One question we are often asked is: How do you balance homeschooling while working at home? While there is no easy or one-size-fits-all answer, we are excited to share several ways that we’ve used to help you figure out how to balance homeschooling with your business.
Being a homeschool, work-at-home family can be both rewarding and challenging. While it is true that juggling both pursuits can be complex, that doesn’t mean it is impossible. With a healthy dose of determination and some intentional efforts, you can build a business you love while also investing in your child’s education. Today we’re going to share some strategies have that have helped us balance homeschooling as a work-at-home family.
Balance Homeschooling While Working at Home
Start the Day Off Strong
We find that on the days when we have a good rhythm right from the time we open our eyes, it sets the tone for the day. You don’t have to do the exact same thing every day, but you should have some type of morning routine that makes sense and flows well. Something that you can do without having to expend too much energy to get started. It may take a bit of trial and error to figure out what works and what doesn’t, but once you do get it figured out, it makes things so much easier.
Eat That Frog
There is a saying by Mark Twain that if the first thing you do in the morning is to eat a live frog, then eat the biggest one first so you can go through the rest of the day knowing that the worst is already behind you. We don’t know about you, but knowing that we have already crossed off the biggest or hardest thing on our to-do list always makes us feel less stressed and more productive. So make it a point to stop putting the hard tasks off and just go ahead and get them out of the way as early in the day as you can. Because the truth is you aren’t going to want to do them later either, and a relaxed homeschool allows for this type of flexibility.
We know that this may be easier said than done for some of us, but it really is worth it to make a concerted effort to get organized. We often talk to busy moms (whether they homeschool, work from home, or both) who are stressed out every single day. They have different amounts of children. Different tasks on their to-do lists. Different goals. However, one thing that many of them report is that they lack a level of organization that makes things flow more smoothly.
If you find yourself constantly scrambling around because you overbooked your day, forgot about important things, or just can’t find what you need, it is probably time to figure out an organizational system that works for you. Invest in some organizational tools, such as our favorite homeschool planner, or a business planner (the Living Well Planner is what I use), and learning from seasoned professionals that can help you get started.
Create Clear Boundaries
Another thing that many moms struggle with is setting boundaries. Not just for others, but for ourselves. We must know what helps us and what hinders us. Once we know these things we can work to maximize the things that help us move forward, while minimizing (or outright eliminating) the things that hold us back or get in our way.
Be firm on what you want and what you will not accept. Say no to things that don’t fit your mission. Set office hours for your business and stick to them. Make sure the people in your life honor your time as well. Set goals for how much time you will spend homeschooling and how much time you will spend with your family. When you get to the point where you are creating and enforcing clear boundaries, you’d be amazed by how your quality of life improves.
Although we all have varying degrees of introversion and extroversion, one fact remains true – humans need other humans. We are, by nature, social beings who thrive when we have people in our lives who are positive, encouraging, and uplifting. Conversely, when we’re surrounded by negative people who suck our energy dry, it has a really debilitating effect over time. Cut out the negative people and focus on those people that you can lean on for support.
We find it helpful to have support systems for various aspects of my life. For example, you could have a network of moms, one of homeschool friends, and one of people who are entrepreneurs. If you have someone who falls into multiple categories, that is even better. They will be able to provide you with added support from the point of view of someone who really understands.
Engage in Self-Care
Listen: If you are not taking care of yourself, you can’t take care of your family or your business. At least not at maximum capacity. Burnout is real and it will kill your business, your drive, and your health. When you are feeling overwhelmed that is not a sign that you need to work harder to figure things out. However, it’s a good idea to periodically reassess the way you do things.
Overwhelm is usually a sign that you need to slow down, recharge, and reset. Figure out what things you can do to accomplish these three goals. Then make time to do them! It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or complex. It can be as simple as reading for pleasure, taking a bubble bath, listening to music, or exercise. Whatever helps you to relieve some stress and feel better. Don’t put it off. Schedule in some “me time” today!
What do you struggle with the most when it comes to juggling homeschooling while working at home? Which of the above tips do you plan to implement? Let us know in the comments below!