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In need of Homeschool Encouragement? Welcome to the club of exhausted, well-meaning home educators. We’ve all reached that point: fingernails bitten off and over-caffeinated to the point of having tremors. In our desperation, some of us have probably subscribed to the Youtube channel of some spray-tanned, self-help guru. As you repeat key self-worth phrases into the mirror (channeling Stuart Smalley), you are left wondering if you can even carry on. Yes, you can.
There is an overflowing oasis of support online. Homeschooling caregivers have banded together, circled our SUVs, and poured as much information onto the web as we can–all in the hopes of providing that glimmer of hope to those who have reached the point of Homeschool Horror: When You Just Want To Quit But Must Carry On.
Connect With Other Homeschool Families
One extremely helpful strategy is to connect with other local families. The idea is difficult for rural families, or those who live in areas where homeschooling isn’t really a “thing.” In our local area, we have found co-ops and playgroups that meet weekly. We live in a large city, so there is a strong community closeby. The co-op delivers weekly lessons to the children, with a different parent teaching each week (in rotation). It’s interesting to see how people structure their lessons and how they deliver them to the children. Having conversations with these other parents is key. They can validate your feelings, help to clear up confusion, and give you some killer ideas for lessons.
During our weekly “park day,” all of the children come together at different parks. While the children play, the parents/caregivers talk with each other and offer support and ideas. It can be a lifesaver. If you are having trouble with a certain curriculum concept, or need help finding resources, they are very willing to help.
The same thing can be achieved online. There are plenty of forums for homeschooling families where questions are answered, advice is given, and strategies are discussed. Facebook is a great resources, as well. There are lots of parents who are willing to provide that homeschool encouragement you are looking for, or at least offer you a friendly ear.
Remember Why You Started
Another thing that keeps us going is to simply read the news. School districts are strapped for cash, and many are struggling with high turnover because of the immense pressure put on the teachers. As a high school teacher, I witnessed many teachers quit in the middle of a semester, or be forced out. The great thing about being a home educator is that you literally can’t quit your own children. If you have taken the plunge of homeschooling, you did it for very specific reasons. Those reasons will compel you to keep going, despite having intense Homeschool Burnout.
You can also check out our entry on Homeschooling Year Round to see if that will help you spread things out, and slow things down to find a more comfortable pace. If you keep the end in mind, you will always be able to put one foot in front of the other. Stick with it, and before you know if, you’ll be the one offering homeschool encouragement to other parents/caregivers.