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Busy Mom, Busy Homeschool

I don’t know about you, but the longer I homeschool, it seems the busier I become. It may be the fact that I have more kids, more subjects to teach, or just life getting in the way. But, I know without a doubt that the older I get, the harder getting school and my to do list done tends to be.

So, how can a busy homeschool mom be sure she not only gets school done, but everything else done as well?

Plan Ahead

Planning ahead for days off, field trips, doctor’s appointments, etc are crucial to homeschool success. Now, I have confessed before that I am not a big planner, but I do make notes in my planner to remind me that we may have to miss a day of bookwork due to another activity.

When making doctor’s appointments I try to plan for afternoon only. I know that if I plan something in the morning our whole school day will be ruined.

Routine

Finding a good routine for your day and for your homeschool is another important factor for a busy homeschool mom. When I am sick, or tied up with something unplanned, my girls know their school routine. They know what they need to do, and can normally get it done with little to no supervision. This also makes it easy for dad to step in if need be.

Another routine that helps me get things done is my cleaning routine. I have set laundry days, set days when I meal plan, and when I clean the bathrooms. This routine has been a huge time saver for me, and keeps me and my to do list on track.

Prioritize

One of the biggest things a busy homeschool mom needs to do is prioritize. Take a look at your to do list. What is the MOST important thing on there? Start with most important and work your way down. For some that may be getting school done, for others it may be tending to a fussy baby, and yet others may be tackling that pile of laundry so you all have clean clothes tomorrow. When my to do list is overwhelming I go through and number the items based on what HAS to be done. For me this is usually work, then school, then household tasks. Your list will probably look different, but the key is finding out what you need to prioritize, and working from there.

Moms, we are all busy, and homeschooling is a huge part of our day. It is important that we plan ahead for school, find a routine that works for us, and prioritize our to do lists. Doing these three things can help us stay on task in our day, and can ensure that we get SOME of our to do list done….

What tips do you have for a busy homeschool mom?

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MistyBio

Misty Bailey

Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a free Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey. You can also find her on Facebook andPinterest.

Can You Homeschool and Work at Home?

One of the questions I am asked most often as a work at home homeschool mom is “How do you do it all?” The answer? I don’t!

I have been working from home since 2009, first as an in home child care provider, and now as a freelancer. I love it! And our family has benefited greatly from the extra income through the years. However, once I added homeschooling three kids to my to do list, I have had to cut back. The key to homeschooling and working at home is finding the right balance of work and life.

Find a Routine that Works

The number on key to balancing homeschooling and working at home is finding a routine that works for you. This will include a homemaking routine, a school routine and a work routine. For me it is getting up early and working before the kids go to bed. For you it may be late nights or nap time.

Split Responsibilities

As a work at home homeschool mom I will be the first to say that I CAN NOT do it all. The key to our household is helping hands. The kids have chores that help with our homemaking routine. My husband helps with grading papers, and if I need to I have two homeschooled teens that can come and watch my kids while I catch up on household and work obligations. No mom can do it on her own, and when you work from home it is even more important to split responsibilities within your household.

Find a Job you Enjoy

There are many work at home jobs (for an awesome list check out this post), but most I would NOT want to do. If you are working from home just to provide an income and you dread your job, chances are it is not going to work. You will be miserable, which will make the rest of your family miserable as well. This is what happened to me and my daycare business. I LOVED it at first, but after 7 years it was exhausting and no longer fit the needs of our family. I had always enjoyed writing, and decided to take a chance as a freelancer, and our family is so much happier now. So, try out a few different work at home opportunities before you decide to go all in to working from home.

As homeschool moms we are often times reliant on just our husband’s income. We may be eager to find a way to supplement the family household’s budget by adding in some extra cash. This is a great goal and one that can happen! It just takes finding the right job and finding a way to balance it all effectively.

Do you work from home?

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MistyBio

Misty Bailey

Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a free Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey. You can also find her on Facebook andPinterest.

Finding Joy in Your Homeschool Day

Have you ever had a day that just drug on and on? One where you envied those moms whose kids went to public school. I have! We all have ugly homeschool days. Those days test us and make us wonder how in the world we can go on. They tend to happen more often in the winter when everyone is cooped up in the house!

On those days, we need to focus on what is important. We need to get moving, get our kids moving, and find a way to add joy to our homeschool day. So, the next time you have an ugly homeschool day try one of these tips to help you find joy!

  1. Go outside! Getting fresh air can be great for everyone. Especially in the middle of winter! So, bundle up and head out to get the mail, or walk the dog. Find a way to get outside. Even if it’s only for a few minutes.
  2. Cuddle up with your kids! Spend some time cuddling up with your kids. Read a book, have a chat, put on a movie, draw a picture, or write a letter to out of town relatives.
  3. Spend time with friends! Call up a homeschool family and invite them over to lunch. Let the kids play a game, and enjoy some adult conversation.
  4. Make a bucket list! This is one of our favorite things to do. I let each kid pick one thing that they want to do, and then we do it! The only rule is it has to be something we can do at home that is free J. My boy may choose to build a train; the girls may choose an episode of Little House or a board game. Sometimes they just want to be read to. The point is to let everyone do something with me or as a family.
  5. Build a snowman J! Do you want to build a snowman? Chances are your kids will say yes! If it’s snowing outside go out and have fun! Build a snowman, have a snow day, go sledding. Enjoy winter! It only lasts a season and your kids are only little once!

On those days when nothing seems to be going right and the kids are driving you crazy, just remind yourself this season will pass. Your kids are only little once and we want them to remember a joyful mommy who laughed and took the ugly days in stride. Find an item on this list and get to adding a little joy to your homeschool day!

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MistyBio

Misty Bailey

Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a free Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in

What End Do I Have In Mind?

The end in mind. That is the new title of this blog, right? But, what does it mean? When Lori first mentioned to us that she was changing the name of the blog, I was a little surprised. I liked the “Heart of the Matter”, but she quickly got us on board with the idea behind “The End inMind”. You can read more about that here.

Misty Button

When I think about the end, I don’t really know what to think. The end of parenting, the end of homeschooling, the end of the pitter-patter of little feet in my home. It is overwhelming really. When I first began homeschooling, I honestly wasn’t focused on the end. We began homeschooling because the Lord led us down that path. We would do it as long as He saw fit. Now, five years in, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Yet, what do I want for my kids from homeschooling? What do I want my parenting to hold long term? What plans do I have for my children? Because, all too soon, the end of them being in my home will happen.

  • I want them to be good members of society
  • I want them to love the Lord with all their hearts, souls, and strengths
  • I want them to fall in love, get married, and have good Christian homes
  • I want them to leave my home ready to go out into the world and minister to others for Christ.
  • I want them to follow God’s plans for them, and to be able to know what that plan is.

When I look at that list, I don’t see the little things. Like cleaning up a room, understanding geometry, or even knowing how to diagram a sentence. I see life skills. I see Christ skills. I see a job, a role of a mother.

When I think about the great scheme of things, I begin to realize what is really important. Things like family prayer, cuddling on the couch to read a book, talking to them about the Lord, and showing them what ministry looks like. Those are the things that really matter.

So, I encourage you, mothers, to think about the end. What do you want for your children? What does God want for your children? How does your homeschooling and your parenting fit into the long-term plans for your children? What end do you have in mind?

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MistyBio

Misty Bailey

Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a free Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.

Three Surprising Benefits of Homeschooling

When we began homeschooling in 2009, I knew about the social and academic benefits of homeschooling. I knew that my children would be able to work at their own pace, and be “sheltered” from some of the negative social aspects of public school. I knew that we were doing what was best for our children and that we were following the Lord’s will for our family.

I did not know that homeschooling would offer so many other wonderful benefits for our family. Or that I would become a huge advocate of homeschooling and a mentor to new homeschooling moms. I have to say that I have been pleasantly surprised by three unexpected benefits of homeschooling.

Great Relationships

Our family has been blessed by great relationships. I feel like my parent/child relationship with my children is much better than it would be if the kids were in public school. I also feel that my kids have better relationships with their siblings then they would have if they went to public school. Why is this? I feel that the great relationships that have formed in our family are based largely on quality time.

More Quality Time

When children are in public school it is a given that they will be away from their parents for 6-8 hours each and every day. They will also be away from their siblings and forming close friendships with their peers. This doesn’t happen in homeschooling. My girls ARE best friends with each other. Do they have other friends? Of course! However, for the most part their friends are also friends with their siblings.

When my husband was on second shift we were able to switch our schedule around and do school in the evenings. If the kids were in public school, they wouldn’t have had any quality time with their dad. The kids are home when I cook, fold clothes, or clean the house, this leads to training and quality time doing worthwhile tasks around the house. I honestly can’t imagine how empty or quiet the house would be if they were gone for so long all day.

Freedom

One surprising benefit I didn’t realize that came along with homeschooling is the freedom it offers. We are not tied down to a public school schedule at all. We can school in the evening, on a Saturday, in the summer, or whenever we want. If we are on vacation (during the off season, which is also cheaper!) we can still count some activities like museums, zoos, aquariums or state parks as school because the children are learning through real life experiences. If we want to take a day off and shop, or rest, or visit family, we can. We have freedom.  We were only “tied down” to a public school schedule for a few months before we began homeschooling, but it was long enough to know that homeschooling offers an invaluable freedom!

How long have you been homeschooling? Have you been surprised by any of the benefits?

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MistyBio

Misty Bailey

Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a free Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey. You can also find her on Facebook andPinterest.

Marriage and the Homeschool Mom

When I first began homeschooling, I didn’t realize what a huge undertaking it would be. It affects your whole life, your home, your family, your friends, and even your marriage! Homeschooling is a full time job, and for many of us, at the end of the day just want to crash. That leaves little for our husbands.

So, what can a homeschool mom do to keep her marriage strong? Here are some tips!

Freshen Up

Now, hear me out on this one. I have confessed before about how my “uniform” is a pair of sweats and a t-shirt. Honestly, I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing.  BUT, I tried freshening up every day for a month right before my hubby came home, and it made a difference. I would put on a clean t-shirt, a pair of capris, dab a little make up and lip gloss on, and redo my messy bun. When he came home I felt better about myself. He didn’t say much, but I felt more receptive to him, and like I hadn’t spent the day scrubbing toilets or wiping noses.

Clean Up

Have the kids help you do a quick sweep of the house 30 minutes before dads due to arrive home. Sweep up the crumbs, pick up the toys, and clean off the counters. It doesn’t have to be great, but a 5 minute tidy can go a long way!

Don’t Unload

The toilet overflowed, the boy broke a lamp, and the kids fought all day. Yes, we know it happens to all of us! But, how did his day go? I am sure there were stresses there too. You wouldn’t want him to unload as soon as he walks through the door, so have the same courtesy. This is hard, I know! I tend to unload as soon as he calls to tell me he’s coming home (sometimes I am sure he second guesses doing this…). But, I am trying not to!

Schedule Time

Find time each day to spend together just the two of you. This could be first thing in the morning, or in the evenings after the kids go to bed. This time to reconnect after a long day is crucial to any marriage.

Homeschooling is hard, and marriage can be too! How do you find time to strengthen your marriage as a homeschool mom?

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MistyB  Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a free Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.