As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m sharing tips and ideas that I’ve gleaned through my Working while Homeschooling time this past year. (If you would like to check out Day 1 of this series, please click here and for day 2, here.)
TIP #3: GET HUBBY’S FULL SUPPORT.
Before you can make both homeschooling and working from home work, your entire family is going to have be on board. Especially your spouse.
Part of it is understanding and accepting. Dinner will not always be on time, or exciting any more. The house will not always be clean. (And before you start laughing, realize this means from whatever the norm is now, it’s going to get worse.) Sometimes getting through the day will be all that happens. And frankly, you’re gonna need him to walk in the door, smile, say “I got this,” and order a pizza. And mean it. Untold amount of stress is going to happen if this is not a TEAM EFFORT.
And in addition, having him jump in is going to help take some of the stressful burden off of you.
And here I get to brag on my hubby. Normally, hubby is in a job where workaholic-ism is considered a regular way of life. One blessing of being here in the States is that he has more regular, “normal” hours. Which means, he really can participate in more of the day-to-day of our family. On days when I have to work late, or have evening meetings, he just jumps right in. When my day is nuts, I can throw meat out to defrost and he cooks dinner on the grill at least 1x a week. He helps clean up the kitchen when I have to jump on the computer after the girls are in bed, and flips the laundry whenever he sees it needs it. He pushes a mean vacuum cleaner!
In addition to his normal “homeschool principal” duties, we schedule “field trips” on Saturdays when I have a speaking engagement and hubby will take them to cool places. He hits the museums and cool activities around the area. It stinks for me because I miss out, but the my girls absolutely love their daddy time! He also takes care of science projects on the weekends, and decided he also wanted to teach them chess this year.
And in addition to all that, he jumps in and helps me with my business activities. He helps me with some of the work both here and with my work blog, and even plays the “spouse of” at my networking events. I really do have a keeper, ladies, and I know it.
TIP #4: AGREE ON YOUR FAMILY PRIORITIES. AND STICK WITH THEM.
When you get started on this journey, it really helps to sit down and have a family meeting about which things are most important in your family. And then everyone needs to understand that all decisions will be made in accordance with that list.
For example, our family meeting (really just hubby and I) decided that our top priorities were homeschool, and our work – specifically focusing on my business. In addition, our homeschool mission statement that we worked on getting ready for HEAV really came out this conversation. Defining your priorities as far as your homeschool curriculum will also help keep you on track.
So, when “opportunities” come your way, you (and the rest of your family) must judge them by these priorities. Something really cool come up but doesn’t fit in? You must say no. (Also handy excuse for when you want to say no, but don’t know how!)
And it also helps you decide how to manage your time, when you follow your family priorities! For example, I was asked to be a mediator of a homeschool group online. But I turned it down because it didn’t fit into any categories of our priority list. But, being asked to lead a Bible study for the women at our church – that was a duty I accepted, because it fit into our family spiritual goals!
It also helps to have everyone on the same page – that when house is falling down around you and the fridge is empty because you haven’t been to the grocery store like you mean to, and your hubby walks in the door to find out one child prayed accept Jesus in her heart, and the other is grasping reading and math facts that you never thought would get through. Part of knowing that you achieved your goals is knowing when you achieved success. So, this is a time to decide which things mean “success” for you and your family.