Being a working parent is a challenge in and of itself. Add homeschooling to the mix and then the fun really begins! Work and homeschooling brings the terms “flexibility” and “balanced chaos” to mind as a homeschooling and working parent.
Developing a routine and finding a balance has been essential for my family. A little time management and planning goes a long way! Be open to being flexible and embrace a schedule that works for your family. Think outside the box.
5 Tips for Balancing Work and Homeschooling
1) Work and Homeschooling Schedule
You don’t need to follow the traditional 8am to 3pm school day or Monday through Friday school week for homeschooling to be a success. A homeschooling day does not require as many hours as a traditional brick and mortar school day and does not limit you to one place for learning to take place.
Take a look at your work schedule and create a schedule around it for school and other activities. That might mean that school takes place evenings and weekends. It does not matter when it happens, as long as you schedule time for it. That is what matters most.
Related blog post: Homeschool Basics: Scheduling
2) Asking for Help
Allow yourself to rely on others for help.
Share household responsibilities with your spouse or another supportive family member. Remember that your children can pitch in with developmentally appropriate chores, too. Learning how to care for themselves and their belongings are life skills and should be a part your child’s life education. It will help them learn to be part of a team and teach them responsibility.
Also consider sharing teaching responsibilities. Take into consideration your strengths as well as the strengths of your spouse. If one of you excels at a particular subject area, allow that parent to take the reins for that subject.
3) Work Environment
Definitely consider your work environment if working from home. Both you and your children will need to arrange your spaces so everyone can be productive. If working from home, set up an area that will give you the separation you need to work. Give your children their own designated space if possible. This way both parties can have a good day at the “office.”
If both parents are working you may need to consider childcare as well. Perhaps a trusted family member can help to save on childcare costs. Maybe you or your spouse can work from home a day or two each week to reduce or eliminate the need for childcare. Consider asking your work place to adjust your schedule to allow some flexibility that works for your family.
5) Make It Guilt-Free
Working while homeschooling is no easy task but it can be done and done well with the right planning and mindset.
There will be days when you feel pulled in multiple directions and the stress of doing it all will be overwhelming. You are one person and cannot be everything to everyone. Accept that. Don’t let the guilt get to you if you need to focus on work and you aren’t able to focus on your children 24/7. Homeschooling allows for the opportunity to spend quality one on one time with your children. Make those moments count. Also remember you are setting a good example for your children of how to be a productive member of society, how to effectively manage time, and the value of hard work. You are being their role model to build a solid work ethic. You have your job. Their job is school. Give yourself some grace, create a schedule, be open to letting others help, and allow for flexibility.
Once you find the balance that works for your family, you and your children will be successful!
Homeschooling 101 eBook
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- The History of homeschooling
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