I’ve been a homeschooling parent – except for a brief flirtation with public school – for the past several years. For six of those years, I’ve also been a work-at-home mom.
Recently, though, something has changed – I’ve become a homeschooling mom who works full-time.
If you’d told me years ago when I left the workforce that I’d end up returning along WITH my four children, I’d have thought you were insane. But eleven years later, here we are.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it: It’s been challenging to adjust to this new lifestyle. But I really think I’ve found the secret to homeschooling and working full time and I’m sharing it today!
Image: c/o Tinatin1 / depositphotos
Why Homeschooling and Working Full Time is So Hard
This is a no-brainer, right? It’s hard because there’s only one you and there are kids, lesson plans, work deadlines, clients, assignments, grades, exams, and state reports to deal with – and that’s not all!
In the past when I’ve worked from home, I’ve had to pull full-time shifts for a short amount of time. But in those situations, I had the freedom to move my schedule around and get my work done when the kids were sleeping.
Now, though, I’m working both inside and outside the home. So I have less flexibility than I did before. Plus, my children accompany me to work. (I have a very understanding supervisor.) But that means keeping them still and quiet while I try to do my job. And that’s not easy.
The Secret to Homeschooling and Working Full Time
It’s really taken a few months to get the hang of this and I still can’t say that I’ve totally “got it”. But I have uncovered a huge secret that makes homeschooling and working full time easier. Are you ready to learn what it is?
I outsource every single task I can to my children. And that includes choosing school assignments, doing housework, making meals, and completing lessons. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I only spend about five hours a week actually “teaching”. And that has greatly freed up my time to get my other responsibilities done.
After I started working outside the home, I explained to the kids that I would be contributing to the household in a new way: by earning additional money we could use to take a vacation, go to the aquarium, buy clothes, and so on. And that it was time for them to contribute to the household a bit more as well. 😉
For example, when it comes to housework, there are three chores that have to be done every single day and were taking up way too much of my time: laundry, cooking, and dishes. I rotate these tasks among my three oldest kids each week.
So one week, Tigger will prepare breakfast and lunch during the day, Roo will do the laundry, and Pooh will wash the dishes. Then the next week, they rotate.
Of course, they’re not skilled enough to be left to do all of these things without supervision, so I’m always nearby to keep an eye on them. But their daily chores are part of their school day, which is a win-win for everyone!
For more tips on planning and scheduling your homeschool, check out some of our other posts!
Get even more encouragement for planning your homeschool year from my Homeschool Planning board on Pinterest!
Are you homeschooling and working full time? Let us know how you do it!