Every week, the same question comes up in one Facebook group or another: “Does anyone here work from home and homeschool?” A chorus of responses rolls out with every kind of answer. Some homeschoolers work a farm while homeschooling, some parents run an Etsy shop full of beautiful hand-made products. Some sell essential oils, make-up, or health supplements. Some work as a VA or an editor. Some are transcriptionists, some are writers, and some run in-home daycares. In this day and age, and in this economy, I suspect many more homeschooling parents work part-time or full-time than they perhaps did in the past. I’m one of them.
I don’t exactly know what my succinct job title would be, but it runs the gamut from website and graphic design to ghost writing to film editing to social media management to passive income strategist, and a handful of things in between. I work with several clients on half a dozen (vastly different) businesses and one day’s tasks rarely resemble another’s. I love that–it’s by design. But it certainly presents a unique challenge when homeschooling and, my friends, I’m still learning that balance every day.
One thing I have learned is that I have to take my windows where I can get them. That means starting early, working through rest times, and going late. It means being okay with constant interruptions, which I actually hate, but I’m learning to roll with it. And it means working seven days a week, every single week. To me, it’s all worth it. For all those mommas asking about working from home while homeschooling, I thought I would put together a “day-in-the-life” post to show you what my version looks like.
5:00am: Pry eyes open with very strong coffee.
5:30am: Yoga with Adriene on YouTube (it’s free and it keeps me sane.)
6:00am: Momma hike with the dogs
6:30am: Coffee, candle, and power hour work session before everyone else wakes up
7:30am: The littles are up! Breakfast, morning basket, and get dressed for the day.
9:00 am: Morning lessons. These lessons are varied and short, and we can fit a lot into this 45-minute session. (Thank you Charlotte Mason!)
10:15 am: By now, morning lessons are done and the girls have plenty of time for free play while I finish up my AM tasks and try to get some laundry done. (I thought about tidying up before taking this shot, but hey–if I’m showing you real life, I ought to keep it real, yes?) On a good day, we take this chunk of our day outside.
11:30 am: For several reasons, Blake goes to a classical charter school for a few hours in the afternoon. It hasn’t changed much about what we work on at homeschool, and it’s working for our family in this season of our lives.
12:00 pm: I work with Brice one-on-one with our Blossom and Root Early Years Vol. 2 curriculum. She is doing great! I think having this alone time with me is really great for both of us.
12:45 pm: We eat lunch and I put Brice down for her nap. For the next hour and a half, I try to get as much done as humanly possible.
2:30 pm: I get Brice up and we leave to pick up Blake.
3:15 pm: After picking Blake up, we stop by the library so I can grab a bunch of books I had on hold. We hit the library at least once a week.
4:30 pm: I set the girls up for some free painting on the deck while I try to get some of my PM tasks completed.
5:00 pm: I’m ready for a brain-break. This is my favorite time of the day–outside free play and nature study. Sometimes we get a session of this in during the morning too, but on this particular day, it had to wait for the afternoon. The fresh air and sunshine do us all good.
6:30 pm: We head home to take a nice, hot bath and to eat dinner.
7:30 pm: We wrap up the day with one more evening lesson (it was Mystery Science on this particular day.)
8:30 pm: Girls are tucked into bed, and we read through our bedtime basket.
9:00 pm: I decompress for a few minutes before starting on my last work session for the night.
11:30 pm: I call it a night and shut everything down before crashing into bed.
Not every day looks exactly like this one did. My husband works from home, too, so he is often available to help with drop-off or pick-up. Brice goes to my mom’s preschool across town a couple of mornings each week. And our weekends are very different–I try to keep weekend days open for family only, and save my work for early morning and late night. We do a pretty significant chunk of our homeschooling on the weekend, and try our best to be outside for most of it. Nature (outside free play, nature study, nature-based S.T.E.A.M., and nature lore) takes the front seat in our homeschool, so as long as we’re fitting this in, I’m a happy momma.
There are a few rules-of-thumb I follow to keep things running smoothly:
- I need my quiet “momma time” every morning. If I don’t do it, things are a lot bumpier during the day. It can be really hard to wake up early to do it, but it’s always worth it and I truly regret it when it gets skipped.
- I embrace the Charlotte Mason principles of short, varied lessons and ample free and outdoor play for my young ones. This style of homeschool works so well for us, and it actually fits beautifully while I work on building our little business.
- I have “no-tech” times during the day. Since my job requires me to be on the computer on the phone pretty much the entire time I’m working, I set strict times when I set them aside to unplug (especially during weekend days.)
- I stay flexible, try to set realistic expectations, and go with the flow. I am honestly still learning to do this, but it’s essential. Julie Bogart (of Brave Writer) has helped me immensely with this. Her blog posts and podcasts have really given me perspective about what homeschool can look like. I highly recommend them!
- I embrace the idea that learning happens all day long, in many bursts, rather than all in one go. Our morning and bedtime baskets really help us to fit everything in without overwhelming us. (You can read about my morning basket by clicking here and my bedtime basket by clicking here.) And I take free play and outside time very seriously–it’s every bit as important as our lesson times.
Want to see what a typical day looks like for other homeschooling parents? Click the image below to check out these great posts by other homeschool bloggers:
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