You know you are getting burned out when you begin consistently to get irritated over every little thing. Left unchecked, it can lead to dysthymia, that allows you to function but sucks all the joy out of your day and makes you wish you could run away from home.
A 100% surefire way for a homeschooling mom to burn out fast is to try to do it all herself. Therefore every member of the family must share responsibility for keeping the school running.
Five secrets to prevent burnout:
1) A Partnership Marriage: With your spouse discuss ways the two of you can work together, or get additional help, or adjust your expectations accordingly, to make up the difference and at least break even.
2) A Good Discipline System: This consists of three components- good rapport, consistent rules and logical consequences. Without good rapport, the only way to make our children obey is to make them fear us. Make rules with your children’s help and review them daily, tell them to the children whenever they disobey any rule, enforce rules consistently so your children care enough to learn and follow them. Logical consequences in the form of a penalty or timeout should follow immediately after a problem behavior, it should inconvenience the child more than it inconvenience you and it should teach him what to do instead of merely what to stop doing.
3) A Healthy Family-Based Spirituality: Learn to ‘pray your marriage’ and you will begin to appreciate every little act of service as a worthy mortification, every joy as an opportunity to celebrate God’s providence, and every intimate moment between you and your children and between you and your spouse as a foretaste and promise of the intimacy God wishes to share with you.
4) Good Self-Care: To care for our physical, emotional and spiritual needs is an act that expresses our gratitude to the Creator for having made us so fearfully and wonderfully. Gladly acknowledge the gifts you’ve been given and honoring the giver. Remember, one of the best ways to honor Him is by being a good steward of his creation.
5) A Curriculum Suited to Needs of Student and Teacher: Re-evaluate your materials from time to time. Ask yourself: Do the children and I enjoy the curriculum and get a little excited when we take it out each day? Match the curriculum you use to the learning style of your children; resist the temptation to settle on one that ‘everyone says is best’. Always keep your eyes open for interesting and challenging new ideas to keep your homeschool on the cutting edge.
Parents, you are doing the most important work in the world: raising your children and teaching them how to become the people God is calling them to be. May Christ in you be your hope and glory!
(Taken from ‘The Catholic Homeschool Companion’)