Monday, April 7, 2014

The Working Woman's Guide to Homeschooling - Day #1 Just 4 Things

Welcome to the Review Crew  "5 Days of" Blog Hop
This week I'll be posting,
The Working Woman's Guide to Homeschooling.
Homeschooling is growing by leaps and bounds and it seems like more families have 2 parents working while homeschooling than ever before. As part of every post I'll bring you some great graphics, some management helps and a call to action.

50 Things Highly Productive People Do Differently.  I have many of these traits but I'm not sure I'm being productive.

Found on
In preparation for this series I found an interesting book called the Power of Four by J. Marshall II (a Territories author) with a short list of 4 Things to make you a world class manager. It's totally apropos when considering or actually doing two huge jobs, such as both homeschooling and working, at once.

Know Yourself - this includes knowing your strengths and weaknesses as a worker and as homeschooler. This entails taking some regular assessments of yourself and building in time to celebrate, exercise, eat right, work out and listen to your inner muse, managing your sleep schedule, having fun and knowing when to unplug - especially difficult for those who work from home.

Most jobs include CEU's and SMART goals. For homeschooling I plan Continuing Ed. Thankfully, there are fantastic resources in the forms of magazine, MP3 downloads and Podcasts, as well as books.  Continuing education should shoring up your areas of weakness and maximize your strengths.

You know what you need to know for your job, or hopefully have a boss or customers that will let you know. As a homeschooler I'd like to encourage you to follow the first law of the teacher- know what you will be teaching. This means that you'll most likely be on a trail of learning the entire time you homeschool. Which, if you are an autodidact, couldn't be better news. The downside to this is time- as in its limited. The cool thing about homeschooling is that you can learn alongside your kids and you can maximize the time that you have together. Playing that audio book in the car, or having the CD on as you clean is a great way for everyone to learn as you go.

As always, you should make your goals
SMART - Specific, Manageable, Attainable, Reasonable, Time sensitive.
I  know I'd prefer to stay up till midnight to have time to work uninterrupted but I also know that I will be far more productive if I get up earlier instead of staying up later. That might not be the case for you. Make your goals smart and work within the parameters of your life.

As you set goals for your self and your year, address the "Basic 4" - physical, spiritual, mental and social. As working homeschoolers, perhaps the most difficult thing to do as you plan is to be realistic about the time and energy you have. If you are on a sharp learning curve at work, or studying for a licensing exam this year, maybe training for a marathon needs to wait until next year.

Know Your Friends - My friends include a list of very cool people from around the country ('cause we've lived there) and folks I've met around the world via the world wide web, our homeschooling group, church, work and my family. My friends also include CD's, DVD's, computers, Norwex cleaning rags, to-do lists and my calendar, Organo Gold Tea and Birkenstocks.  Tools are "friends' in the sense that they contribute to my life, and I appreciate them. Clearly I don't mean that I equate my shoes with my kids, but in the sense that my life is enriched by both, I'm appreciative. Knowing who to call for what and when will contribute greatly to your life.Cultivating your resources, when you are able, will enrich your life.

Know Your Enemies -Enemies of my little world include getting over committed, being too independent  the inability to make changes (like really learning Evernote), lack of resources (but I'm learning that you can google a how to for almost anything), not having the right tools, exhaustion, junk food, lack of exercise and not getting to the chiropractor on a regular basis. Your enemies list might not include an injury or health issue, but if does, organize to manage it.

Enemies also include real people. That "leader" at church that shames certain kids, relatives that undermined us as parents and homeschoolers, non and different flavored Christians who have mocked and scorned our faith, the jealous person at work or in the homeschool group who works hard to make you look bad. Be aware of those types and love them as you can, but also be wise in your dealings with these people. The enemy of our souls comes to kill, steal and destroy us, our health, finances, families, dreams, visions and hopes. Keep guard over that which is precious to you and keep those who would take what you've been given to steward at a safe distance.

Some people or "things" can be both friends and enemies -  Facebook also comes to mind. For me, it's a great tool to connect with others through groups and as a professional support system. But it can also be a huge time suck, cause me to feel inadequate and jealous and is a great excuse to pretend I'm multi-tasking, when in fact I'm just procrastinating.

Know your enemies. And know your friends well enough so that you can recognize when they've crossed into a different camp.

Take the Lead -Mary Kay used to a have a slogan that went like this, "If it's to be, it's up to me." I always had a problem with that form a theological point of view. If it's to be it seems like it's up to God. Hopefully I can come alongside of Him enough to get to be part of the main thing and part of the main stream. That being said, if there are opportunities that are missing in your fair city, create them. If you need it, chances are someone else does too. Volunteering is a great way to network professionally and create a richer, more diverse and wider circle of influence.

In, Up Till Now, William Shatner's autobiography, he makes the point that he's always willing to say "Yes," to take a risk and to do things others might have felt were beneath them professionally. In other words, he embraced opportunities no matter how crazy and out of the way and bizarre they might have seemed. As a result he has had varied and uninterrupted career(s) doing things he's loved.

I've been criticized long and well for my lack of satisfaction in life-  too many expectations, to high of expectations, too many degrees, too many kids, too many moves, and on and on. My lack of satisfaction and our hope and desire for more in life has lead us to live from coast to coast, read thousands of books, call people we don't know on the phone, develop friendships that have changed our lives, have a ton of kids and frankly, marry each other. So, really, naysayers be d*amned. Embrace life, take the lead and do something to nurture and satisfy and stir up the inner hopes and dreams, and then say "YES!" when opportunity shows up. Which is exactly why many of us are Homeschooling AND Working. More to come this week!

Call to Action:
Define 2 goals for each of the four areas of life
Determine your friends and your Enemies.
Define 4 areas in which you need to take the lead.

Be sure to stop by my talented blogger buddies sites 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:

Leah Courtney said...

I'm looking forward to these posts, Lisa. :-)