Becoming a Working Homeschool Mom

Becoming a Working Homeschool Mom - jenniferajanes.com

Becoming a Working Homeschool Mom

I have worked from home for years, and that will continue as I work to build my freelance writing business. But that isn’t consistent income, generally, and with the bills piling up, I’ve prayed that God would make a way. And suddenly, last week, volunteering two hours a week became a job offer for up to ten hours a week as an office assistant. It’s certainly not the answer to all of our financial concerns, but every little bit helps, and we’re grateful for it. We are accepting it as an answer to prayer, but that means some big changes in our home.

Since we’ll be out of the house for at least ten more hours a week, we’re having to work together as a family and look at everything. We’re having to look at how and when we’ll get the girls’ lessons done, and when things like dishes, cleaning, laundry, and even showers will occur with our new schedule. We haven’t removed anything from our schedule. Therapy sessions, specialist appointments, weekly infusions, homeschool co-op classes, freelance writing, maintaining the blog—they’re all still happening. What’s also happening is a complete reevaluation of our family priorities and reorganizing our days to make sure that what’s truly important is what we’re spending our time on.

We’re just figuring out my being a working homeschool mom, but here are some things my family is doing to make the transition easier:

  • Be intentional. As I mentioned earlier, we’re looking at a list of what we do every week, setting priorities, and deliberately choosing activities each day that will allow us to keep those as priorities and help us reach our goals, both individually and as a family.
  • Be flexible. The girls are having to accept that we’re going to have a different schedule and won’t be able to do things the way we’ve been doing them. I’m thankful for the flexibility that homeschooling provides too. It means that we can do lessons early in the morning or in the evening as well as during the day, and we can even catch up on weekends, if necessary.
  • Be a team. We all need to work together to make this new schedule work. Laundry, dishes, meal preparation, and other household duties will go much more quickly if we all work together to make them happen.
  • Sleep. It has become evident very quickly that I’m going to have to give up my night owl ways if I’m going to be able to stick to the new schedule. The girls are going to have to get used to having an earlier bedtime too. I know we will adjust soon, but in the meantime, we need the extra rest as we get used to the new routine.

That’s all I’ve got for now, but I would love for you to add your tips for working homeschool moms (me!) in the comments. I’ll add an update later if I come up with anything brilliant. 😉

While doing an online search, I did come across some good advice for working homeschool moms—from different perspectives:

 

This entry was posted in Family, Homeschool, Parenting, Special Needs. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Becoming a Working Homeschool Mom

  1. Cristy S says:

    I know how hard change like this can be. I pray peace (and flexibility) continue for your family!

  2. I have one more addition to your list . . .

    Be careful. I was homeschooled three years with my mom working and while it can be done (especially with a parenting team), I’d suggest extreme caution. Did I learn? Did I read? Yes. Did I have an engaged parent? No.

    If you ever want to pick the brain of someone who had to face the world ‘post-homeschooled by a working mom,’ please feel free to contact me. If this is right for our family, I can’t tell you it won’t work. I can just tell you what I’ve experienced. From my experience, I suggest caution. I also suggest you to be wary of encouraging other mothers to make this choice. I do wish you well and I hope that this is a beneficial thought to you.

    • Thank you. That is very beneficial. The good thing is that I’m only out of the home for ten hours a week, so I’m still actively working with the girls on their lessons both before and after my working hours. I’m not doing more than three hours a day either, and that is working well to have me home most of the day too. I appreciate your candor and concern.

  3. Shell says:

    Sending you happy thoughts in this time of change! I know sleep is the hardest part of that for me! I’m not working outside the home but keep thinking about it and wonder how the transition would go. Keep us posted!

  4. Shalonne says:

    I work from home at a 40 hour a week job – not self employed. I’ve been doing this for around 8 years now and still don’t have it figured out on how to make everything run smoothly. Go easy on yourself and make sure you don’t try to do everything perfect. Burn out can come fast and hard before you know it! And those 10 hours a week can quickly become more if the business needs. Decide ahead of time if you’ll work more or not. I’ve worked 60 hours a week before and ended up wasting it all on take out food because I was too tired to cook. But try to enjoy the time too! Its nice to use those non-parenting skills too! If you need more freelance writing opportunities, http://www.BlogMutt.com is awesome.

    • Thank you for the freelance recommendation and for the wisdom to take it easy on myself. I don’t think we’ll ever get everything to run smoothly, whether we’re working outside the home (or from home) or not! Life is change, I think. I’m thankful to have this opportunity for this season and for the extra income it affords us. Thank you for the encouragement!

  5. Sara says:

    So glad for you. Do the girls go to work with you? Praying for your adjustment. Not easy, I’m sure.

    • Yes, they are able to go to work with me, so that’s nice. And I’m working as an office assistant in a therapy facility, so they get lots of physical education while I’m working in the rooms that are not being used. They are playing hard and coming home tired!

  6. Nita says:

    Both me and my husband work outside the home – full time. It can be done and not at the expsense of the kids. We’ve always worked both of us full time and have 4 kids. We’ve switched off schedules (one working nights and weekends and the other working typical days). Now we have a sliding schedule and have a home helper come in several times a week. It’s allowed us to pay for our older 2 kids to go to college and homeschool the others. It’s hard work and as the result of a single parent household I can say that kids are flexible and won’t break if they have to do things independently. Also, I’ve done traditional school and homeschooling and I can honestly say that as a homeschool and full-time working parent, my kid gets a lot more time with me than they ever would’ve when they were in school. So homeschooling and working is the best of both situations.

  7. Beth says:

    What a blessing to find that extra job and also the opportunity to take the girls with you. I think you have good recommendations for both working moms and those that don’t have to leave the home.

  8. This is a great, to-the-point post about working homeschool moms! I work 24 hours a week (two shifts) plus a little call and my husband works 3-4 10-12 hour shifts a week. Between the two of us we have found a good balance to educate our three kids – two of which have some learning challenges that would make it difficult to learn in a traditional setting. We’ve found a good balance and have had the opportunity to spend so much more quality time with our kids now than we did when they were in school. They’ve also learned some valuable life skills. Is working and homeschooling a little challenging at times? Of course. But just because parents work does not mean that they are automatically disqualified or any less of a parent if they homeschool too. Loved seeing your other working homeschool mom links too! Thanks!!

  9. Lisa says:

    Hey Jennifer,
    Welcome to the ever widening circle of Homeschoolers that Work. I went back to work a little over a year ago and wrote a blog series about it last year. I ‘d love to get your feed-back! http://goldengrasses.blogspot.com/search?q=the+working+woman%27s+guide+to+homeschooling+

  10. Kathy Gossen says:

    Oh wow Jennifer! Now you sound like me only worse! Ha! I’m trying to narrow down my commitments not add more. Well congrats on the income increaser. I pray it’s a good opportunity and not too stressful and it helps everyone in the long run. 😉

    • Thank you so much, Kathy! I’m having to say no to some things myself – but I’ve been working on that for a while now. It’s a constant battle not to overextend. I wish you all the best in whittling down your list!

  11. Misty says:

    As a work at home homeschool mom I know how hard balancing it all can be. THese are GREAT tips and ones that I would give as well. Good luck on your new adventure!

  12. Katie says:

    Really enjoyed your post! I too homeschool and work…part time from home and part time outside the home (only Jan-Apr outside the home). My husband works full time from home all year. It’s definitely a unique situation and we make it work. I wanted to let you know that I belong to a group on LinkedIn called Homeschooling and Working Parents. I think that your post would be appreciated there, so I shared it with the group. You can see that share here: https://www.linkedin.com/groupItem?view=&gid=8190802&type=member&item=5976817399079456769&trk=groups%2Finclude%2Fitem_snippet-0-b-ttl

    If you ever hang out on LinkedIn, definitely stop by the group. There are some great discussions going on, and even job postings that are shared. :)

    Katie

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