UPDATE: Recap for the week will be posted next week. Enjoying a little family time over the holiday weekend!
In case you missed it, you can read this post to see what this series is all about.
There are many, many advantages to being able to work from home. But one of them is not the ease of finding time to fit in that work. It can be a struggle trying to focus on getting things done when your mind wants to tackle other things that are in front of you such as household tasks, the great outdoors outside that patio window and on the days when they are home: the kids. I make it a rule to always, always put my family first but at the same time the work still has to get done.
Juggling family and home has been something I’ve been struggling with constantly over the past 5 years as a blogger. It wasn’t until I implemented a rule called, “adjust” that I started to feel a sense of relief over this struggle. The “adjust” rule is simply this: when something comes up that affects my planned agenda, I adjust. Things get shuffled. Things get delayed. And that’s just how it goes.
And as a parent, I am often working at finding time to get in some extra education with my kids–this is especially true over the summer months when they aren’t in school. I am a fan of “hands-on learning” so I try to get them out into the world to experience as much as I can. And I try to keep the learning experience fun so they’ll *want* to learn and not just feel it’s something they *have to* do.
So here are some ways that I’ve brainstormed on how to keep up with the work at home task and the at-home parenting time for extra education for the kids:
1) Schedule time each week for work. Be sure to stop and allow breaks to re-group. Stick to short blocks of time to avoid burn-out. Set timer for 20 minutes before end-of-work time and start wrapping up loose ends when the timer goes off.
2) Set-up weekly, monthly and yearly goals. It’s easier to work when you have a plan in place and something to aim for rather than just working aimlessly.
3) Outline those goals and break them up into possible time-frames. Add these time-frames to my work calendar to try to stay on course. Set up email/phone reminders to help keep motivated. And when these goals are met, allow myself small rewards.
4) Be sure to continue to check progress/stats to make sure things are moving smoothly forward and not backwards.
5) Take time each night to create a to-do list for the next day.
6) Allow for at least one day a week to take off work. Allow for a day or two each month of “vacation time” and allow myself to do something fun just for me and/or my family.
Note: If you don’t work from home, you can still apply most of these to your job outside of the home.
PARENTING EDUCATION TIME
1) Set goals that I’d like to achieve with the kids.
2) Plan for monthly brainstorming sessions. This will allow time to come up with fun ideas for us to do together.
3) Create a “bucket list” of things to do with the kids each season. Be sure to add educational items to the lists. You can see the ones I’ve made for the kids this last year for Summer and Fall so far.
4) Continue to find resources online for free printables and ideas for fun themes we can attempt.
5) Create a Pinterest board for collecting ideas to help stay organized and motivated.
6) Subscribe to magazines for unique monthly ideas: Parents, Family Fun and pick up free local area magazines at library.
7) Plan trips for educational purposes. Ideas: Museum of Science & Industry. Field Museum. Planetarium. Perhaps ask for a membership to one of these places for Christmas.
8) Sign-up for free classes in the area. Ideas: Home Depot. Michaels. Libraries.
9) Create “themes” of things to do together. Ideas: Fun meal times. Special Days i.e. “Wacky Wednesday” etc.
10) Start reading more chapter books and books that I can turn into a fun theme afterwards.
These were just some of the ideas I had for staying on top of work and keeping up with additional education at home for my kids. In what ways do you keep up with both or either of these things?
Stay tuned tomorrow for a re-cap of the “stresses” I’ve shared so far along with a few pics of the progress I’ve made on a few of them!