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How do you balance full time homeschooling with your job and house stuff? I know I’m still dealing with COVID fatigue, but this is kicking my tail.

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Badly? 😛 I'm sure other people do it better than we do. The house stuff is what suffers the most, even though in theory the kids help out. 

This year I finally figured out time blocks, so homeschool either happens during the homeschool block or it doesn't happen at all. Work stuff either happens during work time blocks or it doesn't happen at all. Housework did not get a time block 😉 Maybe I'll wangle that in next year.

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6 minutes ago, saraha said:

How do you balance full time homeschooling with your job and house stuff? I know I’m still dealing with COVID fatigue, but this is kicking my tail.

It's hard. DD's an only and my DD is very helpful around the house. I work from home which makes this much easier. 

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Lists and prayers my friend. Lists for things that need doing at work, at home, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and prayers that you accomplish all of them and more often when you don't.

I work PT, I have one child in Virtual PS and another daughter aged 4 whom I am technically homeschooling but she schools me in what she would like to learn. 

I came on this board in desperation during pandemic beginning last March and was intimidated as heck because this was a board with people who actually parent and school their children. *gulp*.

We all do the best we can. So do you I am sure.

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I don’t think there are that many families where the parent(s) work full time and homeschool. I don’t know any irl and only a handful here. It would kill me completely.

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2 hours ago, saraha said:

How do you balance full time homeschooling with your job and house stuff? I know I’m still dealing with COVID fatigue, but this is kicking my tail.

I had a nasty virus years ago.  I fought its effects for years.  I learned to prioritize.  there were a lot of things that simply weren't important anymore.

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1 hour ago, saraha said:

I finally had to give in and get a part time job and have 4 still homeschooling. It is WAY harder than I thought it would be.

Is there anything you can delegate to the kids to take some of the load off you? 

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1 hour ago, saraha said:

I finally had to give in and get a part time job and have 4 still homeschooling. It is WAY harder than I thought it would be.

I'm so sorry. I only have 2, I can't imagine 4. My 2 are old enough that they can do online classes at this point. That has made things easier.

I now schedule "catch-up days" basically every national holiday. The agreement is, if you are caught up on school, you (we) get that day off. I push them to get missing stuff completed before the catch-up day because Mom. Needs. That. Day.

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20 minutes ago, MissLemon said:

Is there anything you can delegate to the kids to take some of the load off you? 

I’ve created a new chore chart that delegates stuff to all 6 kids, but they are used to me being the brain of the family and reminding, scheduling, etc. I am still having to remind a lot, and the three oldest also have jobs so there is a LOT of coordinating. Basic chores are happening even if the house is messy, but it’s trying to get through school with the four youngest, keep all the schedules straight, plan meals and actually do my job. Ive been in bed by 9 most nights this week, meaning I miss out on stay up nights. I just feel like I have dropped out of their lives and have noticed even when I am there, they don’t ask me for help anymore, or share as much with me anymore, they are turning to each other, even if I am in the same room. I haven’t done a consistent days schooling since I started this job

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what are you finding hard to have time for?  The home schooling or the work of running the home? 

Can you give the kids more chores to do if it is the work? 

Or can you have the kids work more on their own if it it is school? 

What hours are you working?  What hours are you homeschooling? 

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I need to because the budget is seriously tight bu t I can’t work out how.  I did one trial day of six hours last week and while I enjoyed the peace while I was there it was completely insane getting everything done and DH forgot to feed the kids lunch so they just ate muesli bars and watermelon.  I don’t know how people do it.  I may have to work it out sooner than later though.

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I’ve considered it over and over again, but my experience with over-volunteering a couple of years ago scarred me. It wasn’t entirely like full time work, but it lacked a firm schedule, so it felt like full time work, and I crumbled under it.

I do know quite a few people who do both. Some of them use online programs. Some of them are very unschooly. I happen to be very in between, and just couldn’t figure it out that way.

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11 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

I had a nasty virus years ago.  I fought its effects for years.  I learned to prioritize.  there were a lot of things that simply weren't important anymore.

Basically this.   Some things just don't matter that much.   

I work full time running a business with a mix of out of the house (but kids can come with me if necessary) and work I can do at home.   My kids are older, which helps because we don't need childcare, but have executive function deficits, which means planning has to be pretty detailed for them to do things on their own and chores are hit or miss.  

Honestly what makes the HUGEST difference to me is dh's help.  He also works full time but his job has flexibility and he gets up super early in the morning (voluntarily) and can be home earlier or take breaks in the middle of the day if necessary or work from home.   He does 99% of the cooking and grocery shopping (and always has even when I didn't work full time).  That alone makes it all possible.  I don't think I could do it if I had to plan and go over all the school work, do my job, AND handle the daily running of the house.   I do the laundry and I do most of the cleaning that gets done (except kids do dishes every day and their laundry when I remind them, and I'm not cleaning daily, its usually done on weekends or break weeks), but not having the cooking and grocery shopping takes away a big daily chore that can't be ignored and requires a ton of thought sometimes.  

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I only work PT, IIRC you are working PT as well so I'll throw my answer in. 

I started working 2.5 yrs ago when I had 3 kids at home to school, I'm down to 2 this year. The first half year was especially rough. I worked mornings and previously that was the time I had to myself and also time to do things around the house. My husband started college at the same time and my son went to PS. That year was a blur. So many tears. Fatigue.

We did the best we could. It took a lot of readjustment. The kids have chores (not just for my sake but because I think it is my job as a parent to teach them life skills). They take turns cooking dinner. I focus on deep cleaning during school breaks. I keep the house decluttered so cleaning is easier. We prioritized. My deep cleaning is not perfect but having a decluttered house greatly helps with keeping things generally tidy.

The biggest help to me was honestly getting my sleep lined out. The hardest part the first several months was the sleep deprivation. I used to get up at 6 or so then had to wake up at 4:30 6-7 days a week and my nerves often woke me earlier. I was so tired. So, I put early bedtimes very, very high on my list and did everything I could to facilitate sleep. 

Look for ways to streamline. Can you combine any kids with subjects? Can you pick an easier program for some subjects? Can you pick easier meals to cook and/or are your kids helping cook as well? Do you have regular breaks from school? Those are a good time to catch up with appointments, down time, around the house etc. If your dh is around when you are working and can help that is good, mine had started college while working FT so he wasn't/isn't available to help anymore. 

 

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I haven't technically homeschooled since my kids were little, but I've spent hours each day working with them while working at least full time in my job.  They have been home for almost all of the past year, theoretically doing virtual school.

I work almost exclusively at home, which obviously makes a big difference.  Despite being down the hall from them, I usually can't spend time with them on school during business hours, so it ends up being done after dinner.  Of course, being 14 and having (mostly online) PS teachers, they only need help with some things, but it can be several hours on some days.  It's exhausting.  At this age, the material isn't obvious stuff that I can teach just from my own knowledge.  I have to get into their annoying Chromebooks and figure out what they are supposed to be learning (and how their knowledge is to be expessed), before I can help explain it.

I don't think I could actually homeschool kids past about age 10 or 12, and even then it would depend on the kids.  I could have probably homeschooled one of mine, because she was pretty easy to teach and guide.  The other kid is too hardheaded and I'd wear myself out chasing her.  She might be an "unschooling" candidate if she had ever learned to love math.

That said, homeschooling would not be best for my kids even if I had all the time in the world.  They need more social settings than I could provide as a homeschooler.

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I work a full time and homeschool two neurotypical and (mostly) compliant kids.  It's hard.  I work from home otherwise it wouldn't work at all.  My job is very demanding (I write software and also manage other outsourced software teams for my company) but at least has some flexibility of when I get work done.  My husband helps a bunch with the household and even helps homeschooling for an hour each morning before he goes to work.  My kids are old enough to handle their own breakfast and lunches.  They also have a small chore list each day.  In the afternoon they do outsourced online classes for enjoyment. 

What makes it possible is money and my personality. I'm very type C and love project management and optimizing systems.  In fact, I use project management software to manage our homeschooling.  I think it's actually a bonus (for my kids) that I work, it keeps me from obsessing too much over schoolwork.  I also have the income to sign them up for classes and hobbies that I wouldn't have been able to otherwise.  That income also covers cleaners and landscapers to keep the yard and home in order.  Also spending my homeschool time wisely.  One on one attention to math and core ELA only.  Content subjects are rotated through (yay loop schedule) and done together unless it's an outsourced class. I'm hoping to keep it up through middle school.

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18 hours ago, saraha said:

How do you balance full time homeschooling with your job and house stuff? I know I’m still dealing with COVID fatigue, but this is kicking my tail.

I agree!  I worked part time for a couple of years whilst homeschooling 4 kiddos.  I couldn't do it!  I have so much respect for working moms!!

16 hours ago, freesia said:

I don’t think there are that many families where the parent(s) work full time and homeschool. I don’t know any irl and only a handful here. It would kill me completely.

I've known a few and have decided they must have some secret that lets them skip sleep.  Vampires? Hidden drug addiction?  (That's just a joke! I have the utmost respect for their time management skills and sorely wish they would share some of their knowledge with me!!)

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I work a fairly demanding job and homeschool my DD5 and DD10. We don't have a housecleaner; we almost never eat out or use convenience food; and my husband's job (attorney) is intense enough that our childcare/ housecare split is probably something like 20/80. It's difficult, but it works because: 

1) I work from home and have almost total flexibility in the hours I get my work done--my job is demanding in terms of skill/ experience, but not as much in terms of time; 2) DD5 doesn't need that much schooling yet; 3) Both kids are pretty independent and reasonably helpful (this is an ongoing project lollll); 4) I have almost no personal time; 5) All seven days of the week are in play for work and school, as are all the hours between 5.30AM and 9.30PM; 6) My house is a little messy most of the time; 7) I hardly ever cook meals, just large batches of meal-elements; 8) We don't have a yard; 9) There's a seasonal element to my work, which is busiest in the summer when I can usually, in non-pandemic years, put the kids in camps.

Other helpful things are that my job is education-adjacent and I really like homeschooling, so a lot of my planning is relaxing/ hobby-like, and my work often helps my schooling and vice-versa. 

There are many days when I think about quitting my job, but frankly I like the security of having two incomes. Plus, both DH and I spent our entire 20s in school (MAs, PhD, JD), so we got a late start on savings and paying loans. 

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So yeah, 2 home businesses that I do the running of, 4 kids at home. Before this, I was working a full-time job outside the home and homeschooling 2 (#3 was still young, #4 hadn't arrived yet). The youngest isn' really doing anything formal, everyone else is (if you can see my sig). 

Kids help with the house a lot. 1 hour of chores a day keep it at a livable level (they aren't the most focused during this time, but I'm not monitoring it unless I see someone just staring at a wall or something). DH is a neat freak, though, and does not help with household things regularly (because then cleaning time would never end). Maybe once every other month he comes out of his room and really sees the house, then stops everyone with what they're doing and declares it a cleaning up day. The day usually turns into a 2-3 day house project, in which case I go to the bedroom office and work while he's with the kids all day.

Mornings I'm intensely with the kids, afternoons they work on self-led subjects while I start working. 1-4pm is supposed to be me working, dinner at 5pm (on good days I made dinner in the morning and just reheat). I usually eat with everyone but leave the table by 5:20 even if they are still going. My desk is visible from kitchen so they may still talk to me but it's more I'm getting my brain into work mode. Truthfully, though, most work gets done after dinner: 6-11pm other than tuck-in I'm focused on work. I don't have a good sleep schedule, going to bed anywhere between 11pm-1am just depending on what needs to be done. The latest I'm allowed to sleep is 7:30 (morning time), so it can be rough and so I try to avoid a string of bad nights (I know this isn't healthy, no need to reply on this, I'm working on stabilizing). 

We talk about business at the table, the kids are involved in discussion and know what we're working on and the names of our clients or our in-house projects, sometimes they watch while we're working (I'm in a public spot so anyone can sit and watch and ask questions) and DH invites 1-2 kids in at a time to the closed office so they can see and learn about what he's doing.

To answer OP's question of "How do you balance full time homeschooling with your job and house stuff?"

Basically:

1) we put off things until it can't be put off, then take a few days off and get everything done, so we can get back on schedule. If something doesn't get done in the allotted time, it usually doesn't get done. I have curtains to hang in the bedroom since July 2019. I have everything there. It's just SUCH a low priority it's not getting done until I have some free time, probably in 2022, lol.

2) Speaking of free time... You can measure my free time by how much time is spent on the boards, as this is my main outlet for anything, I don't have "time off" during the week. DH and I have a date night on Saturday after kids are in bed or at least stop working by 10pm, (sometimes it's spent working but we try to watch a TV episode together or something). Sundays the kids have off and DH spends time with them/is in charge so I can go into the office most of the day and work through without interruption.

3) I compromise on how clean the house is and my sleep schedule. If a kid has a problem, DH does have times where he's off-limits, but I am always available and open for interruption for anything (hence most work getting done evening/after bedtime, and my staying up late). I've trained them to an acceptable level with their chores and just have to trust that it will get done, and not get irritated if they are trying and it isn't really there. 

4) We have "normal drive" and "turbo time" schedules, just depending on if a project is due or not. Turbo time looks a bit different just depending on if me or DH is needing the most time. "Normal" has a 6-day School schedule so that way there's less variation, easy running of things. Kids love the order and school schedule so it works out, and makes up for when Turbo Time kicks in and they may miss 3-4 days of normal lessons. 

TLDR: People say that "home schooling is a lifestyle", I think "working and home schooling is a life style" also is true. It's just a very different way of approaching everything. Everything is about the kids, then the business. The business is integrated into daily life, just as home schooling sees the whole day as a teachable moment.

eta: it took a long time to figure out this balance, and it sometimes still goes out of whack. So if you are new to it, don't feel bad about a hard adjustment. It feels hard because it is hard!

Edited by Moonhawk
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I worked full-time when homeschooling.  In some ways it seemed to take less time to homeschool than to have a kid in school; at least I had more flexibility.  I could plan more intensive homeschooling for times when my work was slower/less demanding.  It was such a relief not to have to have  projects that my child could not do alone like "interview any aunt/uncle/grandparent in your family who is over 60 years of age and do a poster board of your family tree with pictures and a story about each person..." for Monday assigned by the classroom teacher.  

It was easier for me to work fewer, longer days where I could concentrate on my work for a prolonged period of time.  DH also participated in homeschooling and other things around the house.  That made a big difference.  

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Here, the house stuff just didn’t get done. If it wasn’t necessary for safety or functioning, it got put on hold

examples: About 6 yrs ago, we had a flood/mud slide and lost flooring in two rooms. One floor was bare concrete which we finally got around to covering this past December. Another room is still plywood subfloor covered with a large area rug we bought at a garage sale the spring after the flood.

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23 hours ago, Raspberry said:

In fact, I use project management software to manage our homeschooling. 

Can you tell us more about this? I currently use Homeschool Planet, which I am happy with, but I'm always open to hearing about other approaches that might be even better.

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if you want actual examples....

Except for one year, I homeschooled early in the day. I went to work at 2pm. We started school at 7am. I prepped lunch/dinner while the kids worked at the kitchen counter, often reading to me. Starting early with the kids, meant they got the best of me. I did a lot of make ahead freezer meals. I also made a lot of muffins/breads and breakfast casseroles. I wanted to minimize cooking and clean up. I wanted the family to be able to just put the dinner in the oven and still have a home cooked meal. 

I did all the laundry on Sundays so I could maximize loads and minimize effort. I had a chore sheet for myself and I did certain chores on each day. My house was no longer all clean at one time, but each area was cleaned weekly. If I missed one area due to a crazy day....I just skipped it until the next time it came up on my list. 

If we missed a lesson due to an appointment or illness, we just kept on going where we left off. We didn't play catch up and try to do extra lessons. If we had a day where we finished early, we did an extra lesson, but it was voluntary on the kids part.  My kids were allowed to work ahead on independent topics. They were then given 'get out of a lesson' cards for them to use on days when they weren't motivated for school work. This helped me because it reduced them dragging thier feet on unmotivated days.  We did a lesson a day, not a time commitment. So if they were able to bust through their work and get it done in 20 minutes, they were done with that lesson. I didn't start a new topic, unless they wanted to earn 'get out of a lesson card'. 

 

When dd was in 5th grade, she was a natural night owl. It was my last year homeschoooling and it was just her. She has always preferred to do lessons at night, so we homeschooled 9pm to midnight. I worked till 8 and started school at 9. We would bust through all of our tandem work and then she would do independent work until 2 or 3am. She would wake up when her friends got out of school, so she didn't miss anything. It was so nice to have zero distractions during school. No appointments, errands, phone calls etc. It was one of our favorite years homeschooling and the lowest stress. 

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I wouldn't have been able to.   I've been full time (plus some) outside of the home since last March.     I have huge props for those who can make it work.  Thankfully, DS doesn't need me for his last few years or we'd be looking seriously at other options.  Facilitating and making college plans is about all I am good for these days.   🙂

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For me, the working while homeschooling journey has been a gradually building process. I have had a part-time contract for many years, that was mostly on-line which was great when the dc were young. Then 3 years ago I went back to grad school to retrain before jumping back into a career, picking up some part-time work along the way. During this time I've also been homeschooling my teens. Since the pandemic, with everything being on-line, has been much easier to study, work and monitor the homeschooling. 

I'll be starting a full-time job next week, and thankfully it will be working from home. I'll be sending my youngest and last homeschooling dc to high school in the fall, as I know I won't be able to handle both full-time work and homeschooling well for an extended period of time. 

My martial arts instructor once said to me, "You can have it all, just not all at the same time." I think there is a lot of wisdom in this statement. 

Good luck on your journey. 🙂

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It’s rough.

I’ve done it twice in my homeschooling & teaching career. Once for 2 years when teaching high school sped and I had a preschooler and first grader. Then I quit teaching to stay home fulltime.

And now again teaching 4th grade special Ed and have a Ker and a 2nd grader at home. Oh and a senior who I’m not technically homeschooling but she’s a remote student and needs a lot of supervision & support with her schoolwork, so I’m the one giving it to her.

My parents keep my kids during the day & do some schoolwork with the kids (reading, read alouds, math practice, board games, crafts, & hiking). I do their curriculum with them on nights, weekends, and vacations. We started over the summer to get a good start on the year.

we are actually taking a month off right now to just read and play board games because I’m burnt out (mostly from work, not homeschooling)

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