When parents make the decision to home school their children, this can bring on extra stress when considering the myriad of other tasks to be carried out to enable the smooth-running of the family home.
Some home schooling parents place pressure on themselves to carry out the full “duties” of the home, such as a keeping a tidy and clean house, cooking home-made meals on a daily basis, supporting his or her spouse, and organising school runs for other children, in order to counter the idea that home schooling isn’t a “job”. So it’s important to think of providing a home education as a kind of job – this perception doesn’t need to add a sense of duress to the experience, but to avoid becoming too stressed.
Be aware that just as parents who go out to work might need help with cleaning, or cooking, either from fellow family members or professional sources, or might need to organise rotas with neighbours and so on, so too might home schooling families.
Establish Priorities and be Organised
Sometimes lessons will go according to plan and you will have time to put a load of washing on while your child/pupil is doing individual work; other times everything will overrun or be delayed and you won’t have the time that you need. So prioritise the tasks that are more important so you can complete them first.
If your kitchen is filthy, take time out to clean it, but if you think the back of your sofa might need a dust, that’s less urgent! Likewise, it’s really important to plan ahead. Think ahead about when you need to organise your shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry and how that can fit around your child’s education – perhaps you’ll get up before your child, or set them some independent work, or do it once the “school day” is over.
Involve the Family
Encourage your children and your spouse to help you out at home. Many hands make light work! You can also integrate housework with the education process – look into the components of bleach as you’re using it in cleaning; talk about enzymes as you look at biological washing powders. Bring kids to the supermarket and set maths skills. Encourage your older kids to walk the family pets themselves -think of it as PE lessons! Cookery measurements can become important maths-learning skills. Encouraging your children to teach each other and pass on new knowledge will also encourage personal development of each of your children.
Learn some time-saving tips: cook things in bulk, then freeze extras. Use a diary to schedule chores into convenient clusters. Encourage tidiness around the house to prevent wasting time clearing up other peoples’ mess. Do washing in big bulks and give each member of the household a task to complete, making a big family timetable to help them to remember their role in the family. Such tasks create an environment of harmony and working together as well as easing the stress of individual family members.