by Katie Julius
As more and more families consider private home education for their children, there is an increase in the number of moms who are having to fill dual roles – as an employee and as a homeschooling mom.
I’ll be honest; it’s not easy. However, it can be done. It might take some creativity, support, flexibility, and even sacrifice, but the hearts and minds of our children are at stake. And you’re in good company.
When you are trying to juggle multiple roles in your life, you have no choice but to prioritize them. In what order do you place your priorities? As a believer, your top priorities should be God, Spouse, Kids. You’ll notice work isn’t even in the top 3. That’s not to say work isn’t important, but are those things you say are your priorities actually your priorities? If not, what changes do you need to make in your life so that they are?
We all work best and most effectively when we are distraction-free. If possible, set aside a specific time each day to focus solely on homeschooling. Put the screens and devices down and work together with your kids.
Likewise, if you are working from home, be clear to your family when your work hours are … and stick to them. If you can, have a dedicated space to devote to your work so you aren’t in the middle of the chaos of kids running around or playing. Leave your work “at work” whenever possible.
There is no way I could homeschool without a support system, even if I wasn’t working at the same time. A homeschool group with like-minded people is invaluable in the homeschool journey. Not only can they offer friendships and activities for your kids, but they can provide a support system for you too.
If you have family near you, especially retired grandparents who are supportive of what you’re doing, recruit them to help! My daughter loves having a “substitute” teacher when she spends time at my mom’s. If you don’t have family nearby or they’re not supportive, find a group of parents in your area that you can work cooperatively with.
If we have learned anything from the pandemic, it’s that we are a lot more flexible than we realize. Employers may be willing to adjust your hours or allow you to work from home on a partial or permanent basis.
Remember that learning does not have to happen between 8:00 and 2:00, Monday through Friday. When working one-on-one, it often takes less than six hours to do “school” for the day, so if you only have evening or weekend hours to devote to educating your children, it is still doable. In fact, we get the most accomplished in our home between the hours of 5:00 and 8:00 in the evening.
As a working and homeschooling mom, I know you’re already making a lot of sacrifices – whether it is sleep, personal activities, or even time with your kids. However, are there other areas or things that you might be able to cut out? Maybe you’ve identified some things in your life when you evaluated your priorities that can go, at least for now.
This might be hard to do, but really take a look at your family’s finances. Are there any changes you could make that would allow you to reduce your hours or even quit your job entirely? Could you move to a less expensive area? Function with just one vehicle? Forgo big family trips? I know some of you may be balking at this idea and thinking, “We could never make that work!” And you may be right. But, we have to get out of the mindset that these things are necessities. We have to get away from thinking that we must work to procure these earthly treasures — work that prevents us from doing our most important work. Remember, the health and hearts of our children are what we could be sacrificing if we continue to hold on to society’s idea that all these worldly “creature comforts” are essential to our lives.
What is essential to our lives and those of our children is eternal salvation.