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Original Photo Credit "How do you do it  all ?"  It's a question I'm asked all the time. If I'm not asked ho...

How I Juggle Homeschooling, Housework and Work as a Single Mom

April 21, 2014 Michelle Cannon 19 Comments

Juggling homeschool, housework and work as a single mom can be a challenge, but not one that can't be accomplished.
Original Photo Credit

"How do you do it all?" 

It's a question I'm asked all the time. If I'm not asked how I do it all, I'm asked, "How can I do it all?


Can you do it all? Is it possible? That depends. What does all mean to you?


I'm a single mom. That means working, maintaining a household, and homeschooling. I must be mom and dad. In other words, I have to bring home the bacon, fry it, and teach the kids how it came to be bacon. That's what all means to me. 


So how do I do it?



It's all about establishing a routine.

I try to keep a routine going. It was easy before my daughters grew into their bipolar sleep problems. I need order and structure. They also need it, but their body clock doesn't allow it to happen.

This is a huge struggle in my household.

Even so, I try to keep something going for my sake. Whatever each day brings for the girls, I work with it.

Since I need to have structure in my own life, I have a schedule. While I used to adhere to it strictly, I've learned to use it as a routine on the days when the girls aren't functioning on a 'normal' schedule. This may mean breakfast is at noon rather than 8 a.m. We just start where the day dictates.


My routine looks something like this: 




That takes care of chores and homeschool. How does work fit into this picture?


How do I fit work into my day?

I work as a blogger, social media community manager, and homeschool consultant. I work at home and control my own schedule. 

When I work actually depends on various factors around here such as children's moods, when they got up, when/if they go to bed, and other such things. If they're sleeping late, I work in the morning. If I end up staying up half the night (or all night) with Lorelai, then I work at night.

Fortunately, I can do my writing when I want and schedule it to post. I can do the same with many other things, jumping online or on my phone to engage with people on my social media. That's a thing I can do a few minutes here and there throughout the day.

I don't want to discourage anyone. I do realize that not everyone has the luxury of working at home or having the ability to work when they want. For that reason, I want to mention that that I've worked all sorts of jobs and schedules while single-parent-homeschooling my kids.

I've worked....

  • 6 a.m.- 2 p.m. as an answering service operator (I also worked 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. on that job for a while.)
  • 3 p.m. - 11 p.m. as an answering service manager
  • 10:30 p.m. - 7:30 a.m. as a call center representative
  • For 6 years I worked at home as a call center representative on varying schedules. Mostly I worked 9-5. 
  • I owned a green cleaning business for 10 years. Of course, I made my own schedule and many times only worked 15 hours a week. Then during periods of huge growth, I was working 40+ hours per week. 
As you can see, I have worked a variety and range of schedules. And I did it all as a single mom who homeschools. It's simply a matter of making adjustments. 


Nobody Is Perfect and We Can't Always "Do It All"

There are days when some things simply don't happen as they should. It's OK. I've learned to accept that.

It's OK to tweak a schedule. It's certainly OK to tweak a schedule for kids, like mine, who struggle with schedules. 

The good news is: there are 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week. Lessons and chores can be done in bits and pieces, day or night, playing it as we go.

Still - some days don't go as planned.


Between sleep issues, mood cycles, and whatever unexpected things come our way, there are days when everything is off track.

The children are fed, housed, clothed, educated and loved deeply. 


In the end, if I've done those things, I've done it all


Find out how other moms juggle their lives 
at the iHomeschool Network.

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19 comments:

  1. I am also a single mom that has a business at home and homeschools my daughter. It is rough and you have a nice schedule there but we're never able to keep schedules! I also have an older daughter with 3 children so I have the 2 oldest over sometimes to help her out and soon will have the newborn too. It's with God's grace that we're able to do what we do and I know in the long run it's going to work out beautifully! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hello, Yolanda! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Our schedule is never a schedule either. My daughters have bipolar disorder which means their sleeping habits are completely out of sync with the rest of the world. I never know when they'll be awake or asleep. Sometimes they don't sleep at all. That schedule is a guide and we more or less play life by ear.

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  2. How old are you children and what grades do you teach?

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    1. Currently, I'm homeschooling two girls, ages 16 and 11. They are the last two of my five homeschooled children. I teach from birth until age 18. I've homeschooled all five as a single mom.

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  3. This post is such an encouragement to me! I salute you for all you are doing as a single, homeschooling mom! I have homeschooled for 2 years, as a SAHM, but may need to re-enter the work force and I have been frightened as to how I am going to be able to do that and homeschool. Your post gives me such inspiration, thank you!!!

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    1. Amy, I'm so glad you found encouragement here. Trust me - You'll find a way and you'll make it work. That's what moms do. ;-)

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  4. I applaud you for your honesty and sharing what's worked for you. I can't imagine the work it takes to juggle all that as a single mom (I hope you have time for yourself in there too!). I find that I also work better with a routine rather than a strict schedule.

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    1. Tonia, thanks! It's not always easy. The financial aspect is the hardest part. The rest is pretty great. :D

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  5. Wow! Thank you, I needed the encouragement...I have worked while homeschooling 3 youngest and it has been difficult to manage...these last 2 years he been a tad more difficult as we complete middle grades and moe towards high school. It is good to hear I am not the only one with a crazy schedule and surviving with kids also thriving. Sometimes I worry.

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    1. Hello Mel! I worry too. Don't think I don't. Just know you're doing what's best for your family. If you instill a love of learning, they'll continue educating themselves for the rest of their lives. You can do this! Let me know if I can help.

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  6. Thanks for this! It's exactly what I needed to "hear." My homeschooling journey has not officially begun yet, my son only just turned two, but I've been struggling with the thought of how I could possibly make it happen as a single mother. Right now I am only able to work 2 days a week due to lack of transportation and lack of reliable babysitting, so I spend most of my week at home with him. However, that work schedule doesn't pay bills and my own little blog has been put on the back burner for a bit so there is nothing coming in there either. I know one day things will need to change and I'm glad to know that it IS possible to bring home the bacon AND teach my son where it came from ;) thanks!!

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    1. Erica,
      How about working at home? Check out http://wwww.ratracerebellion.com and http://www.workplacelikehome.com .

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  7. Hi Michelle! First off, you are one amazing woman! My mom is also a single parent and I am so proud of her. Today, I am a mom myself to a 2-year old boy who has been diagnosed to be hyperactive-gifted so he is quite a handful. I have been homeschooling him since he was 5 months old. I discovered your post because I have been having a bit of trouble managing homeschool, doing the chores and working so I asked Google what to do. I'm working from home as well as a writer. I have blogs which were put on hold when I had a very sensitive pregnancy. Now I am trying to bring them back to life again as they are something I enjoy doing. My husband is in the office the whole day and I don't get much help from him when he is here. Sometimes I feel like I'm a solo parent. It's very overwhelming and I'm trying to find a good schedule/routine that will work. I can't get any work done when my son doesn't nap as he constantly wants my attention. Your post inspired me and taught me that it can be done and MOMS really are super! So thank you and God bless you!

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    1. I'm glad you found my post helpful, Lady E!

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  8. Wow! You are one supermom! You're inspiring... There are times I really got tired, I am juggling 2-3 part time jobs now while managing our online business and I also have a toddler who will be going to school next week. I hope I can make it just like you do...

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  9. Wow! It was a great read. It's really encouraging for all homeschooling moms. I salute you for all what you are doing as a single homeschooling mom.

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  10. Michelle,
    I am a certified science teacher and would like to homeschool my five year old and advertise for students to bring into my home and homeschool. I have a partner that is on board. What advice do you have?
    Are parent's willing to pay to have their child homeschooled when they can't or are not confident in doing it?

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    1. Hi, DW! I don't know what the laws are where you live. In Florida, the only persons permitted to homeschool kids are the parents themselves or a certified teacher (which would work in your case). So I'd check that first.

      As for how many take advantage of hiring a private teacher, I don't know. Good question, though! Check around your area to find out what is common. For instance, in my area, unschooling is probably the #1 choice of method, so they wouldn't be a good demographic for a venture like yours. Join local homeschool groups to get a feel for what's popular.

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  11. Thanks for this post! It's always encouraging to hear that other single moms are homeschooling their children successful,despite all the odds. I've been homeschooling my four children as a single mom for almost ten years. We've been on the homeschooling journey since 2000. It is a real challenge, but highly rewarding. Thanks again for your heart and encouragement!❤

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Thank you for joining the conversation!