A common reason for moms to homeschool their children and work from home is that the at-home lifestyle appeals to them. It sounds like an ideal situation – you’re home, the kids are at home, and everyone’s happy.
But juggling a home business with homeschooling usually doesn’t look as peaceful as it might sound. In fact, this is a more likely scenario:
You’ve planned to do a math lesson with your children at 9 am. Since you have a few minutes of peace while the kids are finishing breakfast, you decide to fit in a quick email check.
There’s an email from a prospective client, who wants a proposal from you right away, for a juicy contract. There’s still 20 minutes before you had planned to start your school day, so you start to reply.
Well, one thing leads to another… the computer is slower than usual, someone spills a bowl of cereal in the kitchen, the cat decides to throw up on the couch, and by the time your email is sent, it’s an hour later.
Still, not bad, you tell yourself, and you settle down with the kids to begin their lesson.
Halfway through the first page of math problems, you hear a new email coming in. Thinking it might be about the email you just sent, you tell the kids, “I’ll be right back.”
Now he wants to talk to you over the phone. Can you call him as soon as you get this email? You pick up the phone and start dialing.
In the next room, the kids are frustrated with the math problems and starting to throw pencils and erasers at each other. While the phone’s ringing, you call out to them to quiet down and just read a book instead.
Your call is answered, but it’s a little hard to hear the reply over the fighting that has ensued. Your children have suddenly decided they have to read the very same book, at the same time. Their arguing has gotten the dog riled up, and now he’s barking too.
You mumble something about needing to call back later, apologize, and hang up the phone. By the time you get the dog outside, the kids calmed down enough to focus on their lesson, it’s time for lunch and you need a nap.
There are a few steps you can do to be sure your days don’t end up looking like this.
Schedule time for work and time for school. When it’s time for school, give your kids 100% of your attention. Then when it’s time for you to work, give 100% of your attention to your business. Problems arise when you try to multi-task because you’re won’t be able to give proper attention to either your kids or your business.
Teach your children how to work independently. There will be times when you won’t be available for your kids because of your business. So, it’s important to give your kids opportunities to learn to work independently. If you have a phone call that goes long, or if you are busy with an important project, the school day won’t automatically fall apart. Even young children can work independently for a short time.
Enlist the help of other homeschooling parents. See if you can work out a childcare exchange, for times when you need the kids out of the house. Then you can return the favor when they need help.
Be flexible. No matter how well you plan your day, always expect the unexpected. Organize your day as best as you can, but be willing to change your schedule at a moment’s notice.
Work at home mom extraordinaire Michelle Shaeffer publishes The Muses Brainstorm, a weekly ezine with tips to help you balance, manage, and market your home based business. If you’re ready for inspirational guidance and bright ideas sign up free at www.thesmallbusinessmuse.comArticle Source: WAHM Articles