Homeschooling the kids while you work will take a some organization. With a bit of trial and error it can be done quite successfully.
Evaluating the Priorities of Homeschooling
One of the first things to keep in mind is to not try to compare yourself to a public (or private) school schedule. Strict schedules are to be tossed aside and replaced with “routines”. They may sound similar but there are important differences that can define homeschooling success.
These “routines” are what you can build on.
Your children are either morning people or not. If they are then you can set them up with their school books or online tutoring right after breakfast. While they are busy you can get some of your work done. As the adult you’re more flexible than they are where you can fit in your work.
Scheduling and planning around their “routine” will be easier than setting a stop watch to go from one task to another.
Keeping Kids Focused on their Schoolwork
A homeschooled child does not need to spend the entire day on schoolwork. Trying to keep the kids sitting quietly at their desk for an entire day is not the same as what they experience during a full day of school. You can help keep kids focused on their schoolwork at home using the homeschooling structure.
When you look at a regular school day the children have breaks between classes, rest breaks morning and afternoon, plus idle time while waiting for the teacher to address each student individually during drills and questions.
Since you are the teacher and you have only a few kids (likely not 20), you can give them individual instruction cutting down on “class time” needed.
Other timesavers can be incorporated with the routines you set up that match your child’s characteristic behaviours. For example a child that isn’t a natural morning person might do better to spend the first part of their day reading or puzzling. Then, after they are more alert and interactive, they may respond better to instructional time.
When Do YOU Work?
You can fit in your days work during the times your child is busy with homework or reading. Any time they have a form of assignment that keeps them self-occupied. When you homeschool a child your work needs to fit around their schooling and play time.
Once their learning period is complete they can then do self-teaching activities like their homework and necessary study or reading for the next day. This is another time you get to focus on your work.
When to Get YOUR Work Done
Trying to set your schedule is difficult when you are homeschooling the kids. Rather than trying to adapt a rigid type of schedule try adapting a “routine” to your day as well.
Start by making lists of what your job entails. This includes your home tasks too like laundry and house cleaning. Make your lists long and detailed. Now go through them and see which ones can you outsource?
Currently, having a stranger in the house isn’t particularly safe, even wearing masks, but you can still outsource. For example; laundry can be sent to the laundromat to be washed and folded by the staff working there. Groceries can be ordered locally online and delivered to your door. And cleaning can be broken into micro-tasks that can be done in 5 – 15 minute increments.
As far as paid work goes, there are common things that don’t need full-time focus. Tasks like answering emails, writing quotes, or planning a detailed video presentation can be broken into smaller tasks.
Anything that is a complex project, like writing and producing a video presentation, can also be broken into smaller tasks and segments. You will soon get really great at putting BIG things into tiny tasks. Again, pour through the task list and offload what you can. There are VA’s (Virtual Assistant) available all over the world that can do most everything you need. You can probably find talented people who live in or close by to your community as well.
Turn these work tasks into micro-checklists to ensure your work gets completed. Keep the checklists clear and manageable. Keep all records neatly filed and labeled to ensure you A) don’t repeat tasks and B) for future reference. This is a process you will find you can do faster and more efficiently after you’ve done it a few times.
1. Scale down large projects into smaller projects
2. Reduce the smaller projects further into tasks and then look at all the individual tasks. Are there any you can group together and do at the same time?
As mentioned earlier, you can adjust your kids learning around their natural abilities and needs. While they are quietly occupied reading or doing homework on their own, you can fit in some of your work.
How Kids Learn in Homeschool
You need to be entirely present while you are teaching. This requires a good set of curriculum books appropriate for their education level. In some cases you may choose to enrol them in online learning or a combination of both.
During their learning and instructional time, especially for younger kids, will not be the time for you to get your work done. This is the time to focus on your children and their educational activities. If you try to multi-task they WILL notice!