If my husband had a job that paid all of our bills, perhaps I’d focus solely on homeschooling our kids and taking care of the home. . .  but I don’t think so.

I love what I do, and I love the people that I work with.  I like helping others reach their goals by working as their virtual assistant, and I love to write on a variety of topics.  I’d miss working because work is a great outlet for me.

However, I know that my current workload takes about 24 to 30 hours a week to complete, and I know that homeschooling will likely take 20 to 25 hours a week to complete.  Then, there’s time for sleep, relaxation, and of course the endless cooking from scratch that we must do to accommodate our food intolerances.  Oh, don’t forget cleaning (though I tend to forget that one :)).

How will I get it all done?

This is something that I’ve been wrestling with.  I could hire a babysitter for about 6 to 10 hours a week, but that option eats into my profits.  Besides, our current babysitter has just left for grad school, and I really dread going through the process of finding another sitter.  I’ve had two good sitters who each lasted a year before moving on (the first one got married and started teaching full-time), and each time, the search is more difficult.

Instead, I’m working on shuffling my schedule.  Here’s what I’m thinking of doing:

1.  Work at night.

I do best going to bed about 11 p.m. and getting up at 6:30 a.m.  I considered getting up early, but my husband was adamantly against it.  He reminded me that I had tried this several times before, and it never worked.  He also works best in the evenings, and he didn’t want us to be on opposite schedules.  So, after the kids are in bed, from about 7:30 or 8 p.m., we’ll work until 10 p.m.  I’m going to have the rule that there is no television after 9 p.m. because when I get tired, I tend to watch television and stay up too late to watch shows that I had no intention of watching.  Working in the evenings will give me 10 to 12 hours a week.

2.  Work in the afternoon.

One day a week, my husband plans to leave a bit earlier and get home a bit earlier.  Then, I can work from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.  That will give me another 2 hours.

3.  Establish a quiet time for the kids.

My kids are pretty much beyond the napping stage, but another homeschooling mom suggested that I establish a quiet time for my kids.  Each child goes in a separate area of the house and works or plays independently or reads a book for about 45 minutes to one hour.  I’ll get my work done during that time.  This can give me another 3 to 4 hours a week.

4.  During the kids’ tv time.

My kids don’t watch much tv, but they do love Arthur and watch it for 1 hour.  During this time I can sit with them and do some of my lighter work.  That is another 5 hours a week.

5.  Weekend time.

I typically work on the weekends for about 4 hours a day.  That will be another 8 hours a week.

By using these 5 strategies, I’ll be able to carve out 28 to 31 hours a week, which is exactly what I need.  I’ll use the evenings to relax and work on homeschool items.

Parents who work from home, how do you juggle work and homeschool?

Photo courtesy of newchaos via flickr.com