The Winter Blues: Homeschooling When You Want to Quit

The mid-winter blues are a common predicament for homeschool moms. We've been chugging away at this homeschool thing since late summer, took a break at Christmas, and all of a sudden, come February or March, we're ready to toss in the towel.

There's just something about this time of year - the lack of sun, the kids cooped up in the house, the monotony of the homeschool day - there's more than one reason this time of year is so hard for homeschool moms.

How do you focus on homeschooling when you want to quit? The winter months are especially rough for homeschool moms. Helpful tips for dealing with the winter blues.

Homeschooling when you want to quit

There are a few things you can do to combat those winter blues and, really, these tips will work any time of the year - whenever you're feeling the urge to throw in the homeschooling towel.

I've learned that when I start to feel that winter feeling (when you just DON'T want to do anything homeschool related) it's time to take some action. Here are my tips for dealing with those mid-winter blues or homeschooling burnout.

Change the Routine

Sometimes, changing your routine can be just the ticket - especially if your kids are feeling that winter burnout too. Once in awhile, I will set the schedule aside and give TJ a Post-It note with 4-5 things listed. Instead of the usual math and grammar assignments, her list includes things like read a fun book, dance for 10 minutes to your favorite music, write a poem, and find a way to use math in a real world situation. Every time we do this the list looks a little different. While it may not be things on my lesson plan I know that my daughter is still spending time learning.

Follow their Lead

When those winter wiggles hit our kids it's the perfect time to let them take the lead. Ask them what they'd like to learn about for a week or two. Then all you need to do is provide lots of good books and a basic framework - let them take over their learning. Interest led learning has been a huge blessing for us. When my daughter chooses the topic she wants to study she is completely invested in learning.

Get some Fresh Air & Sunshine

I don't know about you, but I feel worlds better if I can get outside when the sun is shining. A short walk listening to my favorite podcast or music can help keep those winter blues at bay. If it's too cold I'll find the sunniest spot in the house and spend 10 minutes with my eyes closed soaking up some sunshine.


If things are really starting to burn you out, simplify your schedule and schoolwork load. It's okay to work on just a few subjects for a season. This is one of the reasons I set yearly goals for homeschooling. I know if we can focus on the basics it's okay to let those other things go for a short season. This year our basics include math, writing, reading, and Latin. If we can fit in those basics I know we're still meeting our goals.

Take Time Off

When it's especially bleak, take some time off. Take a week or two to just relax. Put the books away, get outside, and enjoy your kids. Perhaps your school year will end up being a little bit longer, but that is so much better than trying to muddle through. Take a break if you need it!

Homeschooling When You Want to Quit

If you're looking for more encouragement from seasoned homeschool moms, take a look at {that's an affiliate link -->} Homeschooling: What to Do When You Want to Quit. It's filled with practical advice and encouragement for those times when you feel worn out and overwhelmed. It really is such a good book (and I'm not just saying that because I've written two chapters!).

Tonia L

Hey! I'm the owner of Happy Homeschool Nest - a website devoted to helping homeschool moms balance the needs of homeschooling with managing a healthy and happy home.