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Homeschool couple shares tips for avoiding burnout

GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)–Tim and Wendy Echols, parents of seven children, have had their ups and downs when it comes to homeschooling. But the lessons they’ve learned they gladly pass along to others, including:

1. Be honest.

Homeschooling parents, typically mothers, should be honest when things become too difficult. “We all have short seasons [of difficulty], but if it stretches on, it can affect your physical well-being,” said Wendy Echols. “If you have needs, voice them to yourself, to your husband or to a doctor.”

2. Pace yourself.

Don’t try to do everything the first day you start to home school. Mental demands can also trigger physical problems.

3. Take care of yourself.

Be mindful of your physical, emotional and mental health at all times, Echols said. “Exercise by at least walking a little bit every day and don’t feel guilty about it. Give in to your needs for fellowship — set aside time to spend with others.”

4. Watch your “always” and your “nevers.”

“I was so prideful in my first years of homeschooling,” Echols said. “It makes us deaf when the Lord wants to change directions.” Avoid becoming spiritually inflexible.

5. Make sure your convictions are your own.

Avoid the trap of making the beliefs of others your own, Echols said. “In the Christian homeschool subculture, we tend to take on other people’s convictions and ideas. Just listen to what God is telling you to do.”

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  • Sara Horn