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This is my third year homeschooling. This year I have a second grader and have added a kindergartner. These are my only two kids. We have only done three weeks of school this year and already I am considering enrolling them both in PS. I want to cry just thinking about it because I think homeschooling is so much better academically and socially. The main reason for considering PS is that I am just SO busy, all day every day. I am so BUSY BUSY BUSY that I feel like my life is out of control. I also don't want to cut anything out of my life, though. I enjoy homeschooling, but I also work PT from home (16 hours/week) and I am trying to finish up writiing a novel and trying to find a publiisher for it. I am extremely frustrated that I cannot find enough time for my writing. This is my first attempt at writing a novel but I think it has a good chance at being published (because it is based on a true story and I have so many great sources) and becoming a published author has been a lifelong goal of mine. Also, with the kids at home all day and me working most nights, I have almost no time for personal friendships. I just need some "me" time and I don't know how to get it without paying for a nanny (I really don't want to spend the money even for a PT nanny). We are in Classical Conversations which I love, but I am finding that since the kids are still only in Foundations, we can do the memory work fairly quickly and still have a lot of time left in our day. I can put them in PS and still supplement with the memory work. The PS is a very nice school, great environment, just not up to my academic standards (for example, in CC we are studying Latin verb conjugations, medieval history and European geography, which I love.) I only have my mother-in-law one afternoon every other week to help out; otherwise I have no other help.

Any suggestions?

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You may want to get a book like Keepers of Their Home by Terri Maxwell. I don't know if you are Christian or not if you are not you could skip the Bible verses and just do the meditations. Basically, it helps you to get your time under control. It really helped me out a lot when I first started homeschooling.

 

It starts with making a list of those things you really feel like you need to do each day/week/month/whatever. Then you assign times to them and figure out if you are maybe wasting time somewhere or if you have to make tough decisions and cut things out.

 

As for mom time, if you have a local homeschool group, you may want to join. They often have mom's meetings where you have your dh watch the kids while you go get some much needed support.

 

Another idea is to find a local playgroup where the children run off and play and you can relax and talk to other moms and get the support you need.

 

Yes, you do need to talk to other moms in person as they will help give you ideas on things you can do to make life more manageable.

 

I wish you the best.:001_smile:

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I can relate. I do not have as much on my plate as you do but I am introverted and I crave alone time to feel normal. Since homeschooling began I find myself emotionally drained. I am going to begin with an idea SWB uses and have the kids take a 2 hour quiet period in their rooms everyday. They don't have to nap, but it is a time to read, play quietly, or just stare at the ceiling if they want. But more important it is a time for me to recharge. If you did this, you would have those 2 hours to write or do what you needed. Plus the 2 hours aren't wasted if the kids are doing independent reading, or listening to a read aloud on tape. But for those 2 hours they do not come out of their rooms unless it is to use the restroom. If they have questions or finish their work they need to find something quiet to do until you tell them time is up.

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I have always worked part-time and homeschooled, though I have an only child, so I suppose that might make it somewhat easier (toss up - your kids have someone their age to play with).

 

Some suggestions for your "writing" time (depending on how much time you want/need);

(1) Paid homeschool teen 1x-2x per week

(2) There are plenty of places that offer "after school" care, some even quite inexpensively. I used the local rec center, which was not ideal, but was convenient. There may be decent quality after school care for that very nice PS. Check it out.

(3) Summer camp

(4) PS for a year

 

Personal friendships:

(1) Make that CC group and/or any other regular homeschool activities you might attend work for you, too. Develop your friendships there.

 

It's all a matter of priorities. It was important to me to homeschool and the option for me to be a non-working mother has never been available. I choose curriculum that makes it easy on me. I do not reinvent the wheel. The goal is efficiency in all things.

 

What is the best way to solve the time problem for the short term goal (your novel) and still realize the long-term goal (homeschooling)?

 

Best wishes to you. :grouphug:

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I always feel like my life is falling apart every fall when school starts. It is just an adjustment period that I go through. After about a month of school I am back into a flow and everything's getting done again. My advise is to give it a few more weeks before giving up and see if things improve.

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You sound a lot like me, as I am also writing, while homeschooling two children & keeping track of a two year old. Although this is my first HS year, I am familiar with the concept of needing "me" time during the summers, and when they were little. First off, I get up before they do and always head to the treadmill in the garage. I read and walk/jog on there for 30 minutes. Then they are up and dressed & breakfast is being eaten.

 

We start school at 8am and work until 9:30. We break from 9:30-9:45 and that is usually just enough time to throw something together for lunch or start laundry or check emails, etc. We then school until 11:30 and have lunch break for 1/2 hour after that. At noon we start either science or history which takes 1 1/2 hours. At 1:30... (here comes the important ME time part)... EVERYONE goes to their own rooms for 2 hours. Sometimes they have homework to do.. things they didn't finish that day in the allotted time. Other times they read, play, or the little one sleeps. That's a VERY important time of the day for me. I can work out again, work on writing, whatever. After they get up we head outside to play or to piano, gymnastics, sports, chores with dad on the 4 wheeler, etc.

 

The last "me" time would be in the evenings when dad is home with them. He gets their late night snack and everyone bathed, and I head out to the sauna for 30 minutes. I have found that I am fairly strict about the schedule Mon-Thurs, then Frid. is our Fun Math day, Nature Study day, plus all the other things they normally would do like Latin, Spelling, Logic, Cursive, Language Arts, etc.

 

I certainly know how you feel about wanting them to be in PS though. The first week felt like I was drowning in it all. By the second week I had a little bit of a handle on it.. then by the third, it seems to be flowing better. I don't know what our long term plans are, but as they get older I can also see them becoming more independent. I can see our 2 year old growing and starting school as well. I am just keeping my fingers crossed! What I will say about the writing thing, is that I definitely feel like I appreciate those "ME" times more and more these days. Even time in the car going to some sports practice, or grocery shopping (which for us is an hour away)... gives me time to "think" while the kids have their noses stuck in their books.

 

Good luck with your book. From the sounds of it, you will find your way... us MOMS are great multi-taskers!

Edited by SaDonna
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I am in a very similar situation -- 2nd grader, Kindergartener -- I work PT and am a performing violinist. I can not continue to perform unless I can find my own practice time every day. One small thing that I've been strict about this year is that I get up and walk every morning for 30 minutes before school and by the time I get back breakfast needs to have been eaten. It sounds small, but it has helped get the day started in a pleasant way. And at the end of the day I say my last good night at 7:30 and head to the practice room. Everyone asks how the boys can sleep with my playing, but I think they know that mommy's not going to come back one more time. I hope that I'm not just being selfish, but demonstrating that we have to take care of our passions! Mostly, I'm just commiserating -- we can do this!

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I have this same conversation in my head pretty much every year due to at-home work and other commitments. My conclusion every year to continue homeschooling (now in my sixth year) rather than enrolling in ps is at least in part driven by the thought that having my children in public school would also result in a certain investment of time. So, my optimistic idea that having the kids in ps would result in a blissful day spent getting done what needed to get done was not going to be the reality. It would include rousing the kids from bed, making sure they were presentable, fed, and were prepared for lunchtime, travel time to get them to school and back, figuring out what homework needed to be done and helping, parent-teacher conferences, registration, attending school events, committing time to assist with school fundraisers, etc. It just didn't seem worth it, particularly with our local kindergarten only being on a half-day schedule.

 

An exercise that helps me figure out how I'm actually spending all my time has been useful. For one week a year, I make a chart with hourly break-downs for each day of the week, and make brief notes/times as to how all my time that week was spent. I then tally up how each category breaks down, such as work, sleep, meals/prep, errands, school, Web, TV, etc. It can also help to analyze what time of day you are most effective at undertaking your writing project, and how large a chunk of time you need. Then, if writing is at the top of your priority list, arrange your other activities around that.

 

Best wishes on your writing project and achieving your desired "life balance",

 

Erica in OR

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I haven't read all the posts, so forgive me if I repeat. How much time are you spending schooling? Is your curriculum pretty much open and go? When I had kids that age, we could easily be done by lunch. Then you could send them off for quiet time-they can listen to books on tape, play quietly, or nap-while you write for a couple of hours.

I think all homeschool moms struggle to find "me" time. For me it mostly revolves around what my kids are doing, such as talking to other moms while my kids are in classes, at sports or birthday parties. I occasionally go out for coffee with a friend and there are a couple of us that get together for dinner on our birthdays. And the occasional date with my dh.

Try to remember that this time is rough right now, but it will pass all too quickly. My dh and I actually went on a date last night and didn't have to find a babysitter-we have our own now (our 14 year old)!

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School Suggestions

- Don't take more than 2-3 hours in the morning to do school -- at grades K and 2, there's nothing that should take longer than that (unless you have a special needs child).

- Some subjects do NOT have to be done every day -- alternate science and history (so each gets done 2x/week); grammar and spelling do not need to even be started until grade 3, and grammar can be done 3x/week (don't need it 5x/week).

- Combine as many topics as possible and do them together with both children -- history, science, music, art, read-aloud book, etc.

- For this year while trying to write your book, cut school back to just the basics -- skip art, music, logic, critical thinking, foreign language, etc.

- See if there is a once-a-week drop-off homeschool co-op in your area -- or see if there is a "hybrid" model school in your area like this one. Use that day to write.

- Any grandparents, aunts/uncles or other close friends/relatives who would enjoy taking the DC for the day once a month? Or, would any relative be competent and enjoy TEACHING your children one day a week, giving you a day a week to write.

 

 

Mom "Me" Time

- Institute a one hour quiet time after lunch for everyone. Everyone must stay on their bed (don't have to nap), and does a quiet no-talking activity: read, listen to books on tape, listen to music, do other quiet activity such as coloring, sticker book, puzzle book, etc. Mom uses this hour each day to write, read, or do own hobby.

- Maybe twice a week have your DC do an educational supplement of a DVD or computer game in the afternoon for 1-2 hours, and use that time to write.

- Trade babysitting with another homeschooler, or neighbor with similar aged children -- 1 or 2 afternoons a week, your DC go to their house and play for 2-3 hours, and then 1 or 2 afternoons a week, those children come to your house. Consider sometimes doubling up this time and doing any art or science projects or field trips by taking the extra children along -- now you have freed up some time in your school morning because you've covered that topic as a field trip or project.

 

 

Spend Less Time on Household:

- Have a basket or crate for each child's school work; have them return all to that spot when done; at the end of school each day, put crates away and you're all picked up from school.

- Have children help/be responsible for making breakfasts and lunches and the clean up after.

- Have children assist with laundry, washing dishes and other small chores.

- Save actual cleaning for Saturday mornings, and everyone is responsible for certain areas so whole house gets cleaned once a week.

- Plan a week's worth of menus at one time and only shop once a week. As you prepare a meal, chop up/grate/prepare the items not only for that night, but for whatever other nights that week will also need that item, and store in fridge ready-to-go.

- Make double batches of entrees and freeze half -- now you have a ready-to-go dinner for 2 weeks from now, and it only took about 5 extra minutes to chop/mix/prepare the extra ingredients to do the extra batch.

- If you can afford it, and like it, get a few Schwann's (or other) frozen meals for a once a week speedy meal.

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My husband's take on this was, "she has three part-time jobs, which add up to more than one full-time job. She really needs to pick two."

 

I don't necessarily agree with him -- I think you could make this work -- but I just thought I'd throw it out there.

 

One thing you might consider is how much of the reason you're stressed out is housework related. How many hours a day do you spend on tasks like cooking, cleaning, shopping for groceries, managing household finances, and doing laundry? If it's a significant chunk of time, is there any way to simplify or outsource some of these jobs?

 

If I were in your shoes, I would probably keep a time log for a week to identify what exactly I'm doing with my time, with an eye to reorganizing my schedule and cutting out activities that are time-consuming but low-priority.

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I agree with the quiet time. My kids both do a 2 hour quiet time every day in their rooms after lunch. I have a 3 year old and an 8 year old. This time doesn't mean they are quiet, it is mom's quiet time. As long as they are in their rooms, and not doing anything to disturb me, we are good. This is something that my mom did with us growing up, and I never minded it. It might be a little rough getting started, but they can handle it. My dd plays with her dolls while singing to herself most days. My ds reads or plays with his star wars.

 

Another thing, I saw a quote by Tony Robbins about knowing your season of life. If you are doing the right thing at the wrong time life can be chaos. I understand the dream of being a writer, I have a novel I am working on too. I worked on it over the summer, but I have shelved it for now. I am hopeful that after we get everything sorted and a school year routine settled that I will be able to slowly work on it. I also have made peace with the fact that summer and Christmas might be be writing times while the kids are this age.

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Recently I was pondering to myself how much MORE I accomplish now than I used to and how I feel LESS stressed about it. You're overwhelmed because it's new. I don't see anything particularly un-doable about that list. As the others said, you need to get realistic about how much time you're spending on school and be efficient. You can get in an hour of writing each morning and your exercise before school starts. Do your schoolwork (max 2-3 hours for this age), eat lunch, and put them down for mandatory quiet time.

 

Sometimes we think we need things because of our preconditioned expectation. Instead of thinking you need mom time in large chunks every week, how about 2 hours once a month? You could probably find a way to get that and find it satisfying. It's probably not realistic with that load to have more. But you CAN do these things. Moms around here are doing all that and a lot more. You'll get there. You just have to grow into it, growing your organizational skills.

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Just wanted to say that I can also relate to the OP. I agree with the rest time idea. I would lose my sanity and my will to homeschool without my kids' 2 hr afternoon rest time. Although it might be hard to start, it is worth it! My kids do well, but there have been times when they tested me about staying in their rooms. I take away their quiet activities/toys if they kept breaking the rule.

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I wanted to throw in a ditto to so many other posters! I started exercising over the summer and started learning to play guitar about two months ago. When school started back I was struggling to figure out how to fit everything in but as we go along things are getting easier.

Over the summer I instituted the two hour quiet time in the afternoon for my sanity and am so thankful! I have three boys at home, some special needs, and I'm an introvert and need my personal recharge. Last year I would end up staying up until 2am. That just wasn't working.

 

At times I have considered sending the kids back to PS too, we have a good school here, etc.. but I know that they are thriving here at home and learning so much more than they would at ps! Also the demands of ps aren't all that great considering the time for transportation, packing lunches, teacher conferences, etc... it was all very draining before I brought the kids home.

 

One last thought, I would question how much educational benefit the outside resources (CC/coop) are adding to your kids vs. the time commitment including transportation, practice, how long it takes to get back to your normal work afterwards, etc...

 

Some great suggestions from the above posters. I hope you find what works for you.

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Tons of great responses, and I have no experience since my kids are still young, but I do have a question WRT the novel. My DH is currently writing his thesis for his Master's, so we have had numerous discussions on how to write w/ kids in the house. His biggest problem is that it takes him an hour to get into the groove, so little chunks of time here and there are pretty useless. It's inefficient. He's also too tired after their bedtime to get as much done as he would like. Can you relate? Obviously there are differences in writing a novel vs. a research paper. But are you able to write a good bit just by sitting down and going at it? Or does it take awhile for you to hit your rhythm?

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