A guest-post by Patrick Bailey
Thanks to COVID-19, or maybe by choice, you’re homeschooling your children. There are Pinterest boards galore on how to be the perfect homeschool parent. The problem is, it’s Pinterest, and you’re more than likely going to end up with more failures than successes. That’s not to say you aren’t capable of being a fantastic homeschool parent, but let’s face it, you’d rather be writing than teaching about writing.
So how do you find time to write when you’re homeschooling your kids? It’s a complicated dance that few understand because working from home IS working. And whether you write for fun or a living, you’d still like to find time to write.
The Importance of Taking Care of Yourself
First, it’s important to remember that no matter how you’re caring for your children – their physical, emotional, educational, or other needs – your needs are also important. You have to make time for yourself for work if you are a working parent and then also for any activities that fill your cup as a human being.
Not taking care of your needs can lead to big issues. Depression, addiction, anger or resentment, less productivity, and other issues come from an unhappy parent who feels overwhelmed. Some people suffer from a dual disorder because it becomes too much. But taking care of your needs helps you avoid this. So, if writing is that thing for you, listen up. Below are some tips on how you can find time to write while your kids are busy learning.
7 Tips for Finding Time to Write
When you’re trying to write, it can be best to have a clear space and some quiet, but that’s not always possible with kids at home. You also might take breaks to help them with questions or take care of their general needs. So while it’s not an ideal writing situation, it can be managed. Here are some tips to help you along the way.
Write when they write
If you have younger kids that need constant supervision while doing their school work, try writing when they write. It will give you a 30 minute span of time to write if they are practicing free writing every day. Put it on your academic calendar and be ready to tackle something every day.
Write when they sleep
If you have littles that nap, take the time to write while they’re asleep. If you’re a morning person, this can be a really productive time for your writing, and getting up an hour earlier than them can add to your writing time.
Schedule in some uninterrupted writing time
Try to have a set uninterrupted time that you can get at least an hour or two in to make sure your writing gets done. This can be a few days a week and whatever time works for you. It might be best to do this when someone else is home to help. To help with interruptions and distractions, wear headphones or put a special sign on your door.
Let them be bored
Creating a schedule for your homeschool day is important, but it’s also important to set aside blocks of time to be bored. Kids need boredom to inspire creativity. Let them know you’re going to spend time creating by writing, and they can pick something of their own to do for a set amount of time.
Build this into your day. This should be free play, where they have to choose how to fill their time without an assigned task. Set rules so that require them to pick a quiet, solo activity so that you can focus too.
Rethink your hours
Remember, the key is to be as flexible and organized as possible. This applies to school and work. School doesn’t have to be a full day like going to traditional school. Decide what they will learn and if it takes three hours one day, that’s all they need to do.
For work, remember that your work blocks can be shorter periods of time. This will help you get more done because smaller blocks of time are easier to come by and you can prioritize better. It will also help your kids know that you’ll be free soon. If your schedule requires more standard hours, change the times you do school to fit into your schedule.
If you pack your schedule full, no one will have time to breathe. Learn to say no so that you can have moments to yourself or time to write. Boundaries are important, and so is focusing on what you can do versus what you can’t.
Remember your why
Losing sight of why you are homeschooling can make things seem harder. Remember to let your children know that they are important too and that you are never too busy for them. Of course, they also need to understand that you do have times you need to write, so teaching them to respect that is important.
One Last Reminder, Mom to Mom
Whichever tips you choose to put into play, remember that you’re carving out time to pursue something you love. In doing so, you’re modeling an important behavior to your kids. They will learn to pursue what they love and that the art of learning and expressing themselves will never end.
Author Bio: Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them.