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Family dynamics look much different than they did many years ago. Fast forward to today’s society and you’ll often see that parents are juggling both working and homeschooling.
Although some families have steered clear of even attempting this journey, I’m here to tell you that not only is it possible, you can have a successful career or business AND give your children the education you hope for them.
However, you do need to get very intentional and focused to manage both well. Use these tips to get started.
5 Tips for Successfully Working and Homeschooling
Tip #1: Make the commitment to do both
Before taking the leap of faith, you must decide that homeschooling and working is something that you want to do. Your want can be backed by a need, but even then it’s still a choice.
Along with choosing to continue a career, launch a home-based business or build an existing one while homeschooling, you need to establish a growth mindset. And you just might need to work on methods to overcome any “stinking thinking – negative thoughts that just drag you down.
In my experience as a work from home homeschooling mom, there will be hard days. And at times you may feel like you’ve made the wrong decision. This is when you remind yourself of all the reasons why you made the choice to work and homeschool your children.
In fact, I have a dog-eared list of my reasons for homeschooling and building businesses. I keep it tucked inside my Push Journal and refer to it on the tough days.
It’s important to take time to reframe your thinking when you feel exhausted, overwhelmed, or inadequate. You might need to accept that the season you’re in is a challenge. Yet it’s temporary.
Soon things will be different. And you’ll find that everyone in your family is entering into a new season in which things will need to change a bit yet again. Do yourself (and your family) a favor and throw out any unrealistic expectations as early as possible!
Tip #2: Put yourself first
I know, I know. In the back of every parent’s mind is their children come first. We subconsciously parent from this perspective and end up dropping everything at the moment our children need something. This is the number one reason why you see so many people preaching self-care. And the sad reality is it shouldn’t really be an issue.
If we don’t take care of ourselves, it will be hard to be the mom we need to be for our children. Let alone the person we need to be for our spouse, and our clients, customers, or readers.
I once heard a wise woman tell me that you can’t pour from an empty cup. Therefore, take care of yourself, and don’t hesitate to put yourself first.
Schedule in time to do bible study, pray, meditate, workout, have lunch with a girlfriend – or whatever WFH homeschool mom self-care practices you need to help you take care of yourself. You need it!
Tip #3: Teach important life skills
Another way to look at the definition of success when it comes to homeschooling and working is to consider your opportunity to really influence your child’s life.
Every day now, you have the change to teach you children important self-sufficiency skills. Children are capable of doing a lot more than we sometimes give them credit for.Aand oftentimes they are ready to take on a new chore or learn a new skill before we make it a “thing.”
Of course, life skills should be age-appropriate, but when introduced and fine-tuned, your children will be able to help you by helping themselves. And depending on your work life, you might even find the chance to teach them handy work/life or business skills.
Start with small tasks and gradually add on as you see fit. Look for opportunities to give them more independent homeschooling assignments. Also, think beyond the homeschooling box.
What can your child do that will help with other areas? Can they sort, start, or even do laundry? How about washing the dishes? Meal prep? Feeding the pets?
Find ways for your child to help out and even filter that over into homeschooling. Get creative and let them help you choose things they can do.
Tip #4: Create routines and schedules for working and homeschooling
From the smallest of families to the largest ones, I truly believe that everyone thrives from embracing a routine or schedule. When working and homeschooling, creating these will be key to your sanity. Your children will know what to expect and there won’t be many unnecessary hiccups.
Create a daily work and homeschool routine or schedule with your family’s normal day-to-day operations in mind. Include everything you can think of and give it a space on your routine (or schedule). Allow for flexibility and make changes when necessary. Keep in mind that unforeseen circumstances happen, so don’t get overwhelmed if/when they do.
Tip #5: Schedule family time
You are more than a work from home and homeschooling mom. You are also a parent.
One common new homeschool parent mistake is forgetting this. That’s why it’s so important to take time to have fun with your children. Just hang out and be silly. Even if this means scheduling in 10 minutes of “silly time” with each child. (And while we are on the subject, I got this idea from Amy McCready of Positive Parenting Solutions. She is one of my favorite parenting experts.)
Families build better relationships when they spend uninterrupted time together. As the holiday season approaches, this could mean taking 15 minutes a day to work on some simple Christmas activities together. Or schedule in a family game night, family date night, or even make it a “thing” to eat dinner together every night.
Use this time to communicate and conversate about what’s going on in life and for open conversations. Don’t make it formal. Just enjoy spending time together. Of course, this means turning off phones and any other distractions so you can focus on enjoying time with one another.
These simple, yet powerful tips have helped me in my WFH and homeschooling life. Give them a try. I know they’ll help make working and homeschooling less stressful and more pleasant.