7 Tips for Successfully Working Life Around Homeschool
When I first began homeschooling I thought we needed a textbook for every subject, lots of worksheets, and enough busy work to fill several hours. I thought we either needed to be working life around homeschool or homeschool around life. I soon learned that doesn’t have to be the case and there are ways we handle life’s hiccups and still go on homeschooling. Here are some tips to help you and your family work your lives around your homeschool days.
Working life around homeschool with your family’s current routine.
If you’re having a difficult time trying to figure out a good routine for your family, maybe you should work with what is working right now. Take some time to sit down and write out what your day looks like. Be realistic. Don’t write out what you wished it looked like. Remember, you’re working toward making things better, not overwhelming yourself by completely upending your days.
You could also monitor and journal your routine for a couple of weeks and look at your routine that way.
Keep in mind that all of your time doesn’t have to be assigned to tasks. This is part of being able to handle “life” when it unexpectedly pops up.
Work with what’s working.
If you notice that your mornings are really hectic, you may find that homeschooling in the afternoon works best for you, or vice versa.
Families with little ones may have to work around nap schedules and mealtimes. There’s nothing wrong with doing that and it can provide for a much-needed break or time to work one-on-one with kids that are struggling.
Likewise, homeschooling in the evening is also an option for working parents as long as the child is rested enough to focus on the task at hand. Read more about How to Homeschool and Work and get more ideas of how to be productive in your day if you are a work-at-home-parent or if you go to work.
Don’t consider your routine set in concrete.
Life happens! School should be able to fall in line with what’s happening around you, not you conforming to school. There are so many missed opportunities for learning when you overlook the real-life experiences your child has the opportunity to participate in daily. And, they miss opportunities to grow as people.
There are a multitude of things that could happen in a family’s daily life that would throw off a good routine. Staying calm and being flexible is important. It also shows your kids that sometimes things don’t happen as we plan and that’s ok. If we don’t bend when days are hard, we’ll break.
Save time when you can.
One way I do this, is to make double batches of our supper meals and freeze half for a later date. I use MyFreezEasy to help with that. It’s helped me to have a variety of meals on our menu and to get ahead on our meal planning from week to week.
I also use Walmart Grocery Pickup to help me save time as well as money. (No more impulse purchases.) I do our meal planning and online grocery shopping on Thursday morning and schedule pickup for Friday. My husband’s work is 15 minutes away from our closest Walmart and he picks it up for me before he comes home. That saves me time, our house is 45 minutes away, giving me more time to keep up with housekeeping or other end of the week duties.
Combining homeschool subjects when possible.
If you can combine homeschool subjects whenever possible, it makes working life around homeschool so much easier. And, again, saves valuable time.
How can you do this?
Sometimes it’s easier to do this with younger children, but can be done with older ones too.
Find a good historical fiction story and BOOM! You’ve got reading and history all-in-one. If that historical story has some mathematical aspect to it, such as discussing how far it is from New York to California, you’ve got your math lesson thrown in too by figuring mileage or how far you could travel in a day’s time nowadays compared to how long it would’ve taken in an earlier time.
Implement student-led or independent learning for working life around homeschool.
When you implement student-led or independent learning in your homeschool it frees up your time for other things. This is especially helpful if you are working from home.
It’s very rare that our curriculum stays the same two years in a row, because I try to roll with whatever is happening in our lives at the present time. But, one thing that we pretty much use every year for one grade level or another are ACE Paces. (This is where I buy ours. It’s the most affordable place I could find.) They’ve allowed me to be able to work from home for a couple of businesses over the course of our homeschooling journey. My kids, that are old enough to read, can work through their work for the day and either swap with a sibling when it comes time for corrections or lay it on the table for me to check later.
Learning from life experiences and the freedom to find our own path.
By working life around our homeschool days, my kids are able to learn from their life experiences and interactions with others. They’re also able to explore their own interests and find out what they’re God-given talents are. They can build on these and find their own path.
We need to be able to help our children find out who they are as well as what they want to do with their lives while fostering our relationships with them and helping them build a strong relationship with Christ.
By being able to juggle our days as necessary, it frees me up for whatever life throws at us any given day. It also helps my kids to know that things may not always go as planned, but having the ability to be flexible is one of the many reasons homeschooling is the right choice for many families.