For homeschooling families, each day comes with a unique set of opportunities and challenges. In most cases, the challenges come from outside the realm of education. From finding quiet time for yourself and your child to managing your home and social life, it can certainly be an uphill battle to stay focused on your goals.
Here are a few things that homeschooling families should consider to make sure everyone finds a positive life balance.
Manage Your Busy Schedule
Being your child’s teacher, coach, driver, and parent is a full-time job, but what about all of life’s other tasks? Finding ways to manage your schedule and reducing stress is key to providing a sustainable homeschooling environment.
Set a structure for your curricula ahead of time. While most public school students attend classes for six hours or more each day, a homeschooled child receives more focused attention. This means that each day is different, and so some states also allow fewer daily hours. As your child ages, online courses and independent learning can free up additional time.
Setting schedules and expectations early and often helps create a consistent and fulfilling experience for both you and your child.
Keep Your Home Clean
Naturally, homeschooling families spend a great deal more time within their own four walls. This additional time at home brings added traffic, dust, rubbish, and an increased use of appliances. It’s easy to see how clutter can get out of hand. What most don’t consider is the additional exposure that homeschool families have to volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are found in ordinary household cleaners. These harmful contaminants can cause respiratory health issues, particularly during prolonged exposure.
To more safely manage your home cleaning, keep a visible calendar or chore chart to make sure that all areas of the home get cleaned regularly. Create daily and weekly checklists for each member of your household so that everyone is helping out. You can reduce your exposure to VOCs by eliminating aerosol or spray cleaners and by having an HVAC expert install air handlers to deliver clean air into your home and remove the pollutants.
Don’t Forget to Socialize
Homeschooling provides an incredible opportunity to focus on your child’s education and life experiences, but you must also find time for your child to socialize. There are many places that provide safe social environments for your child to interact with others, including local homeschooling groups, extracurricular activities offered by your school district, libraries, and parks. These outings not only stimulate your child in new and creative ways that the home classroom may not provide, but it also allows you the opportunity to meet new people and share thoughts and experiences with other homeschooling families.
Instead of overwhelming your family and your schedule, look to double your efforts by combining chores and errands with social outings. Visit the grocery store and work on a budgeting lesson with your child. This venue is a great place to socialize with members of your community, and you can tackle that grocery list at the same time.