Continuing my series of short posts on Work & Homeschool, here is another practical tip ~ Manage Interruptions
If you missed the previous Work & Homeschool post, pop over to read 1. Start Early
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.
Interruptions cause the most stress and lack of productivity in almost every work environment. Many homeschool moms write to tell me that this is one of their worst issues in their homeschooling.
In our early years of homeschool and work, I set up some simple boundaries for our family and friends. Make sure that friends, neighbours, and close family recognise that you have a serious job during the mornings, i.e. homeschooling. Explain that you will not be able to read social media, answer texts or take unscheduled social calls or visits during the mornings. It also helps to mute notifications or put your cell phone on silent during school hours.
If your children know that you are very easily distracted, guess what? They will be easily distracted. Moms, we set the tone!
Commit yourself to an hour of homeschooling with no interruptions to get the basics covered. Have a tea-break and quickly follow-up any urgent work issues, and then back to school. Maintain the focus as a professional with your children and they will also learn to take their work commitments seriously.
In our business, we do occasionally have clients that come to our farm, but my husband deals with them during school hours. Of course, I may quickly pop out to meet and greet them, but I generally do not host them while it is school time. This was an important boundary for me, as I answer almost all the phone calls which are a terrible intrusion and interruption for me. (I’ll share more about managing this issue in Part 3.)
Now and then, clients may visit where I am expected to assist with tea or coffee or keep a wife company while my hubby attends to the client, but even then, I politely explain that my children need me at the schoolroom. If there are sales, I may have to stop to create invoices and complete some of the transaction, but I have independent work for my children during these times, which is really helpful. (More on that in Part 6)
We live in the age of distractions! Interruptions, social media notifications and media distractions are quite possibly the greatest threat to a focussed mind and a calm soul. Our children are part of this generation who battle with short attention spans and significant restlessness.
My hubby is very strict about cell phones. We have a NO PHONE during school time policy! Our children have to dock their phones in our bedroom at 9pm at night and can only have their phones again after 2pm when schoolwork is done. During the weekend they have fuller liberty with computers, cell phones and DVDs. Somehow, we should, in our homeschooling and in our homes, be mindful about how to create a calm, focused and productive environment.
Here’s wishing you interruption-free homeschool days! Be strong!
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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