Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Working Woman's Guide to Homeschooling Day- #2 Your Compelling Reason

Today's post in the series
The Working Woman's Guide to Homeschooling
has to do with defining your compelling reason.

Getting Things Done When There is Too Much To Do and Only ONE of YOU.
get things done - be decisive - http://www.organisemyhouse.com/be-decisive-how-to-get-things-done/
The biggest challenge working women have are in the areas of Time and Energy. There isn't enough of either one. If you homeschool AND work, you probably have less time than ever. Of course the best way to handle time challenges is to know why you are doing what you are doing and then make a plan and work your plan. In chatting with other homeschooling Moms who also work, by far the #1 challenge, is, as a friend says, "Managing Me."
focus, time management, delegate
And that's really the crux of making the whole thing work- the whole thing being staying healthy and save, keeping your job and educating your children. YOU are a resource, with limited time, energy and creativity and if you don't manage yourself, something will lose out. But let me take a load off from the get-go: something will lose out anyway, you won't get everything done, and you'll just have to let some things go.

Here's the real deal.  Educating your children is a job. You can outsource it, do it yourself or a combination thereof, but anyone who says it's free and easy is trying to justify or sell you something. How and where you educate your kids is one of the biggest parenting decisions you will make.

If you work you obviously have a job. Last time I looked 1 job + 1 job = 2 jobs. So, there you go. You are busy; very busy because you have not one, but two jobs. Congralations, you now qualify for Wonder Woman.

I am assuming that if you are undertaking the arduous task of managing 2 Jobs, you have a

Compelling Reason.

Are you clear about what it is? 
Write the vision and make it plain.
Personally, if  I don't write important things down and see it I'll forget all about them. . Then when the going gets tough (which it will, guaranteed) you can read your compelling reason and rest assured in your good choices. Or wonder at them, pray, wrestle and make different ones. Either way, it's a starting place and you need one, if you are going to successfully navigate the choppy waters of too much to do and not enough time to do it in. 
Your compelling reason is going to help you get and stay focused.
Compelling reasons can include but are not limited to social, emotional, spiritual, academic, physical, and familial concerns, among others. Among the working homeshcooling moms that I talked to in preparation for this series some of the compelling reasons were; their child was being bullied to the point of physical harm, their child was so depressed in school they had a suicide plan, their child has special academic needs better met at home, their child had health issues, they wanted better academics for their kids than the school provided, their child was very involved in a sport or artistic endeavor that took hours of training each day, their child was gifted or special needs or 2E, the family traveled for work, the family wanted more time together, Common Core implementation, etc. In other words, your compelling reason is going to be as unique and individual as you and your family is. Nevertheless, know what it is.

Our compelling reason is this:
Education is the transmission of culture.
I don't see the public (or often private, with a few exceptions) school system transmitting of culture of Christ, Truth and beauty. That's a deal breaker for us so we homeschool.

Once you have a compelling reason, you are going to want to focus the time and energy that you do have. If I get up earlier than everyone else and knock out 2-3 hours of work before breakfast, I can get about as much done as if I try to work during the entire morning while everyone is getting breakfast, milling about and grabbing my attention for math and to chat about whatever is on the news or in their reading. Multi- tasking is not effective and for me, simply means I waste more time and lose track of my notes. Not good in a detailed job that has seasons of extreme busyness.

How to stay focused at work, in order to truly maximize your time? As one of the gals mentioned when questioned:
"I keep schedule after schedule after schedule. And I work in routines. We always follow the same routines for school and for activities and for bedtime. And I follow the same routines for my working."
Find a planning format and routine that works for you and use it. Work and school habits also make life function much more smoothly.
In order to stay focused at work, especially as one of those people who has the privilege and distraction of working at home, my kids and I have had to become more flexible in how and when we do school. I written for years about the importance of quality "helpers" in your homeschool- CD's, DVD's, MP3's, on-line classes, computer classes, co-ops and class-days. On crazy busy days, my kids might listen to more school than they've read about. Or you might find us doing Spelling at 5:30 instead of in the morning, like we used to.

Here's how school is focused: A Master List for each kid with thier school work listed.
A Basket of CD's, DVD's; a Library Cart of school books and worktexts, a bin of memory cards, a flash-drive with MP3's and PDF downloads, a computer with log-ins and passwords in the memory.
If I'm working, the kids know that they can go to the list and pick something else. If I can't help them, they move on to the next thing they can do. If there's nothing else, they read, or they have free time to roam outside, create something, play with kittens, mull, write or read. Don't underestimate the importance of "free time" and "free play"- kids need time and space to just "be."

For those who are working outside of the home, this presents it's own unique set of problems in managing Homeshcool. Some moms have hired Nanny's who do the schoolwork, others have significant other's or in-laws who manage school, others work swing shifts and probably all of us don't sleep as much as we'd like.

Call to Action:
Define your compelling reasons to homeschool.
Define your compelling reasons to work.
Define 3 areas that require focus and create action steps to make your focus more effective.

I'd love to hear from you. What are your compelling reasons for Homeschooling while working. How do you stay focused at Work and at Home?

Be sure to stop by my fellow Crewbies for some more great reading this week.
Kathy @ Kathys Cluttered Mind ~ Fieldtripping Fun
Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road ~ Great Kids Reads
Shalynne @ Wonderfully Chaotic ~ Birth and Babies
Lisa Marie @ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ Canadian Teachers Pay Teachers Stores
Kemi @ Homemaking Organized ~ Homekeeping for Girls and Boys
Heather @ Only Passionate Curiosity ~ Planning Your Homeschool Year
Nikki @ Angels of Heart ~ Easter: The Cross for Preschoolers
Jenn @ Treasuring Life's Blessings ~ Family Friendly Finger Food
Lisa @ Golden Grasses ~ The Working Woman's Guide to Homeschooling

Also be sure to head over to Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog to see what all 60 of my fellow crew members are blogging about this week for their 5 day blog hop!
@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!

1 comment:

Kemi Quinn said...

I love this post. Pinned the list. I also like the quote from Leah. Lists work and I know when I step away from them things go south (as they were going a week ago before I jumped back on the lists and schedules).
We homeschool because God has put on our hearts to do so. He has also made it possible.
I work to have some me time (creative outlet) and earn either products or funds for the family.
My work time needs much more focus.
My non-homeschool time needs much more focus. I have the tools, the knowhow and the means to get them organized so just need to take action.
Great thinking post!