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Note from Lisa: Trying to juggle homeschooling and working from home? You’re in luck – Kacie is here with some great tips for the homeschooling WAHM!
Take it away Kacie…
So you’re wondering how to manage being a homeschooling WAHM? Is it even possible?
Let me start by saying being a homeschooling mom while working at home can be a daunting task. Trust me.
I know, because I’m currently in the trenches. It can be a bit tricky to balance all the demands of working and homeschooling simultaneously. But, friend, with a little intention and strategy, it is possible.
(Emphasis on intention and strategy). Seriously- because you need both in order to save your sanity and be successful in this venture.
Luckily, I’ve compiled a list of strategies for you! These particular strategies have made all the difference in this journey of working at home while homeschooling.
Manage Your Time Wisely
Set time for school and work tasks. Create a schedule that separates the two.
Calendars, to-do lists, and time management apps can help keep you organized and on track. Never underestimate the power of managing your time.
And you know I’m gonna say it- don’t work or homeschool with your phone nearby. If you have text alerts or notification sounds on, you will get distracted.
And worse- if you’re actively scrolling on social media during work or homeschool. If that’s you, you might as well forget being productive or staying on task. It will get you every time. Or… at least that’s been my experience.
“Time is what we want most but what we use worst”.William Penn
Set Routines as a Homeschooling WAHM.
Establish a daily routine that includes a dedicated time for school work and work tasks.
This creates a sense of structure and organization, making it easier to stay on track.
One approach is to use time blocking. Time blocking is a time management method setting designated blocks of time for specific tasks.
I find setting designated times for school work, work tasks, and breaks helps me to be more efficient when meeting my daily goals as a homeschooling WAHM.
Create a Designated Work Space
It’s important to create a designated workspace for both work and schooling.
This can help to create a clear separation between the different responsibilities, keeping you focused on the task at hand. I have a desk I use for my blog and freelance work, and I homeschool at our kitchen table.
I don’t work on my writing during homeschool time and I don’t homeschool during work time. Making that one change helped me refrain from being so scattered when trying to accomplish one or the other.
Focus on one task at a time, and don’t move on until it is completed.
Let’s go ahead and state the obvious- when it comes to moms and dinner time, there are 2 types.
The one who plans ahead and knows exactly what’s for dinner.
The one who does some last minute scrambling trying to find something to make for dinner, when she ultimately gets exhausted and grabs a pizza instead.
Which one are you?
If you are dinner time mom number 2- no judgment- so was I. And I will tell you that learning to become dinner time mom number 1 is going to change the game.
There is nothing more exhausting after a long day of homeschooling, work, caring for littles, cleaning the house, etc. than rushing around and making last minute dinner plans.
When I have a plan, my evenings are so much smoother. And I actually look forward to feeding my family when it’s already there waiting for me.
Meal Planning can look like…
- Organizing and scheduling meals in advance.
- Creating menu.
- Making a grocery list.
- Preparing meals ahead of time.
Meal planning is done on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis, depending on your schedule and preferences. We plan our meals ahead of time because it saves time by eliminating the need to make decisions (and let’s be honest, we are flooded with decisions on a daily basis).
Purchasing necessary ingredients in advance reduces the need to make last-minute trips to the store. Meal planning allows you to be more organized and efficient with your time as a busy homeschooling WAHM.
As a Homeschooling WAHM, Choose Open and Go Curriculum
This simple hack changes everything.
Open and go curriculum is a term referring to educational materials that are easily accessible without requiring extensive preparation and planning.
With everything you already have on your plate, why throw extra planning and prepping lessons into the mix?
Choosing an open and go curriculum cuts out all the guesswork and allows you to simplify your homeschool. We love simple over here!
Have Activities On Hand (To Keep Your Children Occupied)
Why is this not talked about enough?
Not having a plan for our time was one of the biggest challenges I faced when we began our homeschool journey.
When my children completed their assignments for the day, they got bored during all the extra free time. And I dunno about your children, but when mine are bored, they start picking at each other. Next, comes the dreaded tattling that drives me absolutely bananas. It was a domino effect of madness.
I know I’m not the only one.
Having activities on hand saved my sanity, especially on those slower days. Coloring/Drawing, art supplies, educational shows or YouTube Channels, books, puzzles, modeling clay, etc.
Utilize a Planner
I love a good planner. Keeping track of my appointments and staying on top of responsibilities helps me to stay organized.
And with our many responsibilities, as well as being a homeschooling WAHM, we need all the extra help we can get.
There is way too much for our brains to hang onto, and it’s important to get them down on paper or even a digital planner… whatever works best for you.
As a Homeschooling WAHM, Prioritize
Prioritization is key.
There is always something that needs to be done at any given moment.
It’s up to us to decide what’s important, what’s time sensitive, and what can wait.
Not everything has to be accomplished in a hurry, even if our brains try to trick us into believing so. Make a to-do list and evaluate the importance and urgency of each task.
Assign priority levels. Label each task as high, medium, or low based on its importance. Tackle the urgent tasks first and then move on to the rest.
Remember, prioritizing tasks takes discipline, but it’s crucial for our productivity.
Ask for Help (And Accept It)
You knew this one was coming, didn’t you? This is such a tough one for us moms. We think everything has to be accomplished and we are the only ones who can do it, right? Wrong.
Not only do we not have to be alone in our work load, we shouldn’t be. We can’t do everything, no matter how much we’ve hammered that into our brains.
Asking for help and accepting it actually helps reduce stress and burnout, making our chances of accomplishing our goals even greater (imagine that).
We have so much on our plate as moms-then throw in working at home and homeschooling- and you get a whole heap of pressure and responsibility.
Distributing the workload and responsibilities among others helps us kick overwhelm as busy moms. Accepting help can also be beneficial for both you and your children, leading to a more positive and productive experience for everyone involved.
There is no shame in asking for help. We can only do so much, Mama.
Take a Break
Did you know adequate sleep and taking breaks actually increases productivity?
Breaks improve mental clarity and focus. Sleep gives your brain a chance to recharge and focus and regular rest helps maintain physical energy levels and reduces fatigue, allowing you to tackle tasks more efficiently.
Rest helps reduce stress levels, as well as improving overall mood.
By making rest a priority, you can help ensure that your mind and body are performing optimally, contributing to your productivity in the long term.
Listen, Sister, taking a break only makes sense!
- Manage Your Time Wisely
- Set Routines
- Meal Plan
- Choose Open and Go Curriculum
- Have Activities on Hand
- Utilize a Planner
- Ask for Help (And Accept It)
- Take a Break
So there you have it- my most valuable tips and strategies on being a homeschooling WAHM. I’m rooting for you! And if no one has told you today, you’re AMAZING, Mama! Keep up the good work!
For more time management tips, read these posts:
Kacie Barlow is a Motherhood/Parenting + Lifestyle Blogger & Freelance Writer for hire. As a mother of 4 boys, a special needs mom, and a mental health nurse-turned-writer, Kacie has a passion for helping other moms simplify life, build community, and optimize mental health in their motherhood journey.