Homeschooling is a full-time job. It can be challenging to balance all the responsibilities of being your children’s teacher with the realities that your family needs to eat, may prefer to wear clean clothing, and all the other household and pet chores that are part of life.
Now, throw in, “earns a paycheck of some type” to the mix and now you have to balance work, school, and home responsibilities. When my girls were very young I was blessed to be able to stay home and focus on home educating and household management. Nowthree of my girls have graduated from our home school and I am blessed to be able to work from home for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine while still homeschooling my special needs daughter.
Today I want to share how I weave work and school together. My plan is fabulous on paper and on good days it works great. If we keep to the routine we can make steady progress. Some days are not so good and we are fortunate if I manage to get one item of school done. The bare minimum of school that I strive for each school day is Bible, some type of math, some reading practice, and listening to an audiobook.
Having a routine is essential. A rigid schedule will not work but a flowing routine of “what comes next” helps her to be patient when I am busy and helps to reduced behavior issues.
I find that it helps to organize the school work by With Mom, Nearly Independent, and Independent. This way she gets to spend more time with me, she gets more learning opportunities and I get to squeeze in a bit more time for my work to-do list.
Supergirl gets up about 8 am and must take her first medication on an empty stomach. She gets dressed and makes her bed and then comes down to the kitchen/family room to take her “thyroid.” She must wait at least 30 minutes before she can after she takes the medication. She is allowed to watch one episode of something, preferably educational. She’s been watching Odd Squad.
While she eats breakfast she gets to listen to an audiobook. Usually something classical. She’s listened to Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Emma. (yes she loves Jane Austen). Currently, she is listening to Anne of Green Gables and before that it was Heidi. Audiobooks are a great way to include lots of “reading aloud” which satisfies my desire for a “literature-based approach to learning” and it allows me to work while she listens. My other daughters all read these books for themselves but Supergirl’s devoplemental delays and learning struggles would mean she might not able to enjoy and experience these great books because the reading level is beyond her ability though she is more than capable of comprehending and enjoying the stories. Sometimes she’ll listen to one of our history books while following along in the book.
Audiobooks are a great way to add more time and literature to our day but part of With Mom is mom reading. During our With Mom time, we usually do something Bible-related, History or Science related, and sometimes Math, and Reading. I’ve been reading aloud a Bible-related book to her for Bible and for History we alternate between reading aloud together in the family room and sitting at the table working on mapping, timeline, and other history-related hands-on projects. On the days we work at the table this is also where I will do math concept teaching and teach new reading skills. Science experiments and activities, like history, are done at the table. This means she gets more of mom’s focused attention because we are not near the computer and mom isn’t sneaking a peek at her email.
On days that we do more reading for history, we do more of practicing math concepts by playing a game and she works on reading fluency by reading her readers or flashcards with me. This segues well into the Mostly Independent school work. She pulls her wheelchair up to a wooden tray we have set up next to my desk. She does her “work” while I do mine. She really likes this as we are together so she gets a bit more mom time. She works on worksheets to practice new concepts so she may need some help but she is mostly able to work through these on her own. Sometimes, thanks to the Crew, we have access to some fabulous online subjects that she can work on while I work and she is mostly independent with these.
It is not easy to balance the needs of the family with the responsibilities of homeschooling and work. Finding a way to weave work and homeschooling today helps to balance the needs my special learner has with my the responsibilities I have.
Tess is a member of the Homeschool Review Crew Leadership and is married to John and mom to four amazing daughters. Three of her daughters have graduated their home school but Tess continues to home educate her medically fragile, special needs, miracle girl. You can find her at Circling Through This Life.
Welcome to day FOUR of the Not Back to School Blog Hop for 2019. This year we have 30 home educating Mom’s writing daily encouragement to equip you for the year ahead. Each day we will introduce you to a few of our team and the topics they will be writing about and at the bottom of each post is a linky where all of our bloggers will be sharing their posts with you
- Kristen Heider @ A Mom’s Quest to Teach –Theme: A Quest for a Great Homeschool Year
- Patti Pierce – Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy – My Favorite Homeschooling Things
- Wendy @ Life on Chickadee Lane – 5 Days of Nature Study
- Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning – Homeschooling my final 4
- Christine @ Life’s Special Necessities – Yes! You Can Homeschool Your Special Needs Child
- Sally M – Tell the Next Generation – Tips for Homeschooling Struggling Learners