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Working and Homeschooling: 8 Helpful Tips

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.

  1. Make sure you have some downtime each day.  If you don’t, change something to prevent burnout.
  2. Stick to a schedule.  School hours and work hours need to be nailed down or your downtime will suffer. 
  3. 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.
  4. Teach your kids how to do household chores.  This will be necessary if you want your house to look somewhat decent.  
  5. 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.  
  6. 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.  
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

5 Comments:

  1. As I type this my son is here at work with me watching a video on Mayan Civilization since we will be going there this May. It is TOUGH as a single parent working full time and homeschooling my 2nd grader. I have a flexible schedule and have 2-3 mornings off a week when we do the bulk of school work. He comes to work with me and we bring school work along with us. This is seriously the most difficult thing I have ever done and am still sitting the fence on next year. While I would like to continue homeschooling for the 3rd grade I am getting a new boss at work and the unknown there is scaring me.

    • Eclectic Homeschooling

      I agree that it is definitely not an easy thing! I hope you are able to get things worked out with your new boss.

  2. Thank you for this post! I work 30 hours a week, with mostly flexible hours from home, but I’ve often struggled with getting enough work done vs getting enough teaching done. We’ve only been homeschooling since January, but I haven’t quite figured out a good system. I tend to teach in the morning, while logged on to work to handle any problems, then send my son onto independent time, so I can do some work. I have a hard time doing MY work, if I have school work that I want to do with them on my ‘to-do’ list. I need to prioritize! I haven’t set up separate ‘work time’ vs ‘school time’, so I think I will really need to work on that as well, and I think that will help, or shifting work to weekends or maybe school to weekends. I also have to pay a babysitter at least once a week in order to go into the office. I’m really struggling with this balance, because I feel like I can’t ‘set things aside’ well. I just want to get things done right away, and that creates unnecessary stress, but I hate having a long to-do list waiting for me. It was encouraging to read this post to know that other people have been able to work and homeschool successfully, since many homeschool blogs and forums don’t often touch on this subject of working moms.

    • Eclectic Homeschooling

      I’m happy that it was helpful Elaine. 30 hours a week is a challenge, but doable. I’ve found that sticking to work hours and school hours to be very helpful. It allowed me to focus on school during school and work during work time. It isn’t always so cut and dry because needs arise in work or with the kids, but having them separated has helped me.

  3. Another thing important to do is to prioritize. List down all the tasks needed to do and then rank their importance. That way, you can schedule the tasks properly and allot the time needed for it to get accomplished.

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