Written by LaToya Edwards
I never planned to homeschool my children. In fact until I got pregnant with my oldest I’d never even heard the word.
I also didn’t plan on being a single mom. But as the time came to make school decisions I ultimately settled on homeschooling as what was best for my family.
It was not an easy choice. And everyone around me thought that I was crazy! How in the world was I going to homeschool as a single mom?
It took a lot of trial and error but I was able to find a way to make it work, including affording to be home, paying the bills, and getting the curriculum that we needed each year.
Homeschooling and being a work-at-home mom has really stretched me.
In the beginning, I struggled to manage all the different roles and responsibilities. But I have learned a few things that have helped me to find some sort of balance and sanity in it all.
If you are a single homeschooling parent who is thinking about (or currently working from home) I have a few tips to share with you.
These are also great for any mom who is looking to add to the family income by working from home:
1. Have clear priorities.
I remember when I first started working from home it was a disaster. I was always behind on something. My house would be a mess, but I’d have a really productive work week. All of our lessons would be completed, but I would have a pile of work that I hadn’t looked at even once that week.
I knew that I could not go on like this, so I sat down to write out my priorities. For me my family will always come before work. It’s a choice I made as a single mom and one I stick to now that I’m remarried with a baby on the way.
For me, my main job is being a wife and a mom. Any work that needs to be done will have to be worked around my family, not the other way around.
2. Create a schedule or routine and stick to it!
Once I had my priorities in order I set out to create a schedule that would allow me to homeschool, work, and take care of my home and family. It wasn’t easy. I ended up realizing that I had more on my plate than I could possibly manage, but was able to create a schedule that works for us.
After my morning routine I spend my mornings in mommy mode. I get up, fix breakfast and we do our homeschool lessons.
After lunch my boys are off for quiet time and free play for the afternoon. This gives me a few hours each day to get some work done.
I usually try to play a game with my boys after those working hours to reconnect and relax.
The rest of the day (until bedtime) is family time. I do my best not to work unless absolutely necessary.
Once my boys go to bed I have a few options: finish chores, work a little, relax, spend time with my hubby or go to bed early. Usually it’s a combination. I’m usually only working during this time if I have a deadline or special projects.
3. Ask for help when you need it.
This is a hard one for me. For some reason I like to think that I can do it all! Truth is that I can’t.
One thing that has been really helpful for me, especially when I’m working on a project, is having someone take my boys for a few hours so I can laser focus.
My hubby is really good about taking them to the park or the pool for a few hours so I can work, rest or catch up on housework.
I have a friend who is happy to take the boys to play at her house so I can work. And I also try to take advantage of the free time when my boys are visiting with their dad.
4. If you can afford to hire help, do it!
I’m not there yet, but I look forward to the day I can hire an assistant to help with some of my blogging tasks so I can work on other things or have more time for my family.
5. Take care of yourself.
Self-care is so important, but it’s also something that most moms struggle with. Wearing so many hats (mom, wife, teacher and business woman) is a great way to burn yourself out.
We have to make sure that we have time for ourselves, moms: a few minutes in the morning to read the Bible and pray, or half an hour each day to read a book, or sit on the couch and close your eyes for a few minutes.
Taking care of yourself will help you be the best mom, wife, homeschooler and business woman that you want to be.
Be sure to grant yourself a lot of grace.
I have made many mistakes in the past and I’m sure that I have more coming. But if I can remember not to beat myself up over the little things I can continue to move forward.
Do you work from home? Or are you a single parent who is homeschooling? What tips would you share?