When homeschool burnout begins affecting everyone in your home, it always helps to change things up. I’m sure you’ve read dozens of articles on things you can do like modify your schedule, try a new curriculum, or even take a break from homeschooling for a few days. I’ve tried all of those and they definitely help put a pep back in everyone’s step, but a fellow homeschool mom suggested a new approach that really made me think: random acts of kindness.

We’ve all heard stories about how volunteering makes people feel good and help them gain new perspective into their lives by realizing how fortunate they are, right? So as she explained, doing random acts of kindness, which can technically be considered volunteering, can have the same effect on both parents and kids when homeschool burnout starts to set in. By focusing our energy on doing nice things for others, our moods and spirits are instantly lifted.

Below are 15 ideas to get you started. Some require a little more time than others, most won’t cost you a dime, and all are guaranteed to make your heart feel good. As a bonus, your children will understand the importance of kindness, build social and life skills, and perhaps even satisfy a few volunteer hours or good citizenship requirements.

  • Donate old textbooks or school supplies to a family in need, church, or organization.
  • Bake cookies for your local fire station or police department and personally deliver them with thank you notes.
  • Volunteer at a animal shelter. Some even allow children to read to dogs and cats.
  • Spend time with some of the residents at a nursing home.
  • Cook a meal and drop it off for a busy homeschool family, perhaps one with a newborn baby or sick relative.
  • Leave a kind note in a library book you are returning for the next person who checks it out.
  • Put some change or a dollar in an envelope and tape it on a vending machine for the next person in need of a snack.
  • Older students can volunteer at a local pantry, soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
  • Grab some gloves and a garbage bag and head to the beach or local park to pick up trash.
  • If your children have a piggy bank, ask them how they’d like to help others with their savings.
  • Write get well cards for patients at your local children’s hospital. You can include stickers or care packages with coloring books, crayons, jigsaw puzzles, etc.
  • Offer to pick up groceries or run errands for an older relative or neighbor.
  • Send letters of encouragement to military personnel. Many companies also accept care packages with things like toiletries, books, puzzles, candy, etc.
  • When heading to your car from the grocery store, offer to help another shopper load their items in their trunk.
  • Write thank you notes to your mail carrier, garbage collectors, landscaping workers, and other hardworking people that oftentimes go unthanked.

Kindness and good deeds are contagious. Plus they help reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, and improve relationships. One small act has the power to bring a smile to someone’s face and turn their day around. When homeschool burnout begins to make me and the kids impatient, stressed, and grumpy, we stop and think of all the ways we can help brighten someone else’s day. When all is said and done, we always end up making our day a lot brighter too.

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