Most likely if you are homeschooling and working full time, your time is very limited. So creating lessons for your children is quite a challenge. Whether you are a seasoned homeschooling parent and just started working full time, or you are already a working mom looking to start homeschooling for the first time, these tips will enable you to plan productively and save you some additional stress.
#1 Define your schedule.
First thing to create balance for homeschooling and working full time is to evaluate your working schedule. Which are your work hours and which are your off hours, and which are your off days. You will have to make an honest decision about the time you have available to commit to teaching. If you can find 3-4 hours (or even 2-3 hours) a day for homeschooling, you will have enough time to successfully do so. Decide whether you will be homeschooling traditionally or year-around.
I recommend the latter, because it gives you enough time to work on each subject and even if you live in a state that requires specific amount of hours per academic year, all they are seeking for is the amount of hours, not when they are completed. Also to consider, would be if you will be partnering with your spouse or a close family member with the teaching, or if you will be in charge of everything.
#2 Choosing curricula that works for you.
I recommend a curriculum that includes lesson plans (the so famously called “boxed curriculum”). I have two favorites. The first one is Sonlight, which is literature based, and it includes lesson plans for each subject. Sonlight also gives you the option for picking out 4-Day or 5-Day schedules. The difference is in the quantity of literature books. But they have a blog post on how to fit a 5-Day schedule (so that you can still get all the books if you so desire) into a 4-Day schedule. You do have to spend time teaching and be part of the read-a loud literature.
My other favorite is Timberdoodle. It has more of a STEM approach and you may want to supplement literature on the side to best fit your schedule and your loving-reading needs, but the way the lesson plans are organized is what I love of this company. They come with a parent handbook for each grade you purchase, and you can decide whether to purchase Basic, Complete, or Elite (I personally prefer the Elite option). The handbook comes with the schedules for the week and each child has a checklist of all the assignments per subject in one sheet for the week. It promotes independent learning, and your teaching time gets minimized (win,win!).
#3 Assign duties and responsibilities.
Once you are familiar with the curricula and the schedule plans, decide which subjects each one of your children can work on independently (e.g. Geography, Writing, History,etc.) and the ones that will need your teaching time (e.g. Math, Spelling, Latin, etc). Assign chores according to their capabilities and schedule them into their daily routine along with their school assignments. You will be promoting an environment where each family member participates and helps each other in the care and growing of the home and family.
#4 Take Time for yourself.
I know, it sounds impossible, but it is so beneficial to dedicate some quiet time with the Lord in prayer and Bible study, even if it is for just a few minutes a day. God will bless you with calmness, patience, and relaxation when you think you can’t get it. He is the giver of wisdom (Proverbs 2:6), peace (John 14:27), and love (1 John 4:16). Hard working momma, you need all of those to home educate your children. Always keep in mind and say to yourself, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
Did I miss something? What are your best kept secrets for balancing homeschooling and working full time?
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