How to Homeschool as a Working Mom

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One of the most difficult questions people have asked me is how they could manage to homeschool while working. It certainly is a valid question, and one that is keeping many families from taking the plunge into this amazing life of learning. As someone who has never worked outside the home while homeschooling, I don’t feel qualified to answer this common inquiry, but I know someone who is… 

Today I’d like to introduce you to my good friend, Jen, from Practical, by Default. Having worked both outside and inside the home, she is the perfect person to answer this question. Not only is she a great blogger and mom, she’s also one of the most motivated people I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. She combines homeschooling and working so beautifully that I’ve asked her to be my first ever guest contributor. I hope you find her advice to be as helpful as I have. Enjoy!

homeschooling while working

How to Homeschool While Working

Hello! My name is Jen and I am a working homeschool mom to 2 teens who blogs over at Practical, By Default- Solutions For The Working Homeschool Mom. Thank you for taking the time to learn how I balance working and homeschooling-and for tips on how you can do it, too! Also, many thanks to Shelly for allowing me to contribute to her awesome site!

Today I want to share three ways to help you find balance in working and homeschooling.

Before we start you might wonder, what is a working homeschool mom? Why is knowing if  you are one important?

With so many labels in the world it can get frustrating to not only try to keep them sorted but figure out which ones apply to you and how a label will help you out in some way.

When I tell people I share practical solutions for the working homeschool mom, I get this odd look. Like they aren’t quite sure what I am talking about. What is a working homeschool mom anyway?

Long story short- a working homeschool mom is someone who works- be it inside the home, outside the home, for themselves, for clients, readers, a boss or does volunteer work, just to name a few. And also homeschools. You can read about how others define a working homeschool mom here.

How does this help you?

In my personal experience, when you understand that what you are doing is actual work, that your actions are important and have meaning and purpose, it helps you to better deal with problems and challenges when they arise.

Because when you acknowledge that what you are doing makes a difference and is vital, you won’t just sweep it under the rug or put it off “until later,” which often results in “never.”

Being a working homeschool mom matters because I remember being a stay at home mom and feeling like what I was doing was useless, less important. Until a stranger spoke up and made me realize we matter too! (You can read how you are not just a stay at home mom here)


Knowing you are a working mom can limit the guilt you may feel when you return to work.

3 Tips on how to find balance working and homeschooling

 

  1. Set your priorities.  When it comes to work, life and school, we need to really understand what is important and why. 

    When I first returned to work I tried to do everything…myself. Needless to say I hit the brick wall. The worse part was I really thought I could keep doing it all. I had to learn to set personal limits, ask for help and realize what I really needed to do each day and let the rest go.

  2. Make changes to your homeschool that work with you, not against you. If you have already been homeschooling, a shock to your system might be when your favorite curriculum no longer works with your new lifestyle. (If you need help you can find over 40+ resources for homeschooling here.)

    One major lifesaver for me has been finding programs online that my children can do without me looking over their shoulder. Another is saving those hands on projects for my days off. Lastly remember your children are always learning, and because as homeschoolers we don’t need to follow the traditional school schedule, you can homeschool on weekends, evenings, year round- whatever works for you.

  3. Make time for you.

    It is funny; when I am flat out busy after a long day, my first instinct is to remove my “me time” from my  to do list. “I don’t have time for that!” You know what that gets me? Stressed, fried, and if I am being honest, cranky. After all, chances are I haven’t sat down to eat, never mind to rest for 5 minutes in the whole day because some things never end. (hello laundry-I hate you)

I hate laundry


Take your me time off your list long enough and you know what it gets you? Sick. Exhausted. Experiencing Burnout. And that is something you really don’t have time for.

So avoid all of that by putting yourself on the list. Take even 15 minutes to sit and chill out. Grab a cup of coffee, tea or whatever you like. Read a book. Watch a silly show. Go for walk.

Being a mom is hard. Being a homeschool mom is hard. Being a working homeschool mom is hard. It’s all HARD.

You don’t need to do it alone. I encourage you to find other moms that you can talk with, vent with, cheer with and who really “get it.” We all need a friend sometimes. If you are a working homeschool mom and want to learn more about how to find balance in juggling working and homeschooling, there are two things you can do:


1. Sign up and get a free ebook entitled Finding Balance Working + Homeschooling
2. Join “The Club” an online community for support, encouragement, and inspiration.

 

Thank you, Jen, for these wonderful words of wisdom. If you’re looking to connect with her on social media, you can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

30 thoughts on “How to Homeschool as a Working Mom”

  1. Thanks for sharing this article. I believe there are more and more working parents taking on homeschooling and finding tips and ways to pull it off is important. For our family, it has been easier than traditional school since we have control of our schedule and teaching. Also, both my husband and I homeschool our kids. If there weren’t online, interactive learning, or tutorials available, we may not have been able to pull this off. We love the flexibility of it and the time we are able to spend with our kids that we wouldn’t have if they were still in traditional school and we were both working.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nita I could NOT agree with you more. Online curriculum, lessons and more saved my butt more than once. It is wonderful that you and your husband can work together homeschooling 🙂 Thanks for reading and visiting. I hope this helped you out.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for your post, Jen. I stepped back into the working world in November, so not very long. I am teaching English to children in China over the internet. It’s perfect because the hours are early and on weekends. So I get up early and am done by 9 am. I have one teen left in my homeschool, so we don’t start until 10. I am still awake at that point. By about 2 my body is going, but my mind kind of kicks out. So I work with her in the morning, and try to be done by noon. My husband has not been involved in homeschooling before, but we realized I wasn’t going to make it without help. So far so good. I am looking forward to seeing how you manage your teens. Thanks so much!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello, Lisa, Nice to meet you. How I handle teens…well… so far they are 13 and soon to be 15. I have a few gray hairs to show it 😉 Honestly, there are days they prove every fear right and then some but on an overall they are amazing. Thankfully the are very self-motivated. I hope to share an inside peek into my day soon-only the brave will read that. hehe. I found it so hard to go back, oh my word. But we survive ya know, you gotta do what you gotta do. I am so impressed with you! Look at you figuring out what you need, and asking for help! Awesome job! Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I greatly appreciate someone who’s brain I can pick on this whole juggling act. I graduated out three already, and have a 14 year old left. Thankfully she could learn from any curriculum and would challenge herself. Now if I had tried to work when my two middle children were in school… (Shudder)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. As a working homeschooling dad married to a working homeschooling mom, it’s so nice to hear there are other working homeschoolers! Thanks for the tips! For us, unschooling with a few assignments in the mornings is working great. The kids and their nanny work through the assignments in under half an hour, and then it’s out into the town. We’re fortunate to live in a town with lots going on. There are art museums, science museums, book stores and libraries, with regular story times in multiple languages. Then, at nights and on the weekends, we get to get into the routine, talking to them, filling in gaps in what we missed and what they wanted to learn about for the day. So far so good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow lucky you! I wish we had access to half of your town in my area. I am so glad you are not taking it for granted. Good for you! Ah we are here slugging away the best we can 🙂 Thanks for reading and sharing what is working for you. Great ideas here.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I also feel like I struggle with the balance… Like wondering if my kids ever truly have my 100% attention. It is an area where the enemy can bring a lot of guilt on when I am having one of those rough days.
        Does anyone else struggle with this?

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Yeah I am pretty sure I wrote a whole post on that mom guilt thing. Finding balance is key but also setting priorities. For me. Stopping and physically walking away from my work when the kids need me is important then they know they have my full attention but also…letting them know when I am working they need to wait, to respect my time and likewise I will do the same. If that makes sense. Again, what works for you? 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

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