Taking on the dual task of working from home and homeschooling seems to be a growing trend. I have been a work-at-home, homeschooling momma for over twenty years, with differing schedules depending on the age of our children. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past two plus decades, it’s that a solid schedule is absolutely critical to the success of a work-at-home homeschooling mom!
10 Ingredients for a Solid Work-at-Home Schedule
The day-to-day implementation (your planning checklist) and organization of a work-at-home 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 life in order to make space for scheduling, planning, and organizing the smaller details. Here is a checklist of my top 10 ingredients for structuring my life and keeping my sanity while trying to be a super hero mom.
- A Goal: Make a wishlist of what the ideal day looks like. If I didn’t have a goal, I wouldn’t know what to shoot for.
- Recognition: When deciding to work, 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.
- A Daily Schedule: Create an hour-by-hour outline of your day or. If you’re not a by-the-clock kind of person, then set distinct time blocks for school, work, and other responsibilities. This is an absolute must in order to recognize the amount of time you can realistically give to work and school.
- Involve the Family: Post the schedule on the refrigerator or online. 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 work and homeschool 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: A schedule only takes you so far. It’s important to also know how that schedule 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.
- 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 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 from home inevitably hands you.
- A Time of Rejuvenation: On a daily basis, this is consistent time with the Lord. 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.