Homeschooling While Working
If you find yourself wondering if you can truly homeschool while working full time, you aren’t alone! Moms around the world have been thrown into the work from home and homeschool world, and I personally know how overwhelming that feels at first! I have been doing the working-homeschool mom gig for almost 3 years now and it is just plain hard sometimes!
I run a blog (as you probably already know – since your kinda on it right now!) and manage a facebook group for homeschool moms – all while homeschooling my own kids. While some might not consider that a full-time job, it totally is! I put a lot of time and effort into my work, because helping homeschool moms is on my heart – day and night!
How to Homeschool
I get an overwhelming amount of messages each week from new homeschool moms that are struggling to get their homeschool off the ground. Sometimes the questions are about scheduling, organizing, or curriculum choices. Other times it’s the ultimate complex question – “how do you run a blog and homeschool?”.
This is a hard one, you guys!
For starters, I’m not perfect. I don’t have it all together and I fail sometimes!
I miss work deadlines & get behind on laundry – just like everyone else!
However, I do have some simple tips that help me stay (somewhat) on task and meet those pesky deadlines & keep that heaping laundry pile down – for the most part.
Check out the simple tips that allow me to work from home and homeschool at the same time.
Utilize a Block Schedule
YES!! I totally mention this in nearly every post I write, but I’m a HUGE planner girl! I dig all things scheduled and planned. It’s simply how I function best.
Using a block schedule for homeschool lessons & creating a priorities to do list each day for work and house management is how I thrive!
I keep my scheduling process pretty straight forward. We utilize a block schedule for homeschool lessons.
Want to find out more about that schedule? Check out Mom’s Master Homeschool Schedule for all the details!
I also use a simple priorities tracker for work deadlines, personal needs, and house management.
Interested in my priority tracker? Check out Mom’s Priority Tracker to Do List to view that simple printable!
I’m also a huge fan of electronic reminders! I like to set simple reminders for things like thawing meat for dinner or swapping out the laundry. Call me crazy, but little reminders like that help to keep me in check.
Another way I use block scheduling to my advantage?
Using a block schedule allows me to hyper focus the task at hand.
As a working, homeschool mom – I feel like multi-tasking is a given!
However, if I was always multi-tasking… I would never be able to give my children (and their education) the attention they really need! So for the most part, I like to separate those two areas of my life as much as possible!
To put it simply…
When I’m working – I’m working.
When I’m teaching – I’m teaching.
When that said, when I do multi-task… I do it wisely!
For the most the part, I keep my homeschool self and my working self separate. When it’s time for lessons, I close up my laptop and focus solely on my kiddo. When it’s time to work, I open the laptop back up and encourage my kids to work (or play) independently.
It’s the only way I can successfully do this working/teaching thing – without losing my mind.
Not sure how to know when to multi-task as a work from home, homeschool mom?
This concept took me a little while to figure out, but now I can navigate it like a pro (for the most part).
To put it simply – I steal the little moments.
Anything that requires teaching, hands on time, or conversation – I stay in homeschool mom mode & multi-tasking simply isn’t an option!
However, the little moments when a child is practicing independent school work, eating lunch, or reading – yup, those are the moments I steal. Those are the moments I multi-task – making my work life & homeschool life blend together.
The key to multi-tasking like this? Focusing on small work tasks only! I usually take this time to send a quick email or some other mundane task that I can quickly finish (in under 10 minutes)! I do this because it’s important that I’m still available for my children to ask questions if they get stuck on a word while reading or need assistance on their independent seat work.
It’s not a perfect method and sometimes I get absolutely nothing done because my computer shuts as quickly as it was opened, but guess what? That’s ok!
Another Simple Way to Mutli-Task?
When tensions rise, mom is behind on work stuff, and the kids just aren’t getting their lessons done – this is my go to!
I take the kids outside to play, typically bringing their lessons along. I set up shop (a chair and table for mom to work, chalk and bikes for the kids to play) I encourage them to play in 5-10 minute increments, while I work. Then, I call them over to work on small sections of their lesson.
Again, not a perfect method – but a super simple way to mix things up when your work from home/homeschool game is getting hard… and trust me, it does get hard!
Use Nights & Weekends
I really dislike even mentioning this as an option, but to put it simply – it’s reality sometimes!
I prefer not to work on the weekend and I’m just going to assume most homeschool moms are the same way. However, sometimes it’s 100% necessary! I know some jobs may not allow this, but thankfully I work for a pretty flexible boss (yes, I’m totally talking about myself).
If the homeschool day is over and kids are off to bed, but my work for the day isn’t complete, I have 2 options.
- Push it off, hoping I will somehow have extra time in my schedule tomorrow.
- Open that laptop back up and get a little work done in the evening hours.
I hate to admit it, but I’ve done number 2 many, many times! I really do not like using my weekends for work purposes, so working in the evening is a sacrifice I’m willing to make.
Saturdays are for family, house chores, and errands.
Sundays are for church & family.
It’s incredibly easy for me to get wrapped up in the amount of work I need to get done on a daily basis, which is why I prefer not to work on weekends! Allowing myself to work on a Saturday or Sunday would mean sacrificing important time with my family, which is why I like to keep working weekends at a minimum!
Plan Off Days
So much this! Off days are my secret weapon!
In our home, we practice a 3 day homeschool week. If you want to know more about how we make that work, check out How to Homeschool 3 Days a Week for all the details!
I homeschool my kids Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday – leaving Wednesday open for field trips or out of the home classes and Friday wide open for work & errands!
To put it simply, Friday is my day for productivity! I catch up on those pesky household tasks I’ve pushed off all week, pour myself into my work deadlines, menu plan for the upcoming week, and sometimes even manage to pick up the groceries.
If you are only working part-time or have a more flexible full-time work schedule, creating a 4 or 3 day homeschool week will be a welcomed answer to that lingering question… “how to work from home and homeschool?”.
Not Sure How to Entertain the Kids
While Working from Home?
Fridays are what I like to call free-range days in our homeschool. I let my kids do whatever (with the exception of screen time, because we do limit that in our home). My kids tend to build forts, play legos, play outside, and basically wreck the house – can you relate? ha!
With that said, we still have the occasional Friday when my kids find themselves “bored” and in need of a little inspiration from mom.
These are my 2 go to activities, you guys!
- Looping Activities – I have been known to set up 2 folding tables in the middle of my living room with random activities laid out. I encourage my kids to rotate from table to table completing the activities. While we don’t do this often, my kids do enjoy when I mix it up like this from time to time!
- DEAR Day – YES! I absolutely love having DEAR days in our homeschool – especially now that all my kids are independent readers! I know most people that are familiar with DEAR day only view it as an annual event, but I treat it more as a quarterly one – haha!
While not necessarily an essential for getting work done, practicing self-care is definitely essential to getting work done and keeping your sanity!
As a working homeschool mom – I work hard!
I need a little me time at the end of the day, and I’m betting you do to! Learning to take small moments out of your day to take care of you, will simply give you the extra push you need to get that work done each and every day!
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