If COVID-19 has you working from home – you may also be trying to homeschool your kids. If this is your first time, finding the balance between the two may feel nearly impossible. Chances are your work may have taken a back seat to everything else.
As someone who has been traveling the world and homeschooling their child for the last 3 years, you could say I know a thing or two about finding the balance. A good place to start is by being organized, setting expectations, and routines.
These are major factors in homeschooling your kids effectively, while also balancing your work, and I’m here to tell you that you can make it happen!
Working online offers many women the flexibility they need to juggle homeschooling and work-from-home life. So, here are some tips to help you balance both.
Homeschooling is challenging as it is, but getting your work done on top of that can add a lot of unwanted stress. Be realistic in the expectations you set and know that there isn’t a one size fits all. Your set of expectations for homeschooling and getting your work done will look completely different than someone else’s. Focus on what will work for you and your family.
Expectations for Yourself
Expect a learning curve and give yourself some breathing room. You need to figure out what works for you.
- What do I want my day to look like?
- What do I need to do before/between/after my work?
- When can I give my full attention to the kids?
These questions will help you to envision your ideal day and understand what YOU need in your daily routine. It is all about having the right mindset and knowing what you need to do.
We don’t wake up, jump to our laptops, work, and then go to bed – it doesn’t happen like that and it shouldn’t. None of our personal needs would be met.
Instead – we wake up, do our morning routine, help our children get set up, and then get started with our day. At lunchtime, we may need to cook or take a work break and scroll Facebook. This is okay and it keeps us sane.
When you can identify what you want your day to look like, it helps you set realistic expectations for yourself.
Expectations for Work (Get your work done!)
The reality is when working from home, you aren’t going to experience a normal workday… especially with kids! Eight hours of work with no distractions or interruptions just isn’t going to happen. It’s important to figure out a plan.
- What do I need to get done?
- How much work can I get done today?
- How long can I work for?
Set realistic goals. Don’t plan on finishing a huge project in five hours if you know it won’t happen. Trial and error is the best way to get results that will work for you and help you set better expectations for the future.
Keep in mind that some of your time spent working may be broken up into chunks based on your child’s schooling. The expectations you set for each day should reflect that.
Expectations for Your Kids (Homeschooling)
Your kids’ ages and needs will determine what your expectations for them and their homeschooling will look like. Utilize opportunities during the day. For example – if your child takes naps, work during that time. If they can entertain themselves, get creative with your resources before start your workday.
- How much schoolwork can I set up for them to do?
- What can they do themselves?
- How long can my kids stay entertained?
Finding activities and lessons that work for your kids may take some time to figure out. Check out some of the free or low-cost resources that I’ve used that will help with homeschooling your kids. These are also a great place to start if you are struggling with planning your child’s homeschool curriculum.
Know that the expectations you set for yourself and your work will change with time so, adjust accordingly.
Create a Schedule
Having a schedule for you and your kids is an important step to getting organized. Once you have set your realistic expectations for you and your family – make a schedule, and stick with it.
- When should the kids start school?
- What time should they be up?
- What time should I wake up?
- What is our morning routine?
- What is their morning routine?
Getting your kids on board with the new schedule can be difficult, so we have found it best to make it collaborative! It not only keeps the kids a part of the schedule, but it holds them responsible for following it. Expectations are clear for the whole family when everyone has a part in them.
Do keep your end of the bargain when collaborating on a schedule/routine. If you say no screen time from 11 am-1 pm, follow that as well. A schedule/routine only works if EVERYONE is following it.
This isn’t going to be easy or come naturally right away. These things take some time. Everyone will be adjusting to new wake up times, holding themselves to their routines, and getting rid of old habits. Give yourself and your family some wiggle room. You might even need to do some editing and readjusting of times as you start to balance your new homeschool and work-life journey.
If you want to learn more about how to work online and how other online experts made their dream a reality, grab your FREE ticket to our Work From Anywhere Virtual Summit. You’ll hear different stories from 21 different people on how they got started and how you can too!
Jessika Eiden is a Virtual Assistant here to help businesses create a consistent online presence.
When she’s not helping businesses and creators, she loves to teach her kindergarten class. She’s a member of 90 Day VA and assists with everything from content creation, blogs, social media management, and course creation.
To see all the services she offers and how she can help you, check out her Facebook page here.