Homeschooling and working from home sometimes aren’t ideal to do together. But a lot of us want to home-school our kids and earn a living at home.
So how can we survive to homeschool and work from home at the same time?
What resources and tools can we use to reach our dream?
How can we make it enjoyable?
I will share tips and experiences of how I survive and how I balance both homeschool and work at home.
At the end of this post, there is a FREE Homeschooling & Working from Home Survival Kit – Chinese & English
(7 language versions) that you can grab at the end of this post.
I made it to lighten our burden.
The post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. If you make a purchase through a link. See the Disclosure for more details.
Table of Contents
Scroll down to the bottom to look at the freebies.
The misconception of being a Homeschooling Mom
Some think I am very patient and good with children. Some think I am high-educated or rich. Others think I am crazy to give up all my time and other opportunities for my kids.
They are all partially right.
I don’t think I am a patient mom at all, especially after having more kids. I do, however, have many opportunities to practice my patience.
I do love working with children, but I have my limit and my needs as well.
We are not rich at all. My husband is the only one to work for a living.
During bad days, I wonder if I am crazy to not send my kids to school. The important thing is we both understand why we are sacrificing so much and why are we doing it. That helps us stand strong and keep it going.
I am not homeschooling because we want to isolate ourselves from the world. That’s not the reason.
I am a blogger, blogging allows me to serve the community and families all over the world.
- I learn new things and, write in my second language creating resources for my kids and others to learn from.
- I have met amazing homeschooling parents throughout the world. I talk to and ask them for help all the time.
Why I homeschool and work from home
Homeschooling four kids is not free. There are materials, supplies, books, programs, classes, and even transportation fees.
I chose to blog, hopefully, to earn a little extra cash to help with the family.
I started Fortune Cookie Mom when I had my third child. I needed a new hobby to keep myself happy and healthy. Homeschooling and blogging go hand in hand, and I enjoy it very much.
I usually spend 3-5 hours a day on my blog. Creating new content & new Chinese printables, answering emails and social media, etc.
I love working from home while homeschooling, because:
- Keeps me learning and educated
- Allows me to connect with other parents and educators
- I can serve and help others
- Increases my creativity ability
- Allows me to face my fears and increase my self-confidence
- Challenges myself
- Earn a little money to help with my family
How many hours a day do I home-school?
We spend a lot less time on lecturing or doing homework because it is one-on-one teaching.
For young kids, each subject should not take more than 30 minutes a day, so we have our school time for about 1 hour each day.
But we don’t stop learning after this hour.
My kids learn or I teach them through the day. From cleaning the bathroom to helping our neighbors, or meeting new friends. They are learning from real-life experiences all the time.
What does a home-school day look like?
Every waking moment is another opportunity to learn and explore the world. We don’t only learn in a classroom.
- Service: My kids learn to serve others through doing chores, preparing meals, caring for others, and going to church.
- Academic: Besides school time, my kids learn math during the cooking time and shopping outside. They practice map reading when we are at the park looking at signs and maps to read. They practice speaking Cantonese whenever we met people outside. We also have independent reading time and family reading time every night.
- Social skills: My kids met new people and even friends when we are outside: on the bus, at the park, in the supermarket, on the way to church, etc.
There are opportunities in our daily life for our kids to learn from.
If you want to know about my homeschooling routine, click HERE to read even more.
What does my working schedule look like?
I work on my blog when my kids are sleeping — nap time and bedtime.
Every day we have breakfast, then school time for the whole morning. After lunch, it is nap time.
After 9 years of having kids and nap time, I know taking a nap will give me a boost of energy. It puts me in a good mood for the rest of the day, so I take about a 30-minute nap.
Then, I work on my blog and create Chinese printables for about 2 hours.
When my kids wake up from a nap, I try to finish up my work while they are having a snack.
Afterward, it is outside or play at home and prepare dinner. I do everything with them until the two younger kids go to bed.
Then, I work on my blog again while my older kids are reading, drawing, and waiting to go to bed. (Yes, we only have one bedroom for four children, so they take turns going into the bedroom, it can take up to 2-3 hours.)
I usually have about 2-3 hours there.
That’s my day.
I don’t work on my blog as much as weekdays, I work about 2-4 hours.
We usually have different activities with dad. We’ll go on outings, visit friends, etc… I’ll work on homeschooling plans and prepare materials as well, so we can have a smooth week.
Challenges of Homeschooling and Working from Home
- Kids won’t leave you alone – they keep asking questions, need your help, play with your mouse/computer
- It is always noisy, hard to make calls or concentrate
- Tons of unexpected things happen (.e.g break something in the house, get hurt, make a mess, etc…)
- You must cook, clean, put the kids to nap during your working hours
- You don’t get enough work done
- Don’t have enough time or sleep
Do you have any other challenges to add to the list? Feel free to leave a comment below.
How I home-school my children and work part-time/full-time from home
Here are 13 tips for surviving to home-school and working from home. I hope you find inspiration and motivation because I know it is hard, but you can do it!
13 Tips for Surviving Both Homeschooling and Working from Home
Make a list of what you need to do each day – prioritize
Writing down a list is easy and works well.
I own a little notebook, and I make a to-do list for myself to cross off at the end of the day. I also add new tasks during the day. So I carry it with my phone everywhere and it is like my personal assistant.
Set Up a Routine
We all get more done when we know what to do each hour. Create a routine for your family, yourself, and your kids. They are important and very helpful to get you through each day.
Make sure to make your routine/schedule is visible, so everyone can see it.
If you don’t have routines, it’s so easy to put work first then your family. Then at the end of the day, nothings accomplished but feeling guilty and depressed.
Set a time to spend with your kids with no distractions
Even if it is only 15 minutes a day, it will do the trick.
Our kids know we are busy and that we need to work. If they know they will have one-on-one time with they will behave better. They understand you didn’t forget them and they feel special you set aside time for them.
Make sure during these one-on-one times, you put away your phone and electronics. Pay full attention listening, talking, playing, and looking in your child’s eyes.
It helps you bond with your kids and allows them to feel love, and you won’t feel guilty when you need to focus and work.
Use screen time wisely
Having screen-time isn’t always the worst thing, we don’t have to feel guilty about them watching tv. Our kids must learn to have self-control when choosing screen-time or video games. So why not start to help them learn how to and guide them early?
Set rules for screen time, so kids can learn to finish their responsibilities and work hard.
During the weekend, let them have fun, everyone deserves to relax and enjoy themselves.
When little ones are with you all the time, there isn’t much time to cook and clean. To manage everything, having the perfect meal every day isn’t a priority anymore.
Meal Planning: I Plan for the whole week. It takes me about 30 minutes per week and works well for me. I have a set of themes for each day (e.g. Monday – rice, Tuesday – western food, Wednesday – leftovers, etc…) It speeds up planning time.
Meal Preparation: After grocery shopping spends time dividing, cutting, and prepping protein & vegetables for the week. It saves me so much time. Also, I usually double the recipes and turn them into an extra meal or freeze them.
Simple Home = Fewer Chores: Try to clean up the house and declutter, you will feel less stressed. The best part is less clutter means less to clean.
Manage interruption (young kids, older kids)
Set boundaries, rules, and even set “office hours” for your kids. You can put up a sign, set an alarm, or use a traffic light toy to help your kids know when working time is.
Be flexible and follow the pace of your children
Teach more intense subjects or materials while you have free time. Teach easier material when you have a lot of projects and work to do.
Tools for your child while they are waiting
Waiting is an enemy for kids, lets prepare a basket of tools for your kids while they are waiting.
- Talking Pens
- Audio Books
- Music & Audiobooks
Set a shorter “working block”
When you are working at home, things and accidents can happen anytime. Setting a shorter “working block” throughout the day can help balance work and home.
Examples of a working block:
- 2 hours before the kids are up
- 1 hour during school time
- 2 hours in the afternoon during naps
- 3 hours after the kids are in bed
Teach your child to be independent:
For example create a simple water/drink/snack bar, a cleaning station, craft box, and a mini-library. It will help your kids be more independent.
Get help from others
You don’t have to do it alone. Share homeschooling responsibilities with your spouse. Maybe every other day, your spouse can take charge of teaching your kids Math. Your spouse and kids should help with housework and other tasks to lighten your workload.
Take care of yourself
If you burn out, you won’t be effective for work or your family. So commit to having 15-30 minutes of personal time every day.
Go for a walk, take a bubble bath, read books with the door locked, etc…
Learn to say NO and make sacrifices
We cannot have or do everything. Everything has its season and time. You homeschooling and work at home already, so it gives you a huge reason to say no to other things. I understand it is hard to have no time for yourself so you have time for work and your kids. Maybe that’s a sacrifice we all need to make right now. But sacrifices bring blessings, so count your blessing and be grateful for every day.
Do you have any tips? Feel free to share them in the comments below.
Freebie: Homeschooling & Working from Home Survival Kit
We all need tools and solutions, right? So I have prepared something for you.
A Homeschooling & Working from Home Survival Kit. It is going to provide useful tools & printables for you. It will help you try the 13 tips mentioned above.
Are you serious about improving your homeschooling & working from the home situation?
Your life won’t change and improve until you download this survival kit, print it out, and use it.
The Survival Kit includes
1. Daily Schedule Printable:
Colors & black and white
3. Chinese & English Quotes & Poems
verses on teaching
4. Kids’ Checklists & summer lists:
I have created TWO styles of the checklists: daily checklist & summer to-do list.
You can use the checklists for anything. For example to keep track of their chores, school-work, daily tasks, etc.
Want to know how to use them? Click the following link which is inspired by Summer System: Clipboards and Chore Checklist + FREE Printable from Fun Cheap or Free
Different Language Versions are included in these printable
- Traditional Chinese with Jyutping, Pinyin, & Zhuyin
- Simplified Chinese with Pinyin
And the best is: IT IS FREE!
Click the button below and download the Homeschooling Survival Kit now.
>> If you are a subscriber already, go to the Chinese Resource Library to download this freebie.
A Challenge for you: By the End of This Week
I hope you will have the following things finished by the end of this week.
- You will have a daily schedule printed out and in a visible place for your kids to see
- Make a checklist/summer to-do list for each of your kids. So they can work on their own tasks while you focus on work
- Print out the Calming Parents’ Chart and hang it in your office/ working area
- Hang up the quotes in your home and learn from these sweet messages
If you enjoy this freebie, please let us know! I’d love to know if it’s a good resource. Don’t forget to leave a comment and tag @fortunecookiemom on Instagram and Facebook!
I am doing it and it helps me a lot. And I know you can do it too.
if worse comes to worst when you feel like you are going to explode, say NO to some of your tasks and let it go.
After reviewing, and trying again, you’ll find the right balance and enjoyment of having both in your life.
Please let me know if this article and the survival kit are helpful for you or not. I’d love to hear from you.
You Might be Interested
- Look For The Helpers: Work Schedules & Family Rhythms from Honey! I’m Homeschooling The Kids
- Yes, You Can Work and Homeschool Your Children from Homeschool Facts
- Working at Home & Homeschooling: 7 Life Lessons from a WAHM from Homeschool Simple
- How To Successfully Homeschool and Work from Home from Ben and Me
- How To Homeschool When You Have A Full-Time Job from Awe Filled Homemaker
- Ways to get funds for homeschooling in different states from Medium
- Suddenly Homeschooling? This is Your Survival Kit from A Healthy Slide of Life
Homeschooling/ Teaching Chinese at Home Tips
- How to Start Teaching Chinese at Home
- An Interview about My Homeschooling life in Hong Kong
- How to Write a Year-Long Bilingual Homeschooling Plan (Series of Blog Posts)
- How to Create a Language Rich Environment to Learn Chinese at Home
- How I Motivate my Children Reading in Cantonese and English
- Writing Chinese Characters: 10 tips for teaching young children how to write Chinese characters
- Ten Best Activities You Can Do as a Family to Enhance Chinese Learning
- Homeschooling in Hong Kong: The Fortune Cookie Mom from Honey! I’m Homeschooling The Kids
You Are Not Doing it Alone
Join my Facebook support group to meet and get connections with parents and educators with the same goals.
身为职业妈妈的我,常常牺牲睡眠来自作教材。版主全方位学习的新年教材真让我省下不少宝贵的时间找资料。四岁的女儿对中文学习有点抗拒。我们善用版主提供的迷你故事书和生字卡来增强她对语文的认识。版主的中文单词棋盘游戏更让女儿投入学习, 因为她想赢嘛！版主的教材可让小孩边玩边学, 太棒了。
This is the second 5-Day Challenge that we have done with Fortune Cookie Mom. Both have been very beneficial to our family. I am a homeschool mom of three little kids. We are not Chinese and do not speak any Chinese. With the help of Fortune Cookie Mom, we are slowly learning! The challenges have given me fun activities to do at home with the kids. Each one has reignited my kid's interest in learning. It has been a fun experience for everybody!