Can you work, home school and still keep your sanity? Sure you can but it is going to take some planning and a schedule to make it happen!
Your Schedule and Managing Expectations
If you have suddenly been thrust into homeschooling, you may imagine that your kids will happily sit down at the kitchen table every morning after breakfast and work quietly and busily at the worksheets their teacher has sent until lunchtime. I have not ever found this scenario to be true! Children need almost constant supervision and reminders. They need your presence standing over them to get them to do their work.
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Your children may have generally been able to do what they wanted after their regular school days: maybe they rode their bike, called friends, or played video games. Now that they are home all the time, they may have similar expectations for their time.
Both you and your children will need to manage your expectations for your time. Now all of a sudden, you are working from home AND expected to be your children’s teacher as well. That’s a lot to have on your plate!
For your work, how much time do you need? You may really need everyone working quietly for a half hour in the morning so that you can make phone calls. Let everyone know that is what you need and come up with a plan for a Quiet Plan. Then you may need to work from 3-6 pm diligently on computer work and finish up some things after the kids are in bed.
The children are going to need some alone time as well. Make sure they know that when their schoolwork is finished they get some time to themselves as well. At our house, we usually took an outdoor break after lunch: playing kickball, running, tag, or some other game to get them to use their large muscle groups and use up some energy. After that everyone had 1/2 hour of quiet reading time.
Have a Schedule and Systems in Place
Have a schedule for your day that will maximize your children’s best learning times. Generally that means that you will have a start time somewhere between 8 and 9. Your goal should be to get at least 4 subjects done by lunch. One of the morning subjects should be math, as many studies have shown that children concentrate and do their math best in the morning.
Make Schoolwork a Priority
Your children need to know that their education is a priority for you. Show your priorities by putting systems in place to deal with potential interruptions. If someone calls you, you can have an auto-reply that you will call them back at 1 pm but that you are doing school in the morning. They’ll get the message! And you will get your schoolwork done- hooray!
A 2:30 snack is a welcome break and a good time to evaluate what has happened (or not happened!) in the morning.
Have a Quitting Time
This may seem like a no-brainer but I have heard of moms that go from morning to night answering kids questions and working on projects. That’s a long day! We found that our four children did better having a definite quitting time. Of course, there will be that one child that will put off their work and then say, “Well, I’ll just do it tomorrow.” That particular day, that child may need to continue working with no additional privileges that evening to get the point across that school work needs to be done within the school day.
Have Intentional FUN!Sometimes we moms are good at getting the work done but then we forget about the FUN.Click To Tweet Make sure you are intentional about your fun time as well: fun cooking, fun playing outside, fun having a themed dinner or party, fun with an arts and crafts project, fun with friends. Make a Lego castle together, learn to crochet, make a memory book for Grandma.
Bonus: You can watch me here: Youtube video: Work, Homeschooling and Keeping Your Sanity
Youtube: Homeschool Christian Mom These videos discuss homeschool scheduling, working with your Littles, thinking long term, and many other topics.
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Bonus material: Youtube How I Started with My Homeschooling