Earlier this week, I wrote a post about homeschool burnout for Simple Homeschool.
Because March was rough over here.
So rough, in fact, that I needed to get out of Dodge completely in a last-ditch effort to refill my introverted soul.
(Can you relate?)
Here’s the thing…
This homeschool mama gig did not come with sick days, or vacation days, or a substitute teacher. When burnout strikes, you are on your own. You must put one foot in front of the other, don a smile, and muddle through until the fog lifts.
And that is hard!
It helps to have some tricks in your back pocket, some go-to homeschool survival strategies. Then, when a bad day or a hard season hits, you have something to fall back on. An emergency crowd pleaser.
Today, I’m sharing one of my favorite back-pocket crowd pleasers: Around the World Stories.
Yes, I’ve gushed about these stories before, both here and here, but today I’d like to talk about how Around the World Stories helped me muddle through March… and I’m sharing some exciting news so you’re going to want to read this post all the way through!
How Around the World Stories Helped Me Muddle Through March
*Disclosure: I received access to Around the World Stories in exchange for a review. In truth, *I* approached Around the World Stories because I had a feeling our family would love them. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I only share resources that I would use with my own family and ones that I believe other families will enjoy.
First, let me tell you about Around the World Stories…
Around the World Stories is a monthly subscription service that delivers original, high-quality stories to your inbox. Each story is 25-35 minutes long and is dedicated to the fun adventure of a child from a specific country, with a new country featured every four weeks. These stories draw young listeners into the fun adventures of children from other cultures and countries, bringing to life how the world’s children live, play, eat, think and learn. Each story comes with a parent guide including discussion points, country background, fun facts, language, and extension activities to make the story a truly memorable and educational experience.
- Full Story Pack- $99.00 (one-time payment)
With the full story pack, subscribers receive immediate access to all the published stories (42+), followed by every story they release thereafter (52 total). This allows your family to enjoy the stories in the order and at the speed you prefer.
- Story a Week – $9.95 per month
With this option, subscribers receive one story each week during the course of your subscription.
And before I forget, My Little Poppies readers can get a special discount:
- Receive one free month of stories with the code LITTLEPOPPIESTRIAL
- Use the code LITTLEPOPPIES20 for $20 off the Full Story Pack
Now, back to how Around the World Stories helped me battle burnout…
When you are in the throes of homeschool burnout, everything feels hard.
Even the things that are supposed to be fun.
And that’s exactly what happened to me in March. After a month of the kids bouncing random viruses back and forth, after one too many cold and gray days, after one too many sibling squabbles, I woke up one morning and realized that we had lost our joy.
As soon as I realized that we were in the throes of burnout, I snapped into emergency mode. I did all the things I mentioned in my Simple Homeschool post, and I also reached into my introvert survival kit.
And, while I was doing these things, I made sure to go easy on myself. The worst thing you can do during a battle with burnout is to attempt to do more. Yes, you feel behind. Yes, you are worried. But pushing will backfire.
When burnout hits, you must slow down.
It is a time to simplify, a time to focus on the things that bring you joy, a time to reconnect with your children, a time to find your smiles and laughter again.
And if you’ve been reading our site for any length of time you already know that our family finds joy in fantastic stories.
My children love Around the World Stories, and that is why these stories are one of my back pocket tricks. They are crowd pleasers.
And so, when the going got rough over here, we snuggled up on the couch and traveled… to Portugal!
Around the World Stories is stealth learning at its best
I am a huge fan of stealth learning. When my children sit down to listen to Around the World Stories, they have no idea that they are learning. They are simply enjoying themselves. When children are engaged and interested, the learning can be amazing. Children sit down to listen to a story and they get lost in another world… and they retain more information than if they were given a worksheet to fill out.
And that’s how we ended up with a completely unplanned and totally unexpected unit study on Portugal last month. It was tons of fun and helped us to find our joy.
We simply listened to each story, talked about each story’s discussion questions, practiced speaking a few words in Portuguese, and following all related links listed in each story’s Parent Guide.
This naturally led to our own Portugal-related rabbit holes, including blasting Fado in our kitchen, dressing up and having our very own carnival, exploring Portugal on our Pin It Maps, setting up a Beanie Boo animal shelter, and researching ways to help homeless cats.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: so much learning happens when we just relax and let it!
Psst! Around the World Stories has some exciting news for you, just in time for summer!
- First, Around the World Stories is holding their very first giveaway. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the creators of Around the World Stories, Tania and Matt, have spent the past year traveling Europe with their children…. and sharing stories with the world! And, guess what? They have been collecting fun items from the countries they have visited and will be giving away country boxes during the coming months.
- Second, Around the World Stories has a fun summer project planned: a mini-pack of 6 stories about world-famous artists! What a wonderful way to have fun learning together this summer!
Are you looking for more ways to discover the world through stories?
Check out these related posts:
- Read Your Way Across the Globe
- Making Space for Storytelling in Your Homeschool
- 6 Books for Teaching Map Skills
- Including World Folktales and Fables in Your Homeschool
- Books for Kids Who Want to Save the World
- 10 Things You Can Do To Help the WORLD
Take Around the World Stories to the next level with these favorite geography games:
Or, read a fantastic book! Here are some of our favorite geography picture books:
Be sure to follow Around the World Stories:
Now it’s your turn. Tell me: How do you conquer homeschool burnout? Share here!
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram
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