Work + Homeschool: How to Find the Time

If you’re just thinking about working and homeschooling, then you might feel that work + homeschool = impossible. And you would definitely not be alone!  

In today’s post I want to take you back to 2017, when I started. I’ll give you a peak into my life back then. You’ll be able to see that I felt just like you do now. I was stressed, anxious, exhausted, excited, overwhelmed and clueless too. 

But I figured it all out and you can too. And I’ll show you how to turn work + homeschool into possible

Work + Homeschool Back in 2017

The beginning of my working homeschool mom journey was really bad. I started from a place of fear and desperation. Our kiddos had been in school for a year and it was an incredibly traumatic experience

Each day was filled with meltdowns, fights and discussions with the teaching staff and school principle. So we knew that we had to do something. And homeschooling seemed like the obvious next step

You can read a detailed post I wrote about why we started homeschooling

So apart from needing to figure out homeschooling, I also had to continue working. It was a lot to manage at the same time! I was totally stressed out and exhausted by it all! Does this sound familiar?

Here are some of the negative and unhelpful things I did during that time that caused me to feel like I was failing at being a working homeschool mom:

  • I tried to do school at home.
  • I didn’t give us all any time to adjust or decompress after our traumatic year. I didn’t deschool.
  • I compared my life to other homeschool moms on Instagram and Pinterest.
  • I didn’t spend time rebuilding a bond with my children. 
  • I doubled down on what I thought was the right way to do something, even when my kids were not at all engaged. 
  • I was really hard on myself and didn’t give myself an inch of leeway.
  • I ran myself ragged by trying to everything. 
Now I don’t want to put you off homeschool + work. These were my experiences and they do not have to be yours! You can learn from my failures, mistakes and missteps so that you can take your first steps with confidence! 

Find the Hours to Work + Homeschool with my TIME Method

At the heart of all the struggles that working homeschool moms face, is time! I know this from my own experiences and from all the moms who work and homeschool I’ve spoken to over the years. 

With enough time, you can fit everything you need to into a day. But when you start out, it just doesn’t seem possible! So that’s why I created the TIME Method. With these small steps, you can find a schedule that works, feel confident about homeschooling and have enough time for you too. 

So let’s jump into the TIME Method, so that you can take your first steps with confidence. 

T = Time Out

It might feel counterintuitive, but instead of rushing forward with homeschooling, buying all the curriculum and setting up a homeschool room, take a step back. 

This is vital for moms with little ones and also for those who have taken their kids out of school. Give yourself space to figure out some really important things:

  1. What is your homeschool why? Think about it, write it down and make sure you have it somewhere you can see it. This is going to help when homeschooling get tough
  2. What are your ideas about education and learning? In order to homeschool successfully and give your kids what they need, you’re going to need to unlearn so much! 
  3. What lights your child up? Spend some time just observing your kiddo. Give them lots of books and activities to do and see when they’re really engaged and interested. Letting your child lead is a great way to make a happy homeschool. 
I suggest taking as much time as needed so that you can start from a place of confidence and excitement. It took us a year and a half! But when we got going, we flew ahead! 
Now you might be wondering what this has to do with finding the time to work and homeschool? Well, when you’re sure about why you’re doing this, figure out what lights your kids up and open your mind to all the possibilities out there, you:
  • move forward with purpose and clarity,
  • homeschool effectively, thereby needing less time,
  • get creative with scheduling, resources and much more,
  • and save time because you’re open and curious about what works and what doesn’t. And you can tweak and change as needed! 

I = Internal Work

I’ve realized that you have to do a lot of internal work to be a working homeschool mom. It’s a very different way of life that requires you to have a strong mindset. 

Here are just a few of the mindset tools that have helped me and other working homeschool moms:

  • Practise a growth mindset. This means trusting the process, getting up again when you fall down, and learning from your mistakes. 
  • Don’t compare yourself to other homeschool moms. Your homeschool life is going to look very different to that of other homeschool moms. And that’s ok! Rather than comparing and feeling bad about yourself, get excited about how unique your working homeschool mom life is and how perfectly is suits you and your family!  
  • Fully embrace imperfection! It’s going to take some time to get it all figured out. And trying to be perfect is just going to set you back. Rather lean into all the mess and find a way through that actually works! 

M = Me Time First

I’ve learnt that putting myself at the bottom of the list makes everything in my life difficult. And you’ll definitely find this to be true too! How do I know? Because every single working homeschool mom I’ve ever spoken to, has said as much. 

When you start working out a schedule and there’s no time for self care, then I suggest rethinking it! It’s not going to be sustainable in the long run! 

This is the time to use all those productivity tools to make sure that you have enough time every day to take a breath, check in with yourself, and do something joyful and fun

The podcast episode I did with Sara Vatore about moving from burnout to ease is awesome! She shares great tips about self care too!

Productivity Tools I Love

I love productivity and time management tools, because they help me to do the things that are really important to me. And yes, self care is right up there!

  • My number one tool is the screen time app from Apple. I limit the amount of social media I use and also switch my phone off between 7 and 7. It helps me work uninterruptedsleep better and have time for self care rather than social media. 
  • I only do one thing at a time. This has been hard to get used to, but it’s done wonders for my productivity and has helped me to save lots of time. 
  • I block schedule. I have days in the week to do certain types of activities, such as podcasting, for example. This means that I’m focused on this for the day and also means I know exactly what I’m doing. 
  • I work on my habits. If you haven’t read Atomic Habits yet, I highly recommend it. It’s a simple way to do more of what you want and less of what you don’t!

E = Engage Community

I always speak about the fact that I would never even have considered homeschooling, if I hadn’t found a community. Finding people online who were going through what I was, gave me so much support, encouragement and hope

There are so many ways you can engage community now. You can:

  • join a Facebook group,
  • find a co-op in your area,
  • follow people on Instagram and Pinterest,
  • or connect with a coach who can guide you in your unique path.
When you feel like you’re seen, heard and understood, then anything feels possible! Being part of a community is really such a powerful tool to taking those first steps into your working homeschool mom life with confidence. 

Final Thoughts on Work + Homeschool

Making a big leap like becoming a working homeschool mom, can be daunting! But when you take the time to lay a solid foundation, then you’ll be able to succeed! 

As a coach for moms who work and homeschool, I’m here to help you take those first steps with confidence. So be sure to reach out so that we can have a chat! 

Charlotte Jones - Working Homeschool Mom Coach

Follow me InstagramFacebook and Pinterest for more homeschool shenanigans, advice and resources. And please check out my working homeschool mom coaching if you need some extra help and support.

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