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Here we are in part two of balancing homeschooling and homemaking. If you missed part one, it dealt with recognizing that you are always a mom, which means that half of your time and energy will be expended there.
Then it want on to talk about the advantage to scheduling your day in such a way that you can focus on only homeschooling at times and on only homemaking at times. This has been the best solution I have found in more than 10 years of homeschooling. If you missed that post, you should start by reading How to Balance Homemaking and Homeschooling Part One.
Hopefully you have also read Why We Prefer Your-Round Homeschool. Within that post you read the advantages that we have found to keeping this year-round schedule in our family, but I find that the beauty of year-round homeschool above anything else, is that we only homeschool four days a week at the most. We kind of fell into having Wednesdays off by default because my kids increasingly more activities that took them out of the house all day, but it has been the best thing I’ve ever been “forced” into.
So, can I tell you how wonderful it is to never have more than two days of homeschooling in a row? As the homemaking duties pile up because, let’s face it, rare is the day that everything gets done, it is like a breath of fresh air to know that my “catch-up” day is never very far off. I can always catch my breath.
While I am busy driving my kids around for much of the day on Wednesdays, I still have a day that aside from that is only focused on homemaking. There are only two plates to spin on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays as it is only the mom plate and the homemaking plate that come into play.
This is an incredibly freeing concept
In reality on Wednesdays, I have about 45 minutes at home over lunchtime, an hour during nap time, and then a good four hours during the late afternoon and early evening, but these times add up in a day.
Because I am a list maker and a scheduler, I always have my Wednesdays strategically planned to get the most bang for my buck in terms of time, and I can accomplish a ton. Generally, I can walk into Thursdays ready to focus primarily on homeschooling with things in relative order.
Then weekends are really a time to focus on homemaking since there are two days in a row free of school. There are always other things in there, too, church, sports games, and the like, but there are no homeschool lessons to teach. My kids will often have work to finish up just as they would have homework if they were in mainstream school, but my time doesn’t need to incorporate homeschool.
The weekends again provide a time to catch my breath and a time to focus only on the mom plate and the homemaking plate.
There is nothing that is more valuable to our life as a family while also being a homeschooling family than having enough times off from school planned into the family calendar. This is especially true when it comes to juggling the demands placed on me as a mom, as a homemaker, office manager, taxi driver, and homeschooling teacher among many more.
If you are feeling overwhelmed at having to keep all your plates spinning, try playing around with your school calendar as we have. The great thing about homeschooling is that you can tailor it to suit your needs as a family, and then it can be tailored again and again as seasons in your lives change.
Balancing your life as a homemaker and a homeschooling mom can be a challenge, but give yourself permission to have times built in when you can catch your breath as I do on Wednesdays and then again on the weekends.
Come back tomorrow for the third and final day when I will share a few of the nuts and bolts that help keep things running in tip-top shape – at least most of the time!
In case you missed the first post in this mini-series, you can find it here at How to Balance Homemaking and Homeschooling Part One.