Juggling home-schooling with work is a challenge many of us have faced over the last 12 months. This is true for me, as I’ve had to balance teaching my daughter alongside running my candle-making business.
But how did I do it? With a bit of trial and error, that’s for sure! If you’re struggling to juggle home-schooling and your job - particularly a practical one like candle making - here are some tips for making everything a bit easier.
- Establish a firm routine
This is perhaps the most obvious starting point: develop a routine. Children of all ages work well under a routine, but this is especially true for younger children. I have the benefit of being an ex-teacher, so I have a good understanding of how to structure my day around the needs of children
Aim to take care of home-schooling at the same time every day. When this is, is entirely up to you. I’d generally recommend the morning, as your children will likely be more alert and attentive then, but build the routine around what works best for you. Just be sure to stick with it for consistency.
If your child’s school is providing online lessons - great. This gives you a chance to do some work, even if it’s some brief admin away from the computer.
- Always be sure you’re available for work
Some roles, even from home, have fairly structured working patterns. I know many people have set working times that are recorded through laptops. However, if your employer is a bit more lenient and simply requires you to put in a set number of hours per day, use this to your advantage.
A benefit of working for yourself is that you get to pick your hours. Sure, I have to balance my time between making candles, packing orders, and doing admin, but I can choose when this happens.
If you need to balance your job around your child’s needs, don’t be afraid to speak to your employer. Plenty of companies will be willing to make allowances in the current situation, particularly if your work is valuable to them.
- Never pass up downtime
This is true for both you and your children: don’t work too hard. Considering the levels of stress we’re all facing just by existing at the moment, it’s commendable to even make it through another day.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my job as a candle maker, but that doesn’t mean I don’t value downtime too. Use the lockdown to prioritise self-care (such as taking a long bath with a lovely scented candle), and use it to spend some much-needed time with your children. After all, it’s unlikely we’ll ever get this opportunity again.
Juggling home-schooling and candle making isn’t that easy, but it’s definitely possible. This is true for any working parent who’s suddenly also helping their children learn.
The best advice I can give is to take advantage of the available resources, don’t be afraid to reach out to other parents for advice, and never, ever forget about caring for yourself and your children.