I know this is a time of stress for parents who need to balance work and school at home. Being a homeschooler for my three children (now four) for almost 9 years and did work from home, I thought maybe I can offer some insights and encouragement during this time.
For our family, we chose to homeschool because we want to disciple our children in the way of the Lord, and build a close relationship with each one of them.
During this time at home, I would encourage you to see this as opportunity to build closer relationship with your children, to teach and inspire them with things they wouldn’t be able to learn at a school setting, and discover new things about each other you would’ve missed.
One thing you might feel stressed over is the “schedule”. How do I fit EVERYTHING into a day? The answer is, you can’t! I think the most important thing is to prioritize the tasks, then delegate, and if you still can’t finish everything, do it the next day.
The schedule – This really varies from family to family, but I would suggest not to keep a timed schedule especially when you have younger children. For years, I have tried to do that but I’ve failed a thousand times and finally realized I am just not wired that way, and it’s not how our family operates. Every time I looked at the clock, I felt that time was slipping away and was so overwhelmed. Instead, focus on finishing the school assignments as tasks, give a reasonable and realistic time to finish, so that you wouldn’t feel stressed. Give breaks in between assignments, so that you can also take a break yourself.
It is okay to have a general schedule so that you do have a structure, especially since the children are used to one when they were at school. However, be flexible so you don’t feel stressed.
Also, for some children, they work better in the morning for certain subjects like Math, so it would be more beneficial and productive if you schedule those assignments at the optimal time and hear fewer complaints.
If you’re working from home and your children are more independent at doing their school work, you can certainly work alongside them so they know that you’re also working hard, just like them! If they are younger and require more help, then you might need to schedule blocks to do your work. It can be before they wake up, when they play, or after they go to sleep.
Servant heart – this is a really great time to develop a servant heart in your children. If you have teenagers, you can ask them to help make and serve breakfast/lunch so that you don’t have to. They can learn how to make breakfast/lunch if they don’t know how, which is a great bonding time.
You can delegate more chores for your children to do during this time as well, so that they can help relieve your stress of juggling work, school, and housework. It will teach them great life skills.
Discover new hobbies – This is a great opportunity to discover new hobbies! Go learn something new with your children. Do science experiments with kitchen ingredients, make slime, try new recipes together. There are plenty of online resources you can tap into for learning almost everything.
Play together as a family. Do a 500 piece puzzle together (we do that), watch documentaries, do lots of sharing time, play board games, etc. Learn something new about one another!
Quiet time – Having all your children at home also means more noise and dramas. Believe me, I feel like I’m in a zoo ALL THE TIME. So it’s crucial that you find that quiet place to be with yourself and the Lord, to take a deep breath, and to decompress, even in the middle of the day.
There are couple books that might be great inspiration and encouragement to you.
They are both homeschooling resources but still offer great insights about teaching our children at home. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Steve and I.