Since the pandemic, we opted for the kids to be homeschooled. This is our second year with our homeschool provider from the previous year, and I personally can say that I’ve had a lot of learnings along the way. And one of the biggest was forming a routine and sticking to a schedule.
Hubby and I have been working from home. Actually, our respective companies used to have a hybrid set-up. But because of the surges and lockdowns, we have been stuck at home with our machines. That also meant juggling our time between work and their homeschooling, and a few things in between.
Last year got pretty hectic towards the end of the school year that we had to cram to finish the kids’ portfolio on time. To be honest, our schedules got crazy as we had to move back to the renovated house last December and the kids were again adjusting to a new environment. I guess we were all shook and we got lost a bit. It didn’t help that hubby and I were given more work responsibilities, which sometimes ate our time.
So when we decided to homeschool anew, I knew I had to create a schedule and routine that would work despite all the factors around us. First, I had to consider hubby’s and my work schedule and make it such that it would be a bit more flexible. We also considered our children’s capabilities: Eldest was okay with independent learning (with sporadic reminders here and there) plus her body already has a routine from the time she wakes up to nighttime. Bunso needs more guidance, so somehow our work schedules revolve around her online class sessions.
Aside from their academic capabilities, we also included in the mix the chores that they’re able to do with our without our help. It’s nice that they’re little helpers, especially Bunso, so at least there are some household tasks that I can delegate.
Of course, one of the biggest tasks for me as a mom would be meal preparation — breakfast to lunch to dinner, and even snacks in between. So I needed to make an efficient schedule for that, too.
It’s a lot to take in, but I’m glad that there are ready resources for families like us who need to work on a routine so that things go smoothly around the house, homeschooling and WFH and all. I found this Home Educator Planner from a website called Twinkl that helps organize everything needed: from budgeting to meal planning to study planning and even the kids’ enrichment activities. They’re all in one neat printable pack that you can bind together or put in a clear book for easy reference.
Among the features that I like about this Home Education Planner are the Weekly Timetable where I can jot down the lessons and tasks needed to accomplish; the Reading Record that would help us track the books they’ve read and let the kids learn comprehension; the Unit Study Planner and Target Checklist to check if the kids meet the required learning competencies; and the Weekly Menu Template that would help me with listing the needed things to buy for our pantry.
All these resources in the Home Education Planner are really made for families who are into homeschooling while juggling working from home. Setting up schedules and routines for us would really help in making tasks efficient, but without a planner as guide, there would probably be a point where we’d be running like headless chickens. And we don’t want that to happen. Putting it down on paper would help us get through our homeschool and WFH journey with a bit of ease.
So with the help of this planner, we were able to come up with a routine. Considering the homeschooling and working schedules of each family member, our weekdays would look like this:
- Mornings would be for meal prep until lunchtime, simple chores like making the bed, and hubby and I taking turns sitting in with Bunso for her online class;
- Afternoons would be for the kids’ activities and worksheets, while hubby and I fully concentrate on our work tasks. Dinner is prepped before 6PM, since that time every day we say the rosary;
- Nighttime would be for prepping for bed and reading bedtime stories.
Weekends would be mostly chores like sweeping the house and laundry, which the kids enjoy doing. We incorporate a bit of exercise in the morning, and books, music, arts, and select activities spread throughout the afternoon and evening. Of course, if they want to do something like make homemade desserts or just playing with their toys (well, it’s Bunso who does this most of the time), we let them, too.
It’s not a perfect routine or schedule, but at least it has been workable for us. The key is understanding each family member’s role, interests, and capabilities to create an efficient homeschooling routine. Of course resources and tips from experienced homeschoolers also help a lot.
I hope our experience helps other families who are in the same situation as ours. Juggling homeschooling and working from home is quite tough. But when you have a schedule and routine and stick to it — and if all members of the family commit to it — the journey may become a bit easier.