Monday, January 18, 2016

Beating Homeschool Burnout

Today’s prompt:

On the Fringes
Think of things that have piqued your curiosity. What leaves you with more questions than answers? Who or what do you wish you knew more about?

Every winter, post-Christmas, we hit a slump in our homeschooling. We’re cranky, unmotivated, and experiencing some cabin fever. We used to spend a month or two floundering around, trying to keep to our routine, but it was always miserable and I’d fantasize about sending the kids away on the big yellow bus.

Now, however, when I start to notice symptoms of homeschool burnout, the kids and I make a list of new things we’d like to do or learn about. I write down everything the kids tell me, no matter how strange or mundane I might find it, and then we hit the library to see what information we can find. I also take a look at the several community event calendars are available in our area, to see what activities might coincide with our new interests, and I plan field trips.

Typically, our list is so long that we can’t get to everything, or we need to put some items off because they are seasonal or already planned for later in the year, but making our list and acting on it—checking things off as we go, reignites the homeschool spark.  It’s good to change up the routine!
This year, I made two lists, one for the kids and one for me. I don’t have a lot of personal time to devote to my own interests (what adult does?) but I like to chip away at it when  I can. 
Here are just some of the things from both of this season’s lists:

  • how chocolate is made
  • archery
  • wildlife
  • cooking (especially desserts!)
  • how to crochet a bear
  • botany
  • chemistry
  • how to run a business
  • animation
  • how to make a video game
  • drawing techniques
  • The Middle East conflict
  • Israeli/Palestinian conflict and how the Parents’ Circle is bridging the divide and working for peace
  • social work, particularly regarding children and families
  • container gardening/urban homesteading
  • traditional animation
  • filmmaking
  • koi ponds
  • Bonsai
  • learn to sight read music for the piano
  • the cultural anthropology of England (I just bought a book about this and it looks fascinating!)
The full lists are pretty ambitious, but each time I look them over, I marvel at how much there is to learn about the world and the people in it, and the universe we inhabit! It’s impossible to stay in the dumps when there is so much to see and do and learn!

This post is part of Think Kit by SmallBox.

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