How do we balance it all as homeschoolers? How do we maintain our home life, family life, and school in one contained space?
Where is the separation between school and home?
When do you turn off “teacher mode”, and turn on “wife mode”, and “mom mode”? How do we do it all without losing our minds?
Honestly speaking, I am still learning to balance our day to day life. (And I’m not sure I’m entirely sane. Haha!)
But, I digress……
Each year, I learn to be ok with the fact that I am one person, and I cannot “do it all”.
I know, I know. That’s a tough one for me.
Each day is a learning experience, and after 8 years of homeschooling I’m still learning.
I’m always learning new ways to combine our home life and school life.
I’m even learning ways to separate the two.
I’m learning how to turn off the teacher in me, and be a wife and helper to my husband.
(Turning off that darn teacher voice is still a challenge. Just ask my husband.)
The more our boys grow, and the more independent they become, the easier finding balance has become.
Here are some things that have helped us find that precious balance in our crazy day to day lives :
1. School time is over at a certain time each day.
As a working homeschool mom, I have to be on a schedule.
Our school day has to be over or wrapping up before my work day begins.
Our boys know this, and the time table they are given works well in motivating them to work hard.
Our set time schedule also motivates me to wake up early, (I like to sleep in), and get an early start so we can finish.
Even on my days off, I try to maintain a time schedule.
We all covet our free time, and having a set time helps us work hard in anticipation of that free time.
2. Weekends are for family time, not school work.
After a full week of school and work, the last thing any of us want to do on the weekends is more work.
Our weekend priority is each other.
Whether it be ordering pizza and watching movies, cooking together, going to birthday parties, the zoo, or church, its our time.
Again, having a set routine such as this keeps our boys motivated during the week.
Knowing they’ll have two free days helps keep them on track.
3. Field trips are taken as a family.
We always schedule our field trips on my husbands day’s off.
We love our field trip days! Its usually a full day away from the house, away from worksheets, and math equations.
It’s a day where we can just enjoy each other’s company, even while on an educational outing.
4. My husband is fully involved in the education of our boys.
Although I do the bulk of the teaching, on his days off my husband actively participates in our school days.
He answers questions, helps them with tough math problems, reads with them, and joins in our conversations and lectures.
It is something that he truly enjoys.
It is something we all enjoy!
It makes our boys’ education a family effort. It also gives me an opportunity to take a break if needed.
5. Doing chores is a part of our daily homeschool routine.
Chores are an important life skill and incorporating them into our actual school day is a tremendous help!
It not only eases the burden of housework on me, it also teaches our boys responsibility,
and it gives them something to do when they finish their school tasks earlier than their brothers.
6. Taking breaks during the day is a must!
Whether it be shooting hoops outdoors for a few minutes, or playing Minecraft, taking short breaks during the day is a normal part of our routine.
I need breaks, they need breaks.
It helps keep us refreshed, and helps prevent burn-out.
It also allows me to prepare for the next subject of the day.
7. Our boys make their own lunches each day.
Not only is this an important life skill, it also gives me a MUCH needed break.
Whether I need to finish grading their work, make a phone call, or just need a few minutes of quiet time, their lunch time is a welcome part of our day.
The boys, too, look forward to this time. It’s a welcome break for them as well.
Not to mention, they enjoy getting creative with their lunch choices. (mom approved, of course)
8. We have a ‘set’ schedule of daily tasks.
Ever since the boys were small, we have tackled our school subjects in a certain order.
The idea was to get through the hard stuff early in the day while our brains were fresh.
Knowing what they need to do each day is beyond beneficial to our family!
As mentioned previously, our boys have grown in independence. Much of their school work is now done independently.
I still use pocket charts that contain our daily school responsibilities, and each day each boy works diligently on his own to complete those tasks.
There is no questioning what needs to be done next. They know.
9. We keep the boys involved in our daily schedules.
Our boys know what needs to be done each day.
They know what outings we are taking, and they know what needs to be done before and after those outings.
Keeping them involved in our day to day tasks and scheduled appointments is vital.
They know what is expected of them, and even on those chaotic days, we can maintain some sort of routine.
10. We start each day with family devotion time and prayer.
This one should really be number 1 on this list, as it is our top priority. Spending time in prayer and devotions is a must for us!
Our morning quiet time is truly what gives us balance and perspective throughout the day.
There have been days where, in a rush to finish, we neglected our sweet time with the Lord. And it showed. Big time.
Our time spent reading our bibles and praying as a family is of utmost importance.
How do you maintain balance in your day to day life? I would love to hear! Please comment below and share!