It’s About Time is a blog series on time management. Join us as we take a peek into the lives of different homeschool moms, all with a unique approach. Today, let’s meet Andrea!
My name is Andrea Hall, and I am the founder of Epic HSN. When I’m not homeschooling my three wonderful kids or helping my amazing husband in his plumbing business, I am teaching or consulting on Outschool, creating products on Teachers Pay Teachers, OR running EPIC Homeschool Network, Inc. I guess you can say I am a busy, working, homeschooling mother. I have been homeschooling since 2012 and my kids are now 12, 9, and 8.
What does my schedule look like?
The work that I do allows for a lot of flexibility, so I am able to adjust to meet the needs of my family.
Here is a day in the life of the Hall Family:
10 AM: Wake kids up, get ready for the school day, and eat breakfast.
11 AM: Table Time (kids may still be eating breakfast, but we begin on time). We do Bible, Social Studies, Science, and Grammar Island together.
Noon – 2:30 PM: Kids split up to work on their own subjects.
I typically start working with my youngest on reading, then move on to math. He is usually able to complete both of these subjects in an hour. When finished, he is allowed to play with his LEGOS, etc.
My middle child sits near me doing her work while I work with the youngest, so I am just an arm’s length away when she needs help. She does her vocabulary and notetaking while I help the youngest. By the time I am done with the youngest, she has completed her prep work and I am able to work with her to finish.
My oldest is able to work independently on all of her subjects, with me helping her with math.
2:30 PM: Practical Arts, with the kids helping with lunch preparations.
3 PM: Lunch
3:30 PM – 8 PM: This is typically when I start my work, and the kids do their chores and work independently on their electives. My oldest works on her language and typing electives, and my two youngest work on their typing elective. This is followed by reading and free time. They are also allowed one hour of TV from 5-6 PM.
6:30 PM: I break from work, and we have supper together as a family. After supper, kids begin prepping for bed.
9:30 PM: Storytime
10 PM: Bedtime (Lights Out!)
You can see how my schedule fluctuates from day to day here.
As you can see, in addition to homeschooling, I consult with Outschool.com as well as run EPIC Homeschool Network which means time is very precious. I also serve where I can at my local church.
One of the ways I fit all of this in is by categorizing my days.
For example, I don’t schedule any work on Thursdays. This allows me to focus solely on EPIC Homeschool Network for field trips, homeschool hangouts, and all of the administrative tasks that go behind running a nonprofit. Depending on the task load, this might bleed into other days, but Thursday is my primary day.
I like to use Sundays to create products and blog posts. Fun things that I’d like to do.
I never work on Saturday; this is our day of rest. I reserve this time to give to God, to serve my local church, and help where needed.
The main challenge I face in juggling my time is that I tend to overwork. I am a workaholic and that is not a good thing. I have found using ToggleTrack to track my time has been extremely useful in helping me see where my time goes. I also implement countdown timers, ensuring that I work “x number of minutes,” and no more.
My first-time management tip for a mom who is new to homeschooling is to work with your kids’ natural schedule (and then push them little by little to your ideal schedule).
Next, I believe that timers are a girl’s best friend. It helps to keep you moving from one activity to the next, so consider using your cell phone timer to help you. It also works great when you need to tell your children they only have 5 more minutes on the TV!
Finally, make sure to create margin in your life. I must admit I am still working on creating margin in my schedule; however, having the Sabbath rest on Saturday really helps me to stay grounded. I also try to break up my working hours to step away from the computer. Finally, using the morning time for worship and the evening time for journaling has really helped me to relax.
Andrea Hall is a busy, working, homeschooling mom of three wonderful kids. She is married to an amazing man and the cleanest Plumber in the world. Her mission is to create resources to help Christian educators teach math from the Bible and see math in real life. Learn more about her creations here.