Recently I sent out an email that asked, “What’s the hardest part for you about homeschooling?” I invited everyone to reply and share by email — and wow! So many replies! It’s been 4 days, and I’m still trying to answer all the emails.
However, about 80% of the responses were about how to manage time and schedules. For instance,
- “I would say staying on track with a schedule. We get all of our work done but the day doesn’t run with a tight schedule. It’s hectic sometimes. I definitely need a good schedule.”
- “I am homeschooling twins. I work full time. I am frazzled trying to dot i’s and cross t’s. I don’t know if I am covering enough for them.”
- “I think for me the struggle is time management and slowing down and savoring this time with them. 💕 I have two boys! Ages 9 and 4. Would love more children as well, Yah willing!”
- “The hardest part about homeschooling for me is time management. I have two children ages 13 and 14. Fitting in all the subjects and still running a household is difficult. I just want to linger over our books all day and study.”
- “I want to be well disciplined, well organized, pray 3 times a day, etc… mostly I want to please Yahuah and do as He desires.”
We have an entire section of time-management articles and videos on our blog, so I don’t want to re-invent the wheel by writing an entirely new blog post that says the same thing I’ve already said before. If you’re struggling with time, I do recommend setting aside time (no pun intended!) to do some learning. My favorite resources are listed at the bottom of this page.
I have been thinking about Yeshua, and I think there is an important pattern in His life that we homeschooling parents need to think about.
“Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, [Yeshua] went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him. When they found Him, they said to Him, ‘Everyone is looking for You.’
“But He said to them, ‘Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth‘” (Mark 1:35-38).
“Then the apostles gathered to Yeshua and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. And He said to them, ‘Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.’ For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.
“But the multitudes saw them departing, and many knew Him and ran there on foot from all the cities. They arrived before them and came together to Him. And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things…
“Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away. And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray.” (Mark 6:30-34, 45-46).
Being a homeschooling mom is incredibly busy. We might not love multitasking, but it becomes a necessary part of daily living. However, managing so many things can leave us exhausted.
In addition, we often have so many things on our to-do list that we feel frozen… anxious… unsure what to do first or what is most important.
Here are six steps to keep in mind when you feel overwhelmed.
- Write down what the Father wants you to do. Yes, this means that you will need to follow Yeshua’s example and get away for some solitude and prayer. Maybe this will happen next Sabbath, or maybe you’ll need to get up early in the morning. Sit quietly before Him, pen in hand so that you’re ready to write what He says. Brainstorm everything you feel that you’ve heard Him say to you about your children, your spouse, and your home. There may be a lot of things on this list, but carefully write them down so you won’t forget them.
- Put aside the things that don’t matter or are not the priorities that the Father has given you for this season of your life. There are many good things you could be doing, and we sometimes even feel we must compete with the local public schools, or the homeschool families we know in town or online. However, the Bible reminds us, “For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise” (2 Corinthians 10:12). So don’t compare! Instead, ruthlessly evaluate your time and get rid of anything that is distracting you or preventing you from doing the things that the Father told YOU to do.
- Every day, ask Him: “God, which one?” If your list is long, you will wonder which thing to do first. He will answer you, I have no doubt, because Scripture says, “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:21). It’s also wise to ask your husband his opinion (1 Corinthians 14:35), but otherwise, don’t run to social media or text all your friends. Listen to the Father, and ask Him. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Messiah Yeshua” (Philippians 4:6-7).
- Do what He says. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:5-8). Faith is hearing what God says and then obeying, right away, with a happy heart. Amen? Don’t be afraid (Joshua 1:8-9). Simply do what He says! When you’re done, go back to Him and ask Him what’s next.
- Give Him thanks. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Messiah Yeshua for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). In practical terms, this means that you’ll likely have praise music on in the background often. It means that you’ll be having a running conversation with the Father throughout the day, constantly thanking Him for each thing (good and bad!) that He allows to come into your schedule. Even when things don’t go as you expected, you’ll develop a habit of being thankful. Usually this spills over into your relationships, and you’ll show more appreciation to your husband, your children, and even the dog. 🙂
- At the end of the day, reconnect with the Father. Take a few moments to write down what amazing things He did that day and what you (or your children) learned. Although Scripture reading is excellent in the morning and during school time, it’s also a wise thing to listen to the Bible being read right before you fall asleep, too.
As I said before, the resources listed below are full of incredibly practical ideas. Do your homework and work to change some habits, but never remove the Spirit of God from the process. Let Him guide and direct you–and watch the stress evaporate, only to be replaced by confidence and joy!
- 10 Tips to Manage Your Time — This is a helpful summary that you can use as a checklist to make sure you’re forming good habits with your time.
- Dressed and in My Right Mind — I highly recommend taking an hour to watch this video, then use the resources under the video (such as the planner) to put it all into practice.
- How Do I Know They Are Learning? — Here are some tips to help you know what children need to learn and how to evaluate if you’re accomplishing it.
- Even more articles and videos about time management
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture in this blog post taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.