When I sat down to write this article I thought to myself, “Am I even qualified to write this?” Sometimes I feel as if I am drowning, so what could I possibly say to help someone who is homeschooling and working from home just like I am. Then I realize that just like I needed support when I first started, maybe someone else out there could use a little encouragement themselves. Here goes.
I worked hard alongside my husband with three children for a long time and never thought of staying home until the Lord shifted my outlook on life. I learned from his good Word that my children should be my first ministry in my walk with Christ.
I reprioritized and worked to be able to stay at home with them one day. Then, a few years ago, what I had been praying for was coming to fruition. My husband agreed for me to stay at home, but with one caveat. Our family couldn’t afford for me to not bring in an income, so I started my journey to work from home and homeschool my children. I was full blown afraid but decided to do it anyway.
Now that I look back, I see the Lord’s hand through it all and I have placed my life completely in His hands because of it. There is no better place to be than right in the middle of God’s will. Remember that very thing when times get tough; when homeschooling, working from home, being a wife, mother, and keeper of the home gets overwhelming. There is peace in His sovereignty.
This is how I have managed to work from home, homeschool my kids, keep my sanity, and hope to glorify God’s name in it all.
1) Routines save my life.
Even when I was a classroom teacher years ago, I spent a full week at the beginning of the year practicing rules, setting up boundaries, and getting the class in a routine. So every year my children and I come up with our homeschool routine. I set up the basics (i.e. school is 4 days a week, it starts at 9 with devotions, Friday is a makeup day, no electronics unless it has to do with lessons, etc.) They come up with ideas like a break every hour, what day they want off in the week, or what days they want to exercise, etc.
My work schedule fits in well with homeschooling hours, except my kids have a free weekday and nights off–I don’t. I put my kids to bed before 8 p.m., which allows me a few hours to do work at night should I need to. Routines allow our days to flow well and allows my children a level of autonomy that they need as they grow older.
2) Keep organized.
I like order. In a world of chaos, order brings me joy. However, having three children doesn’t lend itself well to being organized all of the time. What I do is keep the order of what I can. My desk is in order. I use Homeschool Planet’s online planner to organize my life! Basically, I use a paper planner for my business, but then I have my children’s lessons, schedules, appointments, sports, and my deadlines on Homeschool Planet. It completely organizes my life, it’s incredible. I like to keep order where I can and be flexible where I can’t. Which leads me to the next item.
3) Be flexible.
That is the glory of working from home and homeschooling. You can teach what works for your family, reschedule assignments, and spend time with family more. We have friends who live in New Zealand. They came into town for a week recently and we completely shifted our schedule to be available for them. I love the flexibility of working from home and homeschooling. I want to remind you, homeschooling and work-at-home-mom, force yourself to actually be flexible.
4) Embrace freedom.
Go for an unexpected walk with the kids, grab a coffee with a friend, be flexible enough to enjoy your life at home, be organized enough not to miss deadlines.
Working from home means that you will have to work in whatever free time you have. Make sure that free time doesn’t take away from your family. Work at home moms may have to schedule in times to spend with the husband or kids, and that is OK. Embrace the freedom you have to actually make time for family.
Remember that your husband should be the closest relationship after your relationship with Christ and your children are a gift. Take your freedom to schedule your month and sprinkle it with intentional family time. You will regret not doing so.
5) Whom do you serve?
I left this for last purposefully. See, none of the things I do above would be worth a thing without putting the God of creation first and foremost in my life. Every single relationship, every single task, every effort, and every step I take is but vanity without the Lord in it all. The Bible says in Isaiah 55:6 to Seek the Lord while you can find him. Seek His face, read the Bible, and call on Him. He says in Psalm 145:18 that He is close to all who call on him.
We can’t possibly love how we should without knowing how He loves. We can’t possibly work as we should without knowing we should work as unto Him. We can’t possibly train our children in the way they should go if we do not know the one who has set the path before us.
Consume yourself in the Lord and all else will stem from there. Our road to working from home and homeschooling is a bumpy one, sometimes we near fall off the car, but hold on tight and remember who is holding the wheel.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!