Friday, November 7, 2014

Balance Check Up - Working and Homeschooling

Sometimes I don't know how I do this.

BE A WIFE, MOTHER, TAXI DRIVER...the list goes on.

My Motto?
'CAN'T means WON'T'

One thing my humble and challenging upbringing has taught me was ... there are ways to get it all done - if you are creative.

Finding the Right JOB

This is the area where most parents have a major challenge. Finding a job that allows the flexibility of home teaching. My husband and I have played with all types of combinations so that one of us could be available and home most times with out kids. He worked night jobs as a Security Guard, Help Desk Technician, Real Estate Broker, Call Center Manager and on. I've worked in the Information Technology field most of my life. I actually changed careers because I loved technology but also loved the flexibility my techie friends had.

With the challenge of finding this balance, I've even helped my older daughter groom her career to have a wide variety of opportunities that afford her the ability to have a flexible work schedule.

The cost of flexibility is usually hit in the (1) Income (2) Location (3) Job Advancement areas. But it's not a trade off you can't recoup later.

Having A Spouse That Helps

This is where I am blessed. My husband has played the role as 'work from home' dad. Where he cared for the kids in the early morning until he left to meet his clients when we had an at home business.

We share in the schooling. He takes early morning and late evening. I take the midday afternoon and do the coordination.

Curriculum that's Easy And Teaches for you

I have to find a curriculum that keeps us both coordinated and does most all of the teaching for us. This has really helped both of us find success without stress in homeschooling.

We'd love to do some really fun stuff, but the truth is, to keep the homeschool train running nicely, having a box curriculum where I can have my kid call a free tutor, have the curriculum all laid out, have everything I basically need to teach my kid makes life easier.

I do add on 'supplements' but I make sure they are also, little maintence, on the parental part.

Using Outside Childcare or Tutors

There were times where my husband and I had overlap on our workdays. When our older kids weren't able to be home with the younger two, we hired a 'Home Helper'.

Having the 'Home Helper' has been GREAT! She administers the kids schooling for that day, makes their lunch, tidy up the main level, and puts our crock pot dinner on so when I get home - dinner's done.

Work Outside the Home OR Inside the Home

We've done both. Working inside the home has been much more challenging for both my husband and I - especially when the kids were younger.

Working From Home - leaves very little space or lines in the sand for 'work-time/home-time'. We ended up still needed to flop our schedules and it seemed the kids never understood the 'working from home' idea.

Working Outside the Home - this works well for us. It's a clear division of home vs work. Also, it allows us to network with other people in our fields. We also, even get out for lunch breaks with each other, or our co-worker friends. In most cases - the pay has been better when we've worked outside the home.

Stay Organized!

This is a BIG deal. Whenever we don't do this, life is chaos.

Things that must be done to keep things rolling.

Make a Daily To Do List, checking off every item as you go.

Do this on Sunday's or set aside a 'Planning' day for the below:

- Workbox System in place (Sue Patrick's Workbox System)
- Meal Planning and Prepping for the week
- Lesson Plans - Weekly Schedules posted and given to the kids and all the 'teachers'
- Schedule in 'sleep' time
- Use electronic calenders like google or gmail calender to remind all parties of schedule


Tiger Lilly schedule has changed. Her Writing courses ended last week. WriteGuide and Time4Writing were great courses. In place of them she is starting Sociology and Psychology which are on her CLEP test list for next Spring.  Finally, she's finishing up her Youth Digital, MOD Design course and hope to start on her 3D animation course with them over the weekend. 
We are really trying to get her ready for the Analyzing Literature CLEP and she is struggling with it (but we just started). I realized she needs more time so I moved the test date another week out.
Speed Racer is loving his new class, Minecraft Homeschool 'Vikings'.  He's all set up, finished his initial quiz and orientation and loves it! We also started WORD UP! with Compass Classroom to get him up to par on root word association since we aren't doing Latin. His other courses are going rather well. Overall, he's calming down and becoming a more focused student! Whew! His big sister Rose who administers school for me a few days of the week said he's on track.
He's getting ready for a big Breakdancing battle this weekend. Also, he loves Tennis (we just started it last week - he complained initially) and is getting close to being rewarded a strip in martial arts.
Nothing this week went as planned. It was a complete chaotic week since I didn't do any meal planning on Sunday and barely got lesson plans done.

Work balance has been off since I started a new project at work, but I did get to go out with work friends for 1 hour in which I sacrificed homeschool work that evening to do.

However, because of the dissaray of our schedules, I started working on next week's schedule so this won't happen again :-D


  1. Wow! You are balancing a lot! :)
    I used the workbox system when my children were younger.
    Planning is always key, no matter what you're doing. Having a partner who support and works along with you makes all the difference.
    I commend you on your determination and for making it work for your family!
    Wanted to come by and check in with you...reading Weekly Wrap Ups.

  2. All I can do is stand back in awe of all you manage to do!

  3. You are amazing! your tips and your blog are very helpful! I read one of your comments on another blog where you mentioned one of your children reads a "calm down list" when they need to calm down. I have a son that could really use that. Can you tell me what you have on your "calm down list." My email address is Thanks!!