I remember my first year of homeschooling like it was yesterday. I had pulled my daughter out of school after first grade, had a baby over the summer and then started homeschooling with a baby and 3 year old underfoot. It was right around this time that I broke, wondering what on earth I had gotten myself into!
Let me tell you right off that it is okay to feel stressed and overwhelmed. That doesn’t make you a bad parent or a failure at homeschooling. It makes you human, and just like the rest of us. While we all struggle with different things, for different reasons, we all struggle. So instead of beating yourself up, take a deep breath, a step back, and let’s begin again.
When Homeschooling Feel Like Too Much
So you are stressed and overwhelmed, now what? For me I had such high expectations of what we would accomplish each day and when we fell short I got anxious. The baby needed to nurse, the three year old had endless amounts of energy, and the 2nd grader and I were butting heads! Here are some things we did and some things you can do when Homeschooling Feels Like Too Much.
Take a Break – Yes, I said it. Drop everything and just be. Especially if you are coming from public school, there is a transition period, an adjustment time, that is much needed. So put everything aside for a week or two (or more) and just be. Play and interact. Read together, take fields trips, watch tv. Give yourself the space to regroup.
Get Help – If having the house cleaned, or the little ones occupied will relieve some of the stress for you than go for it! Hire a cleaning service, get a mother’s helper, or ask a family member to help. I know in our homeschool community moms have enlisted older homeschoolers to come to their home a couple of days a week for a couple of hours to play with their little ones, giving them freer hands for the older kids.
Rethink – Rethink your plans. Are you trying to tackle too much. Is the schedule you envisioned not realistic? Maybe you need to alter the times you are trying to do things? (This could be coupled with when you could get help with the little ones.)
Reach Out – Reach out to other homeschool moms. Just being able to talk about it and know you are not alone, and that you are supported can make a big difference. Maybe you can swap help times with them (you take theirs one day, they take yours another).