages parents to do their own research and make informed decisions about homeschooling.
  3. Faith in homeschooling: Stacey believes that faith is an essential part of homeschooling. She emphasizes the importance of praying for guidance and modeling behaviors that reflect one’s faith. She also suggests incorporating faith-based materials into homeschooling lessons.
If you’re looking for practical tips and encouragement for your homeschooling journey, be sure to check out Stacey Wells’ blog, Words From The Wheel. Her insights on homeschool budgeting, homeschool myths, lesson planning, surviving bad days, and faith in homeschooling can be valuable resources for any homeschooling parent.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can homeschool burnout affect a child’s education and well-being?

To prevent burnout from negatively affecting a child’s education and well-being, we prioritize breaks, seek support from trusted groups, and adapt our curriculum. We also prioritize socialization with activities outside of homeschooling to ensure a well-rounded education.

What are some common misconceptions about homeschooling that can contribute to burnout?

Common Misconceptions about homeschooling can lead to burnout. It’s important to reflect on our own expectations and prioritize self-care. Support systems and effective time management can also help overcome homeschooling challenges.

How can homeschool parents balance self-care with the demands of teaching and parenting?

As homeschool parents, finding balance between teaching and parenting while prioritizing our own needs can be challenging. Self care strategies, time management, and support systems are key in maintaining our well-being and ability to serve our families.

Are there any warning signs of burnout that parents should be aware of before it becomes severe?

Before burnout becomes severe, parents should be aware of warning signs like feeling overwhelmed, lack of motivation, irritability, and exhaustion. Coping strategies include revisiting why you’re homeschooling, trying a new curriculum, taking breaks, and organizing your homeschool space. Prevention tips include setting realistic expectations and prioritizing self-care. Support systems like trustworthy homeschool support groups are crucial, and self-reflection is important in recognizing and addressing burnout.

How can parents continue to motivate and engage their children in homeschooling when experiencing burnout themselves?

As homeschooling parents, we’ve found that incorporating creativity boosters, outdoor learning, collaborative projects, and break time activities helps keep our children engaged and motivated. Good time management is also key to avoiding burnout.

How Can I Prevent Homeschool Burnout and Keep Going?

Homeschool burnout can be prevented by following the home schooling basics complete guide. Take breaks, establish a routine, and engage in self-care activities to avoid exhaustion. Seek support from homeschooling communities and explore resources for curriculum ideas. Remember, staying motivated and finding balance are key in preventing burnout and keeping the homeschool journey enjoyable.


In conclusion, homeschool burnout is a real and common experience among homeschooling parents. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including overwhelming schedules, lack of support, and feeling like you’re not doing enough. However, there are coping strategies that can help you overcome burnout and continue your homeschooling journey. One interesting statistic to note is that according to a study by the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, over 40% of homeschooling parents experience burnout at some point. This is a significant number that highlights the importance of recognizing and addressing burnout in the homeschooling community. It also serves as a reminder that you’re not alone in your struggles and that seeking support and implementing self-care strategies can make a big difference. As someone who’s experienced homeschool burnout myself, I understand the challenges and frustrations that come with it. However, I also know that with the right mindset and strategies, it’s possible to overcome burnout and continue to provide a quality education for your children. Remember to take care of yourself, seek support, and stay motivated by revisiting your reasons for homeschooling. Your commitment to your children’s education is admirable, and with the right tools, you can continue to thrive in your homeschooling journey.