How to Strike a Homeschool Balance (Without Losing Your Mind!)

Striking a balance isn't always easy when you're homeschooling. Here are six tips to help you find that balance.

How to Strike a Homeschool Balance without Losing Your Mind

Striking a balance in life can be a real challenge.

When you're homeschooling your kids this is especially true. It's very easy to get off track or let one aspect of life take over to the exclusion of all else.

Recently I faced this problem. 

I had been without a vehicle for a couple of months, so when I finally got one I needed to catch up on everything. Before I knew it, I was on the road all day, every day. 

Eye doctor, neurologist, cheerleading practice, go-go-go! We were so busy, we didn't eat one single meal at home for weeks! 

I had to slow down and get my act together.

How to Strike a Homeschool Balance (Without Losing Your Mind!)

balancing homeschool life

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It's best to get your balance right from the start. But sometimes life takes over and we lose control.

Whether you're just starting out or you're trying to find a better balance, I hope the following tips help your schedule run more smoothly.

Prioritize

The first thing you have to do is remember what you want to be doing.

Yes, there are things you must do. 

You must grocery shop. 
You must get the kids to their medical appointments.
You must educate your children.
You must get them to their extracurricular activities.

But there are things that you don't have to do. And there are things you can do later. Use your planner or Google calendar to sort it all out.

Learn to say NO.

This one can be difficult, particularly if you're a helpful person.

While I have no trouble saying no to my friends, I find it's hard for me to say it to my adult kids. When they need a favor, I agree...

...even if I have plans. 
...even if I'm busy trying to work. 
...even if I know it'll throw my day into chaos.

But what about the minor children who are still homeschooling?

I had to set limits on my time. I had to start saying no to errands, favors, and interruptions that could wait.




Set your homeschool routine.

Set your homeschool hours just as you would any other job.

Of course, you need to be flexible. Life will happen. 

If you're homeschooling special needs, you may have to set a routine that can begin and end at any time of day. (For instance, I had to adjust our homeschool due to bipolar sleep patterns.)

Still, the time should be carved out for your homeschool.
  • Turn your phone off.
  • Let your friends know you're not available at those times.
  • Get the lessons done.

Balance your activities.

I don't recall where I first read of this, but dedicating 1/3 of your activities to mind, body, and spirit makes for good balance.

Let's say your child is awake for 15 hours a day. Divide that into thirds to meet the needs in each area.
  • 5 hours for the mind (academics, learning, self-educating, reading, and so on).
  • 5 hours for the body (playing, exercising, sports, walking, running).
  • 5 hours for the spirit (pursuing spiritual activities such as bible studies, congregational get-togethers, or whatever it is you do).
Of course, there's no need to specifically block out 5 hours for each of these. Many times these activities overlap. For instance, a nature scavenger hunt feeds the mind and body.

Plan your meals.

Don't waste hours each week deciding what's for dinner. You have better ways to spend your time.

I save time with eMealsI spend less than 10 minutes pulling my menu together. Then I'm in and out of the store in about 20 minutes. 

BOOM! Done.



Use your crockpot.

I have only occasionally used my crockpot. But Lorelai recently started cheerleading and I found myself struggling. Coming home from practice at 8 p.m. to face an hour or more of pulling dinner together was terrible.

Crockpot to the rescue! 

I can't tell you how stress-reducing it was to come home to ready-to-eat dinner after a night of practice. I will never put that pressure on myself again!

What tips do YOU have for keeping life in balance? Share them in the comments.




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1 comment

  1. I find that the balance comes and goes in spurts. We'll have weeks where I feel like I'm on top of everything-- the homeschooling, the laundry, the errands, the extra curricular stuff, even some personal "me" time and then slowly (without my noticing) the scales start to tip and then we loose our balance completely. Of course we find it again but it takes time.

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