We have been homeschooling for seven years now. It’s crazy to think that it has been that long. Over the years I have been a stay at home mom, worked outside of the home, and worked from home. My husband recently changed jobs and our whole schedule shifted. I still work from home and now he works erratic shifts based on what is needed. Sometimes that can be stressful but we are settling into a new routine. I want to share some tips for making homeschool work with your work schedule. It is completely possible to homeschool and work.
Making homeschool work with your work schedule
I will put one disclaimer on this post. Homeschooling and working isn’t easy. You may have to sacrifice sleep or relaxation in order to balance it. That said, it is possible.
Be Realistic about Expectations
If you intend to homeschool and work or work around a spouse’s work schedule you will have to be realistic about your expectations. This will mean looking at your Pinterest perfect picture of what a homeschool mom “should” look like and deciding to move past it. Instead, look at the family and schedule you have in front of you and decide what things should really look like. If you are expecting to do everything you will burn out fast. Trust me. I have.
Be willing to let independent learners work on their own
Thanks to social media it can be easy to think that homeschool should look one specific way. When you have an independent learner, mom guilt can quickly work its way in. Don’t let it. If you have an independent learner, let them learn. You are not less of a mom if your child doesn’t need you for the majority of their school work. You win the work at home homeschool mom lottery.
Working and homeschooling will overwhelm you if you are not organized. It can be very difficult to keep up with everything that needs to get done. I have actually started making myself a daily task checklist because if I don’t, I overlook things. Tools like Google Calendar and a well-written checklist can help to keep you from getting terribly overwhelmed. I love that Google Calendar syncs with my phone so I can keep all of my appointments organized.
Sometimes work schedules don’t have consistency. When you add to that the fact that there will be doctor appointments, extracurricular events, and sickness it can get overwhelming. If you are going to work and homeschool it is important to be flexible with how things “should” go. Your kids may have to do some of their schoolwork in the car or in a doctor’s office. If you are willing to be flexible with how schooling should be done you will be ok.
It is very important that you are honest with your job and your family. Be honest about what you need from each. For work, be honest with your employer about when you can and cannot work. It will save you trouble later on. For your family, be honest about where you will need help. You will not be able to do everything. Be honest about the areas where you will expect them to pick up some of the slack.
It can be easy as a working homeschool mom to blur the lines between work and home. It is important that you are diligent about setting clear boundaries. Set work hours and standards and set them. If you are homeschooling at a certain time, make that clear to your boss and do not respond to work. If you are on work time, help your family to understand that you need to work. It will help you long term if you can be diligent about these boundaries.
At the end of the day, it will be a juggling act. Give yourself a break. You can do this and your family will be ok. Make sure to find some points in your day for self care. It can be a 5 minute chocolate break or an hour at the gym. The importance is finding something that will recharge you.
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