How to Homeschool When You Work from Home

Hey there, multitasking homeschooling working mama maestros! 

If you’re a parent working from home and considering (or already) homeschooling your kids, you might be wondering how on earth you can juggle both roles without losing your sanity.

Balancing a career and your child’s education can seem daunting, but with a bit of planning and a lot of flexibility, it’s entirely doable.

Let’s dive into some tried-and-true strategies for homeschooling while working from home.

How to Homeschool When You Work from Home

1. Set Clear Boundaries and Schedules

First things first: boundaries.

Both you and your kids need to understand when it's time for work and when it's time for school.

This doesn’t mean a rigid 9-to-5 structure, but having a loose schedule helps everyone know what to expect.

Creating a daily and weekly routine that covers all the bases is essential if you are to be successful working and homeschooling.

And make sure you keep those office hours sacrosanct!

  • Create a Daily Routine: Start with a morning time or morning meeting to get started learning and to outline the day’s activities. This helps your kids understand what they need to do and gives you a chance to plan your work around their independent study times.

  • Office Hours for Both: Establish specific "office hours" for your work and "school hours" for your kids. Use visual cues like a sign on your door or a dedicated workspace to indicate when you’re working and shouldn’t be disturbed.

2. Use a Planner

A planner is your best friend in this dual role. It helps keep track of both work deadlines and school assignments.

Seriously, I don't know where I would be wihtout my amazing homeschool planner!

Literally EVERYTHING goes in there, and I use it to keep track of work schedules and deadlines too.

  • Weekly Planning Sessions: Spend some time each Sunday planning the week ahead. Note down your work commitments, meetings, and deadlines, alongside your kids’ lessons and activities. This helps you see any potential conflicts and address them in advance.

  • Color Coding: Use different colors for work and school activities to quickly identify what’s coming up. This visual differentiation makes it easier to switch between roles throughout the day.

3. Create a Dedicated Learning Space

Having a designated area for homeschooling helps your kids stay focused and signals that it’s time to learn.

Keeping your work, living and homeschool spaces separate is ideal if you have the room to do so.

  • Separate Spaces: If possible, set up separate spaces for your work and your kids’ schooling. Even if it’s just different corners of the same room, it helps create a mental boundary between work and school time.

  • Personalize the Space: Let your kids decorate their learning area with posters, art supplies, and their school materials. A fun, inviting space can make a big difference in their enthusiasm for schoolwork.

4. Incorporate Independent Learning

One of the perks of homeschooling is teaching your kids to become independent learners. This is especially useful when you need to focus on your work.

Unit studies, project-based homeschooling and/or online apps, courses and resources may be just what you need in your homeschool.

  • Work on Projects: Encourage your kids to work on long-term projects that interest them. This could be anything from building a model, writing a story, or researching a topic they love. Projects keep them engaged and can be done independently with occasional check-ins.

  • Educational Apps and Online Resources: Utilize educational apps, online courses, and websites to supplement your teaching. Many resources offer interactive and engaging content that can keep your kids occupied while you work.

5. Flexibility is Key

One of the greatest advantages of homeschooling is the flexibility it offers. Use this to your advantage by adjusting your curriculum and your schedule to fit your family’s needs.

You might decide to school all year round, homeschool in the evenings or at the weekend, or in blocks throughout the day.

Try some different options to see what works best for you and your kids.

  • Non-Traditional Hours: If your work allows, consider schooling during non-traditional hours. Some kids focus better in the evenings, and some parents find it easier to get work done early in the morning or late at night.

  • Break Up the Day: Instead of trying to fit all schoolwork into one long session, break the day into manageable chunks. Alternate between work and school activities, ensuring that neither you nor your kids get too burned out.

6. Involve Your Kids in Planning

Involving your kids in the planning process can give them a sense of ownership and responsibility for their education.

  • Weekly Meetings: Have a weekly meeting where you review what’s been accomplished and plan the upcoming week. Let your kids have a say in what subjects or activities they want to focus on.

  • Set Goals Together: Work with your kids to set both short-term and long-term goals. This helps them stay motivated and gives you both clear objectives to work towards.

7. Use Community Resources

You don’t have to do everything on your own. There are plenty of resources available to support homeschooling families.

Research your local homeschool groups, co-ops and any summer camp, holiday club or childcare options that may be available locally.

  • Local Homeschool Groups: Join local homeschool groups or co-ops where you can share resources, plan group activities, and get support from other homeschooling parents.

  • Virtual Communities: There are also numerous online communities and forums where you can connect with other homeschooling families, ask questions, and find encouragement.

8. Take Advantage of Flexibility for Field Trips

Learning doesn’t have to be confined to your home. Take advantage of the flexibility of homeschooling to plan educational outings.

Getting out and about on field trips or just to survey your local area or the great outdoors can help all of you to stay on task at home.

  • Local Museums and Parks: Plan trips to local museums, parks, and historical sites. Many places offer educational programs specifically designed for homeschoolers.

  • Virtual Field Trips: When physical trips aren’t possible, explore virtual field trips. Many institutions offer online tours and interactive experiences that can be both educational and fun.

9. Communicate with Your Employer

Working for yourself to your own schedule and deadlines may be easier, but is not always possible.

If you’re working for a company, it’s important to communicate your homeschooling responsibilities with your employer.

Discuss your schedule with them and negotiate flexibility on hours and deadlines as necessary.

  • Discuss Your Schedule: Be upfront about your schedule and explain how you plan to balance work and homeschooling. Most employers are understanding, especially in the current climate where remote work is more common.

  • Negotiate Flexibility: If possible, negotiate for flexible hours or the ability to shift your work schedule to accommodate your homeschooling duties. Clear communication can help manage expectations and reduce stress.

10. Self-Care is Essential

Don’t forget to take care of yourself amidst the hustle and bustle of homeschooling and working from home.

It's essential to find time for yourself, schedule breaks, ask for help when you need it and find time to relax or even for hobbies of your own.

  • Scheduled Breaks: Make sure to schedule regular breaks for yourself throughout the day. Use this time to relax, stretch, or enjoy a quiet moment with a cup of coffee.

  • Ask for Help: Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your partner, family, or friends. Sometimes just having someone else take over for an hour or two can make a big difference.

  • Find Time for Hobbies: Make time for activities you enjoy. Whether it’s reading, gardening, or crafting, having a hobby can be a great stress reliever and give you a much-needed mental break.

Wrapping It Up

Balancing homeschooling and working from home might seem like a monumental task, but with a bit of planning, flexibility, and a positive mindset, it’s entirely possible.

Remember, you’re not alone in this journey, and it’s okay to have days where things don’t go perfectly. 

The key is to stay organized, communicate openly, and give yourself and your kids grace.

Here’s to a successful and fulfilling year of homeschooling and working from home!

If you have any tips or experiences to share, head over to our Facebook group to share them – I’d love to hear from you.

Happy homeschooling! 

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