How do you do it all? I think it’s one of the top questions I get asked when people figure out that I am a working homeschool mom. I guess looking at it from the outside it does look like quite a juggling act. I mean I have two kiddos I homeschool, one who is reasonably independent and one with dyslexia. Then I recently decided to add in my own business, which takes up between 25 to 30 hours of my already busy week. Not to mention my girls are active (okay, EXTREMELY active) kids.
Add in the house, the laundry, the meals, and I guess it probably seems like madness. (And I won’t lie, on some days it is!) However, I have come across some tricks that save my sanity on those busy days. So here are my five tips for keeping your sanity as a working homeschool mom.
Working Homeschool Mom Tip #1 – Outsource
This first one is a biggie because I sometimes think as homeschool moms we feel like we have to do it ALL. This isn’t the case though! Is math causing you undue stress? Outsource it. Struggling to keep up with your house? Outsource it. Find your weak spot and let someone else handle it.
So what do I outsource? Quite a bit actually. Both of my girls use Teaching Textbooks for elementary math, mainly because it was one subject I couldn’t wrap my head around. We also take advantage of the many fantastic courses available from True North Homeschool Academy. My oldest is in LOVE with her writing club and has even made some really good friends from across the country. (See what I just did there? I even outsourced socialization, lol.)
My youngest sees a tutor for her dyslexia and a speech therapist. They are both involved in Scouts, an activity that my mom volunteered to handle for me, so guess what, I let her! So even if it’s hiring someone to walk the dog, outsource what you need to. You don’t have to do it all!
(Related Reading: You don’t have to DIY it all!)
Working Homeschool Mom Tip #2 – Self Care
This one has always been a biggie for me. To stay running at top speed, I have to take care of myself. Yes, there are days when it would be easier to eat a frozen pizza for lunch or skip the workout. I KNOW you are busy, but trust me, make time for it. In the end, it makes me more productive, and I get more accomplished in the day. If I’m dragging it shows in every area of my life.
So set that alarm 20 minutes early, meal prep on the weekends, freezer cook, whatever it takes for you to take care of yourself! While you’re at it, you have my permission for twenty minutes of free time every evening. Take it; the world will survive without you while you regain your sanity.
(Related Reading: Self-Care for the Homeschool Mom)
Working Homeschool Mom Tip #3 – Planning
One of my best secrets to success is planning. Since I’m a work a home mom it’s VERY easy for my productivity to be zapped by refereeing fights, cleaning the kitchen, or deciding that the spices need rearranging instead of working. As I write this, I’m wrestling with the urge to clean out the pantry, but I digress. The best tool in my entire arsenal is my planner, no lie.
At some point every Sunday I plan my weekly to-dos. I check our schedule and mark off times for sports, appointments, church and any other thing we have for the upcoming week. It doesn’t matter how big or small, it all goes in the schedule. From there I add in my work schedule and any other things I need to address during the week, as well as my meal plan.
Do I always accomplish everything on the list? Nope. There are days when we don’t finish math and nights when we eat take out for dinner, but I’m a lot more likely to succeed with a plan in place.
Working Homeschool Mom Tip #4 – Know When To Ask For Help
I have been sooooo guilty of overlooking this one in the past, but I’m getting better as time goes on. The truth is, I can’t do it all (refer back to number 1) and I will kill myself if I try. So I’ve learned to ask for help. My kids and husband help with the house (hey, they live here too) and my daughters both have a pretty good chore schedule. I mean, they have to learn anyway right? Might as well make it work to my advantage now. My hubs is also great to jump in and help. Now before you say yours won’t help, have you nicely asked? They aren’t mind readers ya know 😉
Working Homeschool Mom Tip #5 – Time Management & Saying No
This one is probably the HARDEST for me. As a busy working homeschool mom, you have to know when to say no. There are thousands of opportunities out there, and a lot of them are great things. Volunteering at church….a great idea, working at an animal shelter….awesome, the Robotics Club that meets twice a week…..that sounds amazing. Guess what though; they are also all things that I don’t have time for right now.
I’ve spent YEARS feeling guilty over those things. Trust me, let it go. Maybe someday the time will open for those activities, and I will tackle them with all the tenacity I have the other things in my life, but not today. Today I am a working homeschool mom. This is the season of life that I am. I am embracing it, and I would rather be good at a few things than mediocre at many.
(Related Reading: Keep it Simple Homeschool Mom)
So there you go, my top tips for working homeschool moms. Are you a working homeschool mom? What would you add?