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Balancing Home and Homeschool

by Jessica Parnell | Sep 15, 2017 | 3 min read
Friends, it’s back to school season for many of us. You are excited, or you may be cowering in your closet. This time of year is met with mixed emotions from parents and kids alike. During back-to-school season, it’s very easy to become overwhelmed. You (like me) want to be a good mom, homemaker, and homeschooler. Balancing home and homeschool is often an uphill battle, but we’re in it together. Take heart — there are a few ways to keep our sanity during the homeschool months. Here’s what I’m working toward to help with balancing home and homeschool well.

Stay Organized

I admit I’m all over the place during the months leading up to September. One minute I’m excited to get back to routine, to a clear schedule, ready to tackle fun topics as a family. I dread the scene that often plays out at the beginning of every year. Picture this: I’m running around in my “homeschool mom” uniform, covered in paint and paste. Laundry covers the couch and I stand in front of the fridge, racking my tired brain for what to make for dinner.
I find that organization is one of the best ways to balance it all. I plan out meals, lessons, and daily to-dos ahead of time in a binder. The binder is my sanity, allowing me to do tasks (like remembering trash day) for the home and as a homeschool mom. And I’m more flexible because I know we’ve got control over the necessities and everything else is fluid.
Manage your expectations
Balancing home and homeschool is hard. High expectations can take us off course from where we are and where God wants us to be. I combat fears and temptations to “over-do” it by reminding myself of why we choose to homeschool. Family time, spiritual growth, and learning together make it worth it. Manage your emotions and expectations for each day, then life’s little messes and struggles won’t bother you as much.
You’ll also be more selective with what you choose to spend your time on as a family, both during and after school hours. Be ready to say “No” a lot so that your “Yeses” align with your family goals and God’s design for your homeschool year.
Take your time
When I first started homeschooling, I was all homeschool, 100% of the time. I made frozen dinners and kept up with church and life commitments, but my focus was on homeschooling. I quickly burned out and didn’t enjoy much of what I was doing.
One of the key aspects of balancing home and homeschool is to remember who you are FIRST. Nurture your own heart! You don’t check your needs, personality, and goals at the homeschooling door.
All the roles you play won’t be done well if you don’t take time for yourself each day. Your time isn’t selfish — it’s essential for you to find your center and work on your goals and dreams. Join a morning Bible study, go on a run, sip afternoon tea while reading a book, or have an evening out with your partner each week.
Whatever helps you take off the homeschool hat and be you for a while, make it a priority. Trust me, you’ll be more peaceful, engaged, and patient when you do.
Enjoy the journey
Remind yourself that homeschooling is your most important job, because homeschooling IS being a good mom. You’re doing it right by choosing to focus on your family at the time when it matters most.
You’ve already gotten it right by choosing to focus on your children and family at the time when it matters the most. And, what they want more than anything, is you! Time with you to enjoy learning and being together. So, dress up and act out scenes from your history lessons. Make a mess in the kitchen to learn more about science or math. Laugh and play together — you’ll find balancing home and homeschooling is a joy and a privilege that you’re blessed to carry.
Finally, if you ever need help, reach out. You don’t have to go it alone. There’s an army of homeschooling experts and families behind you, cheering you on and waiting for you to ask.
Jessica Parnell
Hello everyone! I’m Jessica Parnell — mom, homeschool evaluator, teacher, and CEO of Bridgeway Academy. In my 20+ years of experience as a homeschool mom and evaluator, I have had the privilege of meeting homeschoolers that take a variety of approaches to their education. It is their many stories and successes that inspire me in my own homeschooling and I love to pass on the knowledge that I have gained from them to other homeschooling families. The one constant that always remains true is that there’s no such thing as a “cookie cutter child.” Each child is fearfully and wonderfully made and as a result, learns and functions differently. It’s our job to ensure that we’re raising each child to fulfill their individual purpose and when we can teach in a way that inspires them, we are on our way to homeschool success. When I’m not writing or teaching my children, I like to ski, write and participate in triathlons. I graduated from Kutztown University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Masters in English and I am currently pursuing a degree in Neuroleadership.
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