One of the constant problems that homeschool families face is struggling with time management. It is not easy to do education, child care, house work and sometimes a home based business all in one. The typical day for a stay at home or work from home parent involves people dropping by, phones ringing, email to answer, work to do, meals to prepare and so on. You know the drill. The last time on earth that most people feel like they have time to do is to educate their children.
- Turn the phone off! During school hours or when you are trying to work (unless your phone is part of your livelihood) the phone should not ring, not even vibrate.
- Check email twice a day. Most of us are in the habit of leaving our email programs open (or Blackberry’s on) and then we know when every single email arrives and it beckons us with a little chime. This is not okay and most time management experts will tell you that it is an inefficient way to work and live.
- When school is in session put a “busy” sign or “school in session” sign on your front door. Those who know you will understand perfectly. You can even put a message on your voicemail for this that says you are busy being the teacher, call later. If you get clever or creative people will appreciate your humor and sense of joy, no need to be rude.
- Have a designated “work” time where housework is accomplished. Make sure every family member knows their roles during this time. You can take a few minutes once a week to organize how this can work and you will reap the rewards. This will keep you from wanting to jump up and sweep the floor during a lesson on pronouns.
- Make lunches in the morning. Instead of making a huge mess of mealtime in the middle of your school day make your sack lunches just like public school families do and enjoy them together (perhaps outside in the sunshine).