5 Easy Things to Do When the Homeschool is Overwhelming

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Are you overwhelmed by homeschooling?

I can believe it! You’re responsible for the education of your children, and the kids refuse to learn. You’re trying to create a home and a loving atmosphere, and the kids keep making a mess.

It’s too much for one woman to handle.

1. Clean House

I don’t know about you, but I simply can’t think when the house is a mess. Chaos also overwhelms me to the point of tears. When the house gets out of control, I focus on home economics for a day and clean up.

One of the best techniques, when you’re overwhelmed, is to put an easy meal in the crockpot and clean the kitchen. How the kitchen goes, the house goes. It also takes care of the 5 pm panic that arises when I have no dinner plans.

Next, I tackle the bathroom and bedrooms before taking on the living area. These areas tend to be easier to clean, and the kids often camp out in the living room.

Don’t try to tackle the entire mess by yourself. Assign chores to the children and require them to help. Even preschool kids can act as runners and carry various items to different rooms for you.

Once the house is tidy enough for you to think, find a housekeeping system you can live with. If the house stays reasonably clean, you’ll never be overwhelmed by a mess again.

Related: You Can Have a Clean House While Homeschooling

2. Simplify Your Homeschool

It’s one thing if being overwhelmed is a once in a blue moon occurrence, it’s another if you’re constantly drained by the endless to-do lists of your life.

If it’s the former, take the day off. If you’re always overwhelmed, take a good hard look at the subjects you’re teaching. There’s a tendency to keep adding subjects to the day until our 1st graders are doing 9 hour days.

Do you really need to be using two different math curricula? What about the literature, reading, phonics, spelling, writing, penmanship, grammar, and vocabulary programs? Can you condense the subjects?

Think about history and science? Can you combine your children so they’re studying in the same period or the same science topics? Being able to complete one set of experiments or watch one documentary is much simpler than trying to fit in two or three different sets of experiments, movies, and documentaries.

Along with reducing your subjects, simplify your curriculum. I use Tapestry of Grace which combines all the children into one history program. It also includes literature, art, geography, writing, church history, governments, and philosophy.

If your Latin program is covering English derivatives, why use a separate vocabulary curriculum?

We can’t do it all, so prioritize and reduce your subjects, then simplify your curriculum. You’ll make your life much easier.

Related: Can’t Keep Up? 3 Ways to Simplify the Curriculum

3. Look Outside the 9-3 School Hours

When you’re overwhelmed, reduce your expectations for school hours. Instead, consider options for folding education into your everyday life. It doesn’t just reduce your anxiety, it also encourages children to see education as scholé, restful learning, rather than a job.

Discuss history over the dinner table. Just think of the discussions and memories you’ll make as a family!

Chat about science while cleaning the kitchen with your kids. Use Saturday afternoons for a family outing to the local museum. Read literature at bedtime.

Download audio-files for textbooks and listen to them while driving around town. Enjoy classical music while running errands.

Encourage children to wake up in the morning, eat breakfast, and just straight into their school day. Even high school kids can have most of their work done by noon if they start around 7 am.

4. Go On a Nature Walk

Fresh air clears the head, especially when you’re overwhelmed. Take the kids on a spontaneous nature walk and observe science in action.

Study rocks, clouds, and mountains as part of earth science. Check out the animals, plants, and fungi in the parks near your house.

Can your children find animal tracks as you walk?

Gather samples, write observations in notebooks, draw pictures of what you see, and enjoy your relaxing day outside.

Don’t worry about the mess at home. Don’t worry about what’s not getting done. Simply enjoy the fresh air and relax.

Related: Do You Want to Easily Explore Nature with Children?

5. Take the Day Off

Tomorrow you can tackle the mess and decide what to do. Let your mind relax and come up with solutions. If needed, take another day off and look at your life. Consider what you’re doing and what needs to change.

Tomorrow you can make a simple plan to change your life, one small area at a time.

Today you can take the day off and reconnect with your kids.

  • Curl up on the couch and read good books together.
  • Pop popcorn and watch movies
  • Pull out art supplies and ignore the mess
  • Play games with the kids
  • Order pizza
  • Eat ice cream sundaes for dinner

Stop for a day and just enjoy being with your kids. Most problems will wait a day before you need to sit down and figure out a solution. So relax, enjoy your kids, and reconnect.

Related: 5 Fun Activities to Reconnect After a Bad Homeschool Day

When you’re overwhelmed by your homeschool, you must cut back for a day or two. Stop and decide what needs to be done. Tidy the house, take a walk, simplify your homeschool, and turn homeschooling into a lifestyle.

Give yourself time to breathe.

What do you do when you’re overwhelmed by your homeschool?

Are you overwhelmed homeschooling? Burnt out and exhausted? Here are 5 easy solutions when you're overwhelmed homeschooling.

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    1. That’s an awesome suggestion! My library add a playroom for kids a couple years ago. It’s a wonderful place to relax while the kids play. 🙂

  1. Excellent list. The thing with mum-stress is that the kids stop learning anyway so it is counter productive to push on. Taking this advice will not only calm mum – give her time to calm – but also increase the kids receptiveness to any learning! I’m sharing this post around.

    1. Thanks, Belinda! You’re right. When mom is stressed, no one gets anything done. It’s another reason to stop, relax, and try again tomorrow. 🙂

  2. Excellent suggestions, Sara! I especially love your suggestion to take a subject outside. There’s something about some fresh air and sunshine that really help me to put things back into perspective. Oh, and a relaxing bubble bath at night never hurts as well! 🙂

  3. This is a great list!! I especially like #3. This is something that I’m trying really hard to get better at, but as a former school teacher it can be hard to think of “school time” differently! Thanks for the encouragement!

    1. Even as an experienced homeschooler it’s hard to remember that I can add discussions to dinner time or literature read alouds to our bedtime reading. There’s been many times I forgot, stressed, then remembered we can homeschool at any time. It’s a great way to create a homeschool lifestyle rather than simply schooling at home. 🙂

  4. I totally love your list! I am with you on not being able to think when the house is a mess. I just can not function. I am learning to let some things go during school time, but it’s really hard! I also get the kids out when we are having a hard day. Being outdoors is good for all of us, especially me! Sharing!

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