Balance homeschool and work - Business Savvy Mama

How to Balance Homeschool and Work Like a Mom Boss

Looking to balance homeschool and work from home?

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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.

Grab your free School Day Template to help create your daily routine by clicking here.

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.

For tips for getting kids to entertain themselves, check out my
Independence Skills for Independent Kids system.

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. 👇👇👇


Grab my free mini-course “10 Tips for Working While Kids are Home” here!

Want more support around time management, productivity, and working mom mindset? Join my free Early Morning Moms Facebook Group.

organizing your workspace

Organizing Your Workspace with The Simplifiers

Let’s talk organizing your workspace…

Would you consider your office calm or chaotic? Do you find you can be productive at your desk? Does your workspace set up work for you? Or are you often working in another space or wasting time searching for documents, files, or supplies? Read on to see how organizing your workspace can help you with productivity and time management. And a bit of sanity.

Last Summer, I appeared on the UK-based podcast The Simplifiers with host Mary Baird-Wilcock. Mary and I discussed where to start creating a system to organize your space, how to manage paper, and how to maintain your efforts.

Even if you feel completely comfortable in a chaotic workspace, a few tweaks here and there will help you with efficiency and productivity. And show your boss you care. 😉 You can watch my interview with Mary below:

Here are some of the highlights from my discussion with Mary:

Creating Organizing Systems in Your Workspace

  • Organizing your space is personal to your style and preferences. If something isn’t working for you, tweak it or try something different. There is something out there that will work for you.
  • Keep it simple at the beginning. Baby steps make creating new habits easier. And it will be easier to maintain.
  • To figure out your personal system, start by figuring out the basics you NEED to do your work. Put those items in the closest proximity to your workspace.
  • Next, figure out what items you use occasionally. Things you access on a weekly or monthly basis. Those items can be placed further away from your primary workspace. But still convenient enough to access when you need them.
  • Finally, determine what items would be rarely needed. Create a space out of the way for archival and reference items. This way you have them on hand if you need them. But they aren’t cluttering up your prime workspace.
  • Schedule a specific time to organize and reset your workspace. This will ensure you can follow all the steps of pulling items out, sorting like with like, purging what you don’t need, and assigning where items will now live.

Just because a system is working, doesn’t mean it couldn’t work better.

Organizing Paper in Your Workspace

  • Touch paper as few times as possible when it arrives on your desk. Break it into 3 categories:
    • Recycle or pitch items you know you won’t need or need to address.
    • File or assign items that have a specific place or person to process them
    • Determine a course of action for items that need attention. Consider using desktop files with action words for the labels. Words like “email”, “call”, or pay work well.
  • Determine your best method for storing paper. Are you a piler or a filer? It doesn’t matter how you keep it. Just create a specific place for items to go so you, and those in your office, will know where to find it when you need it.

Organizing is about retrieval of information at a moments notice.

Organizing Maintenance for Your Workspace

  • How do you maintain the space you’ve spent time organizing? You have to make the time to do it.
  • Schedule time for regular resets to refresh the space. It is also a great time to tweak systems to make sure they are working for you.
  • The more often you reset the space, the less time it will take.

You do not just get organized…it’s the development of organizing skills.

Organizing your workspace will help you find what you need. It will help you do more in less time. You will feel more in control and less stress. Organizing your workspace is always worth the time investment.


Grab my free mini-course “10 Tips for Working While Kids are Home” here!

Want more support around time management, productivity, and working mom mindset? Join my free Early Morning Moms Facebook Group.

Working Mom Productivity - Wake Up Early

Why You Should Wake Up Early

I love waking up at 5:30am. Yes, you read that right.

Even though I’m a mom who values every minute of sleep I can get…I love it. The benefits of waking up early by far outweigh the occasional bleary eyes.

Tell me if this sounds familiar…You’re tired of scrambling, switching tasks, and never crossing items off your to-do list. I can totally relate. A little over 2 years ago I suffered from the exact same thing. Spinning my wheels constantly but never moving forward. Until I discovered the art of the morning routine.

I never thought of myself as a morning person. And when my coach suggested I start waking up before my kids a few years back, I laughed at her. Turns out, she was right. I now relish the quiet way I am able to start my day my way.

How Waking Up Early Helps You

When my coach suggested I wake up earlier than my kids to get things done, I thought she didn’t understand my mom life. I mean, getting up earlier means I have to go to bed earlier. And evening are the only time I can see my husband. Plus, what could I possibly do in the wee hours of the morning that could benefit my day? I mean, the brain fog was bad enough when I woke at 7:30 am, the thought of 5:30 am was crazy.

But I was willing to give a little. Soon I was waking a half-hour earlier than my boys. I was having my coffee quiet and replying to emails. Or posting on social media. Next thing I know, I’m waking at 6:30 am to edit podcasts, plan live chats, or create pins for Pinterest. And here we are 2 years later waking up 2 hours earlier with a full-fledged morning routine including all kinds of work and even self-care…which was sorely lacking in my life previously.

Do you find yourself lacking self-care time? Needing time to work in a more focused manner? Just looking to get more done around your house? Maybe give waking earlier a try.

How Waking Up Early Helps Your Kids

I’m not the only benefitting from my improved focus, self-care, and productivity. Turns out when I spend a little time on myself, I’m a much better morning mom. You moms know what I mean. The frantic “where are your shoes?” “What do you mean you have homework still?” “Will you eat something, please?!?” kind of mornings. I went from multi-tasking mom to mom who has conversations with her kids at breakfast.

It turns out, my kids want to have good mornings too. They aren’t trying to be jerks and interrupt me while I’m writing emails. They want me to show an interest in their day. And I want to show an interest in their day. I feel like I can fulfill their need for engagement because I don’t feel pressured to work and mom at breakfast.

So not only does my waking early help me with productivity, it helps me spend focused time with my boys in the morning. I can have my coffee while they eat breakfast without rushing to write and email or post on social media. We all can start our day in a positive way.

I’m even contemplating moving my wake-up time to 5 am once the sun starts shining earlier here in the Midwest. I see so many personal and productivity benefits to my morning hours, I want to take every advantage of my focused mornings. How about you? What’s your wake-up routine like?


Grab my free mini-course “10 Tips for Working While Kids are Home” here!

Want more support around time management, productivity, and working mom mindset? Join my free Early Morning Moms Facebook Group.