Welcome!  
I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my daily digest via email or RSS feed. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Working At Home and Homeschooling: What My Schedule REALLY Looks Like

Working At Home and Homeschooling: What My Schedule REALLY Looks Like {WAHM and homeschooling mom of 5}

Three years ago, when I sat down to plunk out a chronicle of our homeschool days, I never dreamed of the kind of community that would build, the kind of catharsis I would gain, and the kind of personal and professional growth I would experience.

God took my little corner of the Web and my desire to minister to mommas on the journey and crafted a ministry and side-income like only He could.

I have gotten to meet and walk real-life with a few of my readers.
I have shared God's love and His story to women all around the globe.
I have helped to write a book and launch a much-needed ministry.


(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details.)

I have gotten to see God use the financial blessings of running a blog to minister to my family financially...to fill in the gaps of our budget. But, I've also seen him use it to provide for kids in Congo, send friends on short-term missions trips around the world, feed hungry orphans in a children's home, provide gift cards and supplies to a family devastated by fire, buy farm animals for needy families in South America, pay the medical bills of neighbors, send low-income kids to Bible camp, and so much more. 

None of this was a result of my own abilities or efforts, but was an outpouring of the kindness and good works of God who has multiplied my meager beginnings.

I am humbled. 
I am grateful. 
But, I'm also busy.

What started as a hobby-ministry has grown into a business-ministry. 

I'm now a work-at-home-mom...a WAHM.

This is a new "hat" to wear. But, with careful planning and clearly-defined priorities IT CAN BE DONE. 

Here's a peek into my homeschool-blogging-momma week! (Please make sure your seat belt is fastened and keep your hands and feet in the vehicle at all times. This is gonna be one crazy-fast ride!)

Working At Home and Homeschooling: What My Schedule REALLY Looks Like {WAHM and homeschooling mom of 5}
Me in my jammies scheduling social media posts.

(Quick side note: I tend to be less of a schedule-every-moment type girl and more of a find-a-rhythm-that-works-and-make-it-a-pattern type. So, this is a look at the normal flow of my days. I'll throw in approximate times now and again to provide a schedule framework. But, please know that these time increments are loose suggestions NOT dogmas.

It should also be noted that I won't be listing all the activities of each of my children. I'll only be detailing MY day. That being said, you can take a quick glance at my TRIO rotation and know that with the exception of a later-start to our school day due to my new WAHM schedule, their schedule hasn't changed much.

Also, like every other homeschool mom, I have to juggle the regular chaos that comes with combining home and school. I've left most of that out, however. Just assume that in the midst of all the school/work, I'm also taking a toddler to the bathroom a million times each hour and scrubbing off a huge wad of oatmeal "goo" that somehow got rubbed onto my kindergartener's pants.

I'm done now...carry on...)

Weekday Mornings/Afternoons

8:00-9:30

  • Rise and shine as The Hubs jets out the door. Wake up any late sleepers. (I have a couple.)
  • Do my devotions, read through my prayer book for my children, and jot a few thoughts down in my personal journal.
  • Make and serve breakfast to the kiddos. 
  • Get the kids started on the rest of their Good Morning List.
  • Pre-schedule any social media posts to air for the entire day.
  • Publish the post I wrote over the weekend or the night before. (Monday and Friday mornings only.)

9:30-10:00

  • Assign morning chores.
  • Take a shower and get dressed.
  • Take out any food that needs to thaw for lunch.

Working At Home and Homeschooling: What My Schedule REALLY Looks Like {WAHM and homeschooling mom of 5}
Morning Circle Time reading with a sidekick on my lap.

10:00-12:00

  • Start school with morning "Circle Time".
  • Read my own just-for-fun book during our silent reading time.
  • Get out a bin of toys or puzzles out for The Newbie to play with in the living room.
  • Start everyone on their Task Cards. Conduct a quick planning meeting with my daughter if she has any questions.
  • Blow dry my hair and do my make-up while one of my two oldest boys reads aloud to me AND while I quick check social media to make sure there aren't any online fires that need to be dealt with immediately. (If my reading-boy is still not done with his required chapter, I usually fold a basket of laundry...or two...or six...depending upon how large Mt. Clothespile happens to be that day!)
Working At Home and Homeschooling: What My Schedule REALLY Looks Like
Folding clothes while my son sits on my bed and reads out loud to me.

  • Start The Newbie on a new activity.
  • Check over any independent work that was done while I was listening to the reader.
  • Begin Phonics with the two middle boys while the others are working independently.
  • Serve a snack and read from a history or science book while the children's mouths and hands are pleasantly occupied. 
  • Check in with my daughter after her math lesson.
  • Check over any independent work.
  • Begin grammar with my oldest son. 


Working At Home and Homeschooling: What My Schedule REALLY Looks Like {WAHM and homeschooling mom of 5}
Playing Phonics Bingo with a Secret Agent

12:00-2:00

  • Start lunch while my kindergartener reads out loud to me.
  • Serve lunch and visit with The Hubs who is able to come home each day for a mid-day meal.
  • Clean up from lunch and get the kids started on their afternoon chores and music practice. 
  • Answer work emails, social media questions, and make family appointments.
  • Send the kids outside to play for a lengthier break-time while I work on one house project. (bake bread, fold more laundry, dinner prep, make homemade remedies or cleaners...whatever is most pressing)
  • Take out any food that needs to thaw for dinner.

Working At Home and Homeschooling: What My Schedule REALLY Looks Like {WAHM and homeschooling mom of 5}

2:00-3:00

  • Gather everyone for our read aloud time.
  • Read two picture books.
  • Tuck The Newbie in for his nap. Sing a couple songs. Give lots of kisses.
  • Read one chapter from our current read aloud chapter book. 
  • Begin our afternoon "extra"...art, creative writing, or group project. 

Working At Home and Homeschooling: What My Schedule REALLY Looks Like {WAHM and homeschooling mom of 5}

3:00-5:00

  • Begin grammar with my daughter while the boys work independently.
  • Check independent work.
  • Begin math with my two middle boys.
  • Give spelling lessons to the three oldest...one right after the other.
  • Greet The Newbie when he wakes up from his nap.
  • Offer everyone a small snack. (sometimes)
  • Head off to music lessons. (Only on Tuesdays.)
  • Check over any last bit of independent work.

Working At Home and Homeschooling: What My Schedule REALLY Looks Like {WAHM and homeschooling mom of 5}
WAHM multi-tasking "station"

5:00-7:30

  • Begin dinner with the help of the child-of-the-day while one of my two oldest boys reads out loud to me. (Whichever one did not read to me that morning.)
  • Greet The Hubs with a smooch!
  • Answer emails/social media questions and color-correct/upload blog photos while dinner is simmering and The Hubs changes out of his work clothes. (Nothing says "professional work space" quite like the top of a dishwasher that is conveniently located within a 180 degree turn from the oven. All the "magic" happens right there amidst unclipped coupons, lost coins that are still waiting to be claimed by their owner, and a cup of my non-coffee that I've been relegated to because of a mild health thing. My "home office" is classy, no?)
  • Go running with The Hubs and "unpack" the day. (This is a new venture that has been happening on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday nights, but only when the weather permits.)
  • Serve dinner with my helper.
  • Clean up from dinner.
  • Wash the dishes while The Hubs rinses and stacks them. (I know that this is a task that I should assign to the children. But, I've grown so fond of my evening "date" with my man that I just can't seem to pass the baton to anyone else...at least not yet, anyway.)
  • Set up school for the following day.

Working At Home and Homeschooling: What My Schedule REALLY Looks Like {WAHM and homeschooling mom of 5}
Group project for a historical Thanksgiving unit


Week Nights

Monday

  • Host a ladies' Bible study/prayer time in our living room until around 11:30.
  • Visit with The Hubs for a few minutes
  • Read for 10 minutes.
  • Go to bed after midnight.

Tuesday

  • Relax and play with the fam until the kids go to bed at 8:00.
  • Exercise with a youtube video (if I didn't get to run) while The Hubs puts the kids to bed. (Side note: I never tuck my kids in bed unless The Hubs is violently sick or is out of town on a business trip rendering him physically unable to "tuck" anything or anyone. I just don't do it. Ever. In theory, this is because he needs that one-on-one time with all of them. But in reality, it is because I've had the kids all day long and my momma-energy-tank is in the negative numbers by 8 pm.)
  • Do a larger house cleaning project like deep-scrubbing the bathroom.
  • Type out the hand-out for a class I co-teach on Wednesday night and/or write a blog post.
  • Read for 10 minutes.
  • Go to bed after midnight.

Wednesday

  • Head to church with the fam at break-neck speed...within the legal limit, of course!
  • Co-teach a women's Bible study class with a blog reader turned wonderful friend.
  • Clean up the crusted-over dinner mess that didn't get cleaned up during all the get-out-the-door-to-make-it-to-church-on-time frenzy...while The Hubs puts the kids to bed. 
  • Watch The Hubs' favorite show on Netflix with him. (We no longer have TV.  I know, I know...it's like we're living in the dark ages or something. But, we kinda like our simple life SANS monstrously large talking box.)
  • Answer emails/social media questions. 
  • Go to bed after midnight.
Working At Home and Homeschooling: What My Schedule REALLY Looks Like {WAHM and homeschooling mom of 5}

Thursday


  • Play a board game or watch a movie with the entire family OR host another family for dinner and games.
  • Exercise with a youtube video (if I didn't get to run) while The Hubs puts the kids to bed.
  • Write a blog post while snuggled with The Hubs on the couch. (He runs his own online picking business and uses our "together" time to get caught up on that...or a plethora of other things. It's a battle of the dueling laptops.)
  • Read for 10 minutes.
  • Go to bed after midnight.

Friday

  • Relax with the fam until the kids go to bed at 8:00.
  • Enjoy an in-home date night with The Hubs.
  • Read for 10 minutes.
  • Go to be after midnight.

Working at Home and Homeschooling: What My Schedule REALLY Looks Like

Weekends

Saturday

  • Complete a deep-cleaning project and assign the kids to do one together as a group.
  • Run errands and go grocery shopping if I need to.
  • Pay bills/do household paper work.
  • Enjoy a family outing/activity OR invite friends/family over for dinner and board games.
  • Begin Sabbath-style rest.

Sunday

  • Attend church with the fam.
  • Take a nap. (This is a Sunday-afternoon MUST for me!)
  • Do some bulk-baking for the week.
  • End Sabbath-style rest.
  • Set up school for the following day.
  • Write one blog post.
As a work-at-home-homeschooling mom, I have many plates spinning at any given moment. But truthfully, in saying YES to a blog, I have learned to say NO to other things. Obviously, I've only been granted the same 24 hours as everyone else. So, I must limit my outside "extras" in order to have enough white space in my days for what really matters. 

It is a bit of a balancing act...one which requires both clear boundaries and a measure of flexibility. Admittedly, home AND school AND work often merge into one giant beast. But, I do my best to carve out space, time, and energy for each trusting God to fill in the gaps.


For more ideas of how to juggle working-at-home and homeschooling, head to iHomeschool Network

13 comments:

  1. LOVE your dish washer-home office! Thank you for all you do to minister to other homeschool families--and I thought MY days were busy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, it's not pretty. But, it works just fine for me. Glad you're here.

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  2. I just read to my husband the part about your husband tucking in the kiddos every night...what a fantastic idea. I can TOTALLY relate to the momma-energy-tank being in the negative numbers by 8 p.m. Thank you for always being so real. In ALL of your posts. I appreciate your blog so much!

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  3. Thanks for all that, Jamie! What a great post! I am surprised at how similar our day looks, except that I don't have the work from home bit going on...my time instead is spent filling up my tank from working all weekend at night. Sometimes I get to feeling so sorry for myself with my part time nursing profession, but I read a post like this, and I am again reminded that we are ALL so busy ALL the time! The love you put into your blog and ministry, I put in to my patients at work. We are all designed to be so much to so many. It's exhausting, but it really is beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My mother was a nurse before retiring. I know the love for patients that you refer to...she poured much love into each one of her patients. What a giving profession that is. I don't think I could ever do that.

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  4. Thank you for sharing your day Jamie, I too work from home while homeschooling 5 girls, and my days are exhausting, yet rewarding. My hubby does all the tucking in and praying with our kids every night because I am completely out of steam by 7pm (my day starts at 4am). Keep it up, I'm always inspired by your posts and your transparency. May the Lord continue to bless your ministry.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I adore your blog and personal constitution Jamie :) May God continue to bless you and your amazing family!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for giving me hope. ;)

    Also, do you use the Well Planned Day planner for EVERYTHING? Your WAHM needs as well? I find the design this year rather unattractive but might have to get it anyway IF it seems to work for both homeschool and WAHM planning.
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for giving me hope. ;)

    Also, do you use the Well Planned Day planner for EVERYTHING? Your WAHM needs as well? I find the design this year rather unattractive but might have to get it anyway IF it seems to work for both homeschool and WAHM planning.
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I use the WPD planner for homeschool and our personal schedules like doctor's appts., church responsibilities, extended family events, etc. But, I use a separate calendar for my WAHM stuff. I like to keep the two separate.

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  8. I loved reading about your schedule ! You seem really good at multi-tasking, I can't believe how many different things you are able to fit into 1hour slots... I do have a couple of questions : -do your kids have regular outside the house activities such as sports or music/art classes ? It seems like most WAHMs schedules don't include such outings.
    -do your kids really sleep at least 4 hours more than you do ? If they go to bed at 8 and you go to bed after midnight, how are you able to get up before they do ? I find, much to my dismay (I would love to have an extend period of time SANS kids to get things done) that my kids (baby to 12 yo) don't sleep much more than I do...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great questions, Rebecca! Yes, my kids have regular outside extras. One of my sons take art lessons twice a month with a retired art teacher at her studio across town. And two of my kids have piano lessons once a week. My daughter plays basketball at a local Christian school through basketball season. All my kids are a part of church clubs on Wednesday night. Other extras happen in the summer time...sports, engineering camps, special fun classes through community ed.

      Regarding bedtime, I was never able to have this schedule when I had babies in the home. I may have been able to go to bed later and get up earlier, but I needed a nap in the middle of the day.

      My kids are put in bed at 8, but they don't fall asleep until about 10ish. We let them stay up and talk to each other, or listen to an audio book, or read in bed. But, they have to stay in bed. This, obviously, doesn't happen every night, but many nights in the week.

      Delete

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