Approximate reading time: 2 and ½ minutes
Many of you know that I am highly organised. As such, some of you have asked me to share my tips on how I’ve been maintaining a balance between home schooling obligations and finding time to write. Here are some of my suggestions:
#1. Be realistic about what you can achieve.
This was the first problem I had to tackle. On a typical school day, I could average 3000+ words. Obviously, that had to change because I needed to allocate some of my day into teaching my children. I’ve had to not only work out a new realistic daily word count for myself but also what I can achieve as far as educating my children.
Which leads to point 2.
#2. Understand that you do not have the same time, resources, experience, and knowledge as a teacher.
If you are like me, your children’s teachers would have sent you a large amount of resources. After a quick scan, I realised there was no possible way I could cover all of it in the suggested time frame.
I refused to feel guilty about this, especially considering I am not a professional teacher and I also have career, study, and family/home commitments to juggle. I have said this before, but it is worth repeating: You are NOT Supermum. Do not burn yourself out due to societal expectations.
Which leads to the next point.
#3. Decide on YOUR new normal.
What is normal for you during this challenging time will be different to everyone else. There is no right way or wrong way. We are all doing our best. If you can only arrange thirty minutes of lessons a day for your children, that is fine. If you can arrange six hours a day, that is also fine. Right now (and, this might change in future), I am sitting at around three hours a day.
At this point, you might be asking, “Where does writing fit in”? I’m glad you asked. Check out point 4.
#4. Schedule time for your writing.
If you’ve read my other blogs (on my writer’s website – www.aklauthorservies.com – as well as on this one), then you know I am a believer in scheduling time for writing. In creating my new normal, I’ve had to reschedule my writing time. What does this look like?
I have allocated myself an hour at lunch time, an hour after homeschool, and an extra hour at night. This has meant some sacrifices on my children’s part as well as on mine. I have also had to relax some of my usual rules.
Something else you can do is:
#5 Utilise “between-times”.
Between-times are those instances when you are waiting for a short time. This can include when a child goes to the toilet (which, I’ve noticed, takes longer at homeschool!), when you’re on hold on the phone, or when you’re waiting for the washing machine to finish its spin cycle. I am currently writing this sentence as my children are solving maths problems. If you pay attention, there are a multitude of between-times you can take advantage of.
Having said that, I typically use between-times for something I will discuss in a future blog, however, now is the time to incorporate them into your writing routine, if you can. You will be surprised how much you can get done in snatches of five minutes throughout the day.
This carries to the next point.
#6 Night owl or early bird?
I am naturally a night owl. That is why I’ve given myself an extra hour at night in which to write. If you are an early bird, you can operate on the same principal and wake up an hour earlier. Work within your own inclinations. I’ve never understood blanket writing advice which advocates one over the other. Working to your own nature is going to make you much more inspired and creative.
This leaves me one final point to make.
#7 Give yourself credit and cut yourself some slack.
This is a strange and unexpected situation. Nobody knows what they’re doing! Remind yourself that you don’t need to be perfect (whatever that is) and you don’t need to be Supermum (that’s a myth). Give yourself the credit you deserve for the effort you’re making and cut yourself some slack. You’re doing great.
I hope these seven tips have helped you navigate the balance between homeschool and writing (and motherhood). With a little tweaking, you can create a happy compromise for your children’s education and your writerly (or other creative) muse.
Do you have anything else you can suggest? Please share it in the comments below.
Yours in love and romance books,
A.K. Leigh xxoo
About A.K. Leigh
A.K. Leigh is an international-selling romance author, identical triplet, writing instructor, incurable romantic, love guru, self-love advocate, amateur mystic, mother, sometimes blogger and vlogger, and trauma survivor.