Have you ever been to a symphony orchestra, and listened to the way the music all comes together in perfect harmony, creating something beautiful to listen to?
The violins play their appointed notes at just the right time, to compliment the cello and the oboe.
The pianist plays her part in perfect synchronization to the rest of the symphony and the result is a masterpiece.
It’s well orchestrated and apart from being a delight to the listening ear, it’s also a joy to be a participant.
Does this sound like your homeschool? Do you enjoy being a part of the household that teaches its kids at home?
Or do you feel more like the violins are squeaking (or squawking – at each other) while you try to get the drummer to stop drumming (out of turn) and the trombonists are playing sword fights with their instruments?
Figuratively speaking, as a homeschooling mom, you might feel like your little “orchestra” needs some fine tuning.
I’m Amber, a homeschooling mom of seven kids and I’ve been at it for 12 years. So the chances are, if you’re feeling exasperated and overwhelmed, I’ve felt it too!
I want to share some tips with you that have helped me homeschool and manage my household well.
Have a Plan
You can’t go into homeschooling blindly.
Whether you’re just beginning to homeschool or you’ve been doing it a while, having a plan will help you manage your household efficiently while be homeschooling.
The plan (though you must be wiling to flex as needed) is the single most important thing you can do for your homeschooling household. Knowing what you’re going to do, will set your mind at ease.
Plan out your homeschool days, weeks, and year before your school year even starts. That way when you’re tempted to feel like you just can’t do it, you’ll know you have a plan to fall back on.
Systems are my saving grace. I need to have systems in order so I can run my household and homeschool efficiently.
Managing a homeschooling household involves a lot of steps.
If you have systems in place such as meal planning, cleaning systems, systems to organize your curriculum, systems for organizing your finances, etc. you’ll have a much easier time keeping a handle on your home and you’ll feel less out of control.
Have a Routine
I’m a firm believer that routines help keep everyone feeling more settled. There’s a certain sort of comfort that comes from knowing what to expect.
There isn’t one special routine that works for everyone. You’ll need to find something that works for you and your family and then stick to it.
I like to build some flexibility into my routine, since my husband is a pastor and I know our schedule can change from day to day.
For the most part, we try to keep things running pretty much the same each day (whenever it’s possible) with the understanding that if something comes up, we can flex. Having a routine helps the kids and me to keep on track and know what’s coming next.
Include Chores as a Part of School
Managing your household while homeschooling can seem overwhelming. If you try to do everything on your own, it will be.
That’s why I like to include my kids in helping keep up with the housework. I found that including chores as a part of school makes it easy for the kids to help.
We use checklists as part of our homeschool classroom. Since I added chores as part of their school checklist, my kids know they have to
complete their chores in order to consider the school day finished.
Including the kids has made all the difference in helping me homeschool and manage my household well.
Daily Weekly and Monthly Check-ins
If you look at the school day, week, and year as a whole, it can seem like trying to tackle a task that’s way too big.
That’s why I like to break it down into smaller, more easily manageable chunks of time. I break up my day into morning and afternoon time blocks and then evaluate which things need to get done each day and when.
I do the same thing with my weeks and months.
Evaluate all school and household tasks that you need to accomplish in a certain period of time.
You’ll find it’s much easier to homeschool and manage your household well when it doesn’t seem like such a big chunk of time. Once you’ve broken down your days, weeks, and months, you can then implement certain times to check in and decide if you’re on track.
It’s much easier to tweak things before they get out of control and unmanageable. Then you can make the necessary changes and get right back on track!
Give Yourself Grace
It’s no small task to undertake your kids’ education while also managing your home.
There will be days where things just don’t go according to plan.
Sickness hits, kids struggle with school, the washing machine breaks, you have unexpected company, and so on.
I used to struggle with feeling like I couldn’t keep up and therefore, wasn’t cut out to homeschool.
When those days come, and they will, give yourself grace.
Know that it’s a huge task and that some days you just need to give yourself a break. Your kids will still learn their math facts and no one will starve if you have a bad day here and there. It’s ok.
That’s why I wrote The Homeschooling Housewife.
I know that it’s not easy to homeschool and manage your household. Since I’ve been homeschooling for over 12 years, I decided to compile a book of all my favorite systems, tips, tricks, hacks, and advice.
I want you to know how to manage your faith, marriage, friendships, and budget (among other things) while staying sane.
The Homeschooling Housewife is full of actionable steps you can take to manage your household and your homeschooling well.
The above tips are just a few samplings of what is included in the book.
You’ll find ways to juggle your priorities and do it with dignity and grace. If you find yourself struggling to keep up with it all, you’ll definitely want to check it out!
About Amber Fox:
My passion is to help moms first love Jesus and then teach them to serve Him by ministering to their families. I want to help moms make a generational difference by having an eternal perspective on parenting. Together with my husband, I have been busy homeschooling seven
kids and teaching them to love Jesus and serve Him. I have a heart for family discipleship as well as encouraging homeschooling moms enjoy spending their days at home with their kids. I blog at allnaturaljoy.com and thehomeschoolinghousewife.org