by Kristen Grossman
My homeschooling journey has changed a lot over the past sixteen years. My favorite memories are of having all four of our children at home, spread out over the kitchen and living room. Now, with only one left studying at home, my days look a lot different. My middle schooler is a lot more independent and can complete most of her studies with little input from me. I have started my own business, and most days find my daughter and me sitting side by side working on our own projects.
While this stage of homeschooling looks different from the cozy days I look back on so fondly, I want to make sure that my daughter and I still take advantage of the gift of time that we have together. Here are some helpful hints I have found for making the most of the time I have left with her, while also accomplishing the tasks involved with running my own business from home.
Set Aside Dedicated Time for Working and for Schooling
To ensure I am using my time wisely and not letting my work life take over my home life, I make sure to set aside specific times for work. Right now, this happens to be the early morning hours. Something is satisfying about getting up while the rest of the house sleeps, starting my day off with prayer, and then tackling the day’s workload. When 8:00 rolls around, I know it is time to set aside my work, wake my daughter, and help her get her day started. When we are schooling together, I make sure to give her my undivided attention.
Get Out of the House
The freedom to get out of the house and do school anywhere is one of the luxuries of homeschooling. My daughter no longer begs to go to the local playground, and field trips to the local zoo have lost their appeal for her. However, she does like to get out, have a change of scenery, and still get her studies done. Therefore, we have instituted twice-monthly “Coffee Shop School.” There’s something that appeals to us both about setting up our laptops at the coffee shop, nibbling on scones, and sipping warm beverages. An added bonus is she gets her work done more quickly without the distractions of home—and so do I!
Make Time for Fun
With work deadlines and school assignments vying for attention along with household chores, it can be easy to become so focused on daily tasks that we forget to have fun. My daughter and I both get through our work faster if we plan for an afternoon walk with friends or break for an impromptu midday visit to the yogurt shop. When we look back on these years, I want it to be with fondness. Making time for fun and relaxation goes a long way to making this stage of life both productive and memorable.
Stay Healthy: Spirit, Soul, and Body
As a working homeschool mom, it can be easy to forget to take care of yourself in the daily chaos of meeting the needs of clients, students, and family. Taking care of myself means I am better able to tend to the needs of those the Lord has entrusted to my care. Number one on this list is making private prayer and Bible study a top priority. Additionally, the rewards of meeting with other women for prayer, fellowship, and discussion of the Word more than make up for the time taken from other pursuits. Nutritious meals, fresh air, and exercise do wonders for a tired body and weary mind. As much as I wish I could get by on less sleep, I know I need at least eight hours each night to restore my body and prepare for the demands each day brings.
Know on Whom You Can Rely
Although life is busy and chaotic, what keeps me going is knowing that I am not traveling this road alone. When life seems overwhelming, I cling to the promise of Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”
What joy it is to know my strength comes not from me, but from the Heavenly Father who loves me and equips me to carry out the work He has set aside for me.
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2).
Kristen Grossman is a wife, mom, and follower of Christ. Homeschooling has been a wonderful way to educate her four kiddos while zig-zagging across the country supporting her husband Bill’s career. Now residing in northern California, Kristen indulges her love of the written word at KristenGrossmanProse.com. When not writing, Kristen drives her daughter’s volleyball carpool, hikes the California hills, or curls up with her Bible and a cup of coffee.
Copyright 2020, The Old Schoolhouse®. Used with permission. All rights reserved by the Author. Originally appeared in the Summer 2020 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the trade publication for homeschool moms. Read The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com, or download the free reader apps at www.TOSApps.com for mobile devices. Read the STORY of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine and how it came to be.