Working at home while homeschooling means that you actually have two full time jobs. One is caring for your kids and managing their education while the other is fulfilling the responsibilities of your paid job. This dual role brings with it a number of challenges, but these two stand out as the most distressing ones: lack of me time and distractions. If you can overcome these two biggies, you can get through your homeschool years swimmingly.
Lack of Me Time
Because you work from home and are homeschooling, it is difficult to find time for yourself. Chances are even showers and getting properly dressed may be difficult to put on your to do list.
The key is to make time. To do this you need prioritize your list and accomplish one thing at a time. Some days work may take priority over school for example if you are under a pressing deadline. Some days sick kids trump everything else on your list. And some days, time for mom is a major priority and needs to happen pronto before you burn out.
One way to have me time every day is to establish family quiet time regardless of your children’s ages. For younger kids, quiet time is nap time. For your older kids, quiet time can be spent on individual activities like puzzles, reading, or calm television shows.
Even if you spend a mere thirty minutes of this time doing something you want to do, you will come back to your day refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of your to do list.
Another tip is to choose a homeschool curriculum that is easy for you to use. Something that requires little teacher prep time is what you want. An Instructor's Guide with clear, step by step outlines is worth its weight in gold in the time it saves you. Save your mental bandwidth for managing your household and your job; lean on a well-planned and rigorous curriculum to make the tough homeschool decisions for you.
Distractions are another challenge every work at home homeschool mom faces. Distractions come in many forms from the precious to the annoying.
- Your kids! Because your kids aren’t in school, they are there with you nearly every moment of the day, ready to distract you.
- The phone! Whether it is your smart phone dinging with notifications or your mom calling to catch up, the smartphone is a distraction of modern life we all face.
- Life! Let’s face it, day to day life often times gets in the way of work and school.
So, how can you handle these distractions?
Remember that your kids are only little for a short few years. Sometimes, they smply need you. And, that’s okay. Other times they are being an unnecessary distraction. Know the difference. One way to tackle this is to have designated work hours so that when mom is working, the kids know to leave you alone unless the need is urgent.
Set your phone to airplane mode/silent and turn off notifications. If you worked outside the home in a traditional setting, would you be fiddling with your phone? If not, then don't do it at home during your work hours.
Plan flex time in your week for when life happens. Kids get sick, the toilet overflows, and errands need to be handled. When you factor in buffer time, you can better manage the un-forseen but inevitable circumstances that throw a wrench into your plans.
Working from home can be a huge advantage to your family. However, with the pros come challenges.