Prisma is the world’s most engaging virtual school that combines a fun, real-world curriculum with powerful mentorship from experienced coaches and a supportive peer community
“Burnout is what happens when you try to avoid being human for too long.”
Burnout is a public health issue that has been gaining more attention in recent years, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant increase in online learning and teaching. The phenomenon of educational burnout can have a serious impact on mental health, academic performance, and overall well-being.
Burnout, along with other, related, issues like lack of student motivation, mental health challenges, and poor online teaching practices, have made many people view online learning in a negative light. Of course, when implemented in an emergency situation like the COVID-19 pandemic, it was unlikely that unprepared teachers would be able to implement online learning successfully. But that doesn’t mean that online learning can never work.
As an online school, we at Prisma know that in fact, many kids & teachers thrived in an online learning environment. Whether they benefited from the reduced distractions, increased flexibility, or ability to go at their own pace; over the past three years, we’ve enrolled many learners who didn’t want to go back to traditional in-person learning.
And instead of taking traditional brick-and-mortar school and doing it on Zoom, we’ve designed a uniquely engaging virtual middle and high school where kids are allowed to go at their own pace; learn through hands-on, interdisciplinary projects; and build a flexible schedule that works for them.
In this blog post, we will explore the factors contributing to burnout in some online learning environments and provide concrete strategies and tips to help both students and teachers address and avoid online school burnout.
Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It is characterized by a decline in motivation, energy, and productivity, often leading to feelings of overwhelm and helplessness. In the context of education, student burnout and teacher burnout can occur due to the demands of schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and other stressors.
Online learning, also referred to as distance learning, became much more prevalent than ever before due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with students and teachers transitioning from face-to-face interactions to online classes.
Although online learning can be implemented successfully, in ways that aren’t in danger of triggering burnout, it often isn’t. If implemented poorly, distance learning can lead to burnout due to:
Burnout symptoms can vary, but common signs include:
To address and prevent burnout in online learning environments, consider implementing the following strategies and tips for yourself or your child:
Online school burnout is a growing concern among students and teachers, as the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant increase in distance learning. By understanding the factors contributing to burnout in online learning environments and implementing strategies to address these challenges, students and educators can work together to foster a more positive and sustainable learning experience.
Prioritizing mental health, well-being, and communication is essential for navigating the unique stressors of online education, and ensuring the success and resilience of both students and teachers in the ever-evolving landscape of K-12 and higher education. At Prisma, we also believe that if designed differently, online learning can be an equally effective and engaging option as traditional, in-person education.
We’re fans of online learning, but it depends how it’s done. Here’s some pros and cons of different kinds of online homeschooling resources to consider, plus links to a variety of options.
Unit studies blend multiple subjects together to create real-world, interest-driven learning experiences. Steal the approach our curriculum experts use to create themes with a free downloadable unit study planner.
“The curriculum at Prisma allows learners to learn about their strengths and use their passions in an organic and interdisciplinary way. The kids have the freedom to choose by having differentiated projects, quests, enrichments, and clubs.”
You might be hearing from friends, extended family, and random strangers in the doctor’s office “there’s no way your kid will be able to get into a good college as a homeschooler.” Impolite, yes. True? Let’s figure it out.
“The amount of support and check-ins our learners have at Prisma is unparalleled compared to anywhere else I’ve ever worked.”
Each of the most popular homeschool styles has existed for a long time, and each has diehard evangelizers and fervent critics. From classical to unit studies to unschooling, this guide will help you find the form best suited to your family.
“What most drew me to Prisma was the chance to work with a fully project-based curriculum custom-designed for middle schoolers who are hungry for academic engagement.”
The best online school for your family is a question of priorities: More support or lower tuition costs? Traditional or project-based academics? Asynchronous or lots of interaction? We break it down in this post.
David Waitzer is the Founding Learning Coach for our first cohort in East Asia & Oceania. In this post, he describes how his background teaching and leading for innovative international education companies will help him accelerate the growth of Prisma learners.
Prisma has hundreds of learners across the Western Hemisphere. Along the way, we've gotten requests to launch cohorts in new time zones from families around the world who want to be part of what we’re building. Next up is East Asia & Oceania!
Middle School Curriculum Designer Lizzie uses her diverse experiences: studying Literature at Harvard, leading outdoor adventure expeditions, and teaching high school English, to help Prisma learners find their voices.
The pandemic has made homeschooling easier than ever before with a boom of online options from curriculum, to part-time programs, to full-time schools. But which is best for your family?
Prisma High School’s Launchpad Program will prepare learners to tackle their next phase, be it college, training, or an exciting career. Trevor Baker, our LaunchPad program designer, describes how he sets learners up for success.
You might have to jump in at first. But eventually, with the right modeling and practice, kids can develop the skills to make thoughtful decisions.
Middle School Curriculum Designer Gabe, an expert in interdisciplinary learning with a PhD from the University of Michigan, explains how he designs themes that blend together STEM and literacy.
One of the most fun parts of being a homeschooling parent is creating fun learning experiences for your kiddos! In this post, we share our favorite at-home activities and online resources.
Our Head of Middle School Curriculum explains how her team blends core subjects and real-world topics to design “hard fun” cycle themes.
One of the reasons our team wanted to develop a new kind of school was because we felt traditional schooling doesn’t put enough emphasis on developing emotionally intelligent kids. But what is emotional intelligence and how do you develop it?
"Carolyn is a miracle worker in math. Piper's attitude towards math has improved so much this year. It's never been her favorite subject but Carolyn's patience and encouragement has made such a positive impact." -Alexia A., Prisma parent
Media literacy is touted as one of the most important “21st century skills” for kids to master, in line with creativity, communication, and grit. Thinking through the amount of time most of us spend interacting with some form of media each day makes a good case for this.
“Lauren is fantastic and has struck a nice balance of connecting with Cooper and keeping him on task. I'm impressed to see real growth in Cooper around self awareness, reflecting on his “glows and grows,” and goal setting.” -Kym J., Prisma parent
“I've seen growth in my kids, and most importantly a solid relationship between them and their coaches. We feel so grateful for these amazing humans that have entered our kids' lives. My kids' words exactly: ‘These teachers actually want to be here. They really care!’ ” -Katie M., Parent in Kimberly’s Cohort
By introducing these concepts at home, you're setting your child up to be more financially responsible and savvy, giving them the tools to navigate an increasingly complex financial world.
“I’m so happy to have an opportunity to call out Javi. As a math educator myself I am really impressed with how he presents math concepts, differentiates for and challenges learners as needed. From a social-emotional perspective he is so kind, patient and invested in the kids as a whole. I am so happy he is Brynn’s math coach.” -Chandra S., Prisma parent
The ability to tolerate frustration is not merely about weathering the storm of the moment, but about instilling the persistence, adaptability, and resilience that set your child up for future success.