Taking on the dual task of working and homeschooling seems to be a growing trend.
I have been a work-at-home, homeschooling momma for over twenty years. The details of what that looked like changed over the years, depending on the ages of my children. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past two plus decades, it’s that solid time management is absolutely critical to the success of a working and homeschooling mom!
10 Ingredients for Creating a Solid Rhythm of Working and Homeschooling
The day-to-day implementation (your planning checklist) and organization of a work/school schedule will look different from person to person. Where and how you manage your workspace and homeschool resources, what kind of checklists you create, and more will depend on your specific personality.
But, there’s also a level at which you have to structure your working and homeschooling life in order to make space for scheduling, planning, and organizing the smaller details. This starts with understanding what your overarching desire is, creating a goal based on that desire, then breaking that goal down into manageable benchmarks.
Here is a checklist of my top 10 ingredients for structuring my life and keeping my sanity while trying to be mom who is working and homeschooling at the same time.
- Aspire: Make a wishlist of what the idea day, month, semester, or even year looks like. If I didn’t have a desire, I couldn’t set a goal. Without a goal, I wouldn’t know what to shoot for.
- Recognition: When deciding to combine working and homeschooling, you choose to surrender free time that might normally be spent doing fun “girl” things. Recognizing and accepting that reality helps deter bitterness or resentment when I get tired and worn out.
- Break It Down: Remember that setting a goal is only the beginning. You also need benchmarks to help you stay on track each month, and an overarching schedule to guide you as you plan.When you are keeping up with being mom, homeschool teacher, and working gal, there are a lot of moving pieces that need to be kept coordinated. By being as detailed as possible on the front end, you actually end up creating room for flexibility in the implementation of your working and homeschooling rhythm.
- Involve the Family: Be transparent about what you need in order to make everything work together. Visibly post family routines, schedules, chores, and anything else that needs to be coordinated.Keeping the family up to date on your work and school load will help keep communication lines open. It also is encouraging when your children recognize your work and do special things to show appreciation.
- Double Time: Take at least one twenty minute break each day. This can quickly result in a second wind that allows for almost double the work. My favorite break-time activities are reading, power napping, or drinking coffee!
- Don’t Forget: Although working and homeschooling are important, don’t forget to give yourself time in your schedule to get the housework done. Doing housework with the help of hubby or kids is an excellent way to have some relationship building time.
- Make a List Each Day: Goals, benchmarks, and a schedule only takes you so far. It’s important to know how the process is going to specifically play out each day. I begin each day with a steno pad and my On the Go planner. I make one to-do list each for work, home, and school. I put an asterisk next to the items that I must complete before going to bed.
- Establish Consistency: Going full-throttle for one week and then binging on Netflix due to exhaustion can create chaos. Steady Freddy is a motto to live by when combining working and homeschooling.
- Maintain Self Care: Working out, drinking water, eating healthy, and limiting my chocolate intake helps regulate my waistline and my mental health!As you build your schedule, make sure to include a time for self care and make specific plans to accomplish it. And remember that self care is not time for random indulgence. Instead, it is specifically time to keep yourself healthy and nourished so that you can keep up with the full plate that working inevitably hands you.
- A Time of Rejuvenation: On a daily basis, this is consistent time in meditation, journaling, and nourishing your spirit. On a weekly/bi-weekly basis this is dinner out with girlfriends. Either monthly or quarterly, this is time away for a day or a weekend.