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4 Ways to Prioritize as a Homeschool Mom, & Minimize Your Schedule - by Eizabeth Turajski

4 Ways to Prioritize as a Homeschool Mom, & Minimize Your Schedule

2 minutes

Homeschooling is like having two full time jobs: school teacher and stay-at-home mother.

Because of this, homeschooling moms are some of the busiest people I know.

In order to make life manageable, homeschooling moms must prioritize. Sometimes it is hard to cut back on activities that the kids like, or that are theoretically good for them, without feeling guilty.

It is so easy to look at crazy-busy homeschool families whose kids seem to excel at numerous activities and feel pressure to do as they do. If that family can do it, then my family should be able to as well.

However, every homeschooling family is different, and every student within every homeschooling family is unique.

This is something that I have had to keep in mind when choosing activities, or the kids and I get overwhelmed. These are some specific questions that I have taken to asking myself to determine if an activity is right for my family.

1. Enjoying the Excellence

Does my child enjoy this activity?

My husband really wanted our kids to play the piano and love it. While our oldest enjoyed it, the next two preferred other activities, such as art and choir.

After months of fighting, we decided to let them quit lessons for the time being. The kids still put their time to good use and cultivate meaningful interests, but we no longer experience conflict and resentment about practicing.

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Our new philosophy is to encourage the kids to excel at whatever wholesome activities they find interesting.

2. School without Stress

Is my child able to complete his/her schoolwork without stress?

I want my kids to focus on learning the material instead of getting it done so that they can go do what they want. Therefore, I try to avoid scheduling regular activities during the school day.

For this reason, I had to eliminate our homeschool co-op from our schedule. While some of my kids enjoyed it, it left barely any time to get our Seton work done when we got home.

After co-op, the kids wanted a break from activities, but we could not do that and still get enough schoolwork done.

Now that I have freed up our schedule, the kids have time to work at a more leisurely pace, which helps them retain the material and avoid burnout.

3. Too Many Activities?

Does this activity significantly raise my stress levels, damaging my health and impacting my ability to homeschool?

Without homeschooling parents, there is no homeschooling. If I do not take care of myself, then I cannot take care of my children. Therefore, I have to consider how much additional effort I have to put into an activity.

For example, sometimes my kids just have to do without an activity if it requires a 45-minute one-way drive twice a week. That kind of time commitment impacts my ability to teach my other children or get things done around the house. As a result, I must take time out of fun family activities to get necessities done.

I know it is better for my kids if the family can do fun, relaxing activities together than it is for them to participate in every activity they desire.

4. My Homeschool Mission Statement

Is this activity/activity level in accordance with my homeschool mission statement?

I decided to homeschool because I wanted the flexibility to adapt my children’s curricula to their own individual needs.

I wanted them to have the freedom to develop their God-given talents and gifts as well as spend time with and learn along with their siblings. At the end of the day, that is what matters.

Sometimes the family needs a break, so we arrange a play date with another homeschooling family at 10 o’clock on a Tuesday. I homeschool because I want the freedom to do so.

However, if an activity disturbs our flexibility and causes us to be stressed out, rush through schoolwork, or neglect family time, then that activity will not work for our family.

Once I examined my family’s activities in light of these questions, I was able to eliminate several burdensome activities from our schedule, and honestly, our family has not missed them.

Rather, our homeschool days have become more relaxed, allowing the kids to excel at a few select activities they truly enjoy.

About Elizabeth Turajski

Elizabeth Turajski
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Elizabeth Turajski is a homeschooling mom and a nurse. She enjoys gardening, vintage books, and long walks.

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  • Ana

    1-enjoying the activity has been hard as some kids do and some don’t no matter what you do, so we have asked them to stick it out because they started it and have committed to something that others are relying on until it is done, like choir for Christmas. Most times it worked, but then what do you do with Science and a child who hates it all and does not get it to work on their own at all? 2-what activity to do when you need gym and going there is just a big pain and issue but clearly it does help the physical and interaction part they need? Then how to pick up the time lost or to be made up by it all? Without it the kids became supper depressed especially after floods. 3-not enough activities or choices was an and can be an issue, they get cabin fever as we live in the mountains and the economy has made doing things hard especially when constantly running to doctors, so how do we find the balance? 4-how to we feel better after loss and depression and prolonging of a school year after floods, illness,etc, it was so bad one child had to go to public school to feel like she belonged and that has become more work for me and us, but she is now hating those teachers and loving us more? That just makes no sense to me. Any ideas would be great especially now that we got news that one of our kids at home has tumor.

    • Anonymous Catholic

      No child ever “has to” go to public school to “feel like” they belong. (Who do they belong to?) Each child belongs to the family more-so than to the rest of society (which is slowly becoming morally corrupt). To send the child to school is a decision of the parents, and not of the child. I believe parents need to persevere in the decision they have made, with prayer, to do what is best for their child. If the child does not like the decision, the parent could explain some of the benefits of that decision, and explain to the child, that although they do not understand or appreciate now, in the end they will have gratitude. They could be given some examples – eg. a 2-year-old plants some seeds in the garden at the advice of his parents, not understanding what it is all about. After a while, he has a lovely big tomato plant and some lettuce, and can make his own salads. Maybe it is not the best example, but it is to bring it to something they can understand. If the child still does not understand, they simply must learn to obey their parents wishes, and that God blesses the obedient child with happiness in this world, and in the next; that is part of the 4th Commandment after all.

  • Anonymous Catholic

    I agree that all families are different, and that families should not feel pressured to take on too many activities. A certain amount of activities is okay, but if there are too many it destroys peace of soul and home.

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