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I am always amazed at the response I get when I tell people I work and homeschool at the same time.
It is the “looks” that really crack me up. Of course, I try very hard not to react but sometimes…well it’s tough and I’m no angel. 😉
If I am chatting with a workmate or employer it is usually a puzzled look followed by them looking at me like I keep my kids in my back pocket or something.
Other people launch right into the myth of “homeschool families are always home” and yet here I am. So how can I work and homeschool my children?
That is a great question, let’s dig in.
Since I’ve worked outside the home and inside the home (most times doing both) I can understand the struggle to wrap your mind around the truth.
Yes, you can work and homeschool at the same time.
Homeschooling is a journey and working out your personal “bugs” in the system takes time, effort and coffee.
It can be done but it isn’t easy. It takes determination to find a way to make things work. A drive to overcome stumbling blocks that may not have existed before in your life. Looking at things from an angle you didn’t think of before.
No far from easy, but then again, what part of being a parent is always easy?
Let’s look at least 5 things you are going to want to tackle.
Your life is going to change.
The first thing I did was royally screw up. I would suggest skipping this part but if you are like me it’s bound to happen.
What did I do that was so wrong? I thought nothing would change and all would remain the same in my life.
I mean think about it. If you are going from being a stay at home homeschool mom to a working mom-change is bound to happen. If you are going from a working mom to a working homeschool mom-again, change. For some odd reason, this never crossed my mind!
This is the number one mistake almost every working homeschool mom does.
Realize things are going to change. What was always working may not work anymore. What never worked before is all of a sudden the answer you were hunting for.
For us, it started with a breakdown in our homeschool. The curriculum we loved was no longer working. Tears, frustration, anxiety and that was just me. I had been using curriculum that I needed to be in the room to teach. Now I wasn’t there.
We switched to online homeschooling resources mixed with workbooks and textbooks. Magic! This worked amazingly for us. A whole new world opened up and I began to see what our homeschool was going to look like.
You will need help.
The next change was in our home. I am the “I’ll do it myself, thanks” kind of person. Don’t be me.
As I tried to work, homeschool, do the cooking, shopping, cleaning etc all on my own without help it led to a super not fun period called Homeschool Burnout. Ladies…do yourself a favor and avoid this at all cost.
After a good chat with my husband and teens about teamwork life got so much better. My husband grocery shops, my kids do chores and are learning to cook. My husband cooks on the weekends. We work together around the house on the yard work. This is a great way to spend time with your family and catch up.
You don’t have to do it all. Ask for help.
Acknowledge your own fears.
When I first decided to tackle this job of balancing the two, I was overwhelmed and terrified.
Everyone kept telling me what I was attempting to do was impossible. The more doubt they expressed the more I began to believe them.
After all, they were putting “voice” to my deepest fears.
Looking back I realize it was fear that paralyzed me and stopped me from moving forward.
Once I acknowledged that yes I was afraid and had no clue what I was doing, it was easier for me to “wing it”. This simple shift in my own personal view was so freeing.
All of a sudden, I realized I didn’t need to know the answers. Facing those fears gave me the courage to do what I needed to do.
For me, it was to make a plan to find balance.
This plan has taken many forms over the years from curriculum plans, chore plans, work schedules etc. It will continue to change and shift as our life changes. Having a plan makes me feel good. It is my thing. You can get the e-book right here if you are a “planner” like me.
So what is yours? What makes you feel like you can do it?
Realize it is possible.
Don’t you hate being told something you want to do, you need to do, is impossible? Think of all the everyday products we use that are a result of someone doing the impossible.
My kids and I picked up this book called, Girls think of Everything. This book highlights inventions created by women. Some were accidents but most were things that we use every day that people said was “impossible” to create. Things like chocolate chips, windshield wipers and white out just to name a few.
When I feel overwhelmed, I take a moment to look at things we use daily that at one time not too long ago…were considered impossible.
You can do it.
Don’t do it alone.
I know how it feels to be alone in this journey. To be surrounded by others who don’t really get it.
When you are chatting with workmates and they encourage you to put your kids in public school if you are having a bad day instead of realizing…bad homeschool days happen.
When homeschooling friends tell you to quit work when you are coping with rough work day instead of understanding that maybe you need your job.
It is why I started this site actually. I felt so alone. I knew there had to be others out there doing this thing and doing it well. Turns out I was right.
I’ve had the privilege of interviewing many moms who are doing all kind of amazing things while homeschooling such as:
- Running their own businesses
- working outside the home
- teachers (in the public school system)
- creating online courses
Just to name a few. (Read these interviews here)
I also hang out with a super positive, supportive, and kick butt working homeschool moms out there. It’s the perfect place to get feedback, make friendships, and ask questions. You can join us right here!
They all balance homeschool and working. It can be done, you are not alone!
It can be hard to think positive when loved ones, friends, and family tell you it’s impossible. I am here to tell you it IS possible!
PS. These 5 areas are the building blocks of a foundation that works for you while juggling working and homeschooling. If you are looking for more information please sign up here for a free E-Book. on finding balance in your homeschool. You can do it! <3