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How do you find a simple schedule for your crazy busy complicated life? Use these 4 tips and get more done!
Almost once a month someone asks me, “Can you give me an example of your daily schedule once you start doing school?”
I get it. The idea of working and homeschooling at the same time can be overwhelming.
We talked about 5 of the hurdles you might face but now we are at the actual logistics of it all, How do you fit homeschooling into your working mom schedule?
Even though I’ve written several posts that show what my personal day might look like depending on what I am doing be it working outside of the home, at home or what have you, I hesitate to share these posts right away.
Even if we had the exact same circumstances the choices we make would be different.
Again, the beauty of homeschooling is it fits your needs where your family is at.
This is why it is vital that you read those “day in a life” posts with an open mind knowing that while you can get encouragement and inspiration from them, there is going to be parts that will not fit you at all. That is okay! Be you!
You need to get a plan that fits your family, your needs, your lifestyle.
Here are a few tips to help you find a schedule for you, your family and your life.
Tip 1: Be as scheduled as you need to be to run your life.
Your life is busy with a million moving parts. Chances are I am only slightly exaggerating with a “million”.
You need to keep track of all the pieces so nothing gets lost and to keep it manageable.
The key is to be as scheduled as you need to be to run your life. Not so scheduled you can’t breathe.
Be sure to take these points into consideration when choosing the right method of organization for you.
- Do you need every little thing mapped out?
- Do you need an outline with lots of “wiggle room”?
- Maybe block scheduling works best for you?
- Do you need paper, online, a mix of the two?
Find a planner or organizer that works with you, not against you.
HINT: If you need a list of great planners that come highly recommended by working moms, read: Best Planners For Working Moms
There was a time not so long ago I had seven different types of planners. Did you read that?? Seven!!! Who does that? Right, me. 🙄
Each planner was unique and filled a different role in my life. Some were paper, some were digital. Some were checklists re-written every week. Some were in a coil planner. At that time, it was working for me.
Does that mean you need to rush out and get seven different planners for you? No, please don’t! Maybe you only need one. Maybe you need three.
My point is, find what type works for you and use it…until it doesn’t work anymore. 😉
Once you get your organization method of choice we are ready to move on.
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Tip 2: The 3 Step Formula You Need.
In order to create a simple schedule for you, you need stop looking at what everyone else is doing, using, flying high with and focus on you.
You are going to break your work, homeschool and “life” into 3 sections.
“Life” items are things that don’t fall under homeschool or work such as doctors appointments, errands, volunteer, ministry and more. You get the idea!
The first items you put into your planning system are your “fixed items”.
Fixed simply put are items or events that you have little to no control over.
For example, work, appointments, extracurricular activities, lessons etc.
Even if you work at home your control over certain aspects of your work you may be limited. Think of clients, deadlines, conferences etc.
These get put into your schedule or plan first because you can’t move them.You need a schedule that fits you, your lifestyle and all you do!Click To Tweet
2. Flexible Items
Next, add in the “flexible items”.
Flexible items are important items and events you DO have control over.
For example: homeschool, field trips, park days, housework, meal prepping etc.
These get added to your unique schedule around the fixed items.
Remember that school work can be done at any time. The benefit of homeschooling is that is flexible.
You don’t have to homeschool 8-3 fall to late spring. You can homeschool on weekends, evenings, holidays, year round or 3 weeks on 1 week off.
For example, we do a 3.5 day a week schedule. It rotates as needed. Things like field trips, hands on projects, along with anything that needs my focused attention gets moved to my day off or summer break.
Yes my kids learn and do school all summer. They just don’t know it. You can read an example of what that looks like in my summer science post.
If you are just beginning to homeschool this may take a while to sink in. It’s a completely different outlook from the public school system where every Monday they jump on the bus at 7 am.
If you’ve been homeschooling for a while and are starting to work this still may take a while to come around to. After all, chances are you had a routine that was working great. That may or may not continue to work for you.
Find what works for you and your family. Do that.
3. Put yourself on your schedule.
The last but the most important part of your schedule is YOU.
This is where most moms fail. They fail to see how vital it is to look after yourself.
I get that this is a huge struggle but here is a truth bomb for you: There is only one of you.
If you do not look after yourself you will burn out. Then what? Who is going to do all the things you do while you are unable? How long can you run burnt out? Function?
Oh, I know you don’t have time. I got your back, here are tips on how to find this time and what you can do to recharge in as little as 30 Minutes a day.
Add yourself to the schedule for at least 30 minutes each day. Start with 5 minutes and work your way up.
It’s your health we are talking about! So add yourself to the plan today. Not tomorrow. No excuses. You are important. Let your kids see you taking care of you. <3
Remember, our children will do what we DO more than what we say. Just sayin’!
Tip 3: Make your simple schedule.
Grab a piece of paper, open a word document, use a note taking app, whatever you have and start brainstorming and organizing your work, homeschool, life and you into the three blocks: Fixed, flexible and you.
Remember: Fixed = no control, Flexible = you do control, You = important
Now open your organization method of choice and fill in your own schedule. Try to only schedule out no more than a month in advance at a time allowing room for changes to be made. Keep it simple!
Tip 4: Review and Making Adjustments.
Now that you have your simple schedule created just for you and all you do, test it out.
I like to try it for at least two weeks then come back and review. I find it helpful to sit down and review every time I get a new schedule. Sometimes this is monthly. Do give it enough time to actually see if it works. Hint: One day is not enough 😉
Make any adjustments that need to be made. Try that for a few more. Keep adjusting!
- Do I need more time for a few activities?
- Did my work schedule change?
- At what point do I feel overwhelmed?
- What can be moved or adjusted to lessen the load on me?
- What is working great?
- What isn’t?
A Simple Schedule For You.
There you have the key ingredients for creating a simple schedule unique to your needs.
It is built on your work, be it at home, outside the home or a mix of both. It includes time for your homeschool, be it evenings or weekends.
You’ve added downtime for you each week. You have room for appointments, errands or anything that pops up because you are not over scheduled.
You are as scheduled as you need to be. When changes need to be made you can easily make them.
Being a working homeschool mom is hard. Not impossible. Having a simple schedule designed by you for you makes a huge difference!
PS. If paper planners are your jam be sure to check out this great list of awesome planners for your working homeschool mom life!