Are you considering homeschooling your kids, but want to know if it’s possible to do that while working full-time?
It is no surprise that many parents are starting to ask that question when looking into schooling options for the 20201/2022 school year (and possibly beyond) – is it even possible to work AND homeschool?
Or does trying to juggle the two just mean a repeat of the 2020 virtual learning that has resulted in lack of direction, little academic progress and more stressed parents?
Don’t get me wrong, we busted our butts off trying to work, teach, clean and wash our hands and do.all.the.thing.
So do we really want to do this…again???
Do we really want to try juggling working full time while doing the school thing?
It was so hard do adapt to virtual learning, shop for computers without going in store to ask the associate all our questions, and still keep the family supported financially.
I mean really, you are kinda a badass for taking on your kids education while earning a living.
I can totally understand your hesitations, I’m sure you have some serious reservations and self doubt about doing it AGAIN?!?!
We have been through alot in the last few years, even before the pandemic (do you remember those good ole days when we could blow out the candles on our cake and NOT have people look at us weird? Man we were livin’ wild).
We went from just worrying about bringing home the bacon, and letting the “professionals” teach the kids. To some major economic changes, and boom! Here we are homeschooling during the covid pandemic.
But let’s shift your thoughts for moment here, you are looking for whether it’s possible to actually homeschool while working full time.
I mean honestly? Is it long-term sustainable to handle the career AND education your household needs to thrive?
But how are you supposed to teach while answering calls and being professional to clients and callers? What would a typical day look like if you are trying to juggle all the things? Are you crazy for even considering taking on MORE?
Before you start talking yourself out of the idea, let’s think this whole thing out, logically.
How *DO* you homeschool while working full time?
With great difficulty. I’m just being honest.
Let me tell you though it is possible. But you have to really center yourself, your motivation and figure out a game plan.
Let’s start off by centering yourself.
What do I mean by this?
I mean being honest. Because if you are not rooted from the beginning, that juggling homeschooling and working is worth it to YOU, then you will fail.
For some families they have a fallback plan: they don’t have to work or they can send their kids to public school if it all fails. There is a plan b. But for some there is no plan b for example single parents know all to well that they have to work and the kids have to be educated.
The path that they take to get there is what they’d like to know what options are available. But then you have some parents who have a little bit of wiggle room. But either way, either situation, you have to decide here and now that you are going to make things work because there is no plan b. Because honestly if you go into things thinking that there is an easy out for when things get hard you can just throw in the towel, and you’re not going to make it.
You have to go into this being fully committed both mentally and emotionally. Because they are going to get hard and you can’t just throw in the towel and quit teaching your kids 3 weeks into the school year.
I mean, you can, but that is gonna be far more detrimental to your self confidence than anything. Just being real. Before you let yourself get to that point, I will definitely show you how to avoid the burnout phase of teaching. But for now, know that you gotta be honest with your level of dedication.
The next thing to consider when weighing the possibility of homeschooling while working full time, is what is motivating you?
Because not only is it possible, but is oddly motivating in its self to be able to tell others you homeschool AND work!
Because there you are, hating your soul-sucking-never-ending-system-always-crashing-kind-of-a-job.
Your kiddo brings you a painting or their daily writing for you to look over and it just puts a smile on your face that makes all your worries melt away.
Something that you would not have experienced had you and your kids been living your daily lives and separate locations. Motivation that your kids provide really is amazing and it’s one of those things that you don’t know if you don’t know. You have to step out into the unknown to really know, you know?
Figuring out a game plan you can crush working from home while homeschooling.
So here are the meat and potatoes to you considering this whole working and homeschooling thing. A goal without a plan, is just words. But a goal with actionable, small steps is attainable.
The FAQ’s of homeschooling while juggling working full time
We are gonna discuss the logistics of what options are available so you work full time, and know your kids are being homeschooled and academically challenged.
#1 – How do I set a school schedule while working from home?
Keep the same routine (as much as possible) that you have when your kids went to school. After all, they are going to transition much better if you relate similarities from an old experience, to an updated routine. So, if you kids were being dropped off at 7:45am, use that time as their “final bell” time before classes start at 8:00am. See the below schedule for an hourly example.
#2 – How do I choose a curriculum that fits my needs of being hands off? Does that kind of schooling even exist? Cause it didn’t during the Rona!
Believe it or not, homeschooling today is WAY easier than it was 20 or even 30 years ago. Why? Because the internet has given way to online academy’s like Time4Learning, while also providing all-in-one curriculum’s like Horizons or Master Books, that are geared towards no-prep teaching styles.Horizon
#3 – What happens when my kid needs me, and I’m on the phone with a work thing?
This is the hard one. Because without a doubt, every time you are on that important phone call is when everything else is going to go wrong or be fighting for your attention too. What’s the best way to combat it then? Be flexible. Try to remember how you handles these interruptions when you were in the office. You know, the ones where you on the phone but that talkative coworker came by and will not leave.
Or the times your company internet connections and programming applications crashed (again) and you in the middle of something important. You huff, maybe even say some frustrations out loud. And then you keep going. But chances are, with a lot of parents working from home during the 2020 quarantine, your clients (and humans in general) are going to be understanding if you get in from of the situation and apologize ahead of time by saying “I do want to let you know I am working from home, there many some noisy kiddos learning in the background, but I am going to do my best to take care of you”. This will be really eliminate a lot of “problems”.
#4 – What about lunch breaks, snacks and food?
Have a snack basket and consider packing lunches in the morning, or night before, like you did when you all were away from home. You see, it’s so easy to think “Oh, I am home. I can just make food”. But then you wanna clean up, and start the dishwasher. And before you know it, you are late to logging back in for work. Skip all that and keep mealtime simple through the day. Have snack boxes, and consider doing packed lunches.
#5 – How do I handle overload without throwing in the towel?
Just know you are not alone. Many parents are doing this too, so you can find comfort knowing you are not the only one struggling. Instead, look for some support form parents who are trying to run home businesses, have Etsy shops, or are employed full-time remotely. Take the wisdom from those who have gone before you, and skip the overwhelm.
The best thing you can do is be sure to take time away the kids, house and work. Because before, the commute was your “downtime” that even while dealing with traffic, was time processing the day. Try to make some new stress outlets like taking a walk or diffusing your frustrations to your coworkers.
What is a typical schedule when you are homeschooling and working from home?
Here is a typical example of what a “smooth” day in the life of working from home while teaching the kids may look like in a nutshell. This is of course without any internet connection issues, meltdowns or other interruptions.
This schedule is for a working parent trying to navigate school hours while working full time from 8-5pm. Of course there are many different routines and schedules you may be presented with, but for arguments sake, this is a typical day in the life of a working from home parent that homeschools.
|6:30 am||Wake up, shower, get dressed||kids sleep in please!|
|7:00 am||Start breakfast||Slowly wake up kids|
|8:00 am||Start work/log in to virtual learning||Check in for classes, find earphones and charger|
|10:30 am||Check on kids/take 15 minute break||Snack, help with any issues (ex: no internet connection)|
|12:30 pm||Eat lunch (your 1 hour lunch break)||Make sure they eat, wash hands and not late logging in|
|1:30 pm||Get back to work||Make sure kids are settled|
|3:30 pm||Afternoon break (15 minute)||Kids should be done with school – YAY!|
|5:00 pm||Shout “I’M HOME” to the house||Hug kids and make the evening commence|
|5:30 pm||Start dinner||Assign chores, homework or free time|
|6:30 pm||Eat and have family time|
|7:30 pm||Start bed time routine||Bath, lay out clothes, having reading time|
|8:00 pm||Kids bedtime|
|8:30 pm||Your free time / quiet house|
|9:30 pm||No electronics, reading in bed|
|10:00 pm||Lights out|
12 tips to be successful as you homeschool and work from home
Take it from those who have gone before you, these tips are must dos!
- Have a designated work space. The kitchen table is too noisy
- Make a busy station with coloring, worksheets or lesson enrichment activities for those moments you can’t help them with their current lesson
- Create a snack bin with healthy and junk food options
- Get dressed – even if no one is going to see you. ‘Cause that is the day the delivery guy will need you to sign for your 1,000,003 package.
- Take breaks
- Eat – seriously
- Move around – do stretches so you are not getting a stiff back or neck
- Go outside
- Turn on the diffuser
- Plan meals whether that’s meal prepping or just writing a menu out
- Consider doing school after “normal” hours like 2-6 so you can work on those big tasks in the morning
- Involve the kids – turn the speaker on mute and tickle your kids during that boring phone conference
Hopefully you feel less overwhelmed, and have been able to see yourself and the way things would work if you choose to proceed with homeschooling while working full time. I can tell ya, while it seems like a crazy idea, it’s actually really satisfying to shout “I’m home” after logging out of the computer for work.
We make it a big deal like coming home from work. We run and hug each other after shouting mommy I’ve missed you all day. Because well you were there in person you were completing your tasks. And the evening is all the more special because you were both mentally checked into family time.