January 16, 2013

My Two Jobs

 If you would have asked me to pick a word for the year for the past few years, it would have been failure. Some of this was due to other situations going on, but a lot was due to homeschooling. I couldn't understand how other homeschoolers got anything done around the house. I was perpetually behind on where I thought I should be regarding laundry, dishes, cooking dinner, and so on. As I am currently only homeschooling one of my kids, I was panicked at the thought that this was going to be my life for the next two decades. I wanted to throw my kid into school. Some days I wanted to run away.
Then I read an article LoraLynn wrote for Simple Homeschool. In it, she equates homeschooling to being the equivalent of holding a job. For some reason, I had never thought of it like this before. I knew she had a point.
In my state, I am required to homeschool my son for 4 hours a day, 180 days a year. That comes to 20 hours a week, aka, a part-time job. Granted, some of the work my son does is on his own, but he still needs a good bit of supervision even with a worksheet. For people with more than one student they are homeschooling, I can easily see the hours spent homeschooling as being equal to a full-time job.
I know that there are a lot of moms out there who stay home full-time and send their kids to school. These moms stay busy too. I know, because I have had the privilege of being a full-time SAHM since my son was born. And I have stayed busy! Why, then, was I surprised when I stayed home full-time, spent 20 hours a week doing school, and then couldn't stay caught up?
When I did work full-time outside the home, I wasn't surprised if I had dishes that had spent the day in the sink, or laundry was undone at dinner. I was gone all day, so of course I wouldn't have had time to do the stuff I would have done had I been at home. I realized that I had been equating homeschooling my son with a regular day at home, with an extra chore thrown in. No chore takes 4 hours, though; at least not any that I have to do!
With my revelation that I wasn't just a full-time mom, I was a full-time mom with a part-time job at home, I began to think differently about how I set up my days. When I worked, I got up early and got ready before my job began. I didn't show up in my pjs and try to shower when my students were at recess. When I worked, I had my lessons planned and the corresponding resources pulled days in advance. I didn't turn to the teacher's guide and read what I needed the day I taught the lesson. When I worked, I did laundry and shopping on the weekend. Now, I will most likely still do a load most days, but if I have to do laundry on the weekend, that's fine. Big projects like cleaning my son's bathroom, or cleaning all the floors, wait until the weekend too, barring a major disaster.
This may not be a major thought revolution for anyone else but me. But just in case someone out there is reading this and was just as surprised as I was, don't give up. Maybe you just need to change how you are viewing your situation. I have no doubt that when my youngest starts being homeschooled, I will be thrown for a loop once again as I try to juggle teaching two kids who are five years apart. :)

Be sure to check out LoraLynn's article that inspired all of this over at Simple Homeschool. Without her words of wisdom, I never would have found what "Works for Me!"

I am also linking up to Edie's Time. On Purpose series. Be sure to check it out!


  1. That's a great way of looking at it, but I'll admit, I never have looked at it that way. I have, though, been of the thinking that my housework and everything else can WAIT. God has laid it upon our hearts for me to be home and school the children, so that's what I do. Yes, I still do housework, but I do it when it's convenient. That means there are days when my house is a wreck, heck weeks, but eventually, it all gets put back together. I've tried cleaning schedules, only to fail at them. It is hard, but it's also very rewarding. Our children will only be teachable for so long...then time will have passed. The laundry, dishes, and other chores will still be there...those little curious and moldable minds won't. :) Good luck with your new perspective!

  2. Visiting from Edie's - very nice to meet you!
    I remember having this revelation some time ago - very helpful.
    It didn't necessarily revolutionize my approach, but it did (like you it seems) redirect my energies into more appropriate tasks in the better time slot.
    I also remember thinking that I always skimped on the necessary tools to properly accomplish the job of educating my offspring, and frankly, I still haven't overcome that bad habit.
    I never did that at my job.
    There are some excellent parallels between our professional experiences and our commitment to home school!


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