I am wondering how many of you wrk outside of the home and homeschool your children. I’m really struggling with finding a “new normal” for our days and routines. I’m wondering how you do it? What do your children do on their own? What do u do together? How many hours/days do you wrk? Got any advice/help for others who wrk and homeschool? TIA!
I work about 10 hours a week over 2 or 3 part-time days. I can do a little of my work at home, but it usually takes longer that way, so I don’t do that much anymore.
My daughters are 13 & 15, so they do more than half of their work on their own with most of the help in the subject or two that they struggle with. A lot of my work for their schooling is prep & scheduling plus checking math tests, reading science notebooks or narrations from various subjects. We still do history & geography together and sometimes a literature read aloud. We don’t even always do Bible studies together because each girl has something different they are working on right now, not what is recommended for with the history module.
The only way this really works for us is because this year my son has been enrolled in a community school for kids with autism, Asperger’s, ADHD, and other behavioral disorders. I didn’t plan on this, but the school came to our attention while I was seeking some place that would test him in certain areas. It has been a blessing to us at this point because I was really feeling that I could not give him the time and attention he needed in the way he needed it, and my girls’ education was not coming together as I wanted it to. (Nor as they wanted either.)
My girls go to visit their dad one afternoon a week, and I go to the office for 4+ hours. I manage to work in another day usually while the kids are at youth group and sometimes on a Friday or Saturday when they are not doing schoolwork. However, my kids are all teens and can be at home for a few hours without me. I don’t leave them at home during the school day, but they are able to get their schoolwork done early enough on days they visit their dad. We work longer on days we don’t have anything going on outside of home.
One thing that helps is to plan ahead for meals, and keep dinners simple on the busiest days. I have a lot of slip-ups when it comes to meal planning, and we pay dearly for it when that happens–both financially and nutritionally. As far as “routine” and “normal” go, I just keep reminding myself when I look at our home & DON’T see the cover of “House Beautiful” or “Better Homes and Gardens,” I am choosing to educate and raise my children according to the beliefs and values I hold dear, and it is worth living life on the cover of “House Mediocre” and “Lesser Homes and Gardens.”
I work 40 hours a week outside the home. Not becuase I want to but have to at this time. My kids are in 5th, 4th, 3rd and K. They get up at 6:30 and do their chores and when I get up at 7:30 they should be eating breakfast and then some exercises. I don’t get home from work until midnight and to bed at 12:30 and really need the 7 hours of sleep which never feels like enough anyway. Last year the kids did really well with getting up and getting everything done ahead of time but this year we have had issues with ipad games in the morning and all screen time got taken away until we decided they can have it back. I expect it to go back to the good routine we had last year.
We do school every weekday morning from 8 to 11. Mostly math, English/spelling/writing, SCM history/geography/Bible, devotion and that usually takes all my time. I try one day a week to do some sort of science (working on 106 Days of Creation this year) but it doesn’t always happen. It takes my kids forever to do their math even though I cross off alot from their work pages. So at 11 I start lunch and they finish their math (becoming more independent as we go along) then after lunch and lunch chores I correct their math and we go over what they did wrong.
This takes up most of my time until I have to leave for work at 2:30. I give them a list that they have to finish while I am gone (Dad is usually home at 4:15); reading (which means they don’t narrate aloud to me with these assigned books but I usually have them narrate our history), piano lessons, and then laundry and dishes. The boys do their laundry together usually Monday and Tuesday and the girls do theirs on Wednesday and THursday. They do it all; wash, dry, fold and put away. (Its not folded to my liking but I have to stop expecting them to do everything “perfect” or exactly the way I would do it; at least it is getting done). Dishes we rotate every day and it is written on the calender so there is no arguing about who has to do them. They also have to have the dishes done by the time Dad gets home or they have to do them the next day.
Dad has also started doing catechism with our 5th grader and a bible study with the 4th grader as well in the evenings.
As far as advice: I think the biggest thing is the meal planning and not keeping expectations to high with a perfect house. This was my biggest problem and I have really had to learn to relax and just be glad that the stuff got done! We expect a lot from our kids but we try to reward them for being responsible and doing their chores well. We don’t have alot of money but we do this by a special trip to pizza hut or something similar or something they have been wanting. My DH just finished his advanced EMT course in December and twice a week the kids were home by themselves at night for 4 months. THey did alright and I would usually call them to check on them but my oldest is very responsible and we rewarded her with an ipod for Christmas.
For meal plannning I try to make a good lunch and then once or twice a week I try to make supper for them usually in the crock pot. I try to make bigger amounts of meals on the weekends so they can have leftovers one night too. It doesn’t always happen this way but we try. I am in the process of trying to have my oldest be able to prepare a meal as well (besides mac n chees out of a box) but this takes time to learn. So my weekends are full of cleaning and cooking and laundry and what not. HTH! I may have more to add later but I gotta go take my kids to Sunday School.
I answer phones and do the books for my husband’s air conditioning company. Our school day is from 8-1:30 ish. I check calls and return them inbetween subjects or during transition times. Takes about 5-10. Our regular customers know I homeschool and that I return calls usually within an hour. Our class times are anywhere from 20-30 minutes long. If I have to work up an estimate or type out an invoice, then I do it while the kids are doing copy work or while they do math on their own. I have to have a schedule and I have a timer as well, otherwise our days were lasting until 3-4. I do not answer phones while doing a class unless it is my husband, then I have an assignment that the kids have been given ahead of time for just that purpose so that they stay quiet and don’t shoot off like rockets to go play because then it took at least 5-10 to get them focused again.
I do schedule their chores into the school day so that they get done and when school is done, then they have earned their free time. I do limit electronics to 30 minutes- an hour a day on school days. time depends on what they are doing….vidoes or video games, 30 minutes, but i will let them watch a full movie or play educational games online for an hour.
When school is done, then I do my chores and prep for supper and then I try and work in office for a few hours usually 3-5 and if husband cooks, then I can work till 7. So he trys and cooks as much as possible. So far it all works well except meal planning is tough for me since I never know if I am cooking or he is and he cooks way better than me and he can cook lots that I can’t. So meal planning is my weakness and I still struggle with it.
I can not tell you how much time I work on the business, since it is so sporadic, but I pay all bills and run all errands as well. Kids go to their grandparents every thursday for horse lessons and I do all that on thursdays and just check messages while out and about. My kids also have a set grandparent day on Sunday afternoons and this is my me time where I get 12-5 to do whatever I want. I usually read or go see a movie, but I will use it as my catch up if I get behind in other areas or I will use it to coplete special projects, like painting the house inside and out which has been going on for 2 years now!!LOL
Hope this helps….my kids are 7 & 8 and really don’t have much independent work yet, so my plate is really really full and my house isn’t the cleanest or most organized or clutter free, but it is usually happy and productive, so all in all ok.
Thanks ladies. This is all new territory for me. I haven’t worked out of the home in 15 years. I have 6 children ages 15, 12, 11, 6, 4 and 2. We are living with my parents while my husband is going back to school. This has been a huge struggle for me. I’m feeling so out of touch with everything in my life. I work 5 days a week from 6am-3pm. My dh is home with them 3 of the 5 days but the other 2 it’s just them and my parents. I can’t even seem to find the time to get stuff organized so my dh, parents and I are all on the same page. I just can’t wrap my mind around how women do this :( I’m so overwhelmed.
Just try to do one thing at a time and it will get easier. Pick one thing for the week to get done or longer if that is what it takes. Baby steps. I remember the frustration at nothing seeming to go the way I wanted it to. It still doesn’t, I guess I have just gotten used to it. I switched to second shift so I don’t see DH very much except on weekends but that is the way it works for us. He wants to continue in the fall with paramedic so we will be doing this for awhile yet. Then I pray that I can at least go to part time.
I work 9am-Noon monday to Friday (and bring them to the office with me when I need to), so most of our schooling is done in the afternoon. Our boys are 13 and 9 1/2. I have had to cut back to the basics for the time being. Part of it is because my older really needs the extra time in certain areas, like math and writing, so we are focusing on those with a view to more independence next year. He reads alot, but doesn’t like to have books assigned to him. I just try to keep lots on hand for him to read. He is very social and wants to be done when the public school kids are done, so I generally work with him first or in the evenings after supper when his friends are doing their homework. We have to be pretty flexible.
My younger is ADHD and needs more help with staying on task than anything else. Thankfully he is above average in his acedemics, so I don’t panic if I have to cut lessons short. He loves math and will often do twice what I assign him all on his own, but other things are not so interesting to him. Like he hates copywork and tunes out of a history reading after about 10 minutes tops. He is pretty good to work as long as I need him to, though, so it’s not the end of the world if he is still working until 3:30 or 4 (sometimes longer).
I gues I determine what the bare minimum I can accept on any given day is and start with that. If I have time to add in History or Science (and I usually have time for at least ten minutes of one or the other and sometimes both) I will. If I don’t, I don’t panic. I have a theme (like right now we are reading about the Greeks) but I don’t stress about following a particular curriculum. I plan on adding in some more board games and videos this term, and I allow some educational video games (especially math or spelling oriented for my older son) during “school” hours. I have to be flexible and will usually use “literature read-alouds” as their bed-time story (yes I still read to my 13 year old at bedtime — not always, but often.) Next year I think I will be using the Diane Warring History Curriculum, or at least the Audio CDs which we can listen to while doing other things. Hopefully by then my older will be sufficiently independent and will be ready to tackle a science curriculum independently.
I have had to give up some of my dreams for them — we are not learning Spanish or French, we have not tackled Latin, we have not managed to get in much in terns of Poetry or Artist or Composer Study. I’ve not had much success with nature study. Perhaps if I had a full day to work with I would be able to squeeze them in. I don’t know. It is disappointing in that regard. If I had my choice, I would not work. I would be home with them instead. Still, it is manageable. More managable if your kids have never been in ps like mine were.
Nina, I was a single, homeschooling mama for 8 years when my older boys were little. Working while home schooling is tough! If you have your hubby and parents on board to help, maybe the best way to get things moving in the right direction is to start with just one subject. Math might be easy to start with your older kids because it is usually well defined. If whom ever is responsible for the kids can get them each to do math for that day it would be a start. Do you have a program the kids are using or do you need to find something new? I like programs like MathUSee with the videos so the teaching will be consistent even if the teacher is different each day. The, you could review their work sheets on your day off to make sure everyone is on track.
It might also help if you write out the assignments for the week, and ask whomever teaches each day to check off what was done so you can keep track.
Your younger kids would probably be fine with some counting and math games. I love the book Family Math http://www.amazon.com/Family-Math-Equals-Jean-Stenmark/dp/0912511060/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1389110580&sr=1-1&keywords=family+math Fun games you or other family members can do with the kids that really work to help build a strong math foundation.
After everyone is doing math consistently for a couple weeks, then add a second subject. Maybe a read aloud, or for ease, maybe an audiobook everyone listens to together. Another way to get literature in that I have recently started using is our time in the car. sWe have lots of appointments so we usually have 45 minutes to an hour in the car most days and if the kids and I are listening to Winnie the Pooh it isnt a waste. :-) If the book is more suited to the older kids, you could put it on and have the them listen with you while you make dinner together, and then you have something interesting to talk about during dinner. :-)
If you are doing reading instruction with your 6yo, you could spend 5 or 10 minutes before bed with simple word games such as you will find in Delightful Reading. http://simplycharlottemason.com/store/delightful-reading/ If you don’t want to spring for the program, you can make little letter tiles and use any quality literature you have available. Fortunately, the little ones only require short little bursts of time, so you can find a way to fit it in. The hard part is being consistant, which is why I like to tie it to something we always do, like bed time, or doing it while th ebig kids do the dinner dishes.
So, just add one thing at a time until you get the basics covered. After that, you can add things like artist study by taking a trip to a museum on your day off. Its not how CM would have done it, but we have to work with what we have. Don’t give up! It can work it will just take time to find your (and everyone elses) groove.
Thank you all for your kind words and helpful advice!!! I guess I just need to start small, like was said – 1 subject – and go from there. I am just so sad about our whole situation and that I had such high hopes for school this year :( it’s making it hard to be “ok” with getting little done. Anyway, thanks again. I’m very thankful for your support.
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