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Homeschool Burnout: [ hōm′sko͞ol bern´out ]
emotional and physical exhaustion resulting from a combination of exposure to environmental and internal stressors that involve teaching (one's children) at home, while simultaneously keeping house, washing mountain loads of laundry, cooking dinner, wiping noses, carrying a baby on a hip, keeping a toddler entertained and being a good helper to a husband. In addition to signs of exhaustion, this type of burnout exhibits an increasingly negative attitude toward the choice to homeschool in the first place, low self-esteem, and personal devaluation. Second guessing and threats of putting kids on a bus are often associated with homeschool burnout
 
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Has this ever happened to you? You had a really good school day. Your kids listened and actually seemed to be learning the information. You were able to explain the concepts to them in a way they understood. It was a good day. They are progressing along, doing great. Then all of a sudden, someone calls you on the phone. It’s your friend. You begin to tell her how well your day went, and she beings to tell you about hers. However, somewhere in the middle of it all, the comparison game starts. It creeps in. No longer are you just sharing your day, you both begin to compare what your children are learning, what they can and cannot do, how far along you are in the curriculum. Suddenly, your good day doesn’t look so good anymore. You start to worry. Doubt sets in about how you are homeschooling, what you are covering, how far along you are. All of a sudden, discontentment rears its ugly head.
 
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Each year, I am always looking for what my children are learning beyond specific content. I am constantly assessing growth in their values, faith journey, and life skills. I know that I am teaching them specific subjects, but firmly believe I am teaching them to become lifelong learners who are able to ask questions and seek answers. This week, I’ve been reflecting on their growth related to critical thinking skills.
 
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My first few years of homeschooling, I tried to piece together a curriculum for my children. I would spend hours upon hours researching what was available, try to pick the best, and not miss anything along the way. Even after I received my curriculum I would still take hours to try to prepare each of the subjects and try to make them flow together.
 
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Every year it’s the same. The doubts come. Maybe my kids would be better off in public or private school. Maybe they would learn more, have better teachers, be more interested in such and such subject. Maybe I’m not doing the right thing by homeschooling them. Maybe I will miss something really important that I should be teaching them. Am I really qualified to do this “homeschool thing”? Am I doing what is best for my child?
 
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Homeschooling is a high privilege that I never want to take lightly. Because we homeschool, my children are with me most of the hours in their day. That means I can have a huge impact on their spiritual growth. They see me trying to live out a life that is pleasing to the Lord. There are times I fail miserably, but there are also some qualities I strive to display. In thinking about these qualities, here are a few that I attempt to display throughout our homeschooling.
 
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It’s January, and the cold has begun to set in – both outdoors and indoors. Some of us struggle with the realities of having our kids underfoot much of the day, and we are already looking towards summer, when the kids will be outside, and we will have a much-needed break from the day to day humdrum of schooling. At my house, we call this time of year “hard-school-home-school” because we deep dive into schooling and try to take as few days off as is humanly possible until April. Sixty days of intense schooling, packing as much as we can into these frigid days.
 
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This was going to be the year! We were right on target to finish as I had originally mapped out back in July. (Trust me when I say that this never happens! I usually need to tweak a couple times throughout the year.) Then the cold and flu season hit our house. It hit so hard that our 5th grade daughter is out of commission with mono. Out went the schedule and in came some heavy adapting.
 
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It finally happened this week. We flipped our 2017 calendars to the very last page- December. Our family receives several free calendars in the mail, so there’s already a 2018 calendar hanging right behind the 2017 calendar. I can't help but think of how that picture of one calendar ready to go right behind another affects our homeschooling planning as well. We’re wrapping up our lesson plans, assignments, activities, and more while we are thinking ahead to the excitement of a fresh new year. Just as one calendar date and year follows right after another, the activities of our lives and homeschools continue moving right along.
 
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What is your biggest priority today?As homeschooling moms, our priorities come in the form of long lists and prayers sometimes. I need to get this done, my kids have to be here at a certain time. I need to get to the store to get a turkey soon... and more. We love those first days of school and the fun autumn weeks. Lots of learning, fun projects, and beautiful weather. Holidays are coming soon and it seems like time speeds up so fast until that day after Christmas when we have a big mess to clean up and we try to hold on to all the memories we've made in the past month or so. The new year is right around the corner and we need to get things into shape- including ourselves, our homes, revamping our schedules, and such. Sound familiar?
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Consultant Spotlight

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Abbie Knott

My name is Abbie Knott. I’ve been married to my husband, Michael, for 11 years, and we have four children: Emma (10), Callie (8), Gabriel (5), and Regan (3). I’m a second-generation homeschooler and the oldest of six. I loved being homeschooled. My mom (and dad) gave us a comprehensive, well-rounded education...
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Anna Witt

My name is Anna Witt. My family and I live outside of Palmer, in the beautiful Matanuska-Susitna Valley in Southcentral Alaska. We enjoy the rugged landscape of the Talkeetna Mountains, the midnight sun, and the northern lights. I met my husband, Casey, while he was on a fishing trip to Alaska, and we look forward to celebrating our 15th anniversary in 2020...
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Cassandra DeLeon

Cassandra lives in Southeastern Ohio, in New Concord, just an hour east of Columbus. She graduated from Maranatha Baptist Bible College with a bachelor's degree in nursing. While in college, she met her husband, Michael. She has been married for 25 years, serving alongside him for 18 years as he pastors Lighthouse Baptist Church...
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Jessie Johns

Jessie Johns has lived in the sunny state of Florida since she was two years old. She graduated from Florida International University with a bachelor's degree in psychology and worked in the childcare industry for ten years. In 1996, she married her wonderful husband, Billy, and they have been married for 23 years...
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Megan Hutson

Megan Hutson is a homeschool graduate from Houston, Texas! She grew up using BJU Press Homeschool materials from the time she was in kindergarten until she graduated high school. During her junior and senior years of high school, Megan also took several dual credit classes at San Jacinto College...
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