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 monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

8 Quick-Tips for Working at Home and Homeschooling

typing at a desk

As I write this, The sun is barely peeking up from the horizon. My husband and children are all still firmly nestled in their beds. I'm a morning person living in a house full of night owls. Knowing this, I do my best to steward my moments--to squeeze the most work out of any available downtime.

I'm a work-at-home mom.

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While I recognize what a gift and privilege that is, I'm also hyper-aware that WAHMs struggle with balance. We are never off the clock either as moms or income-producing workers. We get the best of both worlds, but also the worst, and can often feel as if we are doing neither one with excellence.  

Couple these responsibilities with the sheer weight of home education, and we can feel pulled into tatters. Our lives are different from our friends. Not better or worse, just different.

We have additional burdens on our time than our stay-at-home mom friends, but that also means we usually have larger household budgets and can afford a few more luxuries.

We don't get to compartmentalize our responsibilities and physically detach ourselves from different areas of our lives for large chunks of time like our work-outside-the-home friends, but that also means we get to be more physically present for our husbands and children. 

It's a mixed bag, to be sure. 

But the good news is, for as near impossible as working from home and homeschooling might have seemed to most folks during the pandemic years, it can be done. What's more, by consistently showing up with consistency, we can do both well.

Here are 8 quick tips that have helped me successfully combine home, work, and school for the past 11 years. 

8 Quick-Tips for Working at Home and Homeschooling

Have realistic expectations 

As a WAHM, you cannot do it all. Only God is All. But you can do what matters. God promises to give you your daily bread--to provide exactly what you need every day, even time. If you are feeling frayed and frazzled perhaps you have misaligned priorities. Could it be that you are trying to do more today than today allows? Be willing to accept the limitations of a 24-hour day and say NO to any frivolous pursuits that do not run parallel with the tasks God has set before you. Trust me, if you don't prioritize your responsibilities and opportunities, you'll easily fritter away your time and energy and spend your life on less important tasks. Additionally, don't be afraid to defer some of the home responsibilities to your children. Start to train them in home management skills early and expect them to share the load. Even toddlers can help match socks and put silverware on the table. 

Create a close-of-day routine

It's been said that a successful day starts the night before. To that end, develop a habit of re-setting your spaces each evening so that you don't feel behind when your feet hit the floor the next morning. Do the dishes, tidy the main living areas, and set out whatever homeschool or work materials you will need to launch well. I often like to prep for the next day's breakfast before I clean up from dinner. By chopping the veggies for tomorrow's omelets while chopping for tonight's salad, I am using the kitchen once but enjoying the fruit of my labors twice. By throwing a batch of breakfast muffins in with tonight's dinner rolls, I am saving both electricity and clean-up time. 

homeschool mom writing in a notebook

Show up for work

Most take-back-your-life gurus will tell you to get up before your kids each day to capitalize on some uninterrupted work and/or worship time. While generally speaking that advice is worth heeding, there are seasons in a mom's life when rising at too early o'clock is just not possible. Additionally, some kids will make it their mission to beat your alarm no matter how early you set it. When I was in the baby-wrangling days, I was surviving on coffee fumes until around lunch when my brain would finally be awake enough to do deep work. Now that I have teens who are practically nocturnal, I usually have two solid hours to myself before they even roll out of bed each morning. I use that time to do any projects that require extra contemplation and quiet. Regardless of the exact hour, try to be consistent with your wake-up time each day. Resist the urge to sleep in or "soft start" just because you can. Get dressed. In real clothes. Even shoes. Loungewear is great for days off. But when you are working from home, loungewear will only nurture feelings of passivity and sluggishness. Be willing to value your work enough to show up for it even if that means you never actually go anywhere.

Create a block schedule

Divide the day into sections and reboot after each chunk. Reset your spaces, move your body, and unplug. That way if you get behind or don't complete the to-do list you set for the morning, you don't necessarily have to feel behind all day. You can start fresh with a new list for the afternoon and evening. Additionally, by creating blocks for your day, you can give focused time and attention to each area of your home life: home, homeschool, and work. Be vigilant to guard your family time. Make it a line item on your To-Dos so that the people you love most don't end up with your leftovers each day. 

In addition to my Brave Homeschool Planner for scheduling my homeschool day, I use an Artfan planner for my home and work life. It lays flat and folds over, is durable and pretty, and provides enough blank space for my work block lists without cluttering my mind with a bunch of unnecessary extra planner fluff. 

My current block schedule looks like this:

7:00-9:00         Work hours (I usually work on one medium-sized writing project like a blog post, magazine article, eBook, or notes for a podcast then move to more tedious work for the remainder of the time like answering emails and scheduling social media posts.)

9:00-10:30       Personal time (breakfast with the family, devotions, shower, get dressed)

10:30-12:30     School time 

12:30-1:30       Lunch 


1:30-3:00         School time

3:00-5:00         Work hours (I write a section or two in the book I am currently writing. I wrote Holy Hygge entirely in one and two-hour chunks.)


5:00-8:00         Family time (dinner, life group, extracurriculars)

8:00-9:00         School/Work time (I prep for the next day's homeschooling or work projects.)

9:00-11:00       Personal time (exercise, read, or watch a movie with my husband) 

homeschool mom working by a fire

Schedule deep work distractions

If your kids are little, finding the solitude and quiet to do deep work can be the most challenging. There are just certain work projects that require your extra focus. Obviously, nap time is a built-in pause to home responsibilities. But what about when your kids outgrow naps? There's still hope. Institute a quiet rest time just after lunch. Encourage your kids {require your kids} to go to their respective rooms, lie down with a book, audiobook, or quiet handwork activity, and rest for a predetermined amount of time. Use a visual timer to help even young kids know when they may get out of bed. For older kids, create a quiet time basket filled with special games and toys that they only get to play with during any intense work times. Do your best to keep these quiet times short and purposeful. 

A quick word about screens: In an ideal world, they wouldn't exist. But then again, they can be an instant babysitter when needed. When my kids were little, I found it helpful to preemptively set screen times in the schedule to allow for some quality work time so that I didn't have to resort to screens in frustration. Having a built-in TV-watching time each day set a definitive start and stop time so that my kids didn't roll from one show right into the next and into the next. Additionally, I could plan that YES around a wholesome or educational show I knew I'd be comfortable with so that I didn't have to settle for whatever drivel just happened to be on when I started working. I used that time more productively than I would have if I hadn't planned it in advance because I too knew the time was limited. 

Find a "drive home" activity

When I was a teacher in the classroom, I had a 15-minute drive from work to home each day to unwind and reshift my focus. I could pull into the driveway feeling regrouped before having to face home-keeping tasks. Now, all my spaces are overlapped. I have to be intentional about choosing an activity each day to help me pivot my mind and emotions away from work and toward home. During the warmer months of the year, I try and take a quick walk around the neighborhood right after my afternoon work time. In the winter, I typically put on my favorite news podcast and listen while I tidy my spaces and head to the kitchen to start preparing dinner. 

mom making pickles

Make a meal plan

Your people have to eat three times a day. This should neither shock nor surprise you. With a little intentional effort each week to make a flexible plan without dates, you can put meal time on autopilot and serve homemade, nutritious meals three times each day. Here are my best meal-planning and meal-prepping hacks for a large homeschool family. 

To learn more, be sure to listen to Episode 12 of the Mom to Mom Podcast.

Use your fringe moments effectively

Your success as a WAHM will not be determined by how well you can accomplish big projects, but how faithful you are in incidental 5-minute tasks. As has been said, a steady drop will carve the stone. It's all too easy to reach for a phone and do mindless scrolling when you have 5 minutes of downtime between one activity and the next. But, if you can learn to use those 5-minute chunks proactively, instead, you'll find that you will move the needle on lots of tasks with little to no effort. Keep a triage list of secondary tasks that need doing around your home or for your work. Write them in your planner or on a 3x5 card and refer to them whenever you have a minute to spare. Here's a list of fifty power tasks that can be squeezed into the fringe moments of a busy homeschooling/work day. 

A final word

Combining work with home and homeschooling can feel like a herculean task. But it can be done.  Whenever overwhelm and apathy begin to slip in, revisit your reasons for choosing this path in the first place. At one point, you made a decision to prioritize both home and work. It's not by accident that you are spinning these particular plates. In this season, you will have to decide between good, better best. Don't be afraid to say NO or drop inconsequential tasks knowing that the YES days will come when you grow out of the mother-heavy years of homeschooling. Be flexible and remember to be kind to yourself. You can do this! We're in this together.


  1. This is so practically helpful. Exactly what I needed to hear, thank you!!

    1. I'm so glad you found it worth your time. I wish you all the best as you juggle all the things.

  2. I am reading and listening to Homeschool Bravely (2nd time around) at the same time so I can underline and highlight things I need to remember! As a solo WAHM who is homeschooling 4 boys, this post has confirmed and given me clarity. I found your blog in 2011 when I began homeschooling. Your posts have always been a source of encouragement and assurance that no matter how impossible a situation, with faith and grace we can overcome and are more than conquers through Christ our redeemer. Thanks Jamie from a grateful mama in Arizona 🙏🏾❤️

    1. What a kind message of encouragement. Thank you so much. I'm glad this post has been affirming to you and pray that as you balance work, home, and homeschooling, God will give you peace and clarity for what YESs and NOs to give.

  3. Hi Jamie , i look forward to your articles for inspiration n encouragement . Thanks for the motivation, well written as always

    1. Thank you so much for reading and for that sweet message!