You have a lot on your plate as a homeschool mom! Not only do you shoulder all the normal duties that come with managing a home and caring for a family (and maybe even working a job!), but you have also taken on the great responsibility of educating your children at home. Here are my best tips for being a productive homeschool mom and capitalizing on the precious time you have!
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Increasing your productivity day by day (or to “work smarter, not harder,” as Allen F. Morgenstern once said) may actually provide you with more margin for rest, reduce your stress, and give you more time each week to pursue your own work or hobbies.
Although some days are unpredictable (especially with little ones around), managing your time wisely will help increase order and peace in your home.
Productivity is a skill that does not come naturally to every person, but it can be learned with time and practice. You will become more productive and learn to better manage your time with experience.
Implementing just one of the tips below will go a long way, so start small!
Tips to Be More Productive as a Homeschool Mom
1. Simplify your schedule. If you often feel worn out and stretched thin, evaluate if your family is participating in too many activities and social opportunities. Say “no” when you need more space for your priorities and goals.
2. Don’t sweat the small stuff. I used to feel like I needed to iron every piece of my kids’ clothing every morning and make every single meal and baked good from scratch.
I’ve since learned to take a more relaxed approach when I need to save time. See if there are things you too can let go of.
Same goes for your homeschool routine. Don’t feel like you have to finish every single lesson and activity in your curriculum or cram in too many subjects into one school year.
3. Make your well-being a priority. Try to go to bed early enough each night, exercise regularly, eat well, and read your Bible so you will actually have the energy you need to be productive.
Schedule time to yourself to process and evaluate what’s going on in your life, to learn new things, and to dream for the future! Get away on your own here and there for a break.
4. Learn how to plan. Whether or not you’re a natural-born planner, planning for the week ahead will help you get your ducks in a row to avoid unnecessary errands, stress, and wasting time trying to figure things out on the fly.
Plan out which chores need to be accomplished during the week; plan out your meals for the week so you can go grocery shopping only once; plan out what you want to accomplish for the homeschool week and gather the supplies and books you need ahead of time.
Get into the habit of writing everything down to clear your mind. Write dates on the calendar and write down your ideas and goals.
Preparedness will help your days run much more smoothly.
We actually have a collection of free customizable planning pages for the home and homeschool that we will send right over as a gift for subscribing to our email list:
5. Find a weekly schedule that works for you. Decide which days you will focus on certain tasks for the home. Maybe Mondays would work best for grocery shopping and other errands, Tuesdays for household chores and meal prep, Fridays for planning the week ahead, etc.
Do the same as you plan your homeschooling. Maybe you will plug certain subjects into only a couple days of the week. Maybe Fridays are for co-op or field trips, and so forth.
Condense your errands into one or two days of the week and shop online when you can.
6. Find a daily routine that works for you. Think “routine” or “rhythm” or a “sequence of events” if the word “schedule” feels restricting.
Remember that you don’t necessarily have to follow the schedule of the public school system.
You could create a block or loop schedule to structure your day in a productive but flexible manner. (We do have lovely block and loop schedule pages in that collection of planning pages I was telling you about.)
Aim to have mealtimes, naps, bedtimes, and wake times at the same time every day. Then you will see where you have chunks of time left to plug in homeschool lessons, responsibilities, and outings.
Make a schedule that serves you, not the other way around. Some days just won’t go as planned!
7. Establish a solid morning routine. Avoid leaving big messes the night before that you will have to deal with first thing in the morning (like a sink full of dishes or half-folded laundry strewn all over the couch). Talk about a stressful start!
Wake before your children, make your bed, and get ready for the day. You might prefer to get up only twenty minutes before your kids wake up, or you might like a larger buffer of quiet time to yourself before the day is in full swing.
Consider a set wake time for the kids for homeschool days. Have everyone get dressed and ready with clean rooms before breakfast or the school day.
Try to make morning lessons the most focused time of the day while everyone is well rested (or whatever time of the day everyone is most alert).
Get to the most important subjects first. You could try implementing a morning time to tackle important homeschool subjects together as a group.
8. Cut out unnecessary distractions during key times of the day. Treat your day at home the same way you would treat a work or school day away from the house.
Save social media and YouTube videos for rest time in the evening. Check and respond to emails only once per day.
9. Focus on only one task or one batch of similar tasks at a time. Don’t clutter your house with various projects sitting out all over… while you’re only half-present with a child when they need your attention… and texting someone back… all at the same time.
It’s stressful and difficult to focus with so much going on at once.
What is the most important thing you need to accomplish right now? Give that one thing your full focus and attention so you can get it done quickly and done well.
If you have a handful of similar tasks that you can accomplish as one batch in one block of time, then do that! (i.e, all the cooking and kitchen work, all the book work and phone calls, all the planning for the week, etc.)
10. Multitask only at acceptable times. You can go against the tip above and work on two tasks at once only if one of the tasks is not requiring your direct focus.
You could listen to an audio book or podcast while folding laundry or emptying the dishwasher, or you could wipe down the bathroom while you are supervising your child playing in the bathtub, for example.
11. Keep up with laundry and dishes every day. Unfinished dishes and laundry are two things that will make your house feel out of control.
Try to finish the dishes after each meal (and even as you cook a meal) and run, fold, and put away a load of laundry as soon as you have enough laundry to fill a load.
Chances are, you will more easily find small windows of time each day to complete these tasks over taking up huge chunks of time to deal with mountains of unfolded laundry and dirty dishes.
12. Tidy up throughout the day. You could make it part of your daily routine to tidy up together real quick before lunch, after schoolwork, and/or before bed.
13. Make tidying quicker for everyone. Regularly purge and donate toys/items/books you don’t actually use or want. Organize your home and your homeschooling books and supplies so everything has a place.
Try to keep homeschooling materials and resources to a minimum. See if you can borrow books and supplies at times instead of always purchasing your own to store in your home.
Use bins and baskets for your children’s toys. Place toys with lots of small pieces out of reach to keep your young children from dumping out too many small things at once.
14. Delegate tasks to your children. Work together as a team to get cleaning, yard work, laundry, and cooking done much faster (and have more fun!). Even a toddler can help unload the dishwasher or set the table.
I hope some of the tips will help you! What else do you do in your home to be a more productive homeschool mom?