When we decided to homeschool, I'm not sure that I fully realized the amount of work that would be involved. It is not an easy task. The responsibility you carry when you decide to take this route is quite heavy.
In most cases, you are taking on the role of several teachers. It's likely that you'll teach varying grade levels as well as numerous subjects.
This year our subjects include:
:: Literature and Comprehension
:: Social Studies
:: Physical Education
:: Writing Skills
Each of the above subjects (other than Spanish) are taught to both of my children in different grade levels. Our day is very full.
The day isn't completed by simply breezing through work and checking it off the list. Much time is spent ensuring that the information is sinking in, making sense and retrievable for later use and practice.
If you're a home educating mother, you likely have other responsibilities as well. You're probably the one in charge of managing the house and everything that goes along with that.
Being a home educating mother you are also the school nurse, lunch provider, field trip planner, holiday party host as well as the secretary who filters out distractions from outside the classroom. At times it seems that the outside distractions are a never ending stream as some just can't grasp the important and time consuming task of homeschooling.
By choosing the homeschool route you have made a promise to your children and a commitment to their education. Creating a schedule and sticking to it is important. Others may view you as being stingy and strict with your time. That's fine. Your priority during schooling hours is just that... school.
You can be flexible - but don't allow others to consume your every day. It is necessary that friends and family understand time requirements in education and respect you and your children.
Examples: On school days, my mother-in-law makes it a habit to not call any earlier than 1:30pm if she needs to speak with me. My grandmother doesn't visit our home until after that time as well.
It only makes sense that they would be respectful of our schooling hours. They wouldn't walk in to my classroom if I taught in a school outside of my home - or into my children's classroom if the kids were not homeschooled.
On top of our time requirements for school and the necessary work I have to properly manage a home - we also have piano lessons to attend and weekly doctor visits. If that weren't enough, I work from home. Creating and managing my own business has a lot of demands in itself.
I also babysit from time to time when someone needs me. This actually works out very well as I already have arts, crafts and activities that can easily accommodate another child.
Set your daily, weekly and monthly schedules. Stick to your schedule. It is easy to become distracted daily and for an interruption to continuously appear. Block the distractions as politely as you can. It will be difficult to catch up if things get out of hand.
Be stingy with your scheduled school time. Others may not like this - but that's okay. Your promise and commitment is to your children. That comes first.