When I first started homeschooling I was working 60 hour weeks for my own business. There wasn’t an option to cut back on hours and I knew homeschooling was the best choice for my son. 7 years have passed and my work situation has changed many times. Through the years we have managed to make homeschooling work for full-time and part-time work.
When I was working 60 hour weeks, I worked from home so that cut out the commute time. I just walked downstairs and started work. My husband and I were able to make it work because he was the primary caretaker while I was at work. He managed all the shopping,errands (including ones for the business), and household chores too. I carved out 3 hours in my day that was reserved for homeschooling. I love spending time with my kids so this time was precious and was more like a break than extra work to me.
About a year and a half after I started homeschooling, I sold my business and was no longer working. Of course this made it much easier to homeschool. After a year off I started working for my former company doing some freelance work. These hours were limited and I could usually accomplish them on the weekend with very little impact on our homeschooling.
I continued working for my former company and as the years have passed the work load has increased. It is not something that I can relegate to a few hours on the weekend. Instead, I need to budget a couple hours into each school day.
Working and homeschooling can get overwhelming and lead to burnout if you aren’t careful. Here are some pointers I’ve found helpful in my journey.
- Make sure you have some downtime each day. If you don’t, change something to prevent burnout.
- Stick to a schedule. School hours and work hours need to be nailed down or your downtime will suffer.
- If a week requires more work hours than usual, be creative with homeschooling. We have done a lot of projects and subjects that can be done independently on super busy weeks.
- Teach your kids how to do household chores. This will be necessary if you want your house to look somewhat decent.
- Encourage independent work. While I typically use teacher-involved curriculum, I have an hour built-in to the end of the school day that I call “independent time”. During this time my kids can learn anything they want. It is their favorite part of the school day. I work during this hour.
- Cut down on outside commitments. Realize that play dates, activities, volunteer opportunities, etc will take away from school time or work time or both – which could also mean that your downtime has been eliminated. Pick and choose wisely.
- Work on the weekend if possible. If you have flexibility in work hours, work some hours on the weekend to save time during the week.
- Realize your limits. Nobody can do it all.
If you have any helpful tips about working and homeschooling, please add them to the comment section.