Happy Home Ed: Juggling

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Someone – I think it was Siân (sorry if not) – asked me this aaaaaages ago:

Have you written anything about the practicalities, about how you manage your working life/writing/you-time alongside homeschooling? I think for many, or possibly just me, the prospect feels overwhelming, simply because of the organisation and juggling. How do you do it? Are you super-organised/structured or do you go with the flow or a bit of both? 

We’ve been home educating for a full school year now so I should have this sorted, shouldn’t I? I think I have… maybe… although generally when I think I’ve got things sorted, they fall apart.

It’s probably not as difficult as people may think because we’re unschooling, so we don’t do any formal, structured learning – the boys can just get on with what they want to do. For example, right now I’m in the front room on the computer, Harry’s sitting  halfway up the stairs on his DS and Joe’s in the lounge doing a painting on the side of a Shreddies box.

I have a daily To Do list on Wunderlist (which I’ve written about before), but I’ve spent the past year paring it down. I’m blogging a lot less than I used to (here as well as on Happy Home Ed, Mum’s Suitcase), posting less on UKYA and I’ve stopped chasing the writers on Bea. None of it is really time sensitive, but I used to feel a responsibility to post everywhere all the time and I’d fret a bit if I hadn’t had a chance, but I let that go and feel much better for it.

Writing fiction, however, is a different matter. I’ve never been one for writing every day and this year, because I’m out of contract, I’ve been writing different things and then waiting to hear back from people, so a routine hasn’t really been needed. Fingers crossed, that’s going to change soon and then I will need to write every day. What I’ve found works for me is getting the writing out of the way first thing so it’s not hanging over me and if, say, it’s a lovely day or something interesting comes up we can just go and do it. So Harry’s been getting me up when he gets up which is anywhere from 5am. Getting out of bed is not so easy, but once I’m downstairs with a cup of tea, it’s amazing how much I can get done before Joe appears (at about 7.30, usually).

Mostly though, the past year has been good for teaching me to relax more. There have been more than a few times when the boys have been asking to go to the park or even just out in the garden and I’ve been at my desk saying, “Just a minute… let me just… I just need to…” and then realising I can do whatever it is later. I’m very lucky in that David is often home by 5 and so if there’s something I really need to do but haven’t, I can skip off to the office, slam the door behind me and get back on Twitter to work.

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6 thoughts on “Happy Home Ed: Juggling

    1. I’ve got you down for the 16th so feel free to post then, but if you ever want to on another date, just let me know. Would love to have you.

  1. When people ask this question it’s usually because they don’t understand the fact that during a whole day in school the children only get a very small amount of work/learning done and much time wasting. But when home educating when there’s the opportunity to focus without distraction you can get so much covered in ten minutes. this frees parents up to pull in what they need to do – if they’re organised of course! 🙂 I found I was very organised at times and just went with the flow at others. The beauty of it is you can do what works for you and the child at the time. We had home educating friends who had a variety of approaches to work/home ed balance, some self employed, some one partner working, some both partners working part time. And all the different approaches brought the families towards successful outcomes. In my experience (our kids never did go back to school) the very fact that you’re in charge of your own lives and organising them in different ways to be productive is highly educational in itself and sets children up to confront the challenges of maybe not having that one-track route to employment these days and to succeed in whatever they do!

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