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 when I am 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 looks 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/ Breakfast
11 am Table Time (Kids might still be eating breakfast but we still begin) We do Bible, Social Studies, Science and Grammar Island together.
12 noon – 2:30 pm This is when the kids split up to do their own subjects. My oldest is able to do all of her subjects on her own now with me helping her with math.
I typically start with the youngest on reading and then math and he is typically done within an hour. When he is done, he is allowed to play with his LEGOS, etc.
My middle child sits with me doing her work while I work with the youngest so I am just a 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 done her prep work and I am able to work with her to finish.
2:30 pm is Practical Arts and the kids help with Lunch Preparations
3 pm Lunch
3:30 pm – 8 pm is typically when I start working and the kids do their electives. They start with their chores. My oldest does her language and typing electives and my two youngest do their typing elective. After that, they typically read and play and wait until they can watch t.v. for one hour from 5 pm – 6 pm.
6:30 pm Supper is inserted into my work schedule and then the kids start prepping for bed.
9:30 pm Story Time
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 so I can give all my time to EPIC Homeschool Network for field trips, homeschool hangouts as well as the administrative tasks that go behind running a nonprofit. All the tasks might not fit on Thursday and may 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. It is a day of rest so this is the time I 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 work-a-holic and that is not a good thing. I have found using ToggleTrack to track my time has been extremely helpful in helping me to see where my time goes. I also implement countdown timers so I can work x minutes and no more.
My first time management tip for a mom who is just beginning 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 t.v.!
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.