How to Schedule Enough Homeschool Time for your Kids to Succeed
In a recent poll on my Facebook group for working homeschool moms, I discovered that a common struggle is feeling like you don’t have enough homeschool time in your day. I know this uncomfortable and worrying feeling because I’ve definitely felt it. And I’m sure I will feel it again in the future as we go through different seasons.
As I’m quite a few years into the homeschooling journey, I’ve learnt some ways to overcome this anxiety when it crops up. And you guessed it – the strategies are part mindset and part practical. Because that’s just how I roll! 😁 I hope this post will give you some reassurance and confidence when you feel like you’re not doing enough!
Why Do I Feel Like I’m Not Doing Enough?
So let’s quickly investigate where this feeling comes from. I know that not everyone is the same, but I’m sure you’re probably feeling at least one of these doubts or concerns:
- You feel like you’re not qualified to homeschool your child. Now this may not seem directly linked to not having enough homeschool time in the day. But hear me out – when you think you’re not doing a good job, you feel like you need to do more and more. And this type of need is never going to be fulfilled because it’s linked to something deeper than time spent. It’s linked to your confidence and belief in your abilities.
- You’re trying to recreate school at home. This is very common and it makes total sense. If you went to a public school, your idea of a school day is based on that. So this means 8 hours of ‘learning’, or being in a classroom, sitting at a desk for extended periods of time.
- Everything is really flowing and easy. Homeschooling might be a breeze for you. Your kids are super engaged and are loving every minute of the day. And this might strike you as wrong because lots and lots of people struggle at the beginning.
These are just some causes that I’ve come across by speaking to my podcast guests and with my homeschooling community. So now let’s look at ways to overcome this feeling.
How to Feel Like You Have Enough Homeschool Time
Firstly, let’s talk about the mindset stuff. Because it really is the basis of everything, I believe.
- If it’s really, really important to you, make homeschooling one of your non-negotiable priorities. Because you will always find time for what you need or want to do. Then put it in your planner or your calendar and let people know that you’re NOT available during this time.
- Always remember your why. This will get you through times of doubt and stress because your goal will always be top of mind. You can journal about it, have it as your phone lock screen or use it in an affirmation when you meditate.
- Be mindful and grateful for what you have. I know this sounds really woo woo, but when you’re living in the present moment, you can appreciate what you have. And also see more clearly that you’re doing your best! These practices can alleviate feelings of guilt and anxiety too.
Practical Ways to Schedule Enough Homeschool Time into Your Day
Ok, enough of the airy fairy stuff. Let’s get down to business. So what are some ways to get enough homeschool time into your day?
1. Homeschool Year Round.
This might not work for everyone, but most families who do this (like us), swear by it. There are loads of benefits!
- It takes the pressure off because your homeschool hours are spread throughout the year. This means you can do less in a day. In fact, we only do 4 days a week and manage just fine!
- You avoid the after-vacation reluctance. Trust me that this is no joke! For us, it takes ages to get back into the swing of things after even a short break! And we tend not to get very much done during these transition times.
2. Readjust Your Thinking About How Much Learning Time Kids Need
You might be surprised that children don’t actually need as many hours as you think to do book work or more structured learning.
- The 8 hours a day idea is based on the public school model. But kids can’t actually concentrate for that long! Christine from This Homeschool House has a great post about how many hours kids need.
- Your kids are constantly learning! As long as you provide them with opportunities to read and explore and investigate, they’re going to be taking in so much natural knowledge. And they’re going to be doing it in a very engaged way!
- The quality of homeschooling means you need less time. Your children are going to be getting so much one-on-one attention, that they’re going to progress in leaps and bounds. Not to mention the fact that you can create a learning environment that’s suited to their learning style.
3. Find That Energy Sweet Spot
When both you and your kids are feeling energetic, homeschooling is going to be so much more effective. So it’s worth it to find out when you’re all going to be the most receptive. The flexibility of homeschooling allows you to get creative with your schedule so that it works for everyone. This will mean…
- You can get a lot done because everyone is in the mood for homeschool – including you!
- There will be less reluctance and resistance, which is a big time waster. And not conducive to happy learning!
Final Thoughts on Enough Homeschool Time
As a mother who juggles work and homeschool, you have so much to juggle. But with some patience, mindfulness and practice, you can create a schedule that’s going to mean homeschool success for your kids. It’s 110 percent possible! Just make sure that YOU are also getting everything you need because it’s absolutely vital that you’re as successful and happy as your kids are.