Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Working and Homeschooling

I am one of thus lucky moms who found jobs working part-time from home so that I can still be here for my children every single day.  I am completing the work for my doctorate in Special Education, writing curriculum for a NGO here in Zambia, teaching a course at the local university (which does actually require me to leave the house for a few hours each week), and writing articles for education journals with some colleagues back in the US.  In total, I work about 25-30 hours a week.  I am still learning how to make it all work for my family, but I have found a few tips that I would like to share:

1. Plan your day. Schedule in time for homeschooling, housework/cooking, and working.  Then, stick to the schedule (as much as dirty diapers and children refusing naps will allow).  To account for the unpredictable, plan in more work time than you actually need.

2. Do some of your work while your children are doing independent work activities.  Then, you can all work together.  It can be beneficial for children to see that grown-ups have to sit down and work too.

3. Be willing to work nights and weekends if necessary sometimes.  I am lucky that my girls go to bed very early (about 7 pm) and I work for a few hours each evening and often work several hours on the weekends.  I consider my jobs (which I LOVE) as my "free time activities".

4. Be honest with yourself and say "no" when necessary.  There are countless cool projects that I have turned down so that I can focus on what is most important - my family.  It can be hard to know your limits, but trying to do too much will be harmful to you, your family, and your employer.

5. Reevaluate the decision to work and your job on a regular basis.  If working and homeschooling is not working for you, change what you are doing!

While I am still figuring things out, these tips have worked for me.  Do any of you have other tips for working from home?

Marla is a former special education teacher and current PhD student and stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of two little girls (ages 2 and 4).  She blogs about homeschooling at Marla's Motherhood Musings and her family's experiences living in Zambia at Our Life in Lusaka.

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