About to Burn Out? Here’s Some Help for Homeschool Success – Sharon Fisher

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Are you feeling like you’re being pulled in every direction? If you’re about to burn out, come to get some encouragement and look over some biblical principles and practical tips for balancing homeschooling with the relationships and responsibilities God has given us.

Sharon Fisher is a wife, mother, and grandmother who has a passion for encouraging homeschool parents and Christian educators to teach children with excellence and with a biblical worldview. She holds a B.S. and an M.A. in Elementary Education. 

She has many years of full-time teaching experience in the elementary classroom, served as Curriculum Coordinator for Bob Jones Academy, and served as an elementary author for BJU Press. She has contributed to a variety of elementary educational materials and has presented workshops both nationally and internationally on a variety of topics and teaching methods. She serves as Social Media Coordinator, Workshop Speaker and Coordinator, Blog Writer, and Curriculum Specialist for Homeworks by Precept, a provider of excellent homeschool materials. 

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Automated Transcript (spelling and grammar errors are guaranteed!)

Yvette Hampton:           Hey everyone, this is Yvette Hampton. Welcome to the Homegrown Generation Family Expo. This is a bonus session with Sharon Fisher that we are so excited to be bringing to you because I know that many of you have joined us for this expo because you are facing that mid-year slump, that homeschool burnout as some of us call it and you are just not exactly sure how you’re going to get through the rest of the year, much less the rest of today. We’ve got Sharon with us. Sharon is the social media coordinator and curriculum specialist for HomeWorks by Precept, which is, they represent BJU press and she is just a fantastic friend of mine. I love you Sharon. You are so great and I’m so excited to have you with me today.

Yvette Hampton:           I know you’ve been in the homeschool world for quite some time and you really bring a lot to the homeschool community in way of encouragement and so I wanted to have you join us to talk about just how to avoid this homeschool burnout that many of us face. I’m in my ninth year of homeschooling this year and we are loving it. We kind of get to this time of the year where it is February and we’re just tired. We’re overwhelmed. We just kind of sometimes have to reprioritize what we’re doing and you have done something some time ago. You actually surveyed a bunch of homeschool moms and talked about how to avoid homeschool burnout. We’re going to talk about that today but first I would love it if you would introduce yourself to our audience.

Sharon Fisher:               Oh great. Well thank you so much for allowing me to be part of this. It’s been fun to interact over the last couple of years together in homeschooling and to be part of events together where we’re part of that community. I’m very appreciative. Being part of that community means being at lots of conventions, being on social media and so for me, my mission for homeschooling moms is to put my arms around them and to let them know they can do it. I’ve been blessed to have nieces and nephews. I think I have 11 of them now that have been homeschooled and right now two of them are the last two being homeschooled but I got to watch them from beginning to end for all of them. These are the last two and then my granddaughter is being homeschooled right now.

Sharon Fisher:               This is her first year. God has given us four boys and they’re all in their late twenties and early thirties and two are married. We have four grandkids and of the four right now, one’s being homeschooled and one’s being in a preschool that has a Christian curriculum. They know how important Christian materials are to me. Of course as Christians, we love God. We want that to be part of their everyday life. To be able to participate in that as a family and extended family and then in the ministry and the job, it’s an extra bonus for me.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah, I love it. Its so much fun. One of the things I love about the homeschool community, as a whole is that you go to conventions and you get to see all of the different homeschool organizations and vendors really working together and we’re really in this together. Just like the organizations like BJU press and HomeWorks by Precept work together to bring encouragement and resources to the homeschool community. We as the community, as moms who are in the thick of it right now, really need to work together as well. That’s one of the ways I know that we can help avoid burnout but I want you to talk about kind of your survey and what you did and what your findings were. Just like you, I go on Facebook and social media and I see these moms who are just crying out and they just desperately need encouragement and need help. Can you talk with us a little bit about your survey that you did and what the results were? What is burned out? What causes it? Then let’s talk about how we can overcome that.

Sharon Fisher:               Sure. By the way, let me say that I think that we put on a brave face a lot of times, especially when we’re at events. We were actually at an event together last week and there were some very significant homeschool leaders and convention leaders and bloggers and things. As we got talking one evening over dinner, eventually it came down to a mom and another mom in tears and one mom came alongside the other mom and I just sat and watched that conversation. There was about six or seven of us at the table and we’re all putting in our two cents and our love and we’re all coming from different perspectives. We all use different materials, we all represent different companies but the bottom line at that moment was that mom’s heart and her ability to be able to teach her children.

Sharon Fisher:               It was so fun to just sit there. We loved all the homeschool hype and all that but the bottom line was that mom’s heart that day and was probably the biggest blessing of that time for us was just sit there and to be able to encourage her so she could go on and do the things that God gave her to do. Even with leaders, we are going to be extra careful but I think we’re in even bigger target sometimes. No one’s exempt from this. Whether you’re a brand new homeschool mom or you’ve been doing this for a lot of years. Satan knows how to attack us, where to get us and just in our day-to-day life of living in this world and serving the Lord, we are human beings. Because I’m on social media a lot, I saw a lot of moms, this is about two years ago talking, crying out for help.

Sharon Fisher:               Is it wrong if I do this? I’m way behind on my homeschooling. I might put my kids back in school. I started asking moms different, different moms. Moms who use different material. Moms who had graduated their kids. Moms with multiple kids. Moms with all kinds of situations, just every kind of situation I can think of. I asked probably about 50 moms or so. What causes burnout for you? What does burnout mean to you? What’s your best advice? I have some very, very specific information from actually my sister in law who’s been homeschooling now for, well she graduated her first one this last year a long time. This is a mom who homeschools each child individually all subjects. She did start using a little bit of video classes as her kids got a little bit older but she customizes very specifically for her kids.

Sharon Fisher:               I’ve watched her do that. There were a lot of conversations here and there that I’ve seen over the years with people at conventions and got a lot of good feedback, that’s what most of this is about. Burnout. There’s not a point where you go up, that’s it I’m burned out. Usually, we know what’s coming. We usually can tell with my husband when I tell him I’ve just about had it, I usually just give him this gesture and even I’m like, just this far above the water and I’m in big trouble. Somebody pulled me out. We don’t want that to be where you are. We want you to recognize that you’re getting there. You can see the water kind of creeping up and you want to make sure, okay, I need to step out of this puddle or I need to get a lifeline. Get out of this boat or whatever.

Sharon Fisher:               But we want you to recognize that as a homeschool mom, things are hard and it’s normal for you to struggle. It’s normal for you to ask questions and then find out what worked with one child doesn’t work for another child. These are okay things and you have support. We’re going to provide support for you, show you where you can get that support but we don’t want you to get to the point where you’re completely helpless and hopeless. Even if you get to that point, there’s still support. That was my biggest hope that parents would understand that. I’ve had moms come in to this session at a workshop and conventions who has not even started homeschooling yet.

Sharon Fisher:               What are you doing in this workshop? I need to know these things. I don’t want to scare you out of it but you do need to be aware that these things are coming. She took down copious notes. She wanted to make sure she had a little checklist for herself so that way she could help herself. Wherever you are on your homeschooling, even if you’re doing this without any struggles and things are going great, it’s still good advice and good to mark down help for someone else hopefully to be blessing.

Yvette Hampton:           That’s right cause even if you’re not the one who’s feeling burnt out, you definitely know someone who is. It’s good to know how to help that one. What is burnout? Can you describe to me what you would consider burnout?

Sharon Fisher:               If you’re burned out, you’re done with it. You’re considering putting your kids in public school, putting your kids in Christian school. You don’t want to open up another textbook. You feel hopeless. You don’t think you can do it anymore. That’s when you’re completely burned out. I think a lot of moms here just before that point but I really see a mom completely burnout and leave homeschooling. Although I know it happens typically work conventions or social media, the moms will hold on. People will rally alongside. I have not witnessed a mom completely burned out and quit, but I’m sure it has happened.

Yvette Hampton:           Yes, I have.

Sharon Fisher:               I’ve seen it has gone bad where I’ve seen some that were a life situation has happened, where a spouse leaves or a financial thing happens and it’s just too much and they have to. They have to split their time in such a way that they can’t home school.

Sharon Fisher:               I have seen that happen and that’s it’s always sad to see that happen because there are families who can juggle that but I would never judge that situation. Everyone’s situation is different.

Yvette Hampton:           Sure.

Sharon Fisher:               Sometimes after a year of rebalancing themselves. They’re like, “This is for the birds. I’ll find another way.”

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah. Right.

Sharon Fisher:               I think that burnout, if you’re burned out, you’re at the bottom.

Yvette Hampton:           Yes.

Sharon Fisher:               You’re scraping for help and sometimes it’s almost too hard to take the help. We want to set that mom back up on her feet and that means we’re taking a break. We’re talking about some specific strategies of how to reflect yourself, how to get yourself back into some type of balance. Even if it means you’re just teaching one subject a day for a week and your kids can help pitch in, your husband. You have a plan of action, which is what we’re going to talk about is trying to have a plan of action having a plan B. If you do bottom out, there’s a way that you, if this is something that you and your husband or you’re dedicated to as a family, that we work our way through the burnout if God would allow that.

Yvette Hampton:           Right? Yes. I think having strategies is definitely important. We need that. One of the things that I have talked a lot about on the Schoolhouse Rock podcast and really thought through myself as one of the reasons that I see moms burning out is because they don’t necessarily know their why of homeschooling. Some moms do, many moms do, but some moms, they just kind of get into it for a variety of reasons but they don’t really have a very deep understanding of why they’re doing this. I knew for myself. One of the things when I start to go down that road of, okay man, this is really hard. I don’t know if I can keep going, is I always come back to, but this is my why. We’re going to figure this out. We’re going to figure out this homeschool thing and we’re going to make this work no matter what.

Yvette Hampton:           What are some of the signs? Because obviously the thing that typically leads to burnout is because we’re simply doing too much. As moms, we have so much responsibility and dads. They shouldn’t just say moms. They know there are dads listening to this as well, but we have so much responsibility. We were trying to educate our kids and we oftentimes think that it’s like bringing our classroom into our home. We’re trying to do this school thing at home and make it replicate what we know school to be. The majority of us who grew up in traditional school.

Yvette Hampton:           On top of that, we’ve got a house to take care of and we’ve got sick kids sometimes and we have grocery shopping and we have doctor’s appointments and we have phone calls to make and we have church activities to attend to. I mean there are so many things vying for our attention and it can get so very overwhelming because we find ourselves just doing too much. Can you talk on that a little bit about how? How can we recognize when we’re just doing too much and how that kind of leads to burnout?

Sharon Fisher:               Sure. This is something you need to evaluate all the time. Although what I usually tell families are, “Let’s look at a yearlong strategy for your family. These are the goals for this year as a family per child. These are my goals per child. These are general goals and they say use a pencil and get a bigger eraser because you’re going to be making some changes but then you might want to go to two half-year goals, quarterly goal and maybe even monthly goals depending on your child. If your child has special needs, you can’t look too far into the future. You’ve got to just do it a step at a time as you go, but have some rough goals. All of that really does depend on your why, things that a lot of times as Christian moms, our hearts and our souls are so deeply invested in the why.”

Sharon Fisher:               We have to remember this one thing. This was part of our conversation that we had last week with some of those moms. These children are God’s children and he gives them to us to steward. I mean we’re doing every last thing. We have to start with feeding them and caring for them but the older they get, the more independent they become and they are his. We have to remember that ultimately the end result is up to God. We are to be diligent in teaching our children for sure. We put all of our time and energy in every minute of our days, but not with our kids. The bottom line is God knows that we’re human and he knows that we’re taking the wisdom that he gives us, the materials that he gives us, the spouse that we have, the financial situation we have, the sicknesses, the new babies that come. He knows all of those things and he will take care of it.

Sharon Fisher:               We just need to be faithful in our responsibility. I first want to encourage moms that this isn’t all about you. It is important. You are a key part of homeschooling, but you’ve got to remember that this is God’s working in your family’s life. He’s using you. You are very important. You’ll be the one that’s burning out if you burnout but ultimately this is God’s and you can trust him. On those days when you have just about had enough, remember he’ll carry you through it. He’ll help you to be successful. He’ll give you grace. He’ll give you comfort. Keep God first and foremost and as you’re doing things for his glory, remember, why are you homeschooling? I’m homeschooling for God’s glory. I’m homeschooling to teach my children about who God is and to give them an education and to make sure that they are equipped to do the things that we believe are important.

Sharon Fisher:               As a family, what is important to you? If for some families it’s that we want our kids to learn hands on. For some people its I want our kids to know classical things. For other families, it’s I want them to be able to be prepared to go to college. For some families it’s a mix of those things. It’s being able to interact with people in other countries and to be able to travel and do all that. You and your husband, if you’re married, you need to sit down and really plan why are we homeschooling and if we’re homeschooling, how’s that going to happen? How much of this is mom’s responsibility and to be honest and to be kind to the gentleman, family homeschooling is family homeschooling. Raising your children and disciplining your children isn’t just mom’s job.

Sharon Fisher:               Now mom might do all and carry through work, but dad needs to help mom plan. If mom has the feeling that dad’s got her back and that the two of you can come together and talk about these things, she’s resilient. Mom can handle a lot as long as she knows that she’s got her husband’s support and someone to back her up and to help her do the things she needs to do even if it’s just emotionally and spiritually, mom can do a lot. I want to encourage dads. You are very important. A lot of dads will say, well I’m the administrator. I just sort of sign the check for the materials. I’m like, Oh we need to talk. You don’t want to find out too late that you needed to step in. So knowing your why is important for mom and dad.

Sharon Fisher:               If you’re married, you need to have that conversation together. If you’re single and you’ve got some support, you’ve got a mom or dad who can help you or a mentor who can help you. You need to know in advance, you’re going to need support. You need to set up a support system. It’s very important. That’s one thing I like about HomeWorks is we’ve got these 200 moms all over the country who mentor. They do it because they love to encourage. Find a group. Find somebody who can support you that needs to be part of your overall planning. I probably got off topic, but I want everyone just to be encouraged that this why is super important. Know why you’re doing it and trust the Lord. He’ll help you through that. How do you know you’re doing too much?

Sharon Fisher:               Well, if you’re regularly neglecting your goals. Let’s say that you set up your goals for the year and then maybe by the quarter. Let’s say that here we are, it’s February, and you had in your mind, we would take two field trips this year. Our kids would be doing some test prep or we would be reading X amount of books for pleasure, or we would be doing some things. You will see you’ve not done any of that yet and you’re past day 100 and you’re feeling that burden of I have things I have to do and I’m not getting them done. That pressure is exhausting, that is part that burns us out. We need to look at our expectations. Were your expectations really real to begin with? Were your goals legitimate goals? Sometimes they are and sometimes God says no, not today. This is not the day.

Sharon Fisher:               This is not the year you’re going to do those things. Other times you have great opportunity for success. If you’re regularly neglecting your priorities and goals, then you’re too busy. You need to go back to that main idea. Why am I even doing this? If I’m running around going to soccer and music lessons and going to this thing and going to that thing, which are all good things and you’re way, way, way, way, way behind and your children are struggling academically, something needs to give somewhere. I’m not saying it’s wrong, I’m just saying if there’s a struggle here, something has to give. How do we do that? Let’s go back and talk to the husband and say, okay, we’re behind. This is what’s happening. Could we cut back on this? Could we double up on that? That’s really important.

Sharon Fisher:               But if these goals are part of your why, that’s your standard and you need to keep up with those sorts of things. I have heard someone say this before, that she doesn’t have enough time to teach through all the books, let alone to teach your kids moral morals and character and Bible and because we’re in this community, if you’re not doing anything else but that, it’s okay to teach a lesson without all the bells and whistles. It’s okay to do that but if your goal is to teach your children with a biblical world view and to teach them who God is and who your children are in God’s world, then you got to find some stuff to cut back on and that means you read less books or you do less problems on the Math page or you picking shoes, what you do, but find materials that help you.

Sharon Fisher:               A lot of moms told me that when they were first homeschooling, they would go to the library and do research and they would do all this extra work to find biblical materials on top of their curriculum. They were reinventing the wheel. They were exhausted because they were trying to do a good thing for their kids. They wanted to pour their biblical worldview into their children. I’m thinking you know there are textbooks written with the biblical worldview already that can help you teach. Let me encourage you, if you’ve not seen those yet, when you go to the conventions, when you see the different sponsors here at this event. Look. Check out what they have available and see. Are these things that would work for your family. You’re not doing double duty cause that character, listen, we don’t want to have a bunch of educated rebels.

Sharon Fisher:               We want to have people who know and love God and have an education as well. Again, that why is super important.

Yvette Hampton:           Yes.

Sharon Fisher:               If you’re always stressed and overwhelmed. Listen we all get overwhelmed. We all have bad days but when it is day after day after day of discouragement and stress, we need to stop. We need to just stop and reevaluate and talk to your kids. Your kids are very honest and they’re very loving and especially your older kids. How conversations with your kids about that. Do you need to know your children’s learning styles? As you have more children, you have more variety in the way your kids learn. Sometimes the older kids can come along and help you with the younger kids but if you’re teaching your children, you’re teaching to each child’s need and each child has a different love language. If each child has a different relationship with you and that takes time. It takes time to have that hands on experience with your child, that touch, that quality time, the words of affirmation and that’s a lot of work for mom to have to constantly juggle.

Sharon Fisher:               You need to work that into the way you teach. The things that you’re doing in your lessons can be part of that. If your child needs that quality time, then certain lessons should be taught by you specifically and that might be something that’s a fun activity. You’re actually doing something together that’s fun. You put your arm around each other, you’re laughing, you’re joking. Other activities can be done independently. I think it’s good to be smart about planning the activities that you’re doing. Again, because we want to do everything well, we over plan. We want to do all this stuff but we urge you not to do all this stuff because–

Yvette Hampton:           It’s not possible to do all this stuff.

Sharon Fisher:               Do not do all the stuff. They’ll do all this stuff. My advice is to step back and to simplify. Go back to, okay, I’m looking at my lesson plans this week. I have my calendar out, mine’s got right now, purple, black, pencil, green, and I’ve got things crossed out and why did out on here and that’s how it is for you too. If you have to rip a page out of your lesson plan book and go, okay, Here’s where we are today. I think that the Lord can see me through to this point. I will attempt to do this today and let’s see if we can get back on track. Great. Don’t try to double up, triple up and try to get everything crammed in. It’s really not that important that they know all those lessons by the end of March. What’s important is that you’re successfully homeschooling that you have that joy and those kids have that joy and they learn. They will learn and pick up as they go.

Sharon Fisher:               You might want to alternate certain days. You might want to do History Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Science Tuesday, Thursday or he might pick a month and do one subject and do something else in other subjects. If you want to do field trips, you might want to play in that time of year where it’s pleasant to go out. If you live in Montana, it’s probably not a good time to plan your field trips. Those are the months that you might want to do more of the inside activities, more of the science labs and then you can actually focus on writing skills and things like that but whether weather is warm, you can do more of the fun stuff outside and cut back on the handwriting, cut back on the writing activities and do things like that. I do mention again about talking with your spouse. A lot of times as women we’re very strong and we’re good problem solvers.

Sharon Fisher:               We tend to multitask well but we don’t always tend to tell her husbands what’s going on until we blow up and then for a husband of a wife who’s homeschooling and you’re in tears and you’re mumbling, he doesn’t know what has happened. He doesn’t know what needs to be fixed or how to fix it. You really just need to check in, even if it’s just for your own mental health and say, Hey, just wanted you to know we had a great thing. We’re really on track. The kids are really doing X, Y, and Z and I’m a little worried that she’s not getting her multiplication but I’ve been working on this problem. Asks your husband, what do you think? For one, he needs to think about it, which is a good thing. Also, your husband often can solve problems. I know we want to solve them ourselves, but sometimes they’ll come from an outside point of view and go, why don’t you just do that?

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

Sharon Fisher:               Which is so annoying.

Yvette Hampton:           And almost always right.

Sharon Fisher:               Right, just like what? I have this whole little whirlwind going here. I’ve got it all worked out. He’s like, why don’t you just do that? And you’re like, ugh. I can’t emphasize that enough. Have those conversations. If again, some husbands don’t want to be involved in, I think you still need to offer that opportunity but then you need to say something like, look, if you’re giving me full responsibility with this, I’ll do my best with it but I need help here.

Yvette Hampton:           Yes.

Sharon Fisher:               I cannot make seven gourmet dinners. One lady in the convention told me at her home, her husband said, I really want nothing to do with the homeschooling part. I’ll just, I’ll be there for you, whatever but I will do this. I will go on Pinterest once a week and I will plan meals and I will take the kids on Saturday afternoons and we will go grocery shopping. I told that man, I said, you need to stand up and we applaud.

Yvette Hampton:           Yes.

Sharon Fisher:               I said, this is a good thing. Go get yourself a gift card for pizza or a fast food or something and make that part of your grocery list. I’ve told gentlemen, if your wife wants an instant pot or a crock pot or something, these are little ways that we can encourage still being able to eat dinner and still homeschooling. Having that help is important. Having mentorship, talking to your mom. If I were homeschooling today, I would have conversations with my mom about this and we would, she probably would bring me a meal once a week or we would go to her house for a meal, maybe we need to talk to grandma. I am a grandma now, if my granddaughter and my daughter in law need a break, I’m okay with coming over to my house for a meal to give them a break. Don’t carry this burden all yourself. You really don’t have to.

Yvette Hampton:           Yes. Can I say something really quickly?

Sharon Fisher:               Sure.

Yvette Hampton:           You were talking about husbands, and one of the things that I think husbands don’t realizes is oftentimes how desperately they are needed. For the dads and husbands listening to this, one of the greatest things you can do for your wife and your family is to ask your wife, how can I help you? How can I support you? Maybe she’s afraid to ask you because I know oftentimes our husbands, they go to work and they work hard all day long and they come home and they’re exhausted. It just our nature is often that we don’t want to lay one more thing on them and we feel like it’s going to be a burden for them and most of the time it’s not. They just simply don’t know how to help us.

Yvette Hampton:           It’s oftentimes not that they’re not wanting to, they just don’t know how. For husbands to go to their wife and just say, how can I help you? How can I make your load easier? How can I pray for you? Oh my goodness, those things speak volumes to a wife. I know when Garrett does that with me. There’s almost no greater thing sand then in turn as a wife we want to then support our husband and not that they would do that, to get anything in return but it allows moms to be able to have something leftover for her husband. If he’s helping ease our load at the end of the day we have a little bit more in us to then offer to our husband and just be able to spend time with him.

Yvette Hampton:           I know for myself and for most homeschool moms that I know we get to the end of the day and we’re so exhausted. We are just tired. It really does benefit the marriage for the husband to then go. If the wife is not comfortable, well even if the wife is comfortable asking, it’s such a benefit for the husband to go to his wife and just say, how can I help you? Even if he’s not working, doing the day-to-day role of actual homeschooling. Anyway, just throwing that in there.

Sharon Fisher:               The other thing too is for a mom who’s doing all those things and you’re not having the interaction with your husband or perhaps he’s not filling in, you will become resentful because you’re like, “I’m doing everything around here and I’m teaching your children” and so then if that goes well, if he can’t handle it then let’s put him in school. I was totally against everything that of your why. Right?

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

Sharon Fisher:               That “why” has to be a standard of measurement for you. It’s God’s calling for your family. It’s the assurance of what God has asked you to do. If that’s so that means everyone has to participate in some way and so it is hard sometimes because you are trying to do all those things and then you still, you committed before God and other people that you were going to love and honor and cherish and care for your husband and you’ve got nothing left to do that.

Sharon Fisher:               Even in your day to day of what you’re doing on your calendar, you have got, and we’ll talk about that, you’ve got to plan for that. At the end of the day when your children all grew up and move out, it’s the two of you, if you’re lucky. If God gives you that ability to stick together and not give up because if things are out of control that’s what can happen. You’ve given everything over to homeschool, you’ve not cared for your husband, your husband hasn’t helped you, you resent each other and then as a lot of people do, when the kids grow up, they split up. Especially when you’re a mom and you’ve invested every minute of every day into your child and then your children grow up, that empty nest is very empty. You’ve really got to pour into your marriage.

Sharon Fisher:               How do you do that? You don’t have the personal strength to do those things. We’re going to talk about those things. We’re going to talk about your spiritual need. I’m going to talk about your physical need and all that because you need to be balanced. When you’re out of balance and it happens, you need to get back in balance. Being aware of when you’re out of balance is really important and knowing how to get back in is important as well. A lot of people are concerned about how long school should take and that really just depends on you. Like you were saying earlier, we probably want to homeschool the way we were schooled. I went to public school and we were there all day. Having been a classroom teacher though, let me tell you, we would start about eight in the morning.

Sharon Fisher:               We would leave 2:45, of those six and a half or so hours, I was not teaching six and a half hours. We had bathroom breaks, we had recess, we had music, art, physical education. We had a chapel. We had breaks for all kinds of things. Really you’re not teaching all day and you’re not teaching all things. All teachers don’t do all the things in the teacher’s edition. You need to look at how long your day is and if your name is starting first thing in the morning and it’s going to nighttime, you’re homeschooling is too much, too much material. For a child in the younger years, grades elementary, lower elementary, two hours is sufficient. You can get your reading and your Math and your English and those things in two and a half hours for elementary and by high school of course these are a little more complicated.

Sharon Fisher:               They might take a half an hour per course and maybe even an hour depending on if it’s a lab or writing but even then at that point you’ve taught your child to be independent and you’re not having to spend six hours per child. You need to be realistic in what you’re teaching your children. I think for a lot of moms we have all these. I see that conventions all the time that come with the great big wagons full of stuff and their eyes light up and like, Oh, I need that timeline. Oh, I need this game and I need this thing and you want to have all this stuff enrich your children and I love to do that. I’m not that kind of a teacher too. I wanted all this stuff too, but you have to plan that. Otherwise, you’re doing school all day, so pick and choose.

Sharon Fisher:               Look at the labs in the book and go, okay, I really feel like I need to do this, this and this and materials will tell you. The curriculum that you usually will have some type of guy to explain to you, especially for high school for your state requirements. If it’s a lab course, you have to have so many labs so you need to be aware of that and plan, okay, this is the minimum that I need to do here and I look through each then what is the minimum that I need to do and what do I really want for that child this year. I really want him to be able to do these things. He has really has a skill for film. He really has a skill for this sport. How do I integrate that into our lessons? How do we make this work?

Sharon Fisher:               You’re going to have to be extremely flexible, which works for a child A and then you have child B over here and you have newborn and you’re trying to juggle all of these things. Wisdom, praying on these conversations is very important. Knowing your child and evaluate what they actually need is important. Sometimes we think things are important and they’re not. There are times where people will come to us at church and they’ll say, I really would like you to teach us Bible study. I really want you to be part of this event and your heart wants to do it, but it’s not a good time. I hate to say no. I will almost always say yes and I’ve had to learn to go, Lord shut it down if it’s not there for me to do and once in a while he does that; once in a while he will said, “You don’t need to spend your time on this.”

Sharon Fisher:               It’s a good thing. It’s not a good time. Asking the Lord for that is important to know your kids’ abilities and then how to motivate them. Now if you have a child who’s a dollar and this is not fun and I hate math and it’s taking them all day, we got to find a new plan. This is not working for that child. Giving them work, explaining it to them, having checklists are very important. Music and timer, giving them breaks is very, very important. Explaining to them what you’re going to do and why you are going to do it really helps so that you don’t have disobedience and they understand why you’re doing it. A lot of times they’ll give the extra motivation to do that. Another thing that could be a problem is if you’re not having regular family time and homeschooling is family time, but I mean homeschooling that’s not academic.

Sharon Fisher:               If you’re so busy that you’re not having time with your kids to do that, then we need to plan it in. What does that look like? It could be, on Fridays, no matter what, we’re going to do this thing or this kid has this sport, this kid has this sport, this kid is this sport. What are the other kids doing while they’re doing that? Could we do some homeschooling and an overlap so you can have time together as a family? If you don’t have time together as a family, you’re doing too much. This is for all families and this is really hard sometimes because my husband traveled for a number of years and I had the four boys and things we need to do and finding family time was probably the hardest thing to do. So Sundays, it was easy because we went to church on Sunday and we always tried to make sure, okay, we’re going to do this on Sunday night no matter what.

Sharon Fisher:               This was our family time and we did that. For homeschoolers? Well, you have a variety of opportunities. Depending on when dad works. Mornings might be your time. You know where you take an hour in the mornings and you have coffee and you sit and you talk and have devotions together or you play games. Nobody says it has to be at the end of the evening.

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

Sharon Fisher:               Having that time is important as a family then your kids also need free time as well. If your kids are sitting in a seat upright all day with their hands folded for hours and they’re stuck to a screen or they’re stuck in front of books all day that is miserable.

Yvette Hampton:           Yes.

Sharon Fisher:               Even for adults, we don’t do that. We get up and move every 15 to 20 minutes and your kids need to do that too. When you’re doing fractions, pull out the Legos. Legos are perfect fractions using your kids’ imaginations. There’s no reason why you couldn’t videotape a book report instead of writing it out. There’s no reason why you can’t do a podcast interview instead of doing a chart. There are all things that you can do with your kids that are fun for them, that they enjoy doing and then they get their siblings in on it and then they have that time together too. Think about what they enjoy doing in their free time instead of a threat and saying, if we don’t get this done, you can’t go do this. Why don’t you say, you know what, I have scheduled time at the trampoline park on Friday. Let’s get as much work that we can done by then and we’re going to go and come home and we’re going to have a great time but if you’re still missing some stuff, we are going to need to catch up on that.

Sharon Fisher:               I think having that as a motivator instead of a deterrent. You know what? They go out and they bounce up and down and they’re getting that physical input and we’re having fun together. You might think to yourself, what is it really that important that they finish that project? Probably not. Talk about it in the car. Go over the vocabulary words in the car and have a conversation with them and then move on. Now this one is a thought about reading aloud to your kids and I know that when we homeschool, we’re reading to them sometimes to help them but don’t forget to read a lot for fun as moms because we’re homeschooling. We’re so busy doing the academic stuff. We forget the fun reading. The things that we want to teach them. I’m a Winnie the Pooh fan. I knew at some point I am too old for that.

Yvette Hampton:           Never.

Sharon Fisher:               Okay I believe it. There’s a Little House in the Prairie series or Jane Austin or whatever the fellows like. Reading together is still special. It’s bonding and they’re learning and they’re picking up vocabulary and writing skills by listening to you. Even there, that’s still part of your homeschooling and it’s still a close time for you. If you find yourself not having a lot of free time, not allowing the kids to play, not having family days, you’re doing too much. That’s easy to say because then you got to figure out what that means. What does it mean I’m doing too much? What do I cut out?

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

Sharon Fisher:               I have some suggestions for you then we’ll go over if you don’t have any questions.

Yvette Hampton:           No, this is fantastic. I’m just in total agreement with you.

Sharon Fisher:               Okay, good. Well, one of the suggestions is to think about how much stuff you have and again, I just mentioned about going to conventions. We tend to have a lot of stuff. I have in my office right here, I have a very small bookshelf which is full of stuff and then over my shoulder this way I have some more stuff and behind it there’s a shelf with stuff and over here in the closet it is still stuff and on this hallway I have more stuff and anything that’s educational or spiritually based or encouraging, I have a lot of that stuff. I want to fill my heart and my mind with that good information but when you have a stack of stuff that’s not been touched or used in a long time, you’ve got too much.

Sharon Fisher:               What happens is you feel compelled to use it? It’s just like having clothes in your closet that haven’t fit you for years and only there to remind you every day as you open the closet, Oh there’s that sweater I never wear and then instead of having guilt like I need to lose five pounds or that sweater, when am I ever going to have time to jog and then you go through this downward spiral because you saw that sweater.

Sharon Fisher:               Well it’s time to take the sweater out of your comfort, oh success. Look through your materials and see what you have. As homeschoolers, we like to reuse what we have because those are resources God has given us but sometimes some things don’t work with all kids or you don’t need all the parts and pieces. Sometimes it’s best to bless a family and give things away. I love that when they hear that at conventions, people will come to the booth and say somebody blessed us with a whole grade level of stuff and I’m like, this is fabulous. Think about what you have and do you really need to use all this stuff you have?

Sharon Fisher:               Do you need to have a book of grammar prompts and a bunch of writing prompts? Do you need to have two or three grammar programs or will one be sufficient? I promise you one is probably enough. Create a schedule with how much time each piece of work it’s going to take for your child and this is really helpful. Sometimes we think, Oh, he’s going to do this, this, this, this, and this today. All right, let’s look at that. How long would it take you to do all those things today and eat and sleep and play and have a good disposition or whatever? How much time is that? How much time is it going to take for your child to do that? How much time is it going to take for you to supervise that? How much time is it going take for you to grade all that work?

Sharon Fisher:               If there’s way too much going on here, then it’s okay to cut. This is really funny. When I was a teacher at Bob Jones Academy, I had gone to an event where authors where. I taught my first seven years teaching there. I was told you do every page front and back and every problem on every page you did every lesson, all 180 lessons and boy we try. I look back now and think, Oh, those poor children. Well, we were at an event and there were authors there and we were standing sort of an assembly circle answering questions and somebody asks about what about there’s too much work and one of the authors said, you know that when we write this material, we’re giving you way more than what you would need. We’re trying to do stuff for kids who have special needs.

Sharon Fisher:               We have stuff for kids who are gifted. We have information for the mom and dad. What we’ve provided is everything that your state might require but you have the absolute right to pick and choose. I went, Holy smokes. Nobody told me that. The next year when I went to a different grade level, we changed that fast. We were like, “This is not happening.” We are not… because for one we have to provide all the material. We also had to grade all that. Two grade four sheets of Math every day. That’s crazy. Look at what you’re assigning your kids. Some people even ask, should I give my kids homework? I’m thinking about you’re homeschooling your children. Why would you give them homework? Right? When it gives extra assignments, pick what you need them to do. If your child understands the material, choose several on the page to get a good assessment.

Sharon Fisher:               Is he getting it up? No for still struggling with the tens place. Let’s go back and work on it. He’s doing pretty well. We’re going to just skip the next three. He’s getting it. The idea is not to get all this stuff done. The idea is to teach them the concepts so they can use it, right?

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

Sharon Fisher:               If they’re using it, you’re done. Praise the Lord. Move onto the next thing. Go take a break and enjoy yourself. Having a schedule is helpful. I know some moms prefer not to have a schedule. They want to just go with the flow, but as you’re teaching multiple kids or you’re facing burnout, I do encourage you to at least have a loose schedule because you need to be able to at the end of the day, feel that you’ve got some level of success. You ought to be able to say, look what we did today. We did this and we did this. See how God helped us do these things and pray with your kids. When you start out in the morning, Lord, help us today to get the things done we need to and the wisdom to know what that is and help the kids to stay motivated. Help me to know how to help them and we’ll give you the glory for it.

Sharon Fisher:               At the end of the day, if you’re short, you’re short, you give God the glory for it, for giving you the strength to do what he gave you to do. You did all of these things here. See what you did there on your plan or the things that didn’t happen that were on your plan. God still gave you grace to do that and you had a good day homeschooling, that is a successful day of homeschooling. Whether this stuff got done or it didn’t. It’s okay. We don’t want you to burn out. It’s, it’s not worthwhile.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah. I want to interject really quickly there, cause you know I said earlier, I’m in my ninth year of homeschooling and this year is the first year that I did something different in that regard and that I didn’t. I did not come out with a schedule ahead of time that said week one we’re going to accomplish these things, week two, we’re going to accomplish these things and laid out all of them, my lesson plan. I literally printed up a sheet and it says Math, Grammar, History, Science, and then there’s a blank spot next to it and my girls at the end of each day, they fill in the blank what they’ve accomplished with and they don’t get to every subject every day, but they just fill in the blanks of what they have accomplished with those different subjects. You’re right, it’s so much better because they see their accomplishments, but they’re not a slave to this schedule because life happens, things happen.

Yvette Hampton:           For years, I tried that of trying to figure out what are we going to do every single day and planning out every day of the year. It was a total nightmare for me and I don’t know very many homeschool moms who can do that because life happens all around. I have found that to be very helpful but it shows them and it shows me what they have accomplished. Anyway, yes, I totally agree. It works much better to not plan and like you said, they don’t have to do every single thing. With my older daughter, she does every other Math problem or even skips whole lessons if she just knows that concept already because like you said, the whole purpose is for her to know the concept. The purpose is not to get through the book. Who cares about that? The purpose is to understand what it is that she’s learning. Once she learns it, I don’t feel like she needs to do every single problem. It’s so much better. We have so much more peace in our homeschool because of that.

Sharon Fisher:               Such a good point is again, why are you homeschooling?

Yvette Hampton:           Right.

Sharon Fisher:               Are you homeschooling to get all that curriculum done? Of course not. We often say that the curriculum is a tool. It’s not a rule. It is a tool. It’s your toolbox to be able to accomplish the things that God has given you to do. When you need to pull out a hammer, you pull out a hammer. When you don’t need a hammer, you put it away. Right? If it’s not time, you don’t need a saw, you don’t pull the saw out. You pull out what you need as you need it. As you’re raising your children, you realize they need Math skills, they need Writing skills.

Sharon Fisher:               I need to be able to speak clearly and communicate well. They need to be able to problem solve. How do I help my child do that? Well I have some materials, whatever they are and we’re going to use those and I’m going to educate my child with whatever I’ve got to a point where I feel like he is successful. That little checklist is perfect. Actually, I recommend that you get a very simple checklist. Simple. The simpler the better and you just check as you go and actually letting your children check it off.

Yvette Hampton:           Oh yes.

Sharon Fisher:               It is even better because it’s not like you’re constantly telling them what to do. They’re doing it for themselves. Some suggestions of things that you might do to keep you from burning out: if the subject is too difficult to teach, you might want to consider using video lessons. If you have children ranging from toddler to high school, it’s very hard to do all of those things. For me I would not be able to teach high school level science. I might dabble with the history, but the Science for sure or Math, I’m not equipped to do that.

Sharon Fisher:               To be able to find materials that my child can follow and works with their learning style that has a biblical worldview and the tools that I can use, I would consider doing that or having a tutor or being part of a coop. Coops are good and bad. Coops can be draining because then they want to get together and do lots of stuff. The next thing you know you’re not really doing some of the things you intended as homeschool mom cause you run into coop running coop but coop has wonderful benefits too. I think knowing whether coop works for your family or not and helps you accomplish your goals it’s worth looking into. I know that it would be beneficial, but depending on how many kids you have and what season in life. Getting help where you can get it is very helpful.

Sharon Fisher:               Having dad teach you a subject would be great. You don’t have to teach a different Bible class for every child just have Bible once. It’s not about going through every grade level of Bible. It’s about knowing God and about being able to serve him. However that works for your family. Choose something, have Bible together. That’s part of your homeschooling, but it doesn’t have to be six different preps or five different preps for you. If you can combine subjects to do that. A lot of times in literature you can combine art, music with that. I love unit studies and things like that where you can do things together. There are some things with kids that you cannot do together. You might have a seventh grader and a third grader. It’s very hard to teach History or Math at those levels, but you can overlap some of those things.

Sharon Fisher:               You can take the field trips; you can do activities or have the seventh grade history. Read it aloud to your third grader and have him come alongside and use activities. Elementary level is basically exposure when it comes to history and science. We’re giving them exposure. You’re going to see US history two more times. Giving them that exposure and building a good foundation is really important, but they don’t have to do every single thing from K to six. If you need to combine things, pick a level in between and do it together. Just read it aloud and have them come alongside and get some things from the libraries or things from Pinterest and build on it. If you can do separate lessons and do it because you know it’s on their level but I mean realistically not everybody can do eight histories or six histories or four histories there.

Sharon Fisher:               Teaching multiple levels at a time is helpful. I love this suggestion where the moms gave, she said, you create a power time for concentrated teaching. Listen, when kids are independently working or things are going well, knock it out there boom, boom, boom, knock it out. You’re on a roll and you want to keep going. Keep going. Hey, you know what you’re doing. Why would that? Why don’t you go ahead and finish your final draft or you know what? You want to go ahead and do that. Go ahead and finish that out because there’s those other days then nobody wants. Those days that things are flying and feeling good maximize those days. It doesn’t mean do more work. It just means be more efficient in the work that you’re doing. If they’re getting it and they’re flying and they want to finish that chapter up in three days and they have full understanding of it, do it.

Sharon Fisher:               Roll a test, answer the questions you’re done and then go let that child do something else while you spend with a child that needs the extra help that’s behind or struggling there. Having a little bit of a concentrated teaching time is a good idea when you can. I was going to suggest that chart. Having a Monday to Friday with the different things on it and every child is going to be different. You might want to include Latin or music lessons or other things on there but again this chart becomes very cumbersome if it’s very full before you even start picking it out. Just be sure that this is realistic and whether or not they need to fill it all the way in or not. Do they really have to have one for each day, every day, all subjects?

Sharon Fisher:               Or could they do handwriting twice a week? Could they do? If they’re doing a lot of writing, handwriting is probably not necessary even being realistic about that chart. That chart is a blessing and it’s also frustrating. You don’t want to burn out. You also don’t want your children to burn out. Being careful about that chart I think is important. A parent who is constantly frustrated will eventually burn out and want to throw in the towel. Be realistic about your child’s abilities.

Sharon Fisher:               Listen, we want the best for our kids. We want the maximum possible, good for them. When things are not going exactly the way we want it to be or they’re not getting it in the time frame, we think we get frustrated and that’s not always for their best. Their heart and their soul, in your relationship is very important. When the academics become the middle of that and they come with a strain on those, you need to back off.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah.

Sharon Fisher:               That relationship… Listen, this is a lifetime that relationship is important. Talk to them about the hard things in life as adults. Don’t want that hinge on harshness in lessons that you’re teaching. We don’t want kids to hate education. We don’t want them to hate homeschooling. We don’t want them to hate us. Right? So again, that balance and you’re thinking, how in the world am I going to do this without burning out? You’re going to have to go to God. You’re going to have to go to God and ask him, what do you want for me with these children? How do you want me to do it? Then you get that support base and then you get the materials you need to make it as easy as possible for you.

Sharon Fisher:               If these materials you’re using are not working for you and you can’t find a way to make it work or to manipulate it or someone to help you do it, then find something else. We have, like I said, there are 200 moms. Of those 200 moms, they all use the materials different ways. It’s funny, I mean they’re all using the same thing, but they’re all using it in different ways. Find somebody who’s seems to be having success with their homeschool and ask them, what do you do? I think you’d be shocked to find out that they’re not doing what do you think they’re doing? They’re not doing all this stuff all the time. Getting that advice I think is really important. Being organized, even if it’s just for your own mental health, keeping checklists is helpful. I know some people don’t want to keep a set schedule and that’s fine.

Sharon Fisher:               You don’t need to keep a set schedule but you need to have an idea of where you should be or where you hope to be so you can gauge. What you don’t want is if you’re keeping records for the state and you are required by the state to have certain things and then you come to the end of the year and you’re lacking a lot, that becomes a problem. I think you need to be aware all the time of what your state requirements are. So go to HSL VA, go to their map. Homeschool legal defense they have, every state has its requirements. Every state has some type of an organization for homeschoolers. Be part of those groups. Iron sharpens iron. That’s actually my life first. Let people sharpen you and you sharpen people. Encourage each other with that information but you have to have an idea of where you’ve been and where you’re going and you need to keep some type of track of that.

Sharon Fisher:               As long as you’re keeping some type of track, you can be successful. Whatever is comfortable for you, but some kind of schedule or record keeping, I think is really helpful. Do you have some suggestions that are non-academic? I think that’ll be helpful for you to taking care of yourself, knowing what time of day works for each of your children. My niece is not a morning person. She takes a long time to get up from homeschool. Her mother on the other hand is up very early and is prepped and ready to go and very scheduled and very detailed oriented and this little girl is not. Oil and vinegar situation can be very difficult. Her expectations have been, she knows she cannot have her breakfast and be dressed and ready for school at 8:00. That’s not going to happen with that little girl.

Sharon Fisher:               Now the other sibling, she can do that. She has learned to work separate schedules with her girls. Okay. While you’re waking up and figuring out with what’s going on, I’m going to work with this one. When you are up and about, I want you to do this subject. She knocks that out first. Once she’s alert and ready to go, she does that. Knowing your children and knowing, if you’re night owls you do stuff at night. If you’re a morning people. Again, it’s hard when everyone is different, but you do need to try to adjust somewhat so that you’re successful and that planning breaks is really important. Mom needs a break. Your kids need a break. Kids with special needs especially need to be breaking every 10 to 15 minutes. They need to be getting up and moving, going, getting exercise, throwing the laundry and take the dog for a walk.

Sharon Fisher:               Anything that’s part of your life, schedule your chores, make that part of your homeschool schedule. It still has to happen. For sure, you want to do that and let your kids learn where they’re comfortable but productive. Listen, we could all learn in bed, but I’m not always productive in bed. There are days where I’m like, I just feel like sitting in bed and reading a book, that’s great, but every day I would not get a lot done.

Sharon Fisher:               I have to literally be sitting in front of my desk with my computer and I need a clean space and pens and all my sticky nerds. I need all these things to be able to think. Your kids have a place where they’re more productive than others. For your kids it could be on the floor, it could be in the beanbag chair or be in a swivel chair, wherever they are productive, let them work there. There’s nothing wrong with not sitting at a table in a chair with all four legs on the floor. If they’re learning and they’re safe and they’re productive, let them learn where they want.

Yvette Hampton:           Some kids, like my oldest daughter, they learn better with music and I would never ever have imagined that because for myself, I have to have total silence. If I’m having to concentrate on something, I need absolute silence. I can’t have any music or noise or anything going on in the background. Garrett, my husband, he is the complete opposite. If he’s having to do something that he’s really having to concentrate on, he literally has music blaring in his ears and that’s the only way he’s able to concentrate. I’m so grateful for that because I think when my older daughter came to us and said, “I really need to be listening to something, it helps me to concentrate.” I would have said, “That’s insane. There’s no way. You just want to listen to music.” But because my husband is that saying he’s just wired that same way, I was able to say, oh yes. Okay, that makes total sense because you are your father’s daughter and so she does better when she has something going on in her ears and it’s how God has wired all of us differently.

Sharon Fisher:               Everybody should invest in noise canceling headphones. Whether they want to listen to something or not listen to something, they’re available but no, I think that’s great and the other thing is for your kids. Let’s say they bring something like that up. Our first response shouldn’t be no. Although my first response probably has been no but like I’ll tell you what, we’re going to give it a try and we’re going to see how it goes and if it works, great. Don’t bother your brother. Don’t bother your sister and don’t create a problem for yourself, but why not, right? They’re productive and they’re happy. Listen. For your kids to be homeschooled and to be amongst your siblings in your home, they should be happy. This is like the ultimate educational experience. They should be happy and of course on every day is happy all day long, but wow, this is why we’re homeschooling.

Yvette Hampton:           But it shouldn’t be straight misery for them every day where they dread, Oh, here we go again. You’re right. If they want to sit on the trampoline and do their Math, I’m set on it. Like you said, if it’s working for them.

Sharon Fisher:               Listen, I wouldn’t mind teaching from the trampoline as well. One mom gave this suggestion and I love this so much. This mom has three kids. She lives in my town and from her survey she suggested taking a day off from her textbooks called Heart Work and she said she made her kids coffee, hot chocolate. They sat around and they just were talking and reading from God’s word. What had happened, I guess the day before, they were all kind of on each other’s nerves and they were having issues of sorts. She said that she was feeling overwhelmed mostly at her children’s behavior and so over homeschool and part of our burnout is our own children’s behavior.

Sharon Fisher:               When you send your child away to school, you get a break. When you’re with them, 24/7 every irritating, annoying sound thing that they say emotion, it’s all day. It’s compounded by how many kids you have and you’re constantly dealing with it. I’m a problem solving kind of mom. I want everybody to be happy all the time. When one of my son says this is happening with my work, I immediately go to the worst place. I go, Oh no, till you’re fired and that’s going to cause this and that. I’ve already planned way down the road for all. When your kids are struggling or they’re fighting and we’re already planning this terrible thing that’s going to happen in your home is going to be unhappy. They’re going to have, how are we going to ever homeschool these kids when they’re teenagers and you know, no, this is crazy.

Sharon Fisher:               Stop what you’re doing and let’s address it. Listen, these are teachable moments. Stop it. If someone’s having an issue, let’s stop and take care of it. The thing is, with some kids, you may have to take care of it outside, away from the other kids. Say, you know what? I really need you to spend some time with your brother. Could you please? And usually there’s instantly very obedient and remarkably well behaved. They’ll get their work done while you go help that child come alongside and don’t say things like, I need to get your lesson done today or you’re not going to graduate ninth grade. What’s going on? Did I do something wrong?

Sharon Fisher:               A lot of times we don’t see or know what’s happening. There’s an interaction going on with other kids. If they’re on social media, they’re worried about something feel well and we don’t know all the time what’s going on in our kids’ minds. There could be something so far removed from what you’re doing in that moment and to have that time to just sit and talk. What I’ve learned to do is to shut up and flip my arm around a child and just let them wait.

Yvette Hampton:           Yes.

Sharon Fisher:               And then let it comes out. It usually comes out and it usually has nothing to do with what’s going on. That interaction, the intimate conversation with your child and to pray with your child and let’s all go for an ice cream or we’re going to stop what we’re doing and we’re going to make ice cream Sundays or we’re going to have a popcorn, whatever. You just make a bunch of popcorn and throw in the middle of the table and everyone’s happy and you’re talking and yakking and you’re back to work. Sometimes you need those days. This mom had mentioned that her kids, they were just… She was at the end of her rope. She couldn’t take it anymore. She took the whole day off and said, “Okay, guys,” got all kinds of marshmallows and fun things. They sat around on the PJ’s that day and they just rebooted. Yeah. It’s okay to reboot for more than one day. If things are to the point of burnout or close to it, reboot for a week.

Yvette Hampton:           Yes. Totally.

Sharon Fisher:               One more.

Yvette Hampton:           Yeah. I agree completely. That is such a perfect way to end this session and that it’s okay. It’s one of the joys of homeschooling and one of the great privileges that we have of having control over our family and what we’re doing with our children. I love that. Just step back, reset, take some time off, reevaluate what it is that you’re doing and see what is working and what is not working. Talk with your husband, pray with him about it. Talk with your kids, pray with them about it. Let them have input. Even the little ones. It doesn’t mean that you have to heed their advice but let them have some input and try to work in some of what they’re… I’ve done them oftentimes with my kids, try to work in some of their suggestions as well.

Yvette Hampton:           It’s such a beautiful thing because like you said, it’s all about relationships. It’s first about their relationship with the Lord. Second it’s about their relationship with us and their siblings. Sharon, you are such a blessing. Thank you so much for being with us. I know you’ve got a slide show that has all of this information plus more that you didn’t even get to. We will link to that slide show on this bonus session so people can download that and get to just kind of go through all of your points. It’s beautifully laid out. People can look at that on their own and maybe even watch it while they are, again, while they’re watching this video. Tell us again really quickly, where can people learn more about you and your organization and what you’re doing?

Sharon Fisher:               It’s easy to remember. Homeschoolhealth.com. Homeschoolhealth.com takes you to the HomeWorks by Precept website. There’s a map and on that map, if you click on your state or you can put in your zip code, you’ll find a homeschooling mom near you, maybe miles away, but there is somebody in your state. For the most part, we have just about everybody there. We have events all over the country. Some moms will set up an event. I’m at a coffee shop or at a home or sometimes it’s at a hotel. What we’re trying to do is get those moms closer to you. A lot of times there’s big conventions. People can’t get to them cause they’re so far. We want those moms to be able to come to you. We also have a virtual with a big Facebook party once or twice a year, and what we’re trying to do is build community.

Sharon Fisher:               We actually have some social media groups that we recommend that these moms a re on but if you go to homeschoolhealth.com you’ll find all those resources. There’s a blog, there’s social media, all kinds of places to go for help and for love and encouragement and community. I hope that if you get a chance to go through the slides. There are a lot of things that we didn’t cover that talks about your relationship with the Lord caring for yourself. That’s one thing I’ve learned at 56 years old that there are times in my life where I did not have the time or didn’t take the time to take care of myself and now I’m having to go backwards and redo. As you’re homeschooling, that is a very important piece of advice is to take care of yourself. If you have time to go through those slides, there are some suggestions and resources on there I think that would be helpful and a lot of really good books that I have found that I think you would enjoy and you can pick up at a convention as well.

Yvette Hampton:           Yes. You’ve got a fantastic list of resources on there. So homeschoolhealth.com. Thank you so much Sharon for being with us. Thank you guys for joining us today for the Homegrown Generation Family expo. We are so glad that you have taken your time to be with us for this session. I hope it was encouraging to you and I hope that the whole event is an encouragement to you. We’ve got so many amazing sessions and amazing speakers so keep at it. Just stay the course, trust the Lord to guide you and to provide all that you need to accomplish what he has called you to do. If you are faithful in doing that, he is definitely going to be faithful to bless you and your family through that. Have a great rest of your day you guys and thank you Sharon.

Sharon Fisher:               Thank you.

Yvette Hampton:           We will talk to you guys later. Bye.

Sharon Fisher:               Bye-bye.

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