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Working, Homeschooling, and Household Management with Older Kids


How do you work, homeschool, and still get cleaning and cooking done? This is a common question I used to get when I worked in an office. This looks a little different depending on the ages of your kids, but in this video, I share how it worked for me with middle school to high school ages kids. 

The truth? Household management was much easier when we started homeschooling. So was family time. 

You can download the audio on Soundcloud or listen here:

Here is the transcript:

Hey there, it's Kelly Harbaugh with Working Homeschoolers, and I want to talk to you today about how homeschooling older children, when you're working full time outside the home, can reduce the chaos in your household.

Did I just say that? Yes, I did. It can reduce the chaos in your household. Let me give you an example.

This is how things looked when I was working full time and had kids in school. I would work a full day, I would usually have work I had to bring home - some type of report or something I hadn't finished that needed to be done at night. However, I also would come home to housecleaning that needed to be done, dinner that needed to be made, laundry that needed to be done, and then two to four hours of homework help that my kids needed from me.

That was just a regular night if we weren't involved in activities. My kids were both involved in activities. So it became impossible when we had a basketball game or a softball practice to go to. It was just crazy. And nobody looked forward to the end of the day. I mean, who would?Everything was just prescribed for us from the beginning, and we had no freedom and no - just family time together. And we were always behind. It was very, very stressful.

Here's how things looked when I started homeschooling. I would still go to work all day. But during the day, my kids were able to work on assignments that I gave them. And they were always finished well before their peers were home from school. And so they had plenty of time to help with chores that they technically had before, but didn't have a lot of time to complete because of all of those other demands. So my kids were very easily able to keep up with their own laundry, they were able to keep the house picked up (dusted and swept - pretty simple chores. And, you know, keep the dishes done.

Now personally, I usually took care of dinner in the crock-pot. But if I needed them to make something simple, or to start something for me, they were able to do it. And so when I got home, I did not have this mountain of tasks to do - a mountain of chores to do. We had schoolwork to go over together. But it wasn't this pressing four hours of things that I didn't know what they were going to be until I got there. That's a big part of it, right? When you're homeschooling, you have a plan and you you basically know what's on the agenda and on the schedule before you get home.

So the evening might look more like maybe talking about one of the lessons over dinner, going over what they did in their work that day, correcting anything, answering questions, helping with something they might have had trouble with. And then discussing something that was important for the next lesson, say, we did history together so maybe teaching the next history lesson. It wasn't a scramble.

If one of my kids was having a lot of trouble with say a math lesson, then we could slow down and put something off till the next day. Because there's always going to be the lesson where everything works smoothly and you get ahead. The customized pace also reduced the chaos. So we had less "busy work" to do in the evening, we had less chores to do in the evening, and most of the school work was completed during the day.

This gave us more freedom, more family time, time to go to basketball or softball and not be working worried about being up until 11 o'clock doing homework because it was just due the next day. We were able to customize everything to work for our family.

Now I always say that doesn't mean that homeschooling is easy. Homeschooling is not easy, and that's because parenting is not easy. But when you compare it - when you compare what your real option is as a working parent, which is the chaos of sending your child to school and coming home to everything done in the evening, or the order of having control of how everything fits together. Working and homeschooling can definitely reduce the stress in your home.

Have a great day!