As homeschool moms, “juggle” is our middle name- and that’s why I’m glad to participate in the iHomeschool network’s series on How Homeschool Moms Juggle. My juggle currently happens to be working from home while homeschooling.
As of 2014 I have decided to resurrect and reinvent my business coaching business for WAHMS which I had originally begun in 2004 but had abandoned because I began homeschooling in 2007 and had just had a baby. Today my “baby” is 6 and my oldest who was in kindergarten in 2007 is now in the 6th grade. Now I feel I’m in a season where working this business from home again could actually work.
However, homeschooling full time while working from home is no easy feat- as I’ve come to find out over the past few months. I often like to write about my experiences with this new juggle of mine in hopes that I’ll help other WAHMS out there with similar circumstances. I’ve found that just a few simple goals have made my juggle to keep up with both lifestyles an easier blend into one.
Evaluate my homeschooling.
One of the first things I absolutely had to do was to decide how I would homeschool (meaning: figure out my method, our curricula, our family goals- and see if this season of our lives means we change our homeschool goals and routines). In a previous post I talked about some of the steps I took in changing up our homeschooling this year so that I could work from home more easily.
For the beginning of 2014, I ultimately decided that although we would continue with our chosen curriculum (Sonlight), we would tweak our schedule and I would allow my 6th grader to become more independent with studies. I also evaluated the curricula I’m using for my 6-year-old to ensure that she’s still learning at a convenient pace.
I figured once I got my homeschooling routine schedule down pat I’d be better able to create my work-from-home schedule.
Determine work hours
My next step in figuring out this whole homeschooling-while-working-from-home juggle was to figure out when I would work (and HOW!) To be honest, this was the hardest part of the entire planning process. I’ve been homeschooling for years, but I haven’t always worked from home while homeschooling, so it posed quite a challenge for me.
The first thing I decided that seemed to make the most sense was to determine about how many hours my 6th grader would need to devote to school each day. On average, she spends about 4 hours per day in school while my youngest spends about 2 hours. I typically do a lot of hands-on work with my youngest while my oldest, with the exception of a few read-alouds and book discussions with me, mostly works independently. Minus the 2 hours I spend face to face with my youngest plus about an hour in the morning of home management, the remaining hours that my oldest daughter works independently leaves me some wiggle room for office hours.
Typically I have the second half of the day (after noon) free to work on business. I schedule a few interviews during my “down times” in the morning when I’m done working with my youngest and my oldest has some independent work, but I do the bulk of my podcast editing, blogging, and coaching in the afternoons. (And of course, this all depends on whether it’s an extracurricular activity or library day- which I do attempt to allow to happen no more than twice a week so I stay sane!)
In between all of this scheduling, the most important part of it all is to live life to the fullest by remaining flexible. The kids are going to want impromptu fun, walks to the park, bike rides, an unplanned outing over to a friend’s house- and my main job in this season of my life is to be mama, more so than business coach. I do try to create streamlined routines for my family that on a typical basis happen more or less the same each week, but that doesn’t mean we can’t deviate from our routine once in a while. Part of what makes life so exciting is that we can be flexible.
How about you? Are you working from home while homeschooling? What does your routine look like? How do you juggle being a WAHM while homeschooling?
I’d love to hear from you. Meanwhile, hop on over to see how other iHomeschool network moms juggle the different aspects of their lives.