Looking to balance homeschool and work from home?
This week, I want to give you strategies to balance work from home and homeschool for all those mamas out there who might be gearing up to homeschool or distance learning.
Today we are going to talk about what you need to be doing NOW to get your routine in place to work from home and homeschool. And from what I see around social media, there are LOTS of moms out there who will need to balance this is some way, shape or form. It could mean full-time homeschool. Or maybe in class part-time. And possibly preparing in case your kids are heading back but there is that chance that they may be home for school at some point. My tips today will help you create a structure and routine so everyone knows expectations, what needs done when, and that everyone in the family has what they need to get their work done…whether that work is school work or mom work.
Want to know what will make you most successful when it comes to the balancing act? Taking time now to pre-plan by creating structure and getting very clear on what your work and home priorities. Winging it does not work for running a business. It often does not work for family life. And based on what I read in many Facebook groups, winging it while homeschooling and trying to run a business or work from home does not work either.
The steps we are going to talk about today may be different from what you tried in the Spring because now we have some time to plan. At least we know what is coming or have an idea of what to expect. We can start to create a structure for our success. We know what worked or did not work in the past. And we can add or subtract or change where necessary.
Can I Balance Homeschool and Work?
I know there may be mamas out there feeling anxiety over what the school year will look like. Maybe you felt overwhelmed in the Spring. Maybe you feel like your kids will fall behind and that you will be blamed for their loss of education. There is understandably a lot of fear around being responsible for the education for your kids. You might also be stressed because there are literally not enough hours in the day to do everything. Like the only thing that can make this situation any better would be a cloning machine…or a fast forward button.
But implementing the steps we are talking about today you can feel confident in your efforts. You will know when your kids will be working, when you are working, and what the expectations for your family. And you can actually feel accomplished in your day because you focus your time on completing your priority tasks.
And having a daily schedule will help everyone in your house to know the expectations. As I’ve said before and I’ll say again…kids thrive on structure and routine. Clearly defining expectations helps diffuse arguments and helps everyone complete their work.
And when there is less confusion, frustration, yelling, or questions, the family will feel more calm. And they will get more done. There are clear and stated expectations for every day. And when those tasks are completed, you’re free to do whatever socially distanced, family activities you want. Right?
So what exactly is this framework or structure I’m talking about? Well, here are the 4 pillars I use to complete my work while balancing school.
Create a Clearly Defined Daily Schedule
First, I create a clearly defined daily schedule. I know what I am doing when. And my kids know their schedule too. I know I wake up at 5 am and I will be working on XYZ until they wake. They know at breakfast we will go over their assignment for the day. We talk about what is due today. And what we can move until later in the week if we don’t get it done.
I also make sure I set reminders on my phone for Zoom calls or important project due dates. You also do this on a written calendar. But it’s just easy for me to tell my digital assistant to add a reminder or task to my calendar.
One final note when it comes to a daily schedule…I found it helpful to write down the assignments that were due each day. Kind of like what I would do for my daily to-do list. I would check the apps our teachers used when we were eating breakfast to create our daily workflow. And to make your school day planning easier, I’ve created a link to a customizable worksheet on Canva. This is like the one I use so you can implement a similar plan and structure. I’ve made it so you can customize it with your kid’s names and subjects. Print it out daily. Or you can do like I did and laminate it so you can reuse the same copy.
Start Practicing Your Routine Now
Speaking of implementing a plan and routine, my second pillar is to start practicing your new schedule now. Summer may have lead to later evenings, later mornings, and a willy nilly meal schedule. But think about how schools run their day…there is a clear pattern of events. A bell rings. You have announcements. You eat your lunch at a certain time. Have recess at a certain time. By a few weeks in, even the youngest kids know the flow of the day and expectations.
That is why it is so key for you to start to work on your “school day” schedule. Start waking at regular times. eating at regular times. Maybe even include some reading or learning to wake those brain muscles back up if they’ve also been on break. And to be clear, I am not suggesting a super rigid schedule down to the minute…unless of course that is what works best for your family. Create a simple schedule now like: wake at 8 am. Eat breakfast until 9 am. Read between 9 and 10. Do some sort of physical activity from 10-11…Work a structure back in place to help you succeed when actual assignments start coming in from your school.
Know Your Priorities
My third pillar is priorities…for both your work and your kids’ schoolwork, it is vital that you know what is due when. You have to know what MUST be done first. This way you aren’t struggling to file a report while your kid is struggling to write a report.
Knowing due dates, getting them on your schedule, making time to focus on them will help knock those important to-do’s off your list. You may even be able to bring in help or enlist a spouse or older child. For instance, if you have an urgent project that needs completing at the same time your kid will need help. This is why you need to know when those priorities are due. Remember proper preparation prevents poor performance. Know your priorities, get them on the schedule, and get help when things feel overwhelming.
Give Yourself Grace
Finally, you need to give yourself some grace. Actually, a lot of grace. Many of us tackling homeschool or distance learning didn’t expect to be teachers. Obviously there are going to be days when school or work is easier than others. As evidenced by the multitude of social media posts I saw last Spring, many of you worried not only about the education of your child, but about your relationship with you children…which in many cases never included teaching math or science. Do your best…make a structure, stick to a routine, know your expectations, clarify the expectations for your kids, and complete priority tasks.
Take some time today to map out what your day might look like once school starts…If it hasn’t started already. Create a loose schedule. Talk to your kids about what it will look like. Talk to them about your needs to work from home and what you expect of them. And as soon as you can, start implementing a framework. Include wake up time, meal times, and of course, play times. And don’t forget to grab my free download to help you organize your daily assignments. You can grab that by clicking here.
Got a great tip to share how you balance homeschool and work? Please share in the comments below. 👇👇👇