Catholic Homeschool Articles, Advice & Resources

Ask the Experts: How do you balance school, activities, and church commitments?


The homeschool veterans have four simple tips to help you balance your homeschooling lessons, extra-curricular activities, and church commitments.

Balancing Your Schedule…

The best way to balance your homeschooling lessons, extra-curricular activities, and church commitments is to prioritize.

Knowing your overall priority and your immediate priority gives you the power and freedom to choose where your time and energy need to be focused each day.

For example, on Monday, you may have the option to attend a field trip to the science museum, but doing so would require you to skip homeschool bookwork for the day. Additionally, you would have to find a substitute for your committed Monday hour in adoration. Since you know that your overall priority is to raise your children in the faith, you might place the commitment to adoration at the top of your priority list, followed by schoolwork.

However, when you weigh that overall priority and your immediate priority, you may decide that you can easily swap your adoration hour this week with another adorer, and you can afford to take a day off from bookworm.

So, you can confidently choose to make the field trip a priority that day. Of course, when you were weighing your priorities for the day, you might have come to a different conclusion.

You may have remembered that there wasn’t a substitute available to cover your adoration hour or if your children have a research paper or project due Tuesday. Homeschoolers are blessed with many opportunities for learning, service, worship, and recreation. Understanding how to prioritize those opportunities brings the right balance into the home and the heart.

Tara Brelinsky, North Carolina

Service Outside the Home…

Put the big rocks in first! Imagine you have a vase and a large assortment of rocks you must fit in, of various shapes and sizes, colors and textures.

The vase is your life. The rocks are all the demands on your time and the commitments you’ve made: spouse, school, kids, God, baseball, scouts, volunteer time; everything has a rock.

If you fill your jar with the small and medium-size rocks first, then try to shove the big ones in at the end, it won’t work. I have five “big rocks.”

The first is God. Sundays as God’s day with Mass and family time is non-negotiable. Daily Scripture and rosary, prayer time with my husband and kids follow. Next is my marriage.

Communication, date nights, little daily “check-ins.”

The third rock is my kids and their school. We need to be home and well-rested to do schoolwork well. Therefore, school comes before any outside activity. Otherwise, my rocks won’t fit. The fourth rock is me. I need to prioritize taking care of myself, or I can’t do anything. I already mentioned prayer. I also do daily exercise, love to read, and am trying to learn the art of hand lettering.

The fifth rock is stewardship. I require service hours for my children. Giving back to God is important to me. After those five big ones, the medium and small rocks fit in easily.

If they don’t, reprioritize. Cut back on dance lessons or field trips. If we make time for the “big stuff,” the small stuff has a way of taking care of itself.

Kristin Brown, Virginia

Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God…

The best tip I have for balancing homeschooling, activities, and church commitments is two tips.

First, according to Scripture, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.”

We need to focus on God and trust that our lives will give glory to Him. So, everything we do (hopefully) is centered on Him.

The second tip is self-discipline. We must be able to recognize the difference between want and need and follow through with that discernment.

This self-discipline for me is to wake up earlier than everyone else, get a lot of the background work done to prepare for the day, stick to a daily schedule, and say no to too much busyness for our family.

Susan Brock, Virginia

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