I run our family business, the Lucerne Tree Farm, while I homeschool, and it has been a stress and a juggle to do both at times. Over the years I have found some simple methods that keep the day running smoothly and keep me fairly sane.
Here are a few practical tips in a series of short posts for homeschool moms who also work~
There is nothing worse than starting the day late, feeling that you are behind, and chasing your tail all day! I have found that the day actually starts the night before! It helps to clear desks, pack away things, pack out things, and plan ahead the night before. From the shiny, clean kitchen sink to my uncluttered desk, I love to meet the new day with a clean slate.
Although our family start our day late by most farming standards, I always like to start the day early. I make tea for the family and go somewhere peaceful for my quiet time. If I start my day with the Lord, I find that I am not running on empty and that I have the grace to face most of the challenges and demands of the day.
I have farm chores to attend to. I hand-milk our dairy cow, process the milk, feed my chickens, collect their eggs, and water the vegetable and herb gardens, etc. My husband moves the livestock, prepares feed, moves electric fences for grazing management or starts his watering and irrigation for the day. We are quite busy running around for the first hours after waking up!
I then come in and start my work on the business emails, orders and any administration that requires my attention before breakfast and before our school day starts. My hubby and I often discuss business at the breakfast table. It is good to have clarity and unity before the day really starts.
We only start homeschooling after breakfast and chores, well after 9am or 10am, and my teens sometimes start even later. Over the years, I tried to force an earlier schedule, but this is our most natural family rhythm and it is far less stressful if we flow according to this later start.
Once schooling starts, it is hard for me to catch up with business work until after lunch, so I always feel more in control if I have tackled business first.
My afternoons are mostly quite free so I can do almost all the rest of my business, or work out in the vegetable and herb gardens, do my sketching or hobbies and other activities in this time. By 5pm I usually stop all my computer work and hobbies to prepare dinner and then spend time with my hubby and family. We always eat together and our family meals are a celebration and a social occasion. We don’t have TV or cable, so we often head to bed early to read and talk. I do my evening workouts and stretches and we generally go to sleep early. It is a wonderful simple routine and a lovely lifestyle.
It is important to work diligently and to still be able to celebrate life with family. We all need to find the balance between work, school and family time. I encourage you to start early and have the upper hand in your day!
I hope that these practical tips help you. If you need any more information or have helpful suggestions, please share in the comments below.
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