Interruptions seem to be the order of the day . . . each and every day. How do you manage homeschool when there is the phone, doorbell, visitors, dentist appointments, holidays, and more. Sometimes I feel there’s just not time to do schoolwork!
I think we all have felt that way! It is especially hard if you are transitioning from a public school lifestyle to doing homeschooling for the first time, where you—and others—may be used to having those daytime hours free.
I think the answer to the question of interruptions is priorities. If we truly feel it is our God-given responsibility to educate our children, then it must move into a top priority position in our lives. I caught the vision of this when I worked on a luncheon committee once many years ago. The mothers on the committee who “worked”were not expected to be available during their work hours, and no one thought less of them. They had a job. If we deem our homeschooling job to be important, then we have to carve out a block of time that becomes inviolate and dedicate it to our children’s education and nurturing.We have a job!
If you personally do not infringe on that time by allowing interruptions, others will be less inclined to ask you to do so. But if you ever schedule visits, appointments, committee work, etc. during your homeschool hours, others will consistently expect it and feel irked if you decline. Personally, I had to make some rules for myself as I am prone to get carried away talking to people, and I feel a lot of compassion if someone is in need—I am likely to throw homeschool right out the window so I can rush to their aid.
There is a time and place for all things and it is a test of patience to keep things in their order, for me. I don’t answer the phone or door during school hours. I have found I just can’t seem to recover and get the troops back on track if I do! One 30 minute phone call (and trust me, that 30 minutes feels like 5 minutes) is enough to blow your history lesson to smithereens!
So I dedicate 3 hours each morning, 3 uninterrupted hours, to my children and their education, and I make the world wait until noon before I become an involved part of it (unless there is a crisis, but that is the rare exception!) What this does is speaks a loud message of importance to my children. They see that I feel education is important enough to make it a priority. And they personally feel that they are important enough to be put first for a few uninterrupted hours of my time each day.
When my part in homeschool is over at noon each day, I feel good! I know I’ve put their education first. We’ve had a good time together learning, so I don’t suffer from that nagging “I’m not spending much time with this child” feeling. And both myself and my children are ready to move on to the bigger world outside our homeschool!