Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Working Woman's Guide to Homeschooling - Inventory

"People cannot be managed. Inventories can be managed, but people must be led" #lead4growth #quote #leadership
Inventory - an itemized list of current assets.

When you change roles, or add new ones, it can be helpful to define and inventory all of the areas of responsibility. As Moms it's way too easy to just continue adding roles and responsibilities, thinking it's easier to do it all ourselves, or it's not the kids' problem, or dh is already too busy. That will quickly lead to burn-out, resentment, dropped balls and break-downs. You can't do it all.

Areas of Responsibility:
Work, Home, Home Schooling, Self

Work: You know your specific roles for work: Biz Owner, contractor, manager, employee, teacher, doctor, waitress- with all that entails- uniform, professional licensing and appearance, transportation, tools, etc. If you have set times and places for work, all the better. If you work from home, you need to create space- both physical and time-wise so that work stays contained. Setting regular office and phone hours will help create space and time for other things.

Home- Home roles are best negotiated with your Significant Other and any other people who works/live with you; Regular, weekly and monthly chores such as loading and unloading the dishwasher, paying the bills, taking care of the car and taxes, laundry, shopping, cooking, clean-up, etc. In our home, the kids have regular jobs and weekly jobs. Who does what when. The more this is managed, the less stressful. For instance, if laundry is kept up no one is shuffling through a the dirty clothes pile looking for shirts and socks. Every one's level of comfort is different. I really abhor a dirty bathroom but can't be bothered to dust often. Define your "bug" list (you know, the things that bug you), decide what bugs you most and manage that first.

Home Schooling - curriculum and activity research, purchasing, scheduling, implementing, transcribing if necessary. Out-sourced classes and activities. Who pays when, who transports, who manages homework and answers questions and keeps the kids on task. When you are working and homeschooling, the tendency is to fit homeschooling in wherever it fits. It's helped my kids to try to continue with the pre-established routine as much as possible. They want to have times when they don't have homeschooling hanging over their head and they have real free time to hang out side, play with kittens and read whatever the choose. I've had to set boundaries on myself because my tendency is to try to fit in one more thing.

Self - physical, mental, spiritual, social. This is the area that always seems to get short-changed. Make time and space in your life to do things that care for yourself- physical exercise, spiritual discipline, mental stimulation-beyond your work life and some kind of social outlet beyond mere social obligation. This always seems to be the areas to get short-changed so be intentional and focused on how you are going to care for your-self. You know the crashing airplane story, right?  Give yourself oxygen first so that you can save the lives of others. You are no good to anybody dead.


There are ledgers for your time and energy. What you expend for one thing is no longer available for something else. We don't have to do it all, or apologize for having limits. In fact, it's healthier is we set limits on ourselves and others demand for our time and attention. The jobs I've had this year have deeply curtailed any reading time I've had so for the first time in 4 years I haven't read a book a week. In fact, I haven't finished a book this year yet!  Last year, we didn't plant a garden. A the end of this semester we will seriously re-evaluate some of the groups we've belonged to. Frankly, there needs to be a high enough return in areas to make them worth investing in.

What things can you get rid of or outsource? Homeschooling might be the easiest thing to outsource: Co-op for us has always been a good investment because my kid have gotten quality art and choral, along with a unit study once a week. Some of the on-line classes we've taken have been phenomenal investments of time and money, not to mention great training for the kids in classroom behavior and expectations. Some of the DVD courses that we've invested in have been world class (Roman Roads Media). I am not of the opinion that homeschooling means you teach every.single.thing.

Housework- I've always believed that if you live in a house, you are partly responsible for cleaning it and contributing. Everyone helps with laundry, kitchen, laundry, yard work, re-build projects. If I could afford it, I'd hire a maid once a month or at least once a quarter. I love clean but I hate cleaning. Seriously, who wouldn't rather read a book?!

Work- Tim Ferris in The Four Hour Work Week made some excellent points about virtual assistants. They might actually be worth the money, so it's something to investigate if your job justifies it. Make use of planner apps and docs. I have fallen in love with dropbox this year; such an easy way to share and save info from anywhere.

I haven't really found anyone to effectively work-out for me yet, but personal trainers abound and books on tape get book read, even if not by you.

Inventory is on-going but easy at obvious points of evaluation- for work, during reviews, for homeschool, at the end of semesters, or year end.

Call to Action
Inventory your ares of responsbility
Determine 4 things that you can outsource or delegate.

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!

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1 comment:

Sara said...

I like your suggestion of taking inventory of responsibilities first. I know I've been guilty of piling on the work without delegating or asking for help. No one can do it all, but mothers certainly try at times.

This was very helpful. Thank you!