When a Crazy Schedule Creates Doubts
“How do you do it all?”
As a homeschool mom, you probably hear this question quite often from shocked outsiders and concerned friends. Being a mom is a tough enough job. Adding the responsibility of home educating ups that game.
Sometimes, you may even ask yourself that same question. Especially when you’re faced with a crazy schedule.
Because life isn’t always a Hallmark movie. It’s up and down and all over the place.
Therapy appointments for special need situations. A job change forces your family to uproot and move across the country. Kids involved in a gazillion extracurricular activities.
When you feel like you’re being pulled in all directions due to a crazy schedule, doubts start to creep in.
“How can I keep homeschooling when I have to get Little Tommy to speech therapy and Susie to gymnastics and Mom needs me to pick up her medicine and there’s Fluffy’s vet appointment and…?”
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Most homeschoolers that I know have some type of crazy schedule. Your crazy schedule probably doesn’t look like mine. But, the thing is that you can conquer the crazy and still homeschool with a smile 🙂
Our Imperfect Homeschool Life with a Crazy Schedule
Hey! I’m Amy-a homeschool soccer mom to five boys. And our schedule is cray-cray.
Our homeschool adventures began suddenly and unexpectedly. My two older boys attended public school for a few years before we finally found the courage to go with our guts and start homeschooling. As we rode that roller coaster ride of adjustment and acceptance, a few more boys were added to our crew 😉
Now, our boys range from preschool to high school. The two older boys are competitive soccer players with schedules that make our heads spin. These boys are passionate about soccer and we work hard to support their interests. Practices vary in location and time, with early morning starts to late night events. Games take place all over our region and often require overnight travel.
Due to this crazy schedule, our homeschool looks like nothing suggested by “experts”. Start times vary. Some subjects get skipped over for a week and then crammed into a day.
Consistency has been thrown out the window. And, as much as I might crave consistency at times, our crazy schedule has actually helped our family grow closer and work as a team.
Plus, we’ve all learned how to be a lot more flexible 😉
Although this type of erratic schedule for homeschooling isn’t easy, we manage to do it all with more smiles than tears. It’s not always perfect and that’s okay. We learn and grow from these experiences.
As we worked out the kinks with our erratic homeschool schedule, I’ve learned a few things along the way. May these tips and tricks help you know that you can continue to homeschool in the midst of a crazy schedule. And you can do it while maintaining your sanity and keeping your smile 🙂
Tips & Tricks for Homeschooling in the Midst of a Crazy Schedule
Here are my top 10 tips and tricks for homeschooling in the midst of a crazy schedule. Take each one, think about, and determine if it will work for your family.
As a sports family, we go with a “team” approach. This concept is relatively easy to understand (coach, players, trainers, etc.) and supports our goals of working together for growth, success, and happiness.
The most important thing (bonus tip!) is keeping it simple. When your schedule is crazy, don’t add extras. Less can be more 🙂
My planner is my best friend. A bit extreme? Perhaps. But, it’s a place for me to dump all my ideas and to-dos, prioritize, and make sure I’m doing what I need to be doing when necessary.
A planning system that works for you is like gold when you have a crazy schedule. Online or paper, taking the time to use your planner is key to maintaining your sanity.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the most organized person. My mind works more in ideas and possibilities than concrete and tactile.
But, an organization system is a must for every busy homeschool mom.
Again, keep it simple and start slow. Start with your homeschool materials. Even it’s just the daily supplies, like paper and pencils. That’s a beginning!
Move on to your own binder. Keep that slow and steady progress going until all of your kids and your homeschool is organized. Use what works for your family. Binders, bookshelves, baskets, or backpacks. Our homeschool motto is to keep it together in one place so you’ll know where to find it next time.
You’ll be so glad that you did! When time is crunched, scrambling around for a Pre-Algebra book can make your world feel like it’s crumbling down. And no one needs that type of stress when you’re trying to get out the door to an appointment or event!
3. Clear Communication
This is a big one for busy families and homeschools. Every family member must be encouraged to share the Who, What, Where, When, and How of activities and events. And then, every family member needs to pay attention to the details for each other and self.
4. “Team” Meetings
Scheduled times when all family members can be present to discuss the comings and goings of your schedule are essential. Using that clear communication, everyone will be on the same page. And it allows your homeschool to come up with a game plan for success.
Team meetings don’t have to be long or stressful. One adult (who has an organized list of everyone’s plans) leads the meeting. Try to come together at least once a week for your meeting.
These informal meetings are also fabulous times to review why certain activities or responsibilities are important to that individual and to your family as a whole. Simple reminders of why you’re putting forth so much time and effort will serve to reinforce doing what it necessary.
When your family has a team mindset, cooperation, and collaboration flow.
5. Assigned Roles
Assigned roles or positions (sticking to the team approach) allow each person to know what’s expected of them and when. These roles can include responsibilities and chores. Specific tasks can be listed and checked off.
It is what it is. Life might not be exactly how you imagined or planned it would be. You might have sworn that your family would never be involved with tons of activities or dealing with crazy work schedules.
Yet, here you are.
Once you’re able to accept the life that you’re living, it makes it a lot easier to deal with. And with acceptance comes peace and the capacity for joy.
Let that joy flow 🙂
I know patience is one of those words that’s thrown around when it comes to self-help and positive living. And I know that many of us struggle with patience.
So, I ask you this: what does patience mean to you?
Grand ideas of sitting there with a calm smile while chaos swirls around you or expectations of basically tolerating the status of the welcome mat while being walked all over?
We often adopt these irrational expectations when it comes to patience that leaves us feeling less than. And that’s a crummy way to feel.
Look to your personal definition of patience. And if you don’t have one, take some time to create it!
Don’t let society dictate to you what patience is. Be your own measuring stick. And use it to help you remember your why and your game plan.
With a crazy schedule, the ability to give yourself, your loved ones, and anyone that comes within a three-feet radius of you grace is essential.
Grace means different things to different people. Again I encourage you to embrace the definition of grace and make it personal.
To me, grace means understanding and forgiveness. It’s when we provide wiggle room for mistakes, mishaps, and misfortunes. Most importantly, grace is moving forward and allowing negative to dissipate into an invisible and ineffective cloud that evaporates into ineffectiveness.
I’m all about the fun!
The power of fun is incredible. That small shift in focus from negative and destruction to positive and building allows growth and learning to occur.
Fun allows us to let loose, blow off some steam, and just enjoy this life.
Belief in the Sovereign God can get you through anything. Whatever the level of your faith, turn to Him when you have a crazy schedule. You’ll need the strength and stability He provides.
Are you homeschooling in the midst of a crazy schedule? What struggles are you facing?
And what questions do you have about these tips & tricks?
This is day 4 of the Homeschooling in the Midst of Hard Things Blog Series!. We are so glad you are here!