Homeschooling or working from home could each easily be a full time job. So how can you successfully juggle both? Is it even possible? Yes! There are many moms who homeschool their children successfully while building a business. Over the years I’ve learned a few things that have helped me succeed and stay sane.
First, keep things in perspective. Juggling homeschooling and working from home IS a challenge and it won’t always be easy, but it can be done!
Second, have a plan. You need to create a schedule for your family that blocks out hours of time for school and hours of time for working. It doesn’t have to a down to the minute type schedule, but you need something that helps ensure everything that needs completed gets done each day.
Third, know your priorities and goals. Some things you can let slide a day or two. It’s not the end of the world if Mount Laundry piles up for a day. What’s more important? You don’t have to have a home cooked dinner 31 nights of the month. An occasional pizza delivery is okay if it means you had the extra time you needed to finish that math lesson with your grade-schooler or get an urgent project completed for a client. Keep the bigger picture in mind of which goals are the most important and things will be easier.
Fourth, make smart choices. Have systems and plans for keeping your household together. If you plan your menu in advance, there’s no scrambling through the “What’s for Dinner?” routine. Use a crock pot and make dinner even easier.
You need to choose a business model that will allow you to outsource and leverage your time. Take steps to move your business in a direction that allows you to do this. Automate and systemize as much as you can.
For schooling, choose your curriculum based on your child’s learning style and your family’s needs. It’s okay to take into consideration how much time the lessons will involve. Some homeschooling options require hours of preparation while others are “open and go” style and will still teach your children what they need to know (and help save your sanity). Consider unit studies, curriculum that allows your children to share lessons, and other options. Ask other homeschooling moms what’s working for them and why, how much time they’re spending to prepare and present lessons, and most importantly whether the kids are picking up the lessons and enjoying their learning. When you find the right curriculum and approach your kids can learn more in 30 minutes than they can in hours of the wrong curriculum and approach. More time doesn’t necessarily equal a better education. It’s a smarter approach and strategy that leads to a better education. Be flexible and make adjustments as you go.
Fifth, accept that you don’t have to do it all yourself. It’s okay to ask for help from your husband or children with the housework, or hire a house cleaner to come in a few times a week. Hire a competent virtual assistant to help you in your business. And don’t overlook the options to make homeschooling easier and share some of the responsibility — computerized math, DVD art or music lessons, group learning, private tutors and homeschool co-ops are just some of the ways you can give your kids a great education and free up some of your time.
If you liked today’s post and are a homeschooling, work at home mom, I invite you to visit www.cwahm.com where you’ll find a weekly guest post from me beginning next week.