Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wednesday's Wisdom: Are You Burning Out?

What a great time we had interviewing author and Homeschool CPA, Carol Topp! She shared a bundle of hand-picked truths from her super-helpful book, Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out. With knowledge and insight, Carol explained the warning signs of Leader Burn Out and how to avoid it.

We are excited to make this complete interview available to you as soon as possible because it will bless you. Until then you can get a taste of the goodies Carol shared right here on this blog as we post excerpts from her interview each Wednesday of the next four weeks. Soon the complete interview will be available in two reasonably-priced formats—audio cd and word-for-word transcript! Details coming soon. Here's today's excerpt:

Do you feel like you might be burning out? Is homeschool group leadership overwhelming you? Have you noticed another leader's fire seems to be fizzling out? How would you know?

HGL: From your experience, how can a leader know when he or she is burning out?

Carol Topp: There is a really big difference between just that tired feeling that we all have and burning out. Obviously, a homeschool leader is taking on the responsibility of leading the group in addition to homeschooling her own children and doing everything else we do--cooking, cleaning and bottle washing.

You can know when you are actually suffering from burn out. I have a few symptoms listed in my book, Homeschool Co-ops. These include the loss of enthusiasm, negative feelings all the time, even depression. Sometimes it can manifest itself in health problems like constant colds, constant fatigue and headaches.

I think a real common sign is when you start neglecting your own children or their homeschooling requirements because you are so busy working on the group. That is a sign that you are headed towards burn out--you are misplacing your priorities.

Another sign is when your husband and kids complain that you are not paying enough attention to them. Again, you are misplacing priorities. When you become very irritable and start snapping at people, it can be an indication of burn out. Ultimately, you just feel like a failure. That is a sure sign that you are burned out, or coming awfully close to it.

May God give you strength and wisdom,

Denise & Kristen


JoJo Tabares said...

I'm not longer a leader for a homeschool group, but I felt these same symptoms last year and began to realize I needed to change how I did things and how much I did in serving in my ministry. She is a treasure as are you two!

Kristen and Denise said...

We have both grown in wisdom and knowledge as we have sat at the feet of you and Carol. Thank you for all you do for leaders, too, JoJo. We are looking forward to our interview with you soon!